Programs

Gather: A Community Retreat for Published Authors and Illustrators 2020

June 3 - 7, 2020

Join Us To:

Brainstorm how you can cultivate creativity when you’ve been working in the industry for a long time. Talk about your careers, challenges, deadlines, and upcoming projects with your peers. Share the ways you wish to push the boundaries of your work.

Please note that this workshop is for a limited number of published authors and illustrators. There is a questionnaire required for acceptance. Please fill out the questionnaire no later than April 30.
Click “register now” to reserve your spot, and fill out the questionnaire. You will be notified of acceptance no later than May 3.

What You’ll Learn:

This workshop aims for meaningful conversation about how to continue to push the boundaries of your work, how you acknowledge the power of your recurring themes, and at the same time find ways to break new ground and find innovation. You will:

  • Enjoy presentations and activities intended to spark artistic leaps.
  • Have time to write, illustrate and collaborate according to your own goals.
  • Participate in an editor Q&A.
  • Spend evenings and mealtimes in community, making connections and filling the creative well.
  • Have an optional portfolio/dummy review with an art director.
  • Have an optional one-to-one editorial consultation.

Attend If:

  • You are a published author or illustrator. All published authors and illustrators are welcome to apply, no matter what their experience level.
  • You could use some creative inspiration. There will be daily presentations designed to spark new ideas, and you’ll have time to network and collaborate with the community.
  • You’d appreciate some retreat time. This course has plenty of built-in time to write, draw, hike, or rest–whatever your spirit needs.

Please note:
During the registration process, we’ll ask you to answer the following questions:

    1. Are you a writer and/or illustrator? What genre(s)?
    2. List two of your published books. Provide the name of the publisher and publication date.
    3. Name one project you’re working on now. What is your greatest fear around this project?
    4. In your career so far, what has been your greatest challenge?
    5. What’s the one thing you’d most like to experience at Gather and why?

Agenda

Day 1
Afternoon
Arrival and check in

Evening
Appetizers and dinner
After dinner: Welcome and faculty talk

Day 2
Morning
Breakfast
Faculty talk
Free creative time

Afternoon
Lunch
Free creative time

Evening
Appetizers and dinner
After dinner: Participant Directed Merriment

Day 3
Morning
Breakfast
Faculty talk
Free creative time

Afternoon
Lunch
Free creative time

Evening
Appetizers and dinner
After dinner: Editor Q/A session

Day 4
Morning
Breakfast
Faculty talk
Free creative time

Afternoon
Lunch
Free creative time

Evening
Appetizers and dinner
After dinner: Participant Directed Merriment

Day 5
Morning
Breakfast
Faculty talk
Wrap-up

Afternoon
Lunch and farewells

A Note About Highlights Workshop Agendas

Resources

Podcast: Jennifer Jacobson talks about writing retreats and taking your creativity to the next level
Jennifer Jacobson’s website
Creative Process with Juana Martinez-Neal
Gareth Hinds’ website
Creative process with Gareth Hinds
Creative Process with Padma Venkatraman
Interview with Melissa Sweet
Interview with Ruth Behar
Interview with An Na

Testimonials

“Everyone’s presentations and the week as a whole was just so beautifully crafted, and I enjoyed every second of it. I came in just hoping to have time to work on a few personal projects, and I’m leaving with soooo much more – fixing past projects, so many ideas for new projects, and just a deeper understand of what I want to create!”

“I attended this course last year. It blew my writing process wide open. I highly recommend it for published authors who need a shot of innovation in the arm and a week of pampering and community that only Highlights and the talented Jennifer Jacobson can deliver.”

“I think of myself as a very creative author but I was needing to feel coaxed, pushed, nudged in new ways, so I signed up for the first published author creativity workshop and was it ever terrific! Responding to the guidance from the various workshop leaders led me to places I never would have found on my own. I had a breakthrough with a picture book text and also a novel-length project. It was great for spots where I knew I was stuck and also spots where I was stuck and didn’t know it.”

Scholarships Available

Three scholarships are available for this workshop:
Full tuition
Half tuition
Partial tuition
Application deadline is March 13, 2020. Scholarships will be announced April 14, 2020.
Click here to apply!
For more information about scholarships, click here.

Faculty

Jennifer Jacobson

Jennifer is the author of many award-winning children’s books including Small as an Elephant (IRA Young Adult’s Choice, Parents’ Choice…
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Meg Medina

Meg Medina is a Newbery and Pura Belpré award-winning author of picture books, middle grade, and YA fiction. She is…
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Carole Boston Weatherford

Carole Boston Weatherford is an award-winning author of children’s books, including Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White…
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Mike Curato

Mike Curato is the author and illustrator of everyone’s favorite polka-dotted elephant, Little Elliot. His debut title,Little Elliot, Big City…
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Emily Feinberg

Special Guest After earning her master’s degrees in Children’s Literature and English Literature from Simmons College in Boston, Emily joined…
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Ellice Lee

Special Guest Ellice Lee is the Associate Art Director of Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, where…
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All-Inclusive Event Cost: $1,295.00

All-inclusive registration includes workshop tuition, lodging, meals, beverages, and snacks. Free shuttle service is available from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AVP) International Airport. Airport pick-up at Newark Airport is also available for $75 round-trip.

We offer payment plans as low as $75/month. We'll be in touch with details after you register.

workshop information

Begins with dinner on Wednesday, June 3; ends on Sunday, June 7, with lunch.

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