Programs

Latinx Symposium: An In-Community Celebration of ¡DRAMA!

October 17 - 20, 2021

TYPE & LENGTH:

  • 4-day in-person program at our Retreat Center with lectures, writing exercises, faculty consultations and feedback.
  • A true retreat with time to relax, connect, and work on your own writing. (If you are looking for the ONLINE version of this course, please click here.)
  • Begins at 5:30pm Eastern on Sunday, October 17
  • Ends at 1:00pm Eastern on Wednesday, October 20

PARTICIPANT CAP:

24

WHY THIS WORKSHOP?

In this symposium, Latinx children’s book creators will gather at the Highlights Foundation retreat center in community for an exploration of identities, craft, the business of publishing and more. We will tap into the interior landscape of our personal drama—however we define that—and seek to upend tired and narrow stereotypes and tropes of Latinidad. Our guiding light will be our amor propio, our self-love and knowing that we serve children.

We celebrate this self-love in the face of daily messages that say: we are loud; we have big personalities and emotions; we have tempers; we are drama kings and queens; we are too much. So, we code-switch when moving in non-Latinx spaces. e hide our emotions, talk more quietly, dress more discreetly, smooth down or straighten our hair. Too much drama can cause others to discount us and not take us seriously; too little drama and we can be seen as not Latinx enough.

What if our flair for bold and emotional were not seen as a paper-thin stereotype, a telenovela, a single story—but as an integral part of how we create? A special gift of knowing how to move people to tears, rumble the ground under their feet, change their minds.

¡Drama! is who we are–a multitude of countries, races, identities and experiences making art for children to see all their selves–quiet, loud, colorful, kings and queens and every self in-between. It is time to celebrate our ¡Drama! at the 2021 Latinx Symposium.

At this year’s Latinx Symposium we expand the conversation of bringing our unique identities into our craft. Part of the in-person experience this year includes 1:1 consultations.

During the symposium, you will:

  • Join in a series of faculty lectures, where faculty will speak both from their expertise in the world of writing and publishing for children and from their experience as Latinx book creators in the industry.
  • Take time to reflect, connect, and experiment.
  • Explore the Latinx experience in children’s book writing and publishing.
    • What stories do today’s children need from Latinx book creators and about Latinx people?
    • What stories speak to our varied experiences?
    • How can we diversify the existing body of Latinx children’s literature?
    • How to dismantle the myth of the “single” story and Latinx experience.

IT’S A GREAT FIT IF:

  • You identify as part of the Latinx diaspora. This program is designed to be an exchange of ideas and a place to connect in community. You want to learn more about the conversations that are happening in the Latinx space – and you want to bring your voice and experience to the table.
  • You write or illustrate fiction or nonfiction picture books, chapter books, middle grade or young adult novels This program is open to all Latinx kidlit creatives regardless of genre or age you are creating for.
  • You enjoy a retreat experience. This in-person experience is best suited for creatives looking to learn, engage, and take time for their own creative practices.
  • You are looking for a community that will help you build a sustainable writing life.

TENTATIVE AGENDA:

Pre-Workshop:
During the registration process, we will ask you to respond to a few questions so we can gather information about peer-to-peer gatherings while on campus.

Sunday, October 17
Afternoon
3-5pm Eastern, Arrival and check in

Evening
Appetizers & Dinner
After dinner: Faculty welcome, introductions, and intention setting

Monday, October 18
Morning
Breakfast
Creative/craft exercise
Optional peer groups
1:1 Consultations

Afternoon
Lunch
Keynote
Optional Peer Groups and/or open retreat time

Evening
Appetizers & Dinner
Fireside Conversation: Author and Illustrator discussion about working together and partnerships.

Tuesday, October 19
Morning
Breakfast
Creative/craft exercise
1:1 Consultations

Afternoon
Lunch
Keynote
Optional Peer Groups and/or open retreat time

Evening
Appetizers & Dinner
After dinner: Ask Me Anything: Agent & Editor conversation

Wednesday, October 20
Morning
Breakfast
Groups with facilitators
Closing Keynote
Q & A session (full faculty)

Afternoon
Lunch & farewells

HOW THIS WORKSHOP IMPACTS KIDS:

All kids deserve to see themselves and their families reflected in the books they read. This workshop, part of our Essential Conversations series, helps to support and amplify the voices of ALL storytellers.

HIGHLIGHTS FOUNDATION RESOURCES AND FAQS FOR WORKSHOPS:

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE:

Scholarships are available for this workshop–the application deadline is September 9, 2021.
Click here to apply!
For more information about scholarships, click here.

RELATED RESOURCES:

Las Musas are Latinx authors and illustrators whose racial, ethnic, and cultural identities are as diverse as their writing. Meet them at http://lasmusasbooks.com.

Latinx in Kid Lit explores the world of Latinx YA, MG and children’s literature.

Latinx Kidlit Book Festival, a virtual celebration of Latinx KidLit authors, illustrators, and books.

TheLatinoAuthor.com provides a platform for Latino writers / Hispanic writers, Latino authors / Hispanic authors, and All readers to come together around the world.

The Latina Book Club website features interviews, book reviews, excerpts, book of the month, books of the year, and more.

Latinx in Publishing is a network of book professionals committed to supporting and increasing the number of Latino/a/x in the publishing industry, as well as promoting literature by, for, and about Latino/a/x people.

La Bloga, The world’s longest-established Chicana Chicano, Latina Latino literary blog.

FROM OUR COMMUNITY:

“All of the faculty was knowledgeable, informative, and helpful in the development of my as a writer and creative in the Latinx community.”

“The faculty all were so AMAZING! I am crushing and loving their brilliance and generosity. I especially love the humor and honesty that they used to shared the content with us.”

“I love meeting the faculty! I appreciated all the guests that they curated throughout the symposium. This really helped to demystify the writing/publishing process.”

Faculty

Mia García

Mia García was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She moved to New York where she studied creative…
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NoNieqa Ramos

NoNieqa Ramos wrote THE DISTURBED GIRL’S DICTIONARY, a 2019 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Selection and a 2019 In…
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Alexandra Villasante

Alexandra Villasante has always loved telling stories–though not always with words. She has a BFA in Painting and an MA…
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Hilda Eunice Burgos

Hilda Eunice Burgos is the author of the middle-grade novel Ana María Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle, which…
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Ernesto Cisneros

Ernesto Cisneros is the award-winning author of EFRÉN DIVIDED. He was born and raised in Santa Ana, California, where he…
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Jennifer Rofé

Special Guest Jennifer Rofé works primarily in the middle grade and picture book spaces, and she especially loves working with…
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Jacqueline Alcántara

Special Guest Jacqueline Alcántara is a freelance illustrator and educator spending her days drawing, rehabbing houses and adventuring with her…
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Shelly Romero

Special Guest Shelly Romero (she/her) is an associate editor at Scholastic. She graduated from Stephens College with a bachelor’s degree…
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Maika Moulite

Special Guest Maika Moulite is a Miami native and the daughter of Haitian immigrants. She loves writing: books, think pieces,…
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Maritza Moulite

Special Guest Maritza Moulite graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s in women’s studies and the University of…
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$799.00

All-inclusive registration includes workshop tuition, lodging, meals, beverages, and snacks..

Free shuttle is service available from the local airport, train, and bus station, or you can park on site. Get more logistics information here.

Pay in full or secure your spot with a deposit of $200 and payment plans as low as $75/month. We'll be in touch with details after you register.

Do you want help finding a workshop or resources that will fit your needs? Talk to one of our ambassadors.

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