Thursday, May 3, 2012

If you Love Picture Books, the Highlights Foundation has a workshop for you

I just got this letter from Kent Brown, talking about the Highlights Foundation's fall lineup of workshops:

The New York Times featured an article by Arts Beat columnist, Julie Bosman, entitled "Picture Books No Longer a Staple for Children," which sparked a national debate as to whether or not the picture book was going the way of the dinosaur. Within hours of print, and continuing for months, experts in the field of children's literature unleashed an assault on the idea of the death of this "institution."

"They [picture books] move from what children already know to what they need to learn." –Anita Silvey, author of Children's Book-a-Day Almanac

"Picture books offer care [givers] a way of slowing down and helping children toward deeper ways of seeing, sensing and feeling. They can be funny, they can be sad; they can be provocative, they can be scary; but what all of the best picture books offer is the opportunity for a particular way of relating: yes, there is the story; but there is also the precious chance for the child to enjoy the adult's attention: to talk about the pictures and how they make him feel; to turn the pages backwards as well as forwards; to get to know the characters through the way they are represented in art as well as the way they are described in words." –Tessa Strickland, Founder of Barefoot Books Publishing

"At their best, nonfiction picture books are bite-sized slices of truth. Their focus is tight. What inspired one record breaking athlete to rise from asthma patient to the gold medal podium at the Olympics? How did one of the most usual species of birds go from filling the skies to almost extinct and how can we fight to save them? Nonfiction picture books ask children these kinds of questions with both words and pictures, inviting a child to piece together their own story. They inspire children not only to find answers but to ask their own questions." –Tami Lewis Brown, author of Soar, Elinor!

". . . what greater gift can we give our children than to open the door to words and pictures? What greater gift than to show them the power and wonder of imagination, which keeps us company in the loneliest and darkest of hours–and is there for all the good times, too. I believe in imagination, and I believe in picture books." –Holly M. McGhee, President of Pippin Properties

The picture book is a beloved classic. It is not only a "staple" for children but also a favorable market for writers. Our 2012 line-up champions the picture-book form as well.

From Prose to Pictures to Published: The Process of Writing a Picture Book
September 6-September 9, 2012

Workshop Leaders: Candace FlemingRebecca Kai Dotlich
Special Guests: Eric RohmannMelanie Hall

The Power of a Picture Book
September 9-September 12, 2012

Workshop Leader: Deborah Underwood
Special Guests: Kate O'SullivanSteve Metzger

Writing for Little Eyes and Little Ears
Read-Alouds for Early Learners
September 9-September 13, 2012

Workshop Leader: Barbara Jean Hicks
Special Guests: Suzanne BloomSteve Metzger

The Brilliant Dummy
Creating a Picture-Book Dummy for Submission
November 8-November 11, 2012

Workshop Leaders: Lindsay Barrett GeorgeJudy Schachner

Other workshops of interest for picture book writers include:

Writing from the Heart
June 17-June 24, 2012

Workshop Leaders: Joy CowleyJillian SullivanChristine French CullyLori Ries
Special Guests: Kathleen HayesAlyssa CapucilliPatricia Lee GauchSuzanne BloomTim GillnerBernette Ford

Fiction Writing for Children and Young Adults
June 24-July 1, 2012

Workshop Leaders: Patricia Lee GauchJillian SullivanDavid RichardsonRobert J. Blake
Special Guests: Joy CowleyPeter P. JacobiAbby McAdenNancy MercadoHolly McGhee

Nonfiction Writing for Children and Young Adults
July 15-July 22, 2012

Workshop Leaders: Peter P. JacobiCandace FlemingLarry Dane BrimnerLionel BenderStephen R. Swinburne
Special Guests: Carolyn P. YoderLaurence Pringle

Advanced Illustrators Workshop
August 30-September 3, 2012

Workshop Leaders: Floyd CooperEric RohmannKelly Ann MurphyRuth Sanderson

Books That Rise Above
A Children's Books Colloquium
October 5-October 7, 2012

Workshop Leaders: Patricia Lee GauchLinda Sue ParkLeonard MarcusDeborah HeiligmanElizabeth Bird

A Crash Course in the Business of Children's Book Publishing
November 2-November 4, 2012

Workshop Leader: Clay Winters
Special Guests: Bobbie CombsKatie DavisHarold UnderdownNeil Waldman

For more information about a workshop or to request an application, please visit our website, or contact Jo Lloyd at 570-253-1192 or

Please feel free to share this e-mail with others who might have an interest, or to include the information in blog posts or through other social networking forums.

The Highlights Foundation is a public, not-for-profit 501©3 organization. We dedicate our efforts to connecting, nurturing, and inspiring children's book writers and illustrators.

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