Harold Underdown

Harold is an executive editor at Kane Press. He is also the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Children’s Book Publishing, a comprehensive guide to how children’s book publishing works. He founded and runs The Purple Crayon, a respected Web site with information about the children’s publishing world at www.underdown.org. Harold also likes to teach, and runs the Kids Book Revisions workshops, retreats, and online classes with colleague Eileen Robinson. In addition, he speaks and gives workshops at conferences, including the SCBWI’s national conferences in Los Angeles and New York, the Highlights Foundation, and elsewhere. Before Kane Press, he worked as an independent editor and at Macmillan, Orchard, and Charlesbridge. He has experience in both trade and educational publishing.

“Harold was very knowledgeable and very easy to listen to. I appreciated getting instruction from someone with an editing background.”

“Harold is an outstanding teacher…compassionate and knowledgeable.”

“Harold and Eileen [Robinson] are masters in their work. Both instructors are patient, kind, respectful, thoughtful and give great feedback while also focusing on the positive. They were both wonderful to work with and I’d love to take a class with either of them again in the future.”

“Eileen [Robinson] and Harold provided a creative, informative and nurturing environment. Their cohesive chemistry  was encouraging, professional, and wide open to our questions and particular problem areas.”

“Harold [Underdown] is a wealth of knowledge and perceptiveness about questions, infused with caring and great suggestions for how to progress in one’s novel.”

“Harold Underdown conducted an informative, intensive look at the world of Children’s Book Publishing. His support staff and faculty were an integral part of the program that led to a successful learning experience.”

Upcoming Workshops with Harold Underdown

Blog Posts by Harold Underdown

Workshops for Writers & Illustrators

> Online
> In-Person
> On-Demand (Self-Paced Online)

New to the Highlights Foundation? Try these:

The Crash Course | The Whole Novel Workshop | Summer Camp


Need help deciding on a workshop?  Ask an ambassador!

Visiting Our Campus

Our campus (The Barn at Boyds Mills) is tucked away in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.  It's a few hours from both New York City and Philadelphia, but worlds away from everyday life.

Line drawing of the Barn at Boyds Mills

Our Mission in Action

Equity & Inclusion in Kidlit

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.

For Businesses & Organizations

Fund a Scholarship
Partner with Us