The Institute of Children’s Literature has over 50 years of teaching writing for children and teens, writing for magazines, and writing and selling short stories and articles. Its sister school, Institute for Writers, has over 30 years of teaching the basics of writing stories and articles for publication and how to shape, write, and sell your novel for an adult audience.
In 1969, ICL Founder Douglas Chouteau combined his years of experience in publishing and his aspiration to create a writing school, and founded the Institute of Children’s Literature. In 1975, a longtime friend of Chouteau’s brother, Bryan Judge, became the President of the Institute of Children’s Literature, and served in that position until 2015.
Under his leadership, the Institute of Children’s Literature formalized its educational model, developed a more robust body of course offerings, and became recognized as the foremost teacher of new children’s writers in North America. In the mid 80’s, the Institute of Children’s Literature earned approval from the Executive Director of the state of Connecticut Office of Higher Education and recommended for college credits by the Connecticut Board of Academic Awards.
In 1989, Long Ridge Writers Group (later renamed Institute for Writers) was founded. A sister school to the Institute of Children’s Literature, it focused on training writers for the adult novel, nonfiction, and magazine markets using the same proven method of instruction; a customized, one-on-one course with a professional, published instructor.
In 2015, the Institute found new leadership, with Jerry Davis serving as President, and Katie Davis serving as CEO and School Director. Their combined experience in children’s publishing, youth markets and digital media brought new energy to the Institute with a focus on the publishing marketplace and the changing demands on writers in the digital age.
Direct Learning Systems (DLS)—a full-service distance education and publishing company dedicated to providing cutting-edge solutions for students in the e-learning community—acquired the Institute in 2020. DLS owner and operator Kevin McCloskey, with decades of experience in distance education, accreditation, and business operations, propelled the Institute into the next generation of online course delivery.
We’re very excited about the first 50 years, and we’re ready for what the next 50 will bring!