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The Craft and Heart of Writing Poetry for Children 2018 | October 14 – October 18, 2018

If you have a passion for writing children’s poetry, then please join us. Beginning poets, seasoned writers, teachers, and dreamers are all welcome.

Would you love to work in an intimate setting with published poets, make new friends, and 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 into the heart, joy, and craft of poetry. We will be discussing, learning, writing, revising, and working on the craft of writing poetry for children. This workshop will offer plenty of interaction, direction, and free creative writing time. We’ll focus on all elements of poetry, from the importance of word choice to surprising metaphors. There will be plenty of writing exercises to inspire new poems followed by group discussions. As a group, we’ll brainstorm ideas, share our writing process, and generate original poems. You’ll be inspired to create new poems or bring works in progress to polish.

Watch a video from the 2016 workshop:

Preliminary Schedule:
Day 1
Afternoon
Arrival and check in.

Evening
Appetizers & Dinner.
At dinner: Spotlight on attendees! We will spend our first quality time sharing a meal and, as a group at dinner, we will have a round robin allowing us to get to know you better.
After dinner: Have coffee or wine out in the big room while we will go over what to expect at our workshop over the next few days, along with time for a Q & A.

Day 2
Morning
Breakfast.
After a brief introduction, we’ll start right in with our first poetry writing prompt on playful words and sounds. After reading and discussing a few great examples of poems that play with words and use inventive sound patterns we will give you time to write your own poems based on the prompt. Immediately after, we’ll have a large group critique session where Georgia and Rebecca, along with all poets will give impromptu revision suggestions.

Afternoon
Lunch.
Midafternoon Critique Session
After lunch, you’ll be alternating one-on-one critique time with either Rebecca or Georgia, while the other heads a small group critique, (the following day you’ll switch giving each participant time to have one-on-one with either Georgia or Rebecca). You will also be part of a small group critique each day.

Late afternoon until we meet up again for appetizers you will have time for a quick nap in your cabin, quiet writing time, or time for a walk, or chat with friends.

Evening
Appetizers & Dinner.

Day 3
Morning
Breakfast.
After a brief introduction, we’ll begin our second poetry writing prompt on imaginative and figurative language. After reading and discussing a few examples of poems that use figurative language in a variety of imaginative ways we will give you time to write your own poems based on the prompt. Immediately after, we’ll have a large group critique session where all poets including Rebecca and Georgia will give impromptu revision suggestions.

Afternoon
Lunch.
Midafternoon Critique Session
After lunch, you’ll be alternating one-on-one critique time with either Rebecca or Georgia, while the other heads a small group critique. You will also be part of a small group critique each day.

Late afternoon we’ll give you time to write on your own. (Or nap, walk, or chat.)

Evening
Appetizers & Dinner.

Day 4
Morning
Breakfast.
After a brief introduction, we’ll begin our third poetry writing prompt on wacky poetic forms. After reading and discussing a few examples of poems that use a variety of poetic forms you’ll spend time writing and maybe even inventing your own poetic form. Immediately after, we’ll have a large group critique session where all poets including Rebecca and Georgia will give impromptu revision suggestions.

Afternoon
Lunch.
Skype with Lee Bennett Hopkins!
We’ll have a Skype session with the well-known poet and anthologist Lee Bennett Hopkins who will be talking about what he looks for in poems for his anthologies and a quick Q & A and then we’ll end with Lee giving a quick mock anthology invite; offering an idea for a poem starter as if he were looking for submissions, giving you an idea of the process.

Afterwards, there will be time for you to work on Lee’s prompt, and time for everyone to read their poem to the group.

Evening
Appetizers & Dinner.
We welcome Rebecca Davis, senior editor for Boyds Mills Press and WordSong. She’ll join us for appetizers, talk and dinner.

After dinner: Grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine for an evening with Rebecca Davis: editorial smorgasbord; a Q & A, find out what manuscripts she’s working on, and where she sees the publishing market.

Day 4
Morning
Breakfast.
Quick Poetic Look with Rebecca Davis: We’ll have a mock editorial meeting with editor extraordinaire Rebecca Davis. Each poet in our workshop will turn in one poem and she will offer a few off the cuff comments, suggestions and celebrations.

Afternoon
Lunch.
Pack up and goodbyes; our workshop is over at noon. Time to travel back home.

Faculty blog posts
Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Georgia Heard: Collecting Word Treasures
Rebecca Kai Dotlich: One Poet’s Story
Georgia Heard and Rebecca Kai Dotlich: The Magic of Metaphor

Please note: we are still adding faculty to this workshop!

Faculty & Special Guests