Read Like a Writer (A One-Night Mini Course)

January 26, 2023


A One-Night Mini Online Course

Writers fill their wells with stories: stories from the everyday happenings around them, and stories from fellow writers. Middle grade author Eric Bell asks, “Do you read like a writer?”

We invite beginning writers to join Eric for a fun, webinar-style class on ways to improve your writing through the enjoyment of reading. This program is a great fit if you’re looking for a short course of one, 75-minute session offering limited interaction with the community, but loads of information.

  • Thursday, January 26, 2023, 7pm EST
  • Webinar-style program with closed captioning available and limited interaction in the chat.

Feedback Expected:

  • None included in the course. There will be limited interaction in the chat feature of the webinar-style program.


Just beginning your journey to writing for kids and teens? There’s a bit of advice you may have heard at this early stage on the path to publication: Writers are READERS. Writers fill their wells with stories.

""Story can come from so many places: observations of daily life, movies, video games, and more. This short course will focus on stories published from fellow authors.

Join middle grade author Eric Bell to:

  • Set goals for reading,
  • Build tools for reading widely and efficiently (after all, there are only so many hours in the day!),
  • Discuss critical reading vs. reading for joy (and, can it be both?),
  • Reflect on your personal needs as a writer for your TBR pile,
  • Receive a book list of all titles mentioned in the presentation,
  • And more!


  • You are a writer of stories for children and teens and you’re looking for steps to improve your own writing through the joy of reading.
  • Writers new to the field of children’s literature. If you are just starting to write for kids and teens, but the last story you read for children was when you were one yourself, it is time to learn more about recent publications and today’s market.
  • You’re looking for something short, sweet, and smart! This is not a full workshop; it is one 75-minute session with limited engagement meant to answer Eric’s question: “Do you read like a writer?”


At registration: You will receive a Zoom link to use for the course.

Live: Thursday, January 26 (7pm-8:15pm Eastern)

  • Getting Started
    • What does it mean to read like a writer?
    • What are your personal needs and goals for reading?
  • Getting the most from your experience
    • Setting goals
    • Critical reading
    • Reading recent publications and diversifying your bookshelf
  • Q & A

Please note: 
If you’re unable to attend the session for any reason, you’ll have access to the recording (with closed captioning) through February 28, 2023.

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.


When kids learn writing, they learn that readers are writers. Join them on this journey to improve your own stories.

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


3 Reasons Why Reading is So Important to Your Writing Experience


“Reading for pleasure has always been a source of enjoyment for me. However, it has often taken a back seat to other responsibilities. This presentation reminded me that reading needs to have a higher priority now, if I want to improve as a writer.”

“Eric Bell was interesting and informative!”


Faculty & Special Guests

Eric Bell

Eric Bell is the author of ALAN COLE IS NOT A COWARD (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins, 2017) and ALAN COLE DOESN’T…
Learn more