Workshop Agendas

What does the agenda of a Highlights Foundation workshop look like?

Pacing, schedule, and logistics will depend first and foremost on the type of course you choose, including whether it is online or in person (see the types here). The exact sessions and topics will also vary widely depending on the subject matter, faculty, and special guests for the workshop you choose.

While we’d love to give you an exact agenda for every workshop when you first sign up, sometimes that’s just not possible.

Why the Workshop You’re Considering Might Not Have a Complete or Final Agenda Yet

  • It is a “work-in-progress”. While we have a program and operations staff, all of our faculty members are currently practicing in various facets of the kidlit world. We book them well in advance and plan the “bones” of the workshop to get our overall workshop schedule ready, but final details are often fleshed out as the calendar year develops. More details come into focus the closer we get to the start of the workshop or course, especially if it is the first time we’ve offered it at the Highlights Foundation.
  • Even the workshops we offer “regularly” can change. While it is true that we may repeat popular workshops, no two are ever truly the same. Sometimes the faculty and special guests change depending on when the course is offered. Even if the faculty stays the same, we revisit the agenda/plan each time to incorporate current topics and new tools with each iteration.
  • Faculty members adapt agendas as needed to address participant needs. We give our faculty a list of attendees in advance of their workshops, and in some cases, sample writing that the attendees submit. If our faculty see better paths to serve their students, they’ll often take them.
  • We bring special guests to sessions whenever possible. Special guests can include editors, agents, publishers, or creators from complimentary genres/disciplines. Invitations are often extended to suit certain session topics, and schedules can be tough to pin down.
  • Inspiration can hit anytime. You’re a creator; you probably understand! Inspiration can hit faculty at any time; during their own work, as they attend an industry lecture, or even during a car ride! Some of the coolest and most useful workshop sessions have come from these last minute “lightning strikes.” We allow them to adapt the schedule to accommodate those.

What We Know For Sure
Whatever the focus, online or in-person, our workshops include a balance of faculty presentations and hands-on exercises. Many also include specialty topic sessions, levels of feedback, time to work independently, and informal community time.

The amount of personal work or retreat time probably varies the most—you’ll often find more of that during workshops at higher experience levels, or those where material generation or revision are at the heart of the program.

Levels of critique will also vary. In general, the more intensive workshops will have layers of feedback woven into them. Beginner courses will be more informational, but even then may include some level of feedback or 1:1 consult to help you ensure that you’re on a track that’s right for you. Learn more about our critique philosophy here.

If you’re eyeing a workshop with an agenda that’s not yet available, you’re always free to ask us questions and we’ll give you as much information about it as possible so that you can make your plans. Email contact@highlightsfoundation.org anytime and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

What Our Alums Say
“The faculty were just phenomenal. I wanted to talk to each of them at length. They were so transparent with their experiences, the good, bad and amazing. I appreciated their different perspectives and the way they presented their authentic selves. They were honest and helpful.”

We know that it’s an investment to attend our workshops, but we promise we’ll work to guard your investment carefully and give you an experience that empowers, rejuvenates, and helps you accomplish your goals.