Novelists Rave About The Whole Novel Workshop

May 30, 2019 | Community Good News, The Highlights Foundation Experience

By now you’ve probably heard about our Whole Novel Workshops, specifically designed to provide one-to-one mentor attention for writers of middle grade and young adult novels as they focus on a specific work in progress. We wanted to share some of the very positive feedback we get from attendees of the course:

“After years of wrestling with an historical novel, chapter by chapter, it felt imperative to seek an overview; I grabbed the opportunity to have as mentor a favorite YA author who had achieved a triumph in the genre. The workshop was terrific–the company delightful, the time all too brief. The critique(s) were tough, astute, ultimately empowering, and the momentum has been long-lasting.”–Mary Bono

Cowboy Code“Thanks to the thorough and insightful feedback on my YA novel manuscript at the Highlights Whole Novel Workshop two years ago, Cowboy Code was picked up by a publisher and will be released this August. I had been laboring over the book for years, and it took a week at Highlights to show me where I needed to pump energy into the manuscript. Thank you, faculty and participants, for for an inspiring and valuable experience.”–Louella Bryant

“I just returned from the Midwest Writers Agent Fest at Ball State University where I pitched the novel I worked on at the Highlights Whole Novel Workshop 2016. I pitched to three literary agents, all of whom asked me to submit! They were all impressed that I had attended a Highlights workshop. As I prepare my submissions to the three interested agents, I can’t help but think back to what my manuscript looked like before my Whole Novel Workshop. My novel would not be what it is today without the help of that workshop. I’d also like to credit Highlights with bringing me together with my group of writer friends. Diane and I have attended three writing events together since we met last summer and I continue to keep in touch with other attendees from both workshops online via email and/or social media. I’m also still in touch with some of the workshop faculty! So thank you to you and everyone at the Highlights Foundation for everything you’ve done to improve my writing life!”–Melissa Killian

Nanci's latest book.

Nanci’s latest book.

“Attending Highlight’s Whole Novel Workshop changed not only the course of my career, but also the scope of my writer friendships. I gained so much knowledge by immersing myself into the culture that is part of Highlights, and came away with the exact tools I needed to plunge in, rework my manuscript, and sign my first two-book contract with HarperCollins. I’ve since signed a second two-book contract with them and I have no doubts that what I learned at Highlights made the difference, and I am still utilizing that knowledge today. Plus, I am still friends with the people I attended with, and we continue, after all these years, to support each other, encourage each other, and cheer for each other. It is a life-altering experience. Go. You will not regret it. Plus, the food was so good I am still talking about it!”–Nanci Turner Steveson

“To me the Whole Novel Workshop was a miraculous experience of affirmation. I had lost my way with my book. It had been through so many revisions, it felt like a huge, tangled mess, and I am not one who enjoys cleaning up messes! But Sarah and her team helped me find my way through it, helped me see its strengths and places I might try something new. During the workshop, I was able to jump into my next revision with renewed hope and energy. Now I’m riding that energy around the final corner and am excited about my novel’s future!”–Dale Marie Bryan

Find out more about the Whole Novel Workshop.

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The Highlights Foundation positively impacts children by amplifying the voices of storytellers who inform, educate, and inspire children to become their best selves.  Learn more about our impact.