Summer Camp: Encouragement for Your Writing from Our Generous Mentors

Imagine spending a week immersed in your craft, learning from distinguished authors, illustrators, and publishing professionals.

Now place yourself in a picturesque setting, enjoying the camaraderie of new friends who share your love of writing or illustrating for children.

Feel the encouragement of your mentor, who will support your creative goals for the week.

These are the components of our Summer Camp, your life-changing retreat at the Highlights Foundation Retreat Center.
on the patio at the Barn

Summer Camp is an unforgettable time of stimulating talks and workshops, lively panel discussions, one-on-one mentoring sessions, writing, networking, and much more. Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, picture book, magazine and book publishing–no matter what your genre or interest, you’ll find programs that will engage your mind and nourish your creative spirit.

group discussionMeet and Mingle with Leaders in the Industry
The members of the Highlights Foundation faculty are leaders in children’s publishing. We don’t just promise that you’ll hear famous authors, illustrators, and editors speak. From day one, you’ll have the opportunity to meet and mingle with them. You’ll spend the week getting to know the faculty not as famous names but as people. Faculty accessibility is an important feature of the Highlights Foundation, one that sets it apart from other conferences. You’ll find no roped-off areas or head tables here.

“The faculty was friendly and forthcoming. I truly felt they were there to help my career and development.”—Anne-Marie Perks, Buckinghamshire, England

writer's group
It’s a week of nonstop activity.
When you arrive, you’ll receive a Highlights Foundation tote bag packed with children’s books, magazines, and other materials. It’s our way of saying, “Welcome!”

The first evening, you’ll have an opportunity to meet the faculty and fellow attendees at a social gathering with appetizers, followed by dinner and an opening keynote address. From there, it’s a week of nonstop activity!

General Sessions and a Variety of Workshops
Each day starts with breakfast, followed by an informative general session on topics important to writers and illustrators. Be prepared for inspiring talks and spirited panel discussions. The daily workshops cover topics such as writing technique, genres, children’s magazine and book markets, e-books, and a whole lot more! You’ll discover fresh ideas, find solutions to your writing problems, and get the lowdown from industry insiders to help you navigate the road to publication. Our workshops offer practical tips and down-to-earth information that you can use.

One-on-One Critiques

“I especially appreciated the thoughtful attention to my writing. It’s hard to get this feedback anywhere else.”—Dale Purvis, Statesboro, Georgia

During the week, you’ll have several one-on-one meetings with your mentor: a writer, editor, illustrator, or other publishing professional. This is your opportunity to discuss your manuscript or career goals. Whatever your concerns, your mentor is ready to help.
workshop mentor

During your free time in the morning, you may wish to write, journal, meditate, or take a quiet walk along the edge of the woods.
Calkins Creek

“I had a whole week of brain stretching in serenity. By the week’s end, [the workshop] had given us a new family, and a new name: ‘Writer’”—Lori Ries, Hillsboro, OR

Each day concludes by sitting down to dinner with your colleagues and faculty members, then enjoying an entertaining after-dinner talk. Don’t be surprised if there’s an occasional sing-along! From there on, the evening is yours to relax by an outdoor fire or retreat to your cabin to read, write, draw, and—oh, yes—sleep.

Programs are held in a 5,200-square-foot, rustic-looking conference center known as The Barn, built of local wood and fieldstone. The building features a great hall, loft, library, and a large commercial kitchen. Outside you’ll find a stone fireplace and patio and a soul-soothing word garden, where you can write messages or poems with word rocks.

word rocksLodging and Meals

“The cabin was beyond comfortable, and I felt pampered, with exquisite, simple and enriching foods.”—Colleen Tsironis, Solon, Ohio

Imagine a cozy cabin or Lodge room with modern facilities, including a refrigerator, coffee maker, air-conditioner, and bathroom, plus a writer-ready desk, a chair, and shelves filled with books. It’s your own quiet place. By the way, be sure to read the guestbook to see who’s been there before you!

Everyone who comes here leaves raving about the food. Farm-style meals are prepared by a top-notch chef and served in The Barn. On one evening, we’ll leave The Barn for a picnic. Snacks are always available for late-night or early morning writing sessions. We will accommodate any dietary needs.

Where are we?
Getting here is easy. Honesdale, Pennsylvania, is 2 ½ hours from New York City and approximately 45 minutes from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport. Workshops take place at our conference center, only a short ride from Honesdale and the editorial offices of Highlights for Children. The conference center is tucked away in the scenic Upper Delaware River Valley, a popular destination for canoeing, hiking, fishing, and eagle watching.

Space is limited!
Our programs are all-inclusive in the price. No separate charge for critiques or one-on-ones of any kind. Snacks, beverages, coffee late in the evening, and all meals included. Endless ice cream, around the clock.

After a week at our Retreat Center, we promise you’ll go home with new tools in your writer’s kit and a feeling of renewed possibility.
inside the cabin

Posted on: April 29, 2019