Craft & Heart of Writing Poetry for Children

In-Person | Poetry
If writing poetry for children is your passion, join celebrated poets Georgia Heard and Rebecca Kai Dotlich for this 5-day/4-night retreat to work on your own poetry through guided writing exercises, peer workshopping and sharing, lectures, and a private consultation.

October 28, 2023 - November 1, 2023

Highlights Foundation Campus

$1399

Overview

In-person 5-Day/4-Night Workshop and Retreat

If writing poetry for children is your passion, join celebrated poets Georgia Heard and Rebecca Kai Dotlich for this 5-day/4-night retreat to work on your own poetry through guided writing exercises, peer workshopping and sharing, lectures, and a private consultation. We also include 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 at with dinner 5:30pm Eastern on Saturday, October 28, 2023
  • Ends with lunch at 12:00pm-1:00pm Eastern on Wednesday, November 1, 2023
  • 18 participants max

Why This Workshop?

Poetry as a craft is at the heart of this workshop, with guided interactions, prompts, mini-workshops, and free creative writing time.

We’ll focus on all elements of poetry, from the importance of word choice, to surprising metaphors, to focusing on creativity.

There will be plenty of writing exercises to inspire new poems, followed by group discussions.

Together we’ll:

  • brainstorm ideas,
  • discuss our writing processes,
  • share our writing, and
  • generate original poems.

Feedback Expected

  • Informal feedback throughout the workshop via discussions and open sharing/small group workshopping time with peers
  • A 1:1 consultation with faculty during the workshop. You may submit up to 3 individual poems (up to 20 lines each), or 3 poems from verse novel project, or one poem turned picture book (up to 150 words with poetic focus).  Submissions due for faculty review in advance of the workshop.  Deadline is October 5, unless you register for the workshop after that date.  In that case, we’ll work with you to get your submission turned in before the workshop, if possible.

It’s a Great Fit If…

  • You are a poet who writes for children, at any level. This workshop is open to poets who are just beginning and those who have more experience. We learn best from one another.
  • You want to immerse yourself in the elements of craft within a community of poets. At this workshop you’ll be surrounded by words and a community of poets who love them.
  • You’d like a retreat where you can work on new poems. There will be ample free writing time built into this course so that you can stretch and work on your own projects.

Detailed Agenda

All Times are Eastern Standard Time.

Retreat Details

There will be structured mini-lectures, workshops, and group hands-on activities, and time for 1:1 consultations. There will be optional (but encouraged) peer-led workshopping sessions.  You will have ample free writing time built into this course so that you can stretch and work on your own projects. It is the perfect pairing of “retreat” and guided mini-workshops.  All times Eastern Standard Time.

Pre-Workshop
  • 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 in advance of the workshop. You’ll be asked to submit up to 3 individual poems (up to 20 lines each), or 3 poems from verse novel project.
  • For your optional peer-led discussions, you will be able to read aloud and discuss your work in the workshop atmosphere; there is no need to prepare additional copies to distribute to the group.
  • manuscript from each member of the group in advance of the workshop.
  • You are asked to bring many projects with you at various states in process (ideation, drafts, revisions), as there is ample time to work on independent projects.
Day 1: Saturday, October 28
  • 3pm – 5pm Eastern: Arrival and check in.
  • 5:30pm: Appetizers & Dinner (with introductions over dinner)
  • Following dinner: Expectations and goals for our time together
Day 2: Sunday, October 29

Morning:

  • Breakfast
  • Mini-workshop #1
  • Consultations with Rebecca or Georgia for half of the group
  • Peer-led sharing from morning exercises & guided poetry prompts to work on while you’re not in consultation

Afternoon

  • Lunch
  • Writing Time: optional peer group gathering to share poems, independent writing time, or retreat to your private accommodations to relax and recharge

Evening

  • Appetizers & Dinner
  • Informal poetry discussions and sharing fireside (weather permitting)
Day 3: Monday, October 30

Morning

  • Breakfast
  • Mini-workshop #2
  • Cooperative poetry building exercise

Afternoon

  • Lunch
  • Consultations with Rebecca or Georgia for the rest of the group (with more Writing Time while you’re not in consultation: independent writing time, or retreat to your private accommodations to relax and recharge)
  • Special virtual visit from Janet Wong

Evening

  • Appetizers & Dinner
  • Informal poetry discussions and sharing fireside (weather permitting)
Day 4: Tuesday, October 31

Morning

  • Breakfast
  • Mini-workshop #3
  • Finding poetry prompt

Afternoon

  • Lunch
  • Writing Time: independent writing time, or retreat to your private accommodations to relax and recharge
  • Optional peer-led sharing from culminating exercises & guided poetry prompts

Evening

  • Appetizers & Dinner
  • After dinner: Visiting Editor session with Rebecca Davis
Day 5: Wednesday, November 1

Morning

  • Breakfast
  • Mini-workshop #4
  • “Poetry-At-A-Glance” with visiting editor Rebecca Davis, followed by last questions

Afternoon

  • Lunch & farewells
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Commitment Required for the Best Experience

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 consultation and optional peer group discussions. The submission deadline in advance of your consultation with faculty is before the workshop 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-led discussions, you will be able to read aloud and discuss your work in the workshop atmosphere; there is no need to prepare additional copies to distribute to the group.

How It Impacts Kids

Kids love poetry and it motivates them to play with language and words, increases phonemic awareness in reading and builds essential skills like vocabulary, fluency, and authentic expression. This workshop will immerse you in the craft of writing poetry that can inspire a love of poetry and creativity in children.

Testimonials from Our Community

“Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Georgia Heard are amazing apart and absolutely magical together. Smart, approachable, creative and supportive. Would attend ANY workshop with either of them again.”

“Georgia and Rebecca were amazing, fun presenters, knew their stuff, gave lots of information, supportive. One-on-one session was very valuable. Their choice of poems was on-spot to exemplify the lesson. Assignments and feedback were valuable. Open, friendly, knowledgeable, honest. What you hope to get!!!”

“Georgia & Rebecca were incredible. The workshop was the perfect blend of instruction, writing, group reading, feedback and guest speakers. Georgia and Rebecca took the time to become “part of the group”, appearing to have as much fun with us as we had with them.”

Special Guests

DETAILS

October 28, 2023 - November 1, 2023

$1399

Highlights Foundation Campus

362 Boyds Mills Road
Milanville, PA 18443

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.

LOCATION

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.

All-inclusive registration includes workshop tuition, lodging, meals, beverages, and snacks. Shuttle service is included from the local airport and bus stations, or you can park on site. You’ll receive more information about logistics after you register.

Our Mission in Action

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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.