Working Retreats

Learn.  Get Inspired.

Then put it to work in the company of people who believe in the power of story.

I wanted in-person.  To go to a place that was made for creators.  The hands on, one to one experience with mentors and with fellow creators.  Literally it changed my life… I was inspired the whole week I was there, and met some really great people… To me it was like, yes, that’s another little ‘keep going.’ You belong here.  Your stories matter.  And it was fantastic.  I can only say good things.

CAMELLIA KOO

We’ve Been Listening.

And We’ve Put What You Need in One Place.

The learning, networking, and inspiration you get from a conference, without the overwhelming volume and anonymity.

The sense of community you feel in a group that “gets” you and your passion about inspiring kids through story, with connections made over sessions and meals instead of online.

The space to create and retreat, without the interruptions of everyday life.

(And we cook and care for you.  The whole time.)

A Venn Diagram that shows how A Kidlit Conference, A Community, and Writing and Studio Time overlap at a Working Retreat.

What Is a Working Retreat?

Our Working Retreats are designed to help inspire you on your journey to create for kids, and then give you time to put that inspiration to work.

You’ll learn, work on your craft, connect with fellow creatives, and retreat—all in the comfort and care of the Highlights Foundation.

Structures vary, but working retreats are hosted by faculty members who will be retreating alongside you.  They’ll generously share their knowledge, connections, insights, and love of creating stories for kids.

Private lodging and meals are also included at our Retreat Center in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

5_6 Asian American Voices Retreat
Rainbow Retreat Group photo

“What I found was a sense of fellowship and belonging… I met so many wonderful people there who were supportive. I just had a wonderful time. I remember the workshops that I went to—and I took it in, and nothing felt as though it was too much. It all came in nice doses. And then I could go back to that porch and that rocking chair and take more in. And I went home like I could begin again.”

DARIA PEOPLES

8-30_PJ Library Fun Group photo

At Our Working Retreats You’ll Find:

  • A mix of time to gather, network, learn, work, and retreat on our campus, with an agenda thoughtfully prepared in coordination with your faculty hosts.
  • Ample time for independent work, meeting informally with fellow creatives, and resting.
  • Lodging and meals included.

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    See More Testimonials

    Summer Camp in Nonfiction

    I’ve gone to a lot of different conferences. Thousands and thousands of people. So overwhelming, and even if you hand out your business card, no one’s going to remember.  [At Highlights, everyone] treats you like family the moment you step on campus. It’s just very welcoming, and magical.  You know there’s just so much bonding without even realizing it… Having that one-on-one with [faculty]—that’s been huge, and probably even more so than sitting in the lectures themselves. (Harlan DeChamps)

    “Attending a retreat at the Highlights campus felt like a portal fantasy, in the best way possible. Everyone was so friendly, and I felt so taken care of while I was there. The campus itself had wonderful spots to get creative work done (shout out to the Art Coop…I nerded out big time in there!), and I loved the routines we had where we got to do individual creative work and then come together during meals and after hours to bond and connect. It was just such a beautifully crafted atmosphere…The faculty was [also] amazing all around. They provided great insight in their presentations, and they were warm and welcome to discuss anything about the craft. I deeply enjoyed their company and their brilliance.”

    Muslim Storytellers Gathered in the Barn
    Latinx Voices 2022 Retreat

    “The time was organized so that we had moments for writing and moments for community. I feel like I left with having those goals met. I met my writing goals, and I made friends/started with a writing group that we get to continue.”

    Find a Working Retreat that Fits Your Needs:

    Working Retreat: Spark Inspiration with Meditation and Creative Play

    Working Retreat: Spark Inspiration with Meditation and Creative Play

    Starts: June 15, 2024

    Working Retreat: Writing for the Educational Market

    Working Retreat: Writing for the Educational Market

    Starts: June 20, 2024

    Working Retreat: Poetry and Poetry Anthologies

    Working Retreat: Poetry and Poetry Anthologies

    Starts: June 23, 2024

    Working Retreat: Experienced Storytellers In-Company

    Working Retreat: Experienced Storytellers In-Company

    Starts: September 11, 2024

    Working Retreat: Lyrical Picture Books and Poetry

    Working Retreat: Lyrical Picture Books and Poetry

    Starts: September 26, 2024

    Working Retreat: Novels in Verse

    Working Retreat: Novels in Verse

    Starts: October 6, 2024

    Working Retreat: Chapter Books and Early Readers

    Working Retreat: Chapter Books and Early Readers

    Starts: October 13, 2024

    Working Retreat: Picture Book Authors and Illustrators

    Working Retreat: Picture Book Authors and Illustrators

    Starts: November 10, 2024

    Working Retreat: Revision

    Working Retreat: Revision

    Starts: November 14, 2024

    Our Mission in Action

    Share Your Story, Inspire a Child
    Scholarships
    Equity & Inclusion in Kidlit
    Partners & Sponsors

    The Highlights Foundation positively impacts children by amplifying the voices of storytellers who inform, educate, and inspire children to become their best selves.  Learn more about our impact.