Poetry for Kids: A World of Publishing Possibilities

October 8 - 11, 2022


In-person 4-Day/3-Night Workshop and Retreat

Poetry anthologies, stand alone poems, lyrical picture books, narrative picture books, and verse novels make up the colorful fabric of poetic offerings to children. Learn ways to weave words, sounds, and stories into engaging poems, and find new markets and opportunities in writing poetry for children. There will be ample private retreat time so that you can write, wander, and connect with fellow poets.

  • This is an in-person workshop at our Retreat Center with lectures, writing exercises, and faculty consultations.
  • We include ample time to relax, retreat, and work on your own writing.
  • Lodging and meals are included.
  • Begins with dinner 5:30pm Eastern on Saturday, October 8
  • Ends with lunch at 1:00pm Eastern on Tuesday, October 11
  • 16 participants max


  • Informal feedback throughout the workshop via hands-on exercises and small group sharing.
  • A 1:1 consultation with Charles or Irene during the workshop.  You may submit one lyrical picture book (no more than 750 words); or five stand alone poems (no more than 750 words total); or an anthology proposal with two sample poems.  Submissions are due for faculty review by September 12, 2022.


Poetry anthologies, stand alone poems, lyrical picture books, narrative picture books, and verse novels make up the colorful fabric of poetic offerings to children. Join celebrated poets and verse novelists Irene Latham and Charles Waters, and their special guest editor and publisher Carol Hinz, to learn ways to weave words, sounds, and stories into engaging poetry for children.
Poetry for Kids: A World of Publishing Opportunities

Our sessions will offer an overview of the many opportunities poets have when writing for children and teens. We will also bring in the foundations of poetry, and look to a diverse array of examples as we create our own pieces.

In addition to exploring the make-up and markets of poetry, we’ll also talk about interacting with your audience through powerful poetry performances. Attention will be paid to your own works-in-progress and ideas through 1:1 meetings with your faculty and small group workshopping sessions.

We hope that you’ll leave with new ideas, new poems, and new confidence in your understanding of crafting, revising, and performing poetry for children.


  • You want to learn more about opportunities in writing poetry for children. This workshop will offer an overview of opportunities for poets and writers to connect with children through poetry.
  • You are a poet looking to expand into children’s books. Come and learn more about the field of children’s books, guided by two celebrated poets!
  • You are looking for feedback on your poetry. There will be both formal and informal opportunities for you to discuss your work with faculty and fellow poets.
  • You could use some creative inspiration. There will be hands-on exercises designed to spark new ideas.
  • You’d appreciate some retreat time. This course has plenty of built-in time to write, draw, hike, or rest–whatever you need.




  • Prior to your submission deadline, you will receive a link to our virtual classroom where you can introduce yourself to fellow writers, engage in Highlights Foundation related resources (including our Community Standards), and view submission details related to this course.
  • Submission deadline is September 12, 2022 for your 1:1 consultation during the retreat with Charles or Irene. You may submit one lyrical picture book (no more than 750 words); or five stand alone poems (no more than 750 words total); or the opening five pages from your novel in verse; or a poetry anthology proposal with two sample poems.

Retreat Details:

Day 1: Saturday, October 8, 2022

  • 3pm – 5pm Eastern: Arrival and check in.
  • 5:30pm: Appetizers & Dinner
  • Following dinner: Welcome, introductions, and a creative exercise

Day 2: Sunday, October 9, 2022


  • Breakfast
  • Session #1: “Finding Your Voice in the World of Children’s Poetry” with Irene and Charles
  • Sharing and discussion


  • Lunch
  • Read aloud: An interactive experience with poetry
  • 1:1 meetings, with writing & retreat time while not in meetings


  • Appetizers & Dinner
  • Fireside Q & A


Day 3: Monday, October 10, 2022


  • Breakfast
  • Session #2: “Revise Like a Master Gardener” with Irene
  • Sharing and discussion/optional peer-to-peer workshopping


  • Lunch
  • Read aloud: An interactive experience with poetry
  • Presentation by editor and publisher Carol Hinz


  • Appetizers & Dinner
  • Fireside chat: Poetry & School Visits


Day 4: Tuesday, October 11, 2022


  • Breakfast
  • Session #3: “Poetry Performance” with Charles
  • Sharing and discussion


  • Lunch & farewells

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


All in-person Highlights Foundation workshops (including this one) are held at our Retreat Center: The Barn at Boyds Mills.  This site was the home of the original founders of Highlights for Children Garry and Caroline Myers, and is located in the Poconos Mountains of Pennsylvania on the traditional and contemporary lands of the Lenape Nation.

Your workshop tuition includes lodging, farm-fresh meals with snacks, and shuttle service from our local airport or bus/train stations if you need it.  For more information about attending a workshop or retreat here, visit the Barn at Boyds Mills website.


Poetry is a celebration of language that can engage kids and learning and exploring.  This workshop highlights the many ways to bring poetry into children’s lives.

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


As an in-person event at our Retreat Center, you’ll have a chance to step away from everyday life to experience the workshop. We try to build in breaks and independent time so you have space for your personal needs. While we encourage participation in all group events, we know that as an adult learner you can decide if you need more time to yourself. Please let someone from our staff or faculty know if you plan to step away from group activities.

The Highlights Foundation strives for a safe and inclusive environment. You will have access to our Community Standards prior to the workshop where we ask for your respectful engagement with fellow creatives, including our faculty and staff.

Another commitment that will help you get the most from this workshop is participating in the 1:1 critique and optional peer group discussions. The submission deadline in advance of your consultation with faculty is September 12 in order to allow faculty time to familiarize themselves with your work in advance of your meetings.  If this is an issue, please let us know. For your optional peer group discussions, you will be able to read aloud and discuss your work in the workshop atmosphere; no need to prepare additional copies to distribute to the group.

Read some ideas about planning for the right level of commitment.


Poetry Alive: Performing Your Poems for an Audience
How to Revise Poetry: 20 Questions to Ask
Charles Waters: It’s Poetry Time!
From Scholarship to Workshop to Book with Traci Sorell
A Celebration of Poetry with Padma Venkatraman and Margarita Engle
A Poetry Chat with Nikki Grimes and Sarah Aronson
African Town: A Cover Reveal and Interview with Charles Waters and Irene Latham
‘African Town’ traces the history of the last slave ship sent to the U.S.
Tuesday 2-Minute Writing Tip video playlist on Irene Latham’s Youtube channel
Charles Waters’ Poetry Time videos on Youtube
Exploring Race, Mistakes, and Friendship Through Poetry (with Roger Sutton of The Horn Book)
We Knew We Had to Leave it All Out There: Irene Latham & Charles Waters Discuss CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR?

Are you looking for information about scholarships? Find out more about the Highlights Foundation scholarship program here.


Charles Waters

Charles Waters grew up in the nearby Philadelphia suburb of Yeadon, PA and attended Fairleigh Dickinson University. After graduation he…
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Irene Latham

Irene Latham is a grateful creator of many novels, poetry collections, and picture books, including Can I Touch Your Hair?:…
Learn more

Carol Hinz

Special Guest Carol Hinz is Associate Publisher of Millbrook Press and Carolrhoda Books, imprints of Lerner Publishing Group. She oversees…
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All-inclusive registration includes workshop tuition, lodging, meals, beverages, and snacks.

Free shuttle service is 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.

workshop information

Our all-inclusive price means we provide transportation to and from the airport, lodging, all meals, unlimited snacks, and wireless Internet access.