PJ Library will gather experienced and published children's book authors and illustrators for our third Author Israel Adventure cohort. This all-expense-paid experience is designed to inspire accomplished creators to bring Israel, Jewish ideas, and diverse Jewish stories to their board, picture, and middle grade books.
We will begin our adventure with online meet-ups and customized webinars before we travel together to Israel where we will explore the historical and modern country, meet with diverse groups of Israelis, and journey from the barren desert to the Mediterranean Sea. We will experience the unique vibrancy of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and take time for reflection, discussion, and writing, often facilitated by well-known local authors. Thanks to generous support from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, the 2023 trip is central to a cohort year spanning from October 2022 through October 2023. After returning from Israel the cohort experience will culminate with a writers' retreat in North America, currently scheduled for the week of October 15, 2023. Applications are now closed, but please see the Israel sample itinerary and FAQs below for more details.
2023 Author Biographies
2019 Author Biographies
2018 Author Biographies
The Author Israel Adventure is a year-long experience centered around an eight-day trip exploring the roots and stories of the Jewish people, the goal of which is to inspire children's writers to bring Israel, Jewish ideas, and diverse Jewish stories to their writing.
Thanks to the generous support from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, we are offering this 3rd cohort of participants a year-long experience, from October 2022-October 2023. Cohort members will participate in exclusive online webinars and customized offerings, culminating in an all-expenses-paid writers' retreat in North America.
The trip will take place from Monday, May 8 to Monday, May 15, 2023, allowing for travel on Sunday, May 7 and Tuesday, May 16. Participants will join online webinars and other opportunities to gather between October 2022 and October 2023. The experience will culminate with a writers' retreat currently scheduled for the week of October 15, 2023.
The writers' retreat - the culminating experience - is currently scheduled for the week of October 15, 2023 and will most likely take place over 3-4 days. More information, including the North American location, will be shared with accepted participants.
Published children's and middle-grade authors and illustrators, including board book, picture book, and chapter book authors, who have written in English and who are planning to publish books with Jewish and/or Israel content. Participants must be vaccinated against COVID-19 and must present proof of vaccination.
We welcome participants from all faiths and backgrounds, but we do ask that participants be serious about writing books with Jewish stories for young children and middle graders. The focus of the cohort and experience will be on Judaism, Jewish sites, and Jewish communities as well as highlighting sites from other religions and cultures found in Israel.
Yes, please do!
Not this time, but please reach out! We would love to consider future opportunities for you.
Submit this application.
Wednesday, June 1, 2022 at 11:00 PM EDT.
We will contact accepted authors by September 2022 and let them know the full details of the trip.
The Author Israel Adventure is all-expense-paid, including flights to Israel from New York, accommodations and transportation in Israel, most meals, and site admissions. Domestic travel to New York, expenses incurred during participant free time (including some meals), personal shopping, standard tips for the guide and driver, and extra touring are not covered. Travel health insurance and luggage insurance are not covered.
Based on our current plans, a group flight will depart late Sunday night, May 7, 2023, from Newark Airport outside New York City and will be welcomed in Israel at Ben Gurion Airport to begin the adventure together. We strongly encourage all participants from North America to arrange to depart on this designated flight. Travel to Newark Airport is at participant expense. Participants departing from Europe, the UK, or other countries, or those who cannot make the Newark flight will be reimbursed for the cost of their flights to Israel up to the cost for the group flight. Those participants will need to arrange to meet the group at a designated place and time at their own expense.
PJ Library with the support of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.
For eight days, we will explore the roots and stories of the Jewish people, the historical and modern state of Israel, and meet with a diverse group of Israelis. We will travel from the barren desert to the Mediterranean Sea, and to the unique vibrancy of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. We will see villages, kibbutzim, and cities. There will be time every day devoted to reflection, discussion, and writing, often facilitated by guest authors. See the itinerary for more details.
Selected accommodations are beautiful as well as reflective of Israel's unique surroundings. Read more about accommodations in previous years.
Israel has rugged terrain with great variety in its environment. This trip will not include long hikes or extreme outdoor experiences, but there will be a lot of walking, sometimes over rocky or slippery ground, desert climbing, and we may even venture into the Dead Sea which can be a challenging experience for some. There will be opportunities for swimming.
Israel in May is beautiful, usually in the 70s Fahrenheit during the day and dipping into the 50s at night. The desert can get much cooler at night and much hotter during the day. Intermittent light rain is not unheard of.