Minds & Bodies

Representation for Disability, Mental Health, and Emotional Well-Being

Minds & Bodies Cover
Rebecca dykes group photo

Our Goal

To inspire children through story by amplifying the voices of these authors & illustrators, and celebrate the myriad ways that kids and people process and experience the world.

Our Action:

Craft and education, community-building, and resources and support for creatives and professionals in and around the children’s book industry.

Testimonials

I am so appreciative of how well cared-for our group was. Everyone on campus really respected the difficulty of our work and topic and held space for us in innumerable ways. Of course the food was amazing and our lodging gorgeous. But it was the support of Alison, George, and the whole team that really allowed the magic of our time together to take place.

“…in 2015 I discovered Highlights, and came to retreats where the welcoming staff accommodated my food restrictions and my need for the perfect balance of community and solitude. Since then I have found my people at Highlights, and the support and inspiration I’ve received has led me to write more books that draw from my experience of growing up autistic.” (Lyn Miller-Lachmann)

The presentations were meaningful and appreciated. We explored “the how” of craft but also the essential and radical “why”. It is incredibly gratifying to find a sense of belonging —especially considering the ways trauma and grief are agents of loneliness.

“My dream of becoming a children’s book writer came true with Starfish, and I have a lot of people to thank for their help along the way…[including] the Highlights Foundation for the amazing workshops that helped me hone my skills…” (Lisa Fipps)

Disability Representation in Children’s Books Scholarship

This scholarship was established to provide funds to storytellers who identify as disabled as they continue their work in children’s books. We embrace We Need Diverse Books definition of disability “which includes but is not limited to physical, sensory, cognitive, intellectual, or developmental disabilities, chronic conditions, and mental illnesses (this may also include addiction). Furthermore, we subscribe to a social model of disability, which presents disability as created by barriers in the social environment, due to lack of equal access, stereotyping, and other forms of marginalization.”

Disability Representation in Children's Books Scholarship

News and Resources

Cooking Up Stories: Moonwalking Plus a Recipe and a Prompt

Cooking Up Stories: Moonwalking Plus a Recipe and a Prompt

#HFGather: Writing About Trauma and Grief for Kids

#HFGather: Writing About Trauma and Grief for Kids

A Collection of Support from the Faculty of Writing Stories to Empower Through Trauma

A Collection of Support from the Faculty of Writing Stories to Empower Through Trauma

Keep It Moving: Movement and Writing Practice

Keep It Moving: Movement and Writing Practice

Upcoming Programs Featuring Mind & Body Diversity Representation

Discovering a Deeper Level of Your Character: A Two Night Mini

Discovering a Deeper Level of Your Character: A Two Night Mini

Starts: February 20, 2024

Free #HFGather: Crafting and Sharing Books From the Heart

Free #HFGather: Crafting and Sharing Books From the Heart

Starts: February 26, 2024

Writing About Mental Health for MG and YA Readers: A Two-Night Mini

Writing About Mental Health for MG and YA Readers: A Two-Night Mini

Starts: April 2, 2024

Writing Through Trauma to Empower Readers: A Working In-Community Retreat for Storytellers

Writing Through Trauma to Empower Readers: A Working In-Community Retreat for Storytellers

Starts: April 11, 2024

Working (PLAYING) Retreat: Artistic Play and Exploration

Working (PLAYING) Retreat: Artistic Play and Exploration

Starts: April 14, 2024

Whole Novel Workshop: A Virtual Course for Middle Grade and Young Adult Writers

Whole Novel Workshop: A Virtual Course for Middle Grade and Young Adult Writers

Starts: April 25, 2024

Working Retreat: Spark Inspiration with Meditation and Creative Play

Working Retreat: Spark Inspiration with Meditation and Creative Play

Starts: June 15, 2024

Neurodiverse Writers and Illustrators: An In-Community Retreat for Storytellers

Neurodiverse Writers and Illustrators: An In-Community Retreat for Storytellers

Starts: August 8, 2024

Working Retreat: Experienced Storytellers In-Company

Working Retreat: Experienced Storytellers In-Company

Starts: September 11, 2024

Our Mission in Action

Share Your Story, Inspire a Child
Scholarships
Equity & Inclusion in Kidlit
Partners & Sponsors

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.