Working Retreat: Revision

In-Person | Picture Books, Novels, Nonfiction, Business of Publishing, Working Retreats
Join celebrated editors Harold Underdown, Eileen Robinson, and Emma Dryden for time to revise and connect during this "Working Retreat" for writers looking to reimagine, enliven, and rebuild their picture books, novels, or nonfiction.

November 14 - November 17

Highlights Foundation Campus

$1199

Overview

In-person 4-Day/3-Night Working Retreat

Join celebrated editors Emma Dryden, Eileen Robinson, and Harold Underdown for time to revise and connect during this “Working Retreat” for writers looking to reimagine, enliven, and rebuild their picture books, novels, or nonfiction.

A “Working Retreat” is lightly structured with one lecture each day, informal conversations, optional consultations with faculty, and plenty of time to create in the comfort and care of the Highlights Foundation retreat center.

  • This is an in-person retreat for writers in the revision state of their creative journey.
  • This “working retreat” has light instruction and ample time to work on your individual projects.
  • Lodging and meals are included.
  • Begins at 5:30pm Eastern on Thursday, November 14
  • Ends after lunch on Sunday, November 17
  • There is very limited space for this program.

Why This Working Retreat?

All creatives need time and space to accomplish their goals. We invite writers who seek time away to focus on this important stage of revision in their creative practice.  This retreat will offer you new tools to approach your revision, and time to try them out.

At the heart of this working retreat is the “work.”

Days will be spent on individual projects. You choose what that means for you!  Maybe you’ll revise on the porch of your cabin, sketch in the Art Coop, research, rebuild, or rest.

In addition to your personal time, we’ve invited editors Harold Underdown, Eileen Robinson, and Emma Dryden to work alongside you. They’ll offer one presentation and one open Q&A each day of the retreat.

Finally, you can join fellow creatives for informal gatherings by the fire in the evening, at meals, or throughout the retreat as you wish to discuss creativity, share your work, and more!

This working retreat includes:

  • Presentations on revision techniques that complement a variety of projects
  • Open Q&As with editors
  • Shared studio and writing time with informal feedback
  • Independent time to write, revise, and discuss your work

Your retreat will be well appointed with space to create, as every accommodation option includes a personal workspace. You’ll also find various spaces around the campus to get work done, or explore the grounds if you need a change of pace or some inspiration.

“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.”

What's It Like on a Working Retreat at the Highlights Foundation?

See a virtual tour of the campus, testimonials, and more information about the experience.

Feedback Expected

  • Optional consultations can be scheduled with one of our faculty mentors. These opportunities are available at an additional cost, and can be added at the time of registration or during your retreat stay. No submissions will be required or accepted for these 1:1 consultation opportunities, but you will fill out a questionnaire in advance (in our virtual classroom) to prepare. Consultations will include time to discuss where you are in your stories, and ideas for moving forward with drafting, revisions, and/or submissions.
  • There will be informal feedback opportunities as you connect with fellow attendees.

It’s a Great Fit If…

  • You are working on a manuscript or have completed a draft of a manuscript, and want to take the next step. If you want help with your picture book, novel, graphic novel, or nonfiction work, this retreat will offer you time and space to move into the revision stage of your creative journey.
  • You’ve been revising your work, but aren’t sure how to move the work closer to a finished state. Revision isn’t “once and done,” it is a series of rebuilding and reimagining. This retreat will offer you new tools to approach your revision and time to try them out.
  • You enjoy discussing stories and your journey with fellow storytellers. You’ll gather ideas and informal feedback about your story in a supportive environment.
  • You’d like a retreat where you can get to work. This retreat is not based on lecture. It’s time to work on your own projects, with the added immersive experience of presentations, Q&As, and time to connect with fellow creatives over meals and informal gatherings.

Detailed Agenda

All Times are Eastern Standard Time.  Click on the headings below to explore the agenda in more detail.

Pre-Workshop
  • You will receive a link to our virtual classroom where you can introduce yourself to fellow creatives and engage in Highlights Foundation related resources (including our Community Standards). You can also fill out a questionnaire if you opt for a 1:1 consultation with a faculty mentor (at an additional cost).
  • We encourage you to bring projects with you to the retreat at various stages in-progress, as you will have time to revise, research, and polish your work during independent time. This retreat is not filled with lecture.  At its heart, this retreat is time to work on your project.
Day One: Thursday, November 14, 2024
  • 3pm – 5pm Eastern: Arrival and check in
  • 5:30pm Eastern: Appetizers & Dinner
  • Following dinner: Expectations and goals for our time together
Day Two: Friday, November 15, 2024

Morning:

  • Breakfast
  • Presentation with editor Harold Underdown
  • Optional Consultations
  • Working Retreat time: read, write, connect

Afternoon

  • Lunch
  • Working Retreat time: read, write, connect
  • Editorial Q&A: Publishing Part One (Before Submissions)

Evening

  • Appetizers & Dinner
  • Informal gathering fireside (weather permitting)
Day Three: Saturday, November 16, 2024

Morning:

  • Breakfast
  • Presentation with Emma Dryden
  • Optional 1:1 Consultations
  • Working Retreat time: read, write, connect

Afternoon

  • Lunch
  • Working Retreat time: read, write, connect
  • Editorial Q&A: Publishing Part Two (Submissions)

Evening

  • Appetizers & Dinner
  • Sharing, fireside (weather permitting)
Day Four: Sunday, November 17, 2024

Morning

  • Breakfast
  • Presentation with Eileen Robinson
  • Final questions and closing

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 retreat. It is important to recognize that this is not a “jam-packed” workshop; rather it is a Working Retreat that combines opportunities for learning with ample time to retreat and work on your own projects.

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.

If you would like additional support from faculty, you can add on a private 1:1 consultation at an additional cost. There is no submission required, though we will ask you to fill out a short questionnaire in the virtual classroom prior to your consultation.

How It Impacts Kids

Revision is a key step in the creative process that allows you to bring your very best story to kids.  This retreat helps you do so in a supportive environment.

Testimonials from Our Community

“The faculty was friendly, helpful, patient, accessible. I felt as if they were glad to answer any and all questions and to share their knowledge and expertise.”

“It was, hands down, the best writing experience I’ve ever had. Too often educational encounters are competitive in nature. In this workshop I felt totally relaxed.”

“It really gave me the focus I needed, to sort out my stories and make a strategy for submissions.”

“The cottage was perfect, the surroundings peaceful and relaxing. I was able to find a balance of work and play. So much thought and consideration has gone into providing an inspiring, rejuvenating environment.”

“This retreat was wonderful. There was so much positive energy, and it really gave me the momentum to keep working toward my goals.”

DETAILS

November 14 - November 17

$1199

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

Share Your Story, Inspire a Child
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Equity & Inclusion in Kidlit
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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.