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Summer Camp at the Barn: A Week of Creative Mentorship 2017 | July 9 – July 14, 2017

Please note: this workshop is full. Send us an email to join our waiting list!

Keynotes, workshops and a creative mentor to provide one-on-one support.

The Highlights Foundation tackles summer camp a bit differently than with s’mores by the campfire and hiking in the woods (although those adventures are always on our schedule, too). To us, summer camp is a time to find the kind of encouragement for your writing that only a generous mentor can provide. Our camp offers someone to guide you through the long process of publication and a place to work one-on-one with a published author on fine-tuning your words and mastering your pitches in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere.

This year’s summer camp will kick off each morning with an inspiring keynote, followed by an hour and a half of one-on-one mentorship. Your writing mentor for the week will offer broad critiques of your writing as well as immediate feedback on work produced at camp. Your mentor will support your goals for the week, whether you want to flush out one piece for submission or identify the strongest concept for your work-in-progress. Our goal is to meet your needs by providing one-on-one support each day of camp.

Conferees will also find time to meet with other members of our faculty for guidance in the submission process, including query-writing basics and overviews of the current children’s book market. We know, however, that the most important piece of the publication puzzle is developing your writing muscle. That’s why we’ve dedicated plenty of time for you to work on your craft in the comfort of your private accommodations.

There will be 10 breakout sessions throughout the week led by an editor, agent, author, or illustrator. Each break out session is designed to help you grow as a writer through hands-on exercises. You pick the sessions that most appeal to you. Our faculty will cover topics such as:

  • Creating rich characters
  • Developing voice
  • Constructing believable settings
  • Word choice
  • Transforming stories from didactic to child-friendly
  • Structuring plot
  • Nonfiction
  • Poetry
  • And much more!

This experience is not to be missed for any writer who is looking to experience the generosity of creative mentorship that only the Highlights Foundation can give.

You will need to submit a writing sample by June 10th so that we can best match you with one of our creative mentors. Registration for this workshop is limited. Register now!

View sample schedule (from 2016 workshop)

Summer Camp blog posts:
Summer Camp Reflections
Carnival, Summer Camp, and Carolyn Yoder: Or why you need to find a creative mentor
Summer Camp Scenes
A Happy Camper

Faculty & Special Guests

"I've never found a more supportive or knowledgeable faculty at any other workshop or conference."—2016 attendee

"The mentoring staff members were amazing. All were open, honest, and encouraging. They didn't just tell us what we wanted to hear--they told us things to make our writing sizzle."—2016 attendee

"They were wonderful: available, friendly, encouraging, and FUN!"—2016 attendee

"Just about every faculty member made sure to sit with us at each meal and get to know us. Anyone I asked to read made time for me. Everybody seemed knowledgable and liked they truly wanted me to succeed. Definitely feel that most of them went above and beyond."—2016 attendee