Power of a Picture Book - Highlights Foundation Workshop

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I debated and debated about going to The Power of a Picture Book workshop at Highlights. It seemed like so much money. How would I come up with the money? And if I did, I could get 10 professional critiques for that much money! I could go to a few nearby conferences. I kept telling myself that I'd go next year, 2014. Something keep bringing me back to thinking about it though, and finally I signed up.

THANK HEAVENS! It was an AMAZING, enriching experience. I was picked up at the airport and found out that a fellow workshopper had been on my flight, Lisa. We were taken to lunch, then wandered around Honesdale. We met our group and toured the Highlights office. We met Highlights Magazine Editors and heard what kind of submissions they'd like. We got to speak to an editor from Boyds Mills Press. Everyone was kind and informative.

Dinner (and every meal following) was phenomenal, the chef Joseph is a wonderful cook and such a nice guy. Martha and Brinna were lovely as well. I never once felt out of place or uncomfortable. Even when I locked myself out of my cabin just when I was needing a boo hoo about missing my kiddos and instead had to go request the extra key. (Myself and one of the ladies were dubbed "the sprinklers" because we kept misting up over various things - eeeesh! haha!)

Photo courtesy of Lindsay Barrett George
We started right in on the workshop after dinner. Deborah Underwood and Lindsay Barrett George
were amazing. Over the weekend we did writing exercises, drew picture book dummies, colored with crayons, and discussed picture books. They made it so clear what makes picture books great. Lindsay and Deborah bared their souls and showed us how they write picture books. I wasn't sure what to expect from the workshop, but I never dreamed it would be as incredible as it was.

 An editor from Highlights Press came and spoke with us. Also book buyer and accounts manager for The Blue Marble Children’s Bookstore and general Kidlit information guru, Dave Richardson brought some picture books to share with us and told us how to create a good working relationship with independent bookstores.

Power of a Picture Book Group Photo Courtesy of Highlights Foundation
Not only was the information top notch, the company was phenomenal. I came away from The Barn with wonderful, new friends. One of the ladies commented that we all needed that weekend, for different reasons and it was so true. It was nourishment for the mind and soul. We're talking about a reunion workshop next year. I can't wait!

I'm only bummed that I didn't take any pictures, it was gorgeous there with the leaves changing for autumn. Next year!


Robyn Campbell said...

Oh wow. Meg, this sounds great. I wish I could go. PA is a far piece from NC though. I might try to do it next year providing everything is right with Christopher.

Thanks for this insight into something I've always wondered about. A writing friend of mine did the Highlights Foundation Workshop. I never really asked her about it. Now I will. *waving*

Joanne Roberts said...

I saw your ReviMo on Stacey Jensen's blog (so glad I did!) I'm signed-up and will be spreading the word via my blog in the next couple of weeks. Thanks for the opportunity to grow.

And speaking of growing, I just came back from a Highlights Workshop myself. I almost backed out because of the cost, but like you, my advice is GO FOR IT!
It was the best money I've spent in a long time on my publishing endeavors.

I look forward to meeting your online community. Thanks.

ann paul said...

Isn't Highlights amazing. I went there in the spring. It was more amazing and w nderful than I could have ever imagined.