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Historical Realities in Fiction for Children 2017 | September 14 – September 17, 2017

Learn to honor history in your work and make it come alive for readers of all ages!

In order to authentically represent history in fiction rather than to fictionalize history, today’s writers must come to the page with great sensitivity and an accurate base of knowledge. Children must have a window into the past realities of religious intolerance, immigration, and the degradation of the environment, and they must have a chance to discuss how their lives knit into our complicated history.

Writing a picture book or novel set against one of these historical realities allows our readers to learn from the past and see the needs of the world today. But this writing must be done with great care.

Join professor, linguist, and author Donna Jo Napoli with her special guest, Professor of Latino/a Literature and Culture and Youth Literature and Media, Marilisa Jiménez García, as they work with you to build an understanding of the role of writing stories to process historical narratives. There will be daily lectures from the faculty paired with one-on-one feedback on your own writing. Build a deeper understanding of the role fiction plays in understanding our shared history.

Preliminary schedule:
Day 1
Afternoon
A optional tour of Highlights for Children and Boyds Mills Press.
Arrival and check in.

Evening
Appetizers & dinner.
After dinner: Introductions and welcome.

Day 2
Morning
Breakfast.
Getting Yourself to the Place, Donna Jo Napoli.
Generative Writing on the Senses, Donna Jo Napoli.

Afternoon
Lunch.
Twenty minute one-on-one sessions/Free writing time.
Historical Fiction as a Counter to Historical Erasure, Marilisa Jiménez García.

Evening
Appetizers & dinner.
After dinner: editor Q&A.

Day 3
Morning
Breakfast.
Writing Stories to Help Develop Historical Narratives, Marilisa.
Research, Donna Jo.
Your Book in Conversation: Readers and Reviewers, Edith Campbell

Afternoon
Lunch.
Small group workshopping.

Evening
Appetizers & dinner.
After dinner: S’mores and read alouds by the fire .

Day 4
Morning
Breakfast.
Generative Writing on Openings, Donna Jo.
Q/A facilitated by Alison Green Myers.

Afternoon
Lunch and farewell.

Faculty blog posts:
Donna Jo Napoli: Desperation, the Source of a Writer’s Hope
Faculty Interview: Marilisa Jiménez García and Donna Jo Napoli

Faculty & Special Guests