PJ Library and the Highlights Foundation Welcome Emerging Writers to the 2023 Picture Book Summer Camp

Jul 10, 2023 | Highlights Foundation News, Jewish Voices



Agawam, MA (July 11, 2023) – For the second year in a row, PJ Library has selected a group of talented emerging writers to attend the 2023 Picture Book Summer Camp at the Highlights Foundation.  Offering inspiration, mentorship, and community to 16 new writers and 6 alumni from last year’s program, the camp’s main objective is to bring more Jewish voices and authentic Jewish stories to children and their families.

Catriella Freedman, PJ Library’s Director of Author and Illustrator Stewardship, said, “Last year’s Picture Book Summer Camp was a powerful experience for the authors as well as our team. The participants continue to collaborate and support each other and to me that is the ultimate definition of success. When we made the decision to open applications for a second summer camp, we made sure to make some spots available for alums from last year and we were very impressed with how much each of them has developed and engaged with writing over the last 10 months. There is no doubt that this partnership with the Highlights Foundation and PJ Library is helping produce quality Jewish stories to share with families around the world.”

“It will be a joy to welcome new and familiar voices to our campus for the second year of this program with PJ Library,” said George Brown, Executive Director of the Highlights Foundation.  “New stories and meaningful connections were built last year, and we’re eager to continue to amplify Jewish voices and bring more picture books to kids.”

PJ Library and the Highlights Foundation invited Jewish picture book writers with drafted manuscripts (but no more than one published book) to apply for the program. For the 2023 Camp, more than 110 storytellers applied to participate in five days of inspiration, mentorship, fun, and creativity on the beautiful Pocono Mountain campus of the Highlights Foundation this August.

The 22 authors selected for the program include Amber Novak, Arlene Schenker, Barbara Lerman-Golomb, Cindy Rivka Marshall, Claire Freeland, Emily Allyn Barth Isler, Evelyn Goldfinger, Hannah Finkelshteyn, Jan Schwaid, Jeni S. Friedman, Jodie Sadowsky, Lauren Kasiarz, Mishka Jaeger, Mitu Malhotra, Naama Lahav,Rabbi Daniel Swartz, Rachel Grodsky, Rebecca Glouzstein, Rinat Hadad Siegel, Rona Mor, Sara Holly Ackerman and Sarah Sassoon.  They will be joined by camp faculty including Heidi E. Y. Stemple, Lesléa Newman, Chris Barash, Naomi Shulman, Alan Silberberg, Tasha Flagg, and Patrick Coyle on campus at the Highlights Foundation to make progress on their projects.

Each month, PJ Library sends more than 670,000 Jewish storybooks to families across the globe. The Harold Grinspoon Foundation created this free program to make it fun and easy to add Jewish connections to reading time. The books, activities, and many other free resources offered by PJ Library are helping families celebrate more Jewish culture, values, and traditions at home and in their communities.

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

For more information about PJ Library or to sign up kids ages 0-12, visit pjlibrary.org. For more information about the Highlights Foundation, visit highlightsfoundation.org/.

About PJ Library

A free program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, PJ Library sends engaging storybooks and activities that provide fun and easy ways for families to connect with Jewish life. PJ Library’s high-quality books have become everyday favorites of kids from birth through age 12, whether the stories serve as first introductions to Jewish values and culture or inspire families to create new Jewish traditions at home.   More than 680,000 books are delivered to families worldwide each month. To find out more, visit pjlibrary.org.

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For More Information:
Michael Krause/Jamie Falkowitz-Tancredi
Luminary Communications
mkrause@luminarycomm.com | (917) 699-4990
jamie@falkowitzpr.com | (818) 606-2652

PJ Library

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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.