Our Artists-in-Residence program celebrates the commitment these authors and illustrators have made to the field of children’s literature.
Our 2017 Artists-in-Residency include Laurie Halse Anderson, Kathryn Erskine, Denise Fleming, Matt de la Peña and Varian Johnson. Each artist-in-residence will spend five days at the Highlights Foundation Retreat Center working on projects for publication. To raise awareness about these artists and their upcoming works, we invite other artists – writers, poets, and illustrators – to join them during their residency. While days will be spent on individual projects, mealtimes will bring all artists together to share farm-fresh food and conversation. After dinner, our artists-in-residence will host informal sharing and feedback sessions for all works-in-progress.
Kathy Erskine generously gives of her time as a mentor to many of our programs, including this year’s Novels in Verse workshop and past years’ picture book workshops, Summer Camps, and our flagship conference at the Chautauqua Institute.
Kathy also knows the Highlights Foundation experience as a student. Kathy took the Heart of the Novel workshop with Patti Gauch, then attended our Chautauqua workshop in 2005.
“Patti Gauch, my first editor, was a fantastic mentor and taught me SO much. I still hear her voice when I’m writing or editing my work…‘Go to the well…Edit with a feather…Feel the emotion…Are you crying at your keyboard?’” Kathy said.
Of her upcoming residency, Kathy said, “What a gift to have a retreat in the woods to write away, not to mention the beautifully prepared meals, gorgeous walks, and the meals (I know, I said that last part twice, but it’s warranted.) And speaking of meals, I’m looking forward to chatting with other writers and hearing about their projects. Nothing gets me charged up quite like being around story makers.”
Kathy will bring a young adult contemporary novel with her. “For my residency, I’m packing a manuscript that I left behind. Two picture books and two middle grade novels came between my teen road trip novel and me. Sometimes other projects must take priority, but the retreat will allow me uninterrupted time to get back in that Prius and ride the country with Shannon and Avery…and the cantankerous grandfather they’ve just met. It’ll be kind of fun to let the snark fly. I’m eager to hear about the projects that other writers bring to the campus during my residency. Hope they come prepared to share their work, set goals, and find support at the Barn.”
Kristy Dempsey and Kathryn Erskine
Guest Post: The Verse Novel: If I Can Do It, So Can You – Kathryn Erskine
Kathryn Erskine–Verse Novel a Day for Poetry Month
Faculty Spotlight: Picture book mentorship with Kristy Dempsey & Kathryn Erskine