Programs

Verse Novelists: A Working Retreat

November 7 - 10, 2022

OVERVIEW:

In-person 4-Day/3-Night Working Retreat

Do you need a little time away to revise, draft, or finish your in-progress verse novel? Join special host Padma Venkatraman and guests for an informally structured retreat where the focus is on your own projects, with light conversation after meals and in shared workspaces.

  • This is an in-person retreat for verse novelists at any step or experience level in their poetry or verse novel project.
  • Optional 1:1 consultations can be purchased for a private meeting to share a poem, your project summary, and your ideas and questions. (No written feedback provided.)
  • During the retreat, you will guide your time to work on your own stories and connect with fellow creatives.
  • Lodging and meals are included.
  • Begins at 5:30pm Eastern on Monday, November 7, 2022
  • Ends at 1:00pm Eastern on Thursday, November 10, 2022
  • 12 participants max

WHY THIS RETREAT?

All creatives need time and space to accomplish their goals. Days will be spent on individual projects, whether that means searching for words in the word garden, drafting new poems on your porch, or layering new revision ideas into your verse novel.
Verse Novelists: A Working Retreat with Padma Venkatraman and special guests, in-person 4-day/3-night, starts November 7
Along with your personal retreat time, you will have the chance to gather informally over meals. On one evening during the retreat there will be a fireside chat with hosts in conversation, and one night you will enjoy a poetry open mic.

Your retreat will be well appointed with space to create, as every accommodation option includes a personal workspace. You’ll find various spaces around the grounds to get work done or take a nature walk if you need a change of pace or some inspiration.

THIS RETREAT IS A GREAT FIT IF:

  • You are working on a verse novel. You can be at any experience level or point in the process: idea generation, draft #1, draft #101, revisions, and/or working to accomplish your deadline.
  • You’d like a retreat where you can get to work. You structure your time at this retreat. You’ll have time to focus on your verse novel in the company of fellow verse novelists!
  • You are a poet looking to retreat with fellow poets. All poets welcome to attend.
  • You are interested in some informal/optional feedback on your work-in-progress. Optional 1:1 consultations can be purchased for a private meeting to share a poem, your project summary, and your ideas and questions. (No written feedback provided.) $100 for a 20-minute meeting.

DETAILED AGENDA:

Pre-Workshop

  • One week prior to the program, you will receive a link to our virtual classroom where you can introduce yourself to fellow creatives and engage in Highlights Foundation related resources (including our Community Standards).

Retreat Details:

  • All times are Eastern Standard Time.

Monday, November 7, 2022

  • 3pm – 5pm Eastern:    Arrival and check in.
  • 5:30pm – 7pm:             Appetizers & Dinner
  • Following dinner:        Welcome, Introductions, & Setting Intentions

Tuesday, November 8, 2022
Morning:

  • Breakfast
  • Writing/Illustration time
  • Optional meditation at 11:30am Eastern

Afternoon

  • Lunch
  • Writing/Illustration time

Evening

  • Appetizers & Dinner
  • Informal gathering fireside: Hosts in conversation

Wednesday, November 9, 2022
Morning:

  • Breakfast
  • Writing/Illustration time
  • Optional meditation at 11:30am Eastern

Afternoon

  • Lunch
  • Writing/Illustration time

Evening

  • Appetizers & Dinner
  • Poetry Open Mic

Thursday, November 10, 2022
Morning

  • Breakfast
  • Writing/Illustration time

Afternoon

  • Lunch & farewells

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

ABOUT OUR RETREAT CENTER:

All in-person Highlights Foundation workshops and retreats (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 retreat fee includes lodging, farm-fresh meals with snacks, and car 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.

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.

Optional 1:1 Consultation:

Upon registering for the course, you can select and optional 1:1 consultation for a private meeting to share a poem, your project summary, and your ideas and questions. (No written feedback provided.) $100 for a 20-minute meeting.

Recommended Reading List from your host, Padma Venkatraman:

  • The March 2021 issue of Poetry Magazine
  • Me (Moth) by Amber McBride
  • A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman
  • A Suitcase of Seaweed by Janet S. Wong
  • The One Thing You’d Save by Linda Sue Park (Illustrations by Robert Sae-Heng)
  • Ordinary Hazards by Nikki Grimes
  • This Is The Rope by Jacqueline Woodson (Illustrations by James Ransome)
  • Owl Moon by Jane Yolen (Illustrations by John Schoenherr)
  • Remember by Joy Harjo (Illustrations by Michaela Goade) *Preview available.
  • Land of Cranes by Aida Salazar

RELATED RESOURCES:

Auditioning Poetry Devices for Your Verse Novel’s Voice, by Cordelia Jensen
YA Wednesday: Better and Verse, by Padma Venkatraman
Read a verse novel a day for National Poetry Month
Best 9 Tips On Plotting a Novel in Verse from the Fiction Notes blog.
Imagining an Image System, by Cordelia Jensen
Diverse Verse website (founded by Padma Venkatraman)

Faculty & Special Guests

Padma Venkatraman

Padma Venkatraman is the author of THE BRIDGE HOME which has garnered 8 stars, and has been honored as one…
Learn more

$599.00

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.

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