In-Company: A Retreat for Experienced Authors and Illustrators

In-Person | Picture Books, Early Readers and Chapter Books, Novels, Nonfiction, Poetry, Illustration
Join us in company to share, grow, and cultivate creativity when you’ve been working in the industry for a long time. Talk with your peers about your career, challenges, deadlines, and upcoming projects. Offer your wishes for pushing boundaries of your work, and the industry!

June 7 - June 11

Highlights Foundation Campus

$1399

Overview

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

Join us in company to share, grow, and cultivate creativity when you’ve been working in the industry for a long time. Talk with your peers about your career, challenges, deadlines, and upcoming projects. Offer your wishes for pushing boundaries of your work, and the industry!

  • This is an in-person workshop at our Retreat Center with inspirational sessions and opportunities for time in the company of fellow creatives.
  • We include ample time to relax, retreat, and work on your own projects.
  • Lodging and meals are included.
  • Optional, paid consultations are available as an add-on to the course. (See details in the agenda.)
  • Begins at with dinner 5:30pm Eastern on Wednesday, June 7
  • Ends with lunch at 1:00pm Eastern on Sunday, June 11
  • 22 participants max

Please note that this workshop is for a limited number of established authors and illustrators. There is a questionnaire required with your registration. Please fill out the questionnaire no later than May 15. This isn’t an application, rather a chance to be sure your goals match what this course offers. We’ll be in touch with any questions.

Why This Workshop?

This workshop strives for meaningful conversations about how to push the boundaries of your work, acknowledge the power of your recurring themes, and at the same time, find ways to break new ground and gain innovation. You will:

  • Enjoy presentations and activities intended to spark artistic leaps.
  • Have time to write, illustrate, and collaborate according to your own goals.
  • Participate in an industry Q&A.
  • Spend evenings and mealtimes in community, making connections and filling the creative well.

Feedback Expected

  • Informal feedback throughout the workshop via discussions and open sharing during free creative time.
  • Optional feedback is available during the retreat as an add-on to the program via an in-person consultation with a children’s book editor, art director, and/or fellow creative. Approximately 6 weeks prior to the class, you will be able to purchase this consultation and send in the materials for review.

It’s a Great Fit If..

  • You are an experienced author or illustrator looking to connect with peers at a similar stage in their careers.
  • You could use some creative inspiration. There will be daily presentations designed to spark new ideas, and you’ll have time to network and collaborate with the community.
  • You’d appreciate some retreat time. This course has ample time to write, draw, hike, or rest–whatever you need.

Detailed Agenda

All Times are Eastern Standard Time.

Pre-Workshop
  • During the registration process, we’ll ask you to tell us a little about yourself and your work as we want to be sure that this program is the very best fit for you.
  • Approximately three weeks before the workshop you will receive a link to our virtual classroom where you can introduce yourself to peers, engage in Highlights Foundation related resources (including our Community Standards), and view materials for your time at the retreat center (including any submissions if you’ve added on a consultation to your retreat experience).
  • Optional, paid feedback is available during the retreat as an add-on to the program via an in-person consultation. Details about this optional consultation will be sent to you approximately 6 weeks prior to the retreat, with submissions due in the virtual classroom approximately 3 weeks prior to the retreat.
Retreat Details
  • There will be structured, engaging lectures each morning. After our morning presentations, you will have ample free writing time to stretch and work on your own projects. Informal and optional gatherings will take place each evening.
  • All times Eastern.
Day 1: Wednesday, June 7
  • 3pm – 5pm Eastern        Arrival and check in
  • 5:30pm                             Appetizers & Dinner
  • Following dinner           Welcome & Presentation from Jennifer Jacobson
Day 2: Thursday, June 8

Morning

  • Breakfast
  • Presentation
  • Free creative time

Afternoon

  • Lunch
  • Free creative time
  • Optional 1:1 Consultations

Evening

  • Appetizers & Dinner
  • After dinner: Participant Directed Merriment

 

Day 3: Friday, June 9

Morning

  • Breakfast
  • Presentation
  • Free creative time

Afternoon

  • Lunch
  • Free creative time
  • Optional 1:1 Consultations

Evening

  • Appetizers & Dinner
  • After dinner: Participant Directed Merriment
Day 4: Saturday, June 10

Morning

  • Breakfast
  • Presentation
  • Free creative time

Afternoon

  • Lunch
  • Free creative time
  • Publishing Q/A session

Evening

  • Appetizers & Dinner
  • After dinner: Open Reading/Sharing
Day 4: Sunday, June 11

Morning

  • Breakfast
  • Presentation
  • Closing remarks: Jennifer Jacobson

Afternoon

  • Lunch and farewells
Note About Lecture Themes

Lecture themes are still being developed by faculty. Past In-Company presentations have included:

  • Perfectionism & the Artist
  • A Picture is Worth a Variable Number of Words
  • Living the Creative Life
  • Move Into Your Character
  • Memory, Research, Imagination
  • Creating an Aural Landscape for Creativity
  • Word Play: Poetry
  • Tick Tock: Time Is on Your Side
  • The Best Tape in the World and What It’s Like to Turn Your Book into a TV Show 
  • Facing a Crisis of Faith
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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. This program has a good amount of 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 code of conduct prior to the workshop where we ask for your respectful engagement with fellow creatives, including our faculty and staff.

How It Impacts Kids

As a published author or illustrator, your work has already impacted the lives of children.  What’s next for your characters or themes? What’s next for you? This workshop helps you push the boundaries of your own creative self so that you may continue to inspire kids.

Testimonials from Our Community

“Everyone’s presentations and the week as a whole was just so beautifully crafted, and I enjoyed every second of it. I came in just hoping to have time to work on a few personal projects, and I’m leaving with soooo much more – fixing past projects, so many ideas for new projects, and just a deeper understand of what I want to create!”

“I attended this course last year. It blew my writing process wide open. I highly recommend it for published authors who need a shot of innovation in the arm and a week of pampering and community that only Highlights and the talented Jennifer Jacobson can deliver.”

“I think of myself as a very creative author but I was needing to feel coaxed, pushed, nudged in new ways, so I signed up for the first published author creativity workshop and was it ever terrific! Responding to the guidance from the various workshop leaders led me to places I never would have found on my own. I had a breakthrough with a picture book text and also a novel-length project. It was great for spots where I knew I was stuck and also spots where I was stuck and didn’t know it.”

DETAILS

June 7 - June 11

$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.

Pay in full, or secure your spot with a deposit (unless otherwise noted).

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. Free car service is available from the local airport, train, and bus station, or you can park on site. You’ll receive more information about logistics after you register.

Visiting Our Campus

Our campus (The Barn at Boyds Mills) is tucked away in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.  It's a few hours from both New York City and Philadelphia, but worlds away from everyday life.

Line drawing of the Barn at Boyds Mills

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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.

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