Frequently Asked Questions

Thinking about joining us? Still not quite sure what to expect? Get answers to our most commonly asked questions below.

Looking for Frequently Asked Questions about our Retreat Center (the Barn at Boyds Mills) and travel?

You’ll find those here.


How many attendees and faculty are in attendance at workshops?

It varies by workshop type.  Typically, each in-person workshop has 10-30 students.  Online courses usually have 15-40 students; webinars with limited interactions have more.  If there are attendance caps, they are listed in each workshop description.

There are usually several faculty members who are present throughout the workshop and various special guest faculty members who will visit.  These are also posted in each workshop description.

We also strive for diverse and inclusive representation in all of our workshops, for both students and faculty.

How do I let the Highlights Foundation know about accommodations I need for a workshop?

Please share any needs or accommodations that will offer you the best access to a program during your registration.  We are happy to assist.

Do your workshops fill up fast?

Some popular workshops do fill up very quickly, so if you think you might be interested in attending, register to save your space. Note: a few workshops do require an application, and those are noted on the workshop page.

How much writing or illustrating time will I have at my workshop?

The schedule for each workshop is different, according to the type of workshop and the faculty’s agenda.  See the schedule on the workshop’s page for details.

Can you help me choose a workshop that will fit my goals?

Yes!  We’d be happy to help. Talk to an Ambassador.

Do you offer any workshops for writers who are children or teens?

No, we do not. Attendees must be 18 or older to attend a workshop, personal retreat or custom retreat.

Does the Highlights Foundation offer mentorships or critiques and critique groups?

Aspects of critique and mentorship are generally built into workshop schedules for longer workshops and courses. 

These may be offered during workshop, or after (sometimes at an additional fee).  All details are noted in workshop descriptions.

The Highlights Foundation does not offer mentorships or critiques/critique groups outside of workshops.

How do I get access to the link or online classroom for my course?

When you register for a course, you’ll receive information via email to confirm.

For online mini courses (one or two nights only), you’ll generally receive webinar links immediately to use on the evening of the course.

For longer courses, you’ll receive an invitation to your virtual classroom as the workshop approaches (usually about a week before the course begins, or before any submissions are due).

Learn more about the technology that we use for our online workshops.

If I must miss a session, will I be able to watch a recording of the session later?

Yes, but you must be registered for the workshop/mini workshop before the course begins, to receive a recording of a live session. Recordings are not sold separately.

How soon after a session are recordings available?

We try to make recordings available within 24 hours.

I cannot attend an online workshop live. I'll be watching the recordings. Will I still be eligible to participate in the critique/feedback opportunities?

If you cannot attend some or all sessions of an online workshop live, that’s ok!  Recordings of most sessions are made available to participants afterward.

You can usually still participate in critique and feedback opportunities, whether they’re included in the course or purchased later for an additional cost.

If the feedback opportunity is a small group workshopping session or similar live session, you would have to attend that particular session to take part.  If it’s a live 1:1 feedback session, those are usually scheduled with faculty at mutually convenient times.  If it’s written feedback, no meeting times would be needed.

If you have questions about specifics, let us know when you register.

My workshop includes a submission or critique opportunity. What if I don't have anything ready?

Registration and Scholarships

How do I register for a workshop?

On each workshop’s detail page, there is a button to register or sign up.  Follow the prompts.

As noted on the individual workshop pages, some require an application. See that workshop’s detail page for information. We will notify you of your acceptance and provide you with additional registration information in a timely manner.

What if my desired workshop is full?

Applicants who qualify for a workshop after it is filled will be added to the waitlist. Also, we’re happy to suggest similar workshops happening this year, or let you know as soon as next year’s workshop is available.

What is included in my workshop tuition?

All workshop detail pages clearly describe what is included.

For in-person workshops, all-inclusive registration includes workshop tuition, lodging, meals, beverages, and snacks. Pickup is available from local transportation hubs.  Learn more about attending a Highlights Foundation workshop at The Barn at Boyds Mills.

Do you offer payment plans?

A deposit is required upon acceptance with the balance due before the workshop begins. We will be happy to work with you on a payment plan – e-mail, or call 570-253-1192. Find out more.

Do you offer scholarships or other financial aid?

We do offer scholarships and occasional special grants. Scholarships are awarded on three criteria: seriousness of purpose, talent, and financial need. To learn more (and find scholarship-specific frequently asked questions), visit our Scholarship page.

What is your refund/reschedule policy?

Our reschedule/refund policy reflects our community values.  Learn more about it here.

Can I bring my child or pet with me?

No. Guests must be 18 years or older, and only service animals are allowed at the Retreat Center.

Anti-Harassment Policy & Code of Conduct

The Highlights Foundation is committed to an environment free from harassment and intimidation. Any person visiting the Highlights Foundation retreat center is expected to follow and respect this policy (click here for the full policy).

Workshops for Writers & Illustrators

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

New to the Highlights Foundation? Try these:

About Children's Publishing | 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