We're adding more workshops and faculty for our 2016 workshops, so keep checking back!


A Concentrated Course in Nonfiction 2016

March 10 – March 13, 2016

Use your imagination full force—as a nonfiction writer. Many writers believe that fiction offers more opportunity for creativity, but nonfiction authors beg to differ! Writing from reality requires just as much creativity as writing from fantasy. What differs is facts. …

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Workshop Faculty: Peter P. Jacobi

Carolyn P. Yoder’s Alumni Retreat – March 2016

March 13 – March 20, 2016

This is a special and unusual retreat, open only to graduates of Carolyn P. Yoder’s workshops. Participants will come together for seven days and evenings to write, relax, eat, play, and then write some more. Our all-inclusive price means we …

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Workshop Faculty: Carolyn P. Yoder

Everything You Need to Know About Children’s Book Publishing: A Crash Course March 2016

March 17 – March 20, 2016

Join us for a long weekend to start writing your children’s book and learn all you need to know about the children’s book industry! Thursday Tour the offices of Boyds Mills Press and Highlights for Children Welcome dinner followed by …

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Workshop Faculty: Harold UnderdownJo KnowlesBobbie Combs
Special Guests: Lindsay Barrett George

Creating Picture Books 2016

March 20 – March 24, 2016

If you have a passion for picture books and a desire to write and/or illustrate them, this workshop is an opportunity to work directly with award-winning writer and illustrator Robert J. Blake. During this hands-on workshop, Robert will share his …

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Workshop Faculty: Robert J. Blake

Color, Light, Line, and Texture Hands-on Workshop 2016

March 31 – April 3, 2016

Ashley and Denise are back!!! All new techniques with some magic thrown into the mix! Everyone is welcome, teachers, librarians, artists, and art lovers! NO previous art experience required! Do you believe in magic? WE DO!! Using unusual materials such …

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Workshop Faculty: Denise FlemingAshley Wolff

Swoon-worthy Romance 2016

April 6 – April 10, 2016

What would a YA novel be without swoon-worthy romance? Without racing pulses, burning eyes, and those tiny, accidental, brushes of the hand that make readers go weak in the knees? Whether your genre is contemporary, science fiction, dystopian, fantasy or …

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Workshop Faculty: Shari BeckerHeather Demetrios

Nuts and Bolts of Science Writing 2016

April 10 – April 14, 2016

You love science and our world—and want to share your knowledge and passion with kids. How do you accomplish it? Learn the dynamics of engaging science-based writing for children and teens—whether you’re published already or just beginning. Faculty will demonstrate …

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Workshop Faculty: Jennifer SwansonMiranda PaulEmily FeinbergPaige Hazzan
Special Guests: Clara Gillow Clark

Special Guests Via Skype: Clelia GoreCarol HinzAlyssa Mito Pusey

Dust or Magic Retreat: Language, Literacy and Storytelling with Children’s Digital Media

April 24 – April 26, 2016

Join us to review the “dust” and the “magic” of the latest children’s digital products, with an emphasis on language, literacy, and digital storytelling. Workshops and/or demos of the latest apps will be given by Warren Buckleitner, Gail Lovely and …

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Workshop Faculty: Warren BuckleitnerGail LovelyDaren Carstens

Writing the Unreal: The Whole Novel Workshop in Fantasy & Speculative Fiction 2016

May 1 – May 8, 2016 Waitlisted

Please note: this workshop is full. Send us an email to join our waiting list! Do you write children’s or YA fantasy? Alternate history? Science Fiction? Magical realism? Paranormal romance? Fairy tale retellings? Horror? Bring it to The Whole Novel …

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Workshop Faculty: Anne UrsuLaura Ruby
Special Guests: Tina WexlerDeborah KovacsChristine Heppermann

A Week with Patti Gauch 2016

May 8 – May 15, 2016 Waitlisted

Please note: this workshop is full. Send us an email to join our waiting list! Spend an intimate week in spring to explore new ideas for a novel, lay one out, face a particular writing challenge, or finish a manuscript …

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Workshop Faculty: Patricia Lee Gauch

Life in the Spotlight: Author Opportunities After Publication 2016

May 10 – May 15, 2016

It’s for the published author to determine how much time and energy should be invested in selling self and product, but if the most is to be made of a book and author in the marketplace, then personal efforts must …

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Workshop Faculty: Peter P. Jacobi
Special Guests: Alison Green MyersBobbie Combs

Writing Jewish-Themed Children’s Books 2016

May 15 – May 18, 2016

A hands-on workshop specifically designed for writers of Jewish-themed content. Whether your manuscript has slight or overwhelming Jewish content, this is the workshop for you. Unlike a one-day conference, this workshop includes one-on-one manuscript critiques with a literary agent or …

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Workshop Faculty: Barbara KrasnerKathy Kacer
Special Guests: Joni Sussman

Novels in Verse — More than a Novel, More than Poetry 2016

May 21 – May 25, 2016

The verse novel packs a punch with judicious word choices, open spaces, vivid encapsulations of scenes and emotions, all delivered in a narrative that flows rhythmically.  Bring your verse novel or ideas for one and practice the art of saying …

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Workshop Faculty: Kathryn ErskineAlma Fullerton

PB&J: Picture Books and All That Jazz 2016

June 10 – June 13, 2016

Everyone loves picture books! But writing stories that sell means going beyond a fun idea. In addition to structure, word choice and plot, have you considered voice, style, rhythm, layout, rhyme, audience, tone, and sound? This workshop with award-winning picture …

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Workshop Faculty: Darcy PattisonLeslie Helakoski
Special Guests: Kelly Bennett

Master Class in Novel Writing 2016

June 14 – June 17, 2016

You’ve been writing at a professional level for a while, but you still need to learn and challenge yourself. Come and join a deep discussion of practical issues that will take your next novel to a new level. We’ll take …

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Workshop Faculty: Darcy Pattison

Writing for the Educational Market 2016

June 19 – June 23, 2016

If the words “educational markets” make you think of boring workbooks and textbooks, it’s time to think again! Today’s educational publishers are eager to see lively nonfiction, fast-paced fiction, poetry, and more. The rules for educational writing are different, but …

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Workshop Faculty: Jan FieldsPaula Morrow
Special Guests: Cindy Kane

Super Children’s Book Boot Camp 2016

July 7 – July 10, 2016

Finish your picture book and get it ready for submission. Designed for authors and illustrators with a picture book project in progress or in mind, this workshop offers a unique opportunity to develop it, polish it, finish it, and present …

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Workshop Faculty: Pat CummingsDenise FlemingFloyd CooperSteve Light
Special Guests: Patti Ann HarrisMarcia WernickAlison Green MyersNamrata Tripathi

Summer Camp at the Barn: A Week of Creative Mentorship 2016

July 17 – July 23, 2016

The Highlights Foundation tackles summer camp a bit differently than S’mores by the campfire and hiking in the woods (although those adventures are always on our schedule). To us, Summer Camp, is a time to find the kind of encouragement …

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Workshop Faculty: Kathryn ErskinePatricia Lee GauchJillian SullivanAlison Green Myers

Whole Novel Workshop August 7-13 2016

August 7 – August 13, 2016

Take your novel to the next level! Our instructors will challenge you to look at your novel critically and to find openings and opportunities for revision. This comprehensive workshop includes one-on-one sessions, lectures, group discussions, and exercises to support and …

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Workshop Faculty: Sarah AronsonNancy WerlinA.M. JenkinsJennifer Jacobson
Special Guests: Nicole ValentineRob Costello

Carolyn P. Yoder’s Alumni Retreat August 2016

August 13 – August 20, 2016

This is a special and unusual retreat, open only to graduates of Carolyn P. Yoder’s workshops. Participants will come together for seven days and evenings to write, relax, eat, play, and then write some more. Our all-inclusive price means we …

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Workshop Faculty: Carolyn P. Yoder

Revision Retreat 2016

August 13 – August 17, 2016

In this working retreat, Harold Underdown and editor Eileen Robinson will teach proven techniques for self-editing and revising and help writers try them out on their manuscripts. Mornings will be dedicated to revision techniques and afternoons to model critique groups, …

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Workshop Faculty: Eileen RobinsonHarold Underdown

Whole Novel Workshop: Middle Grade and Young Adult 2016

August 21 – August 27

If you write middle grade or young adult fiction, come to The Whole Novel Workshop with M.T. Anderson and N. Griffin! This workshop is designed for anyone with a complete or near-complete draft of a middle-grade or young adult novel …

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Workshop Faculty: M.T. AndersonN. Griffin

The Craft and Heart of Writing Poetry for Children 2016

September 11 – September 15, 2016

Would you love to work in an intimate setting with published poets, make new friends, immerse yourself in writing poetry and working on the craft? Then this workshop is for you. Our goal is to bring poets together to delve …

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Workshop Faculty: Rebecca Kai DotlichGeorgia Heard
Special Guests: Rebecca Davis

Perfecting the Picture Book Text 2016

October 5 – October 9, 2016

Picture books are incredibly fun to create. They are a whole world unto themselves with character, setting, conflict and structure that provide young readers with a complete story within the span of about 32 pages. But the simplicity of a …

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Workshop Faculty: Kathryn ErskineKristy Dempsey

The Master Class: The Search for Voice 2016

October 13 – October 16, 2016

In the rush to publication, writers often miss the opportunity to stop and take time to bring their writing to a higher level. We admire the very language—words and sentences and passages—not to mention the extraordinarily original characters, of Jerry …

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Workshop Faculty: Patricia Lee Gauch

Books with Bite Workshop and Retreat: Writing Horror and Haunted Novels 2016

October 19 – October 23, 2016

Horror and heart-pounding suspense… Ghost stories and serial killers… Psychological thrillers, Gothic tales, dark magical realism, and the occult. Dark and twisty kidlit has enjoyed a recent revival. If you’re writing a young adult or middle-grade novel that touches on …

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Workshop Faculty: Nova Ren SumaMicol Ostow

Creating Page-Turning Nonfiction for Middle Grade Readers and Up 2016

October 23 – October 26, 2016

Do you have a passion for learning and a desire to create informational books for young readers about subjects you care about? Do you want to expose young readers to complex works of nonfiction about science, people, or historical events? …

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Workshop Faculty: Deborah HopkinsonPamela S. Turner

Writing and Revising Narrative Nonfiction 2016

November 1 – November 6, 2016

A writer of narrative nonfiction must work with both head and heart. Whether you’re working on a 1200-word picture book, a 35,000-word middle grade, or a 65,000-word book for young adults, you need to carefully research to gather information, assess …

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Workshop Faculty: Deborah HeiligmanBarbara Kerley

Picture Book Illustration: From Conception to Birth 2016

November 4 – November 6, 2016

Picture book illustration is a highly competitive field. Art directors and editors are not only looking for the illustrator with the right style for a particular book. The edge goes to the professional who’s confident in the craft of making …

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Workshop Faculty: Tim Gillner

Everything You Need to Know About Children’s Book Publishing: A Crash Course November 2016

November 10 – November 13, 2016

Join us for a long weekend to start writing your children’s book and learn all you need to know about the children’s book industry! Thursday Tour the offices of Boyds Mills Press and Highlights for Children Welcome dinner followed by …

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Workshop Faculty: Harold UnderdownJo KnowlesBobbie Combs
Special Guests: Lindsay Barrett George