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From First-Timers to Published Authors: Which Novel Workshop is Right For You?

If you’re working on a middle grade or young adult novel, you might welcome some help through a Highlights Foundation workshop. 

But how do you know which one of our novel workshops is the one you should take, especially if you’ve never been here before? 

There is some crossover depending on your needs, but here is a guide to help.  Read on…


For Ideas and Early-Stage Works


You want to tell your unique story, and you want it to be marketable.

Nurturing Your Artistic Voice: A Guide for Kidlit Rebels and Risk-takers, September 22-25, 2019
Join 2019 Newbery award winner Meg Medina and author/illustrator Carolyn Dee Flores to:

  • Through writing exercises, find out how to access and develop a strong artistic voice.
  • Work in small-group roundtables to receive constructive feedback.
  • Study the probable rough spots in production (or editorial mores) that threaten innovation.
  • Discover how to merge business demands with your truest artistic expression.

Read more.

You need a jump start on an idea, or you’re in a creative rut.

Jump-Start Your Creativity! Idea Generator for Novelists, October 31-November 3, 2019
Join YA author AC Gaughen for a madcap retreat that will jump-start new ideas, unlock your creativity, and leave you refreshed and inspired to write!  Read more.


For Works-in-Progress


You have started writing your novel and want to make sure you’re on the right track.

Novel Beginnings: Building Strong Foundations for Your Novel and Your Career,
August 8-11, 2019

K.L. Going and Clara Gillow Clark, two experienced authors with great teaching and editing experience, will:

  • Give you one-to-one feedback on your novel.
  • Show you how agents and editors decide which books get returned with a rejection letter and which submissions translate into a sale.
  • Help you make choices to set your novel up for success.
  • Explain how to avoid common mistakes.

Read more.


You’ve got a good idea for a novel, but need some help putting it together.

Unlocking Your Story: Forms and Genres, A Mashup, October 24-27, 2019
Join award-winning author Kathi Appelt and editor/author Shelley Tanaka to:

  • Find the exact right form for your story. Is it a prose novel, a novel-in-verse, historical fiction, narrative nonfiction?
  • Get one-to-one feedback on up to 10 pages of your work-in-progress.
  • Explore alternate formats suggested by your mentors.
  • Chart the best course for your novel with lectures and writing exercises.

Read more.


You’d like to write a contemporary teen novel with commercial viability.

Building Sweet & Sophisticated Contemporary Stories for Teens,
October 20-23, 2019

Editor Kat Brzozowski and author Siobhan Vivian will:

  • Share the ins and outs of writing contemporary books for teens.
  • Give you feedback on your first ten pages in a one-to-one critique.
  • Help you create a compelling first chapter that will hook a reader immediately.
  • Guide you to ind the pulse of your narrative and craft a compelling and realistic voice for your protagonist.

Read more.


For Those with a Finished First Draft


You Want to Strengthen Your Novel Before You Submit.

Revision Retreat, July 31-August 4, 2019
Experienced editors Eileen Robinson and Harold Underdown will give you tested techniques for self-editing and revising, help you try them out, and give you time to use them to make your manuscript stronger. Read more.


You Want the Entire Draft of Your Novel Read and Critiqued.

Our Whole Novel workshops offer you the rare opportunity to spend a week receiving focused attention on a specific work in progress, moving a novel to the next level in preparation for submission to agents or publishers.  We usually run these multiple times per year.

The Whole Novel Workshop

Writing the Unreal: The Whole Novel Workshop in Fantasy & Speculative Fiction


Continuing Your Career


You Want to Work With Other Published Writers to Bring Out the Best In Yourself and Your Career.

Taking Your Writing & Art to New Places: Published Authors and Illustrators at Work 2019, September 25-29, 2019

This workshop is for published authors and illustrators to have time to talk about their careers, challenges, deadlines, and upcoming projects. With this workshop, we are aiming for meaningful conversation about how to continue to push the boundaries of our work.  Read more.

You Want to Take a Master Novel Class With an Accomplished Editor.

Master Class with Patti Gauch: The Search for Voice, the Next Step!, November 7-10, 2019
Using the work of some of our best young adult and middle grade fiction writers, experienced writers will take next steps to refine and finally discover their most authentic Voices in an intimate setting with Patti Gauch, former vice president and editor at large of Philomel Books and author of more than 40 books for young readers. Read more.

Posted on: June 9, 2019

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