See our 2017 Workshops!

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 BennettKelsey MurphyTim Gillner

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

Special Guests Via Skype: Megan Gunderson

Super Children’s Book Boot Camp 2016

July 7 – July 10, 2016 Waitlisted

Please note: this workshop is full. Send us an email to join our waiting list! 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, …

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Workshop Faculty: Pat CummingsDenise FlemingFloyd CooperSteve Light
Special Guests: Patti Ann HarrisMarcia WernickAlison Green MyersNeal Porter

Guided Retreat with Jillian Sullivan 2016

July 10 – July 14, 2016

Reawaken your creative life with a mentored retreat set in the beautiful Pocono Mountains. Jillian Sullivan, author of Fishing from the Boat Ramp: A Guide to Creating, is published in a wide variety of genres, ranging from children’s and young adult …

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Workshop Faculty: Jillian Sullivan

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 ErskineLamar GilesSusan Campbell BartolettiMitali PerkinsJillian SullivanAlison Green MyersPeter P. JacobiJan Cheripko
Special Guests: Adriana DomínguezJessica EcheverriaClara Gillow Clark

Whole Novel Workshop August 7-13 2016

August 7 – August 13, 2016 Waitlisted

Please note: this workshop is full. Send us an email to join our waiting list! 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 …

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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
Special Guests: Cherie MatthewsStacey Barney

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
Special Guests: Hannah Barnaby

How Do Poets Get Published? Learning What It Takes 2016

August 21 – August 24, 2016

The publishing world can seem murky and impenetrable, especially if you write poetry. As poets, we ask ourselves, “Why do publishers accept some poems over others? Why were my poems turned down, while poems in a similar vein published? What …

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Workshop Faculty: David L. Harrison
Special Guests: Rebecca DavisMary ColganAllison KanePatrick Greenish

Artist-in-Residency: Meg Medina 2016

September 6 – September 10, 2016

Our 2016 Artists-in-Residency include Jerry Spinelli, Eileen Spinelli, Meg Medina, and Suzanne Bloom. The Highlights Foundation’s residency program celebrates the commitment these authors and illustrators have made to the field of children’s literature. Each artist in residence will spend five …

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Workshop Faculty: Meg Medina

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

Special Guests Via Skype: Lee Bennett Hopkins

The Journey: Your Path to Publication 2016

September 8 – September 11, 2016

We’ve all quoted Emerson a time or two: “Life is a journey, not a destination.” But things get a bit less philosophical on our path to publication, don’t they? Suddenly we are so focused on the end… the destination… the …

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Workshop Faculty: Don Tate
Special Guests: Kathleen HayesCarmen OliverAlison Green Myers

Artists-in-Residency: Jerry & Eileen Spinelli 2016

September 22 – September 26, 2016

Our 2016 Artists-in-Residency include Jerry Spinelli, Eileen Spinelli, Meg Medina, and Suzanne Bloom. The Highlights Foundation’s residency program celebrates the commitment these authors and illustrators have made to the field of children’s literature. Each artist in residence will spend five …

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Workshop Faculty: Jerry SpinelliEileen Spinelli

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

Artist-in-Residency: Suzanne Bloom 2016

October 9 – October 13, 2016

Our 2016 Artists-in-Residency include Jerry Spinelli, Eileen Spinelli, Meg Medina, and Suzanne Bloom. The Highlights Foundation’s residency program celebrates the commitment these authors and illustrators have made to the field of children’s literature. Each artist in residence will spend five …

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Workshop Faculty: Suzanne Bloom

The Master Class: The Search for Voice 2016

October 13 – October 16, 2016 Waitlisted

Please note: this workshop is full. Send us an email to join our waiting list! 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 …

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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 Waitlisted

Please note: this workshop is full. Send us an email to join our waiting list! 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 …

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Workshop Faculty: Nova Ren SumaMicol Ostow

Carving Out Your Picture Book for Submission 2016

October 26 – October 29, 2016

This intensive workshop is meant for intermediate to advanced authors and illustrators. Picture book folks—authors, illustrators, and the ever illusive author/illustrators—will focus on one project throughout this three-day workshop. Through one-on-one critiques and peer-to-peer feedback we will prepare your picture …

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Workshop Faculty: Eric Rohmann
Special Guests: Candace FlemingMary Colgan

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
Special Guests: Carolyn P. YoderNancy Feresten

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

Getting to Know Your Novel with Sarah Aronson 2017

January 8 – April 7, 2017

An activity-based web series paired with a guided writing retreat. Join Sarah Aronson on an eight-week journey into your work in progress. Each week Sarah will invite you into our web classroom, where she will outline ways to deepen your …

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Workshop Faculty: Sarah Aronson

Carolyn P. Yoder’s Alumni Retreat January 2017

January 29 – February 4, 2017

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 provide:Transportation from …

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Workshop Faculty: Carolyn P. Yoder

Writing Off the Page 2017

March 26 – March 29, 2017

Enrich your characters, tighten your plot, and build your story with a highly interactive workshop designed for all writers of fiction. Get out from behind your computer and into the life and world of your characters. This highly interactive program …

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Workshop Faculty: Kekla Magoon

Color, Light, Line, and Texture Hands-on Workshop 2017

April 20 – April 23, 2017

A weekend of media exploration, excitement, and just plain fun! 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 …

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Workshop Faculty: Denise FlemingAshley Wolff

Summer Camp at the Barn: A Week of Creative Mentorship 2017

July 9 – July 15, 2017

Keynotes, workshops and a creative mentor to provide one-on-one support. 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 …

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Workshop Faculty:

Books with Bite Workshop and Retreat: Writing Horror and Haunted Novels 2017

October 4 – October 8, 2017

In this unique four-day workshop, you will have your work critiqued, produce new pages, and come away with solid direction for your novel. Horror and heart-pounding suspense… Ghost stories and serial killers… Psychological thrillers, Gothic tales, dark magical realism, and …

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Workshop Faculty: Nova Ren SumaMicol Ostow

The Joke’s On You! The Scoop on Humor, Middle Grade through YA 2017

October 12 – October 15, 2017

Learn to manipulate humor in your writing to grow your characters, enliven your setting, and add momentum and energy to your story. A hands-on workshop designed for intermediate level writers of middle grade through YA. Using a range of classic …

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Workshop Faculty: Uma KrishnaswamiCynthia Leitich Smith
Special Guests: Sean Petrie

Getting Your Middle Grade Unstuck 2017

October 25 – October 29, 2017

An intimate workshop for middle-grade authors looking to explore or revise and polish a work in progress. Whether you’ve jotted down ideas for a novel but can’t get your story off the ground, you’re stuck in the middle of a …

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Workshop Faculty: Chris TebbettsElise Broach
Special Guests: Aubrey Poole