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Highlights Foundation Workshops-- Has anyone been?

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I've been considering going to one of the workshops the Highlights Foundation runs. I'd love to know more information from someone who's been to one, and whether they are worth the time and expense (cross-country flight, in my case).


If you've been or know someone who has, please share any info. you might have. Thanks!
#1 - February 04, 2014, 01:32 PM

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Thinkpink, I've been to Chautauqua and to the Foundation workshop, and both were incredible experiences. All the workshops are now held at the Barn (outside Honesdale) and they always choose faculty who are not only great teachers but those who will interact with the attendees. Everybody goes out of their way to be helpful. If you need to get to church, they'll drive you there as well! I love the peaceful atmosphere and a room to create.

Scholarships are available!!! I encourage you to apply to the workshop that you're interested in. And start saving your pennies!!! It is well worth it.
Good luck,
Vijaya

ps: You already found my blog, but for others who might be wondering, I have written my impressions on it: http://www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com/search/label/Highlights 
and on Chautauqua: http://www.vijayabodach.com/Chautauqua%20Musings.htm
#2 - February 04, 2014, 02:54 PM
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I have also been to Chautauqua and agree with V ijaya that it was a wonderful, career enhancing experience. I went on a scholarship and only paid for my flight, which was about $500. Everything else was covered. I hope you get to go. I think you'd likely benefit a lot :bananakilt
#3 - February 04, 2014, 04:30 PM
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I was so fortunate to attend the July 2013 Highlights Workshop 'Writing From the Heart'.  It was (hands down) the BEST writing experience I have ever had. We have awesome SCBWI Conferences here in Oregon and I have also attended an international SCBWI Conference --- this was totally different.


Your every need is catered to:  from being picked up at the airport, to amazing accommodations  and fabulous food (they work with any special dietary need).  The faculty are totally attentive ---- you have a mentor who will work with you plus daily workshop/lecture sessions. You will tour the Boyds Mill and Highlights offices and meet with editors.  Everyone makes you feel comfortable and welcome.  Best of all, you can take advantage of all this to really bring your work to the next level.  I can't praise the Foundation enough for creating this opportunity for writers.  Yes, it is expensive.


Your writing is worth it. Do it.
#4 - February 04, 2014, 04:48 PM
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I was blessed to be able to attend the workshop 'Writing for the Educational Market' at Honesdale last June! In fact, my avatar shows the cabin I stayed in. It was absolutely wonderful. Jan Fields and Paula Morrow were the presenters, and they were excellent! Every good thing you read about these workshops is true. I had generous scholarship assistance, which made it possible for me to be able to attend. I was able to make the five hour trip by car. The trip on my own was a wonderful part of the whole process. In my case, I learned what I do and don't want to write for the educational market. I learned a lot about myself, and it was a joy to meet other kindred spirits. It was an experience I will never forget! If you have the opportunity, please go. I hope to return some day in the future.
                                                                                     :bananakilt
#5 - February 04, 2014, 07:05 PM
I've always said I'll write someday...my someday is now.

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Thanks, everyone. I'm so grateful for the input. I'm going to put down my deposit now!
#6 - February 04, 2014, 09:09 PM

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Just want to add my 2 cents. I went to a Highlights workshop last Spring ---The Poet's Poetry Workshop with Rebecca Kai Dotlich. It was life changing and I even had to leave early because of a death in my family. The whole experience is magical for a writer. The instructors,  the attendees, the accomodations. It's a writer's womb. Seriously nurturing and inspiring. Best money I ever spent and I can't wait to go back!
#7 - February 05, 2014, 05:47 AM
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Audrey, I was smiling at your avatar!!! and Hooray Thinkpink!!!
Vijaya
#8 - February 05, 2014, 06:18 AM
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Think pink -- Which one are you going to?

I've been to 4 workshops and one UnWorkshop   there.   

Jo Lloyd and her team in the Highlights Foundation are wonderful - so if you have any questions they will be happy to answer them  =)

And it comes with a tour of Highlights and a chance to speak with the editors there [and ususally at Boyds Mills Press! ]

What you will learn is so helpful!  The experience and the magical peacefulness are inspiring!  And the food -- has anyone told you about the food? DELICIOUS

Enjoy! 
#9 - February 14, 2014, 02:12 PM

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I went to the Science Writing Boot Camp in 2011. It was terrific! The instructors and activities were really good. I enjoyed getting to know the other people attending the conference, too--a whole group of folks who got just as excited as I did about a little fungus we found under some leaves! Overall, the whole experience helped me clarify my writing interests and direction. No small feat in my case.

As others have mentioned, the food really is great. Also, it's worth asking about the scholarships they offer.

It sounds like you've already decided to go, thinkpink, but if you have any questions at this point, feel free to ask!

#10 - February 14, 2014, 03:17 PM
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Hi!

I have never attended any of Highlights' workshops but I've signed up for several days at an UNworkshop this coming August. Anybody else planning to be there? I have health problems and don't think I could handle a regular workshop but this will be a sort of working vacation. Although it's a long way there from my home in Illinois, my sister and my brother live in NY and PA, so my husband and I will visit them also.

I'd love to hear about your experience at an unworkshop, Liz, or from anyone else who has done this or is planning to do it.
#11 - February 22, 2014, 04:37 PM
Sheila Welch,  author/illustrator. Don't Call Me Marda, Waiting to Forget, Something in the Air, The Shadowed Unicorn, Little Prince Know-It-All

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I Loved creating my own workshop at the UnWorkshop -- I took time before I went to pack up books and materials to work on my projects. The staff is great. You can bring food back to your cabin -- or better = you eat your meals at The Barn with other UnWorkshoppers and others who might be there for a workshop. And sometimes an editor from one of the Highlights imprints might be invited there to chat during the hors'douvres hour/ & dinner.

 Contact Jo Lloyd [ or others ] at the Highlights Foundation about how far away you want to walk to the Barn = so they can assign you a cabin nearby if you want. The cabins are very nice there are photos on the website. Very quiet and peaceful. There's a small fridge and coffee/ tea maker in each one. You can bring your own snacks etc. The cabins are like hotel rooms made from pine :)   One of the cabins is available for using the printer. Phone reception is a little tricky [ it's in the 'mountains']  -- so ask about that before you go, some people could get reception -- I would just use my computer to keep in touch.

The time to write,  the quiet, not having to think about anything else = wonderful. 

Feel free to PM me when the time gets closer too.
#12 - February 22, 2014, 05:29 PM

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I went to The Heart of the Fantasy writing workshop with Patti Gauch. Excellent! I also attended a reunion workshop with Patti at Boyds Mills. The internet connection problems have been resolved. The rooms and cabins are clean, cozy and charming with umbrellas, flashlights, extra books for reading and a nice view of the woods and hills. Best of all are the instructors who give you incredible feedback on your writing. It was well worth it! I hope to go again, if possible.


Stella   :broccoli   :broccoli   :broccoli
#13 - March 01, 2014, 02:31 PM

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I have my application in for the full novel workshop. It was full, so I'm on a waiting list. We'll see what happens! :getmail
#14 - April 16, 2014, 10:30 AM

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I attended Chautauqua, a workshop on setting, and an unworkshop. All three were incredible experiences. I'm planning to do another unworkshop (hopefully in October).
#15 - April 16, 2014, 12:54 PM

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I just saw that the Nature Writing workshop next month has some scholarships still available.
#16 - April 16, 2014, 03:21 PM
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I attended a Highlights Foundation workshop on writing for children's magazines in October 2013 and just returned from a June 2014 picture book workshop. Both workshops were phenomenal. They offered excellent teachers, opportunities to meet friendly and interesting people engaged in similar writing pursuits, and so much helpful information--not to mention the morning yoga sessions, the nature trails, and the beauty of the workshop campus. I highly recommend going!
#17 - June 20, 2014, 05:03 AM

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   I've attended Chatuaqua in 2011 and workshops at the Barn on Magazine Writing, Poetry and Writing From the Heart.  They were all fabulous!  I put some pictures on my blog of my most recent workshop in May of this year.  http://deborahholtwilliams.blogspot.com/   I hope you'll attend one--I think you'd love it!
#18 - June 21, 2014, 10:10 PM

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I attended my first Highlights Foundation workshop in June and it was amazing. Highlights takes care of your every need. They feed you well, provide plenty of caffeine and chocolate, and everyone is very welcoming. The grounds are beautiful and provided motivation and inspiration. It was expensive but I received a partial scholarship plus discounted pricing and they let me pay in installments. I solicited family and friends through gofundme to help pay for the rest so I could attend what I knew would be a game changer for me. The workshop I attended was Super Children's Book Boot Camp on picture book writing. Two of the instructors, Pat Cummings and Denise Fleming, have continued to provide support through group e-mails and a private Facebook page so thankfully for me my experience didn't end when I left my adorable cabin in the woods. I hope to return to The Barn in the future.

  :partytime
#19 - September 01, 2014, 03:48 PM

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I am SOOOO thrilled. Thanks, in part, to SMICHEL's gentle prodding, I applied for and was granted a partial scholarship. I'll be attending the WHOLE NOVEL WORKSHOP from August 9 to 15. Anyone else going?

I couldn't be more excited.  :stars3 :stars3

We just got an 8-week old puppy last week so in August I get a full week to concentrate on my revision with expert guidance AND I get a full night's sleep! (It's more daunting than having a baby in the house. There's something to be said for diapers and no teeth!)  :faint
#20 - June 08, 2015, 10:44 AM

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I haven't gone there, but one of my friends highly recommends the Whole Novel Workshop. Good luck and have fun!
#21 - June 08, 2015, 01:14 PM
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TH. :yay and for the pup too!

Vijaya
#22 - June 08, 2015, 03:55 PM
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Thanks, Barb and Vijaya! Sent my full ms in this week to my mentor. It is really due to all the positive comments about other workshops (and the prompting of the lovely SMichel) that I applied at all. Sooooo excited! :dancer

#23 - July 09, 2015, 11:41 AM

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