The Craft and Heart of Writing Poetry for Children 2020

October 18 - 22, 2020

Join Us To:

Immerse yourself in writing poetry and working on your craft. Share your passion for poetry with peers and published poets in an intimate setting. Complete writing exercises to inspire new poems. Learn about the elements of poetry, from word choice to metaphor. Make new friends!

What You’ll Learn:

In this course, we will be discussing, learning, writing, revising, and working on the craft of writing poetry for children. This workshop will offer plenty of interaction, direction, and free creative writing time. We’ll focus on all elements of poetry, from the importance of word choice to surprising metaphors. There will be plenty of writing exercises to inspire new poems followed by group discussions. As a group, we’ll brainstorm ideas, share our writing process, and generate original poems. You’ll be inspired to create new poems or bring works in progress to polish.

Attend If:

  • You have a passion for writing children’s poetry. Retreat and be inspired with your fellow poets.
  • You are a beginning poet, a seasoned writer, a teacher, or a dreamer. All poets are welcome!
  • You are a picture book author or author/illustrator. Picture books and poetry for children are a natural fit. Come and let yourself play with words!


Day 1
Arrival and check in.

Appetizers & Dinner.
At dinner: Spotlight on attendees! We will spend our first quality time sharing a meal and, as a group at dinner, we will have a playful round robin allowing us to get to know you better.

After dinner: Have coffee or wine out in the big room while we will go over what to expect at our workshop over the next few days, along with time for a Q & A.

Day 2
After a brief introduction, we’ll start right in with our first mini-workshop on craft. Then, after discussing a few great examples of poems, we will give you time to write your own based on a related poetry prompt. Immediately after, we’ll have a large group reading and interactive session where Georgia and Rebecca, along with all poets will give impromptu revision suggestions.

Midafternoon Critique Session.
After lunch, we’ll have one-on-one critique times with either Rebecca or Georgia, while the rest of the group has free writing time using a variety of poetry prompts.

Until we meet for appetizers you can use this time to write, take a quick nap in your cabin, or go for a walk on the beautiful trails.

Appetizers & Dinner.

After dinner, we’ll gather outside around the fire (weather permitting) with hot chocolate and s’mores, more poetry talk and a surprise guest.

Day 3
After a brief introduction, we’ll begin with our second mini-workshop on craft. Then we’ll gather together into small groups and work creatively to both challenge you and build on your poetry skills.

Midafternoon Critique Session.
After lunch, we’ll have the remaining one-on-one critique times with either Rebecca or Georgia, while the rest of the group has free writing time using a variety of poetry prompts.
Until we meet for appetizers you can use this time to write, take a quick nap in your cabin, or go for a walk on the beautiful trails.

Appetizers & Dinner.
We welcome Rebecca Davis, senior editor for Boyds Mills Press and WordSong. She’ll join us for appetizers and dinner.

After dinner: Grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine for an evening with Rebecca Davis: editorial smorgasbord; a Q & A, find out what manuscripts she’s working on, and where she sees the publishing market going.

Day 4
Quick Poetic Look: We’ll have a mock editorial meeting with editor extraordinaire Rebecca Davis. Each poet in our workshop will have the chance to read one short poem as Rebecca offers a few off the cuff comments, suggestions and celebrations.

Lunch & farewells.


Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Georgia Heard: Collecting Word Treasures
Rebecca Kai Dotlich: One Poet’s Story
Georgia Heard and Rebecca Kai Dotlich: The Magic of Metaphor
Faculty Interview: Poet Rebecca Kai Dotlich
Picture Books: To Rhyme or Not to Rhyme
Writing Poetry for Children
Harvesting Language From the Worlds We Know


“Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Georgia Heard are amazing apart and absolutely magical together. Smart, approachable, creative and supportive. Would attend ANY workshop with either of them again.”

“Georgia and Rebecca were amazing, fun presenters, knew their stuff, gave lots of information, supportive. One-on-one session was very valuable. Their choice of poems was on-spot to exemplify the lesson. Assignments and feedback were valuable. Open, friendly, knowledgeable, honest. what you hope to get!!!”

“Georgia & Rebecca were incredible. The workshop was the perfect blend of instruction, writing, group reading, feedback and guest speakers. Georgia and Rebecca took the time to become “part of the group”, appearing to have as much fun with us as we had with them.”

“Highlights include connecting with all the other writers (all along the writing continuum) to share their experiences. Hearing Lee Bennett Hopkins and Rebecca Davis to understand the hard travels that we all go through from editor and master!…all the struggles (even they go through) and the process of publishing! Of course, Rebecca and Georgia’s amazing travels were inspiring in so many ways.”

Scholarships Available

Scholarships are available for this workshop from the Bernice Cullinan fund and the Lee Bennett Hopkins Scholarship:
Application deadline for the Lee Bennett Hopkins Scholarship is Feb 29, 2020, and scholarships announced April 15, 2020.  Application deadline for Bernice Cullinan Scholarship  is July 30, 2020. Scholarships will be announced August 29, 2020.
Click here to apply!
For more information about scholarships, click here.


Georgia Heard

Georgia Heard received her M.F.A. in poetry writing from Columbia University. She is a founding member of the Teachers College…
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Rebecca Kai Dotlich

Rebecca is an author and poet whose poetry appears in many award-winning collections, in dozens of anthologies and textbooks, and…
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Rebecca Davis

Rebecca M. Davis is Senior Editor of Boyds Mills Press and Wordsong, imprints of Boyds Mills & Kane. Wordsong is…
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All-Inclusive Event Cost: $1,495.00

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.

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workshop information

Begins with dinner on Sunday, October 18 with dinner; ends Thursday, October 22 with lunch.