Working Retreat: Writing for the Educational Market

In-Person | Early Readers and Chapter Books, Nonfiction, Business of Publishing, Working Retreats
Are you currently writing for the educational market, or would you like to learn how to produce content for educational publishers? Join us to discuss the opportunities welcoming writers into this kid-centered market.

June 20 - June 23

Highlights Foundation Campus

$1199

Overview

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

Are you currently writing for the educational market, or would you like to learn how to produce content for educational publishers? Here is a special retreat just for you. Join writers and editors Jan Fields, Paula Morrow, and their special guest to discuss the opportunities welcoming writers into this kid-centered market.

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 who are eager to learn about (or learn more about) the educational market.
  • This “working retreat” has light instruction and ample time to work on your individual projects, including submission packets.
  • Lodging and meals are included.
  • Begins at 5:30pm Eastern on Thursday, June 20, 2024
  • Ends after lunch on Sunday, June 23, 2024

Why This Working Retreat?

All writers need time and space to accomplish their goals, including those crafting exciting, kid-centered work for the educational market.

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

Days will be spent on individual projects, whether that means dedicating time to your educational market submission packet, drafting new words on the porch of your cabin, or finally getting to the revisions that your work-in-progress needs.

Facilitating this experience will be two seasoned professionals in the education market, Jan Fields and Paula Morrow. A special guest editor will be added to the program to bring in another perspective from the educational market.

This working retreat includes:

  • Presentations and Q&A time;
  • Techniques for meeting publishers’ specifications;
  • Practice at producing submission packages;
  • Handouts to help guide you while at the retreat (and beyond);
  • And, ample time to write, draw, relax… whatever you need!

Your retreat will be well appointed with space to create as every accommodation option includes a personal workspace. You’ll find various spaces around the grounds to get work done or take a nature walk 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 experience with the educational market, and ideas for moving forward with drafting, revisions, and/or submissions.
  • There will be informal feedback opportunities and time to share work during generative exercises, and as you connect with fellow attendees.

It’s a Great Fit If…

  • You are a writer who wants to work in the educational market. Educational publishing companies need you!
  • You’re a teacher with experience in sharing these books with students. We’ll show you how you can play to your strengths when writing for this market.
  • You have begun writing for the educational market and wish to expand your range. Jan and Paula can help guide you no matter what experience level you bring to the program.
  • 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, generative writing exercises, 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 draft, 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, June 20, 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, June 21, 2024
Morning:

  • Breakfast
  • Presentation, “Connecting and Submitting in Educational Publishing”
  • Working Retreat time: read, write, connect

Afternoon

  • Lunch
  • Independent Working Session (Submission Packets for Publishers)
  • Working Retreat time: read, write, connect
  • Optional 1:1 Consultations

Evening

  • Appetizers & Dinner
  • Fireside chat with Jan and Paula (weather permitting)
Day Three: Saturday, June 22, 2024
Morning:

  • Breakfast
  • Presentation, “Walking Through a Typical Project”
  • Optional 1:1 Consultations
  • Working Retreat time: read, write, connect

Afternoon

  • Lunch
  • Independent Working Session (Submission Packets for Publishers)
  • Guest Editor Presentation
  • Working Retreat time: read, write, connect

Evening

  • Appetizers & Dinner
  • Fireside chat with Jan, Paula, and their guest editor (weather permitting)
Day Four: Sunday, June 23, 2024
Morning

  • Breakfast
  • Final Q & A
  • Optional peer-to-peer sharing of submission materials
  • Optional 1:1 Consultations

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

Books, stories, and other works used in educational settings are learning opportunities in action, and they help kids grasp important concepts.  Your craft and voice can help shape a child’s connection to their lessons.

Testimonials from Our Community

“Jan and Paula are wonderful speakers, teachers, mentors, and fun to hang out with. I absolutely loved my time with them. I could not have asked for better speakers.”

“It was a motivating, inspiring, and energizing four days. Now I just have to start emailing.”

“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.”

DETAILS

June 20 - June 23

$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.