Programs

Craft, Community & Your Career: A Support Group for Experienced Storytellers

February 28 - November 21, 2022

OVERVIEW:

Multi-Month Online Course

  • 10 months of programming
  • Kick off gathering Monday, February 28, 7pm – 9pm Eastern
  • Live sessions on the third Monday of the month at 7-9pm* Eastern, with a hiatus for the summer
    (March 21, April 18, and May 16; September 19, October 17, and November 21) (*Note: 7-8pm Eastern will include the presentation, and 8-9pm Eastern will be an office hour with faculty to gather afterward for those who want to stay online.)
  • Additional, optional Live Office Hours on Mondays, March 7 – November 14(times and formats vary; see detailed agenda below)
  • Discussions in a DISCORD group with engaged faculty responses
  • Pre-recorded content available in the Virtual Classroom during the summer months while live sessions are on hiatus
  • Closed captions available at all live sessions, and in recordings
  • 40 participants max

This course has been thoughtfully designed as a ten-month support program for storytellers who want to make writing for children a long-lasting and fulfilling career.

FEEDBACK EXPECTED:

  • Informal feedback during live lectures
  • Optional (but encouraged) peer feedback during live office hours
Faculty

WHY THIS WORKSHOP?

One book can make a difference in the life of a child. It’s a belief and a mission at the very heart of the Children’s Book Community.

While your passion may make the pursuit of accomplishing that mission feel amazing and rewarding, there can be difficulties–especially when it comes to blending your passion with the professional aspects of making a career in children’s books work.

Gather with course facilitators and industry veterans including Sarah Aronson, Erin Dionne, Leah Henderson, Chris Tebbetts, and many special guests to find the support you need to grow your career in children’s book publishing.

Monthly programming will center on the core concepts of:

  • Creativity and vulnerability.
  • Career support and seeking opportunities to connect with your audience.
  • Essential conversations about values at the craft and industry level, including representation, diversity, inclusion, lived experiences, and #ownvoices.
  • Developing a support system of fellow creatives.

Elements of this multi-month online workshop include a kick-off session, special live guest lectures to inspire your creative life, pre-recorded mini lectures, and office hours perfect for discussions and brainstorming.

IT’S A GREAT FIT FOR:

Published, self-published, or serious unpublished writers, who seek community, support, and inspiration. We want to help you:

  • Take a deep dive into advanced craft and industry-related topics
  • Discuss important topics in representation and authenticity in children’s books
  • Gain inspiration to take the next steps in your career
  • Experience real peer support and interaction to build your sense of community in this industry

DETAILED AGENDA:

This course runs for ten months and is a mix of live and pre-recorded programming, engaged discussions during office hours, community building in a DISCORD group, and through self-selected opportunities.

Live presentations are generally the third Monday of each month from 7pm – 8pm Eastern followed by an optional faculty-lead office hour until 9pm (with a hiatus on live sessions in the summer). Some faculty-lead office hours will take place in small groups to offer discussions tailored to early-career and mid/established-career goals.

There are also additional and optional (but encouraged) weekly live Zoom Office Hours with your peers on Mondays at noon throughout the course (on Mondays when there aren’t live sessions). These are peer discussions with fellow creatives only (no expectation for faculty).

All dates and times are noted in the agenda below.

Upon Registration
You will be asked to provide:

  • A brief publishing history (for traditionally and self-published writers)
  • A brief overview of your reasons for taking this course
  • A list of recent reads (both for pleasure and professionally)
  • Optional: Wish list for course topics (suggestions encouraged!)

Our goal is to build a community of creatives looking for inspiration and engaged discussion. If we have any questions about the responses provided in your registration, we will be in touch.

Month One: February
Monday, February 28, 7pm – 9pm Eastern*: Course Overview, Introductions, Dreams and Wishes (Live)

  • Welcome with introductions
  • Presentation: Dreams, Wishes, & Our Work Together
  • Overview of course syllabus, including how to access online materials, engage in DISCORD with fellow writers, and what to expect from office hours.

Month Two: March
Monday, March 21, 7pm – 8pm Eastern: Special Guest Presentation (Live)

  • Group Check In
  • Presentation
  • Followed by open discussion for those who wish to stay online from 8pm – 9pm Eastern

Optional Monday Office Hours:

  • March 7: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)
  • March 14: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)
  • March 21: Office hour to follow live session with faculty as mentioned above (8-9pm Eastern)
  • March 28: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)

Month Three: April
Monday, April 18, 7pm – 8pm Eastern: Special Guest Presentation (Live)

  • Group Check In
  • Presentation
  • Followed by open discussion for those who wish to stay online from 8pm – 9pm Eastern

Optional Monday Office Hours:

  • April 4: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)
  • April 11: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)
  • April 18: Office hour to follow live session with faculty as mentioned above (8-9pm Eastern)
  • April 25: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)

Month Four: May
Monday, May 16, 7pm – 8pm Eastern Special Guest Presentation (Live)

  • Group Check In
  • Presentation
  • Followed by open discussion for those who wish to stay online from 8pm – 9pm Eastern

Optional Monday Office Hours:

  • May 2: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)
  • May 9: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)
  • May 16: Office hour to follow live session with faculty as mentioned above (8-9pm Eastern)
  • May 23: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)

Month Five: June*
Pre-recorded Mini-Lessons Available in the Virtual Classroom From:

  • Leah Henderson
  • Sarah Aronson

Optional Monday Office Hours:

  • June 6: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)
  • June 13: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)
  • June 20: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)
  • June 27: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)

Month Six: July*
Pre-recorded Mini-Lessons Available in the Virtual Classroom From:

  • Chris Tebbetts
  • Erin Dionne

Optional Monday Office Hours:

  • July 11: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)
  • July 18: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)
  • July 25: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)

*Please note: an optional retreat at the Highlights Foundation Retreat Center will be offered during the summer hiatus. This retreat is optional, but encouraged, for participants in the class. More details will be made available soon.


Month Seven: August
Pre-recorded Mini-Lessons Available in the Virtual Classroom From:

  • Chris Tebbetts
  • Leah Henderson
  • Erin Dionne
  • Sarah Aronson

Optional Monday Office Hours:

  • August 1: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)
  • August 8: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)
  • August 15: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)
  • August 22: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)
  • August 29: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)

Month Eight: September
Monday, September 19, 7pm – 8pm Eastern: Special Guest Presentation (Live)

  • Group Check In
  • Presentation
  • Followed by open discussion for those who wish to stay online from 8pm – 9pm Eastern

Optional Monday Office Hours:

  • September 12: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)
  • September 19: Office hour to follow live session with faculty as mentioned above (8-9pm Eastern)
  • September 26: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)

Month Nine: October
Monday, October 17, 7pm – 8pm Eastern: Special Guest Presentation (Live)

  • Group Check In
  • Presentation
  • Followed by open discussion for those who wish to stay online from 8pm – 9pm Eastern

Optional Monday Office Hours:

  • October 3: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)
  • October 17: Office hour to follow live session with faculty as mentioned above (8-9pm Eastern)
  • October 24: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)
  • October 31: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)

Month Ten: November
Monday, November 21, 7pm – 8pm Eastern: Celebrations (Live)

  • Group Check In
  • Celebrations

Optional Monday Office Hours:

  • November 7: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)
  • November 14: Peer discussion, no faculty (12pm Eastern)

A note about workshop agendas and how they change and evolve.

COMMITMENT REQUIRED FOR THE BEST EXPERIENCE:

If your schedule does not allow you to attend live sessions, that’s OK! You’ll have access to the recordings. They’re posted the day after the session, and they’ll be available through December 31, 2022. Closed captions will be available on all live sessions, and the recordings from live sessions.

HOW THIS WORKSHOP IMPACTS KIDS:

With a firm support system in place, you’ll be able to grow a career of creating stories that can impact the lives of children and young adults.

Why do we mention this? Learn about the Highlights Foundation mission.

RELATED RESOURCES:

Working Writers Chat with Chris Tebbetts and Sarah Aronson
Craft, Community and Your Career: Lessons Learned
Mitali Perkins and Sarah Aronson on Art, Creativity and Vulnerability

FROM OUR COMMUNITY:

“I appreciated all of the faculty! They did a tremendous job of giving us amazing sessions about all three aspects of Craft, Community, and Career. I learned so much from them. I also appreciated the fact that I felt like they were in this with us. They also really gave us much more time in the sessions and on the Discord channel than I ever expected!”

“The faculty are a WOW! So responsive, so knowledgeable, so generous.”

“This was one of the best classes I’ve ever taken, bar none. The faculty were all incredible.”

Faculty

Erin Dionne

Erin Dionne’s latest book for tweens is Secrets of a Fangirl (2019). She’s the author of 6 other books for…
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Sarah Aronson

Sarah Aronson began writing for kids and teens when someone in an exercise class dared her to try. Since then,…
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Leah Henderson

Leah Henderson is the author of several critically acclaimed books for young readers including Daddy Speaks Love, A Day for…
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Chris Tebbetts

Chris Tebbetts is the author and co-author of many books for young readers. Titles include the #1 New York Times…
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$599.00