Unlocking Your Story: Forms and Genres, A Mashup 2019

  • Highlights Foundation Highlights Foundation
  • Pocono Mountains Municipal, Coolbaugh Township, PA, USA
  • Oct 24 - 27, 2019 (4 days)
  • $899.00 - Program Price

About This Event


Is your work-in-progress begging to break free? Find the form that best fits the story you hope to tell.

Join Newbery winner Kathi Appelt and author Lindsey Lane for an investigation into the dynamic shape of your story. Explore the important elements that make up a story as well as how these elements shift inside various formats and genres.

In the workshop, we’re going to look hard at the various forms of our stories to see whether or not the form feels organic. Moreover, we’ll challenge each other to test the story in forms that may surprise you. In the process, we’ll take a look at genres, too.

For example, a prose novel might work better as a novel-in-verse, or a poem might want to transform into a picture book, or the truth of nonfiction might need to see itself in a novel.

Kathi Appelt talks about what to expect from the workshop:

What You’ll Learn

From the preliminary agenda:

Genres abound: What’s Out There for Kids and Teens

The Short Story: A Mini-Course

One-to-one critiques

Small group workshopping

Writing exercises

Faculty lectures

From page to screen; film adaptation of a novel

Idea generation

Goal setting

The faculty will review up to 10 pages of your work-in-progress and draft alternate formats for you to “play” with while on campus.

Who Should Attend

Writers at all levels are welcome at this workshop!

We imagine people arriving at this workshop with a piece or a fragment or an idea and basically thinking, I’ve got something, but I don’t know what it is. And them we would look at form by considering what’s possible (while always open to writers trying the “impossible”) but also through the lens of writer intent:

What is drawing you to this piece?

What do you want to say?

What is this about?

Where are the hot spots?

What are you trying to do?

How does this piece highlight your own writerly strengths?


Tentative agenda:

Day 1


Arrival and check in


Appetizers & dinner

After dinner: Introductions and Welcome, Kathi and Lindsey

General expectations and some inspiration to launch the days ahead

Day 2



Genres abound: What’s Out There for Kids and Teens, Kathi

The Short Story: An in-depth look at genre with Lindsey



Plotting Like a Screenplay: In-depth hands on session with Sona

One-to-one consultations with Lindsey or Kathi


Appetizers & dinner

After dinner: Fireside chat: Lindsey and Kathi share examples of a manuscript or idea that took on a new form

Day 3



Idea generation: Let’s Play with Lindsey

Writing Time/finish any one-to-ones



Poetry v. Prose: the debate! with Kathi

Skype Guest


Appetizers & dinner

After dinner: Open Mic Readings

Day 4



In-depth genre study: Graphic Novels and more, Lindsey and Kathi

Q&A, goal setting, and final thoughts


Lunch and farewells


Kathi Appelt’s website

Lindsey Lane’s website

The Form of a Story: A Kind of “Cup” That Holds the Content

Kathi Appelt: The Form Holds the Story

Survivors: Kathi Appelt on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing Children’s-YA Author

Authors are Allies to Teachers & Librarians, a blog post by Lindsey Lane

Video Interview with Lindsey Lane.

Rejecting Rejection, by Lindsey Lane

“I do have a deep respect for my audience, and I trust that my readers are going to follow along with me as long as I keep it interesting. I try hard to keep the action moving forward and hope that they’re going to be curious enough to follow me. I think that’s one of the beauties of small scenes. I call them “SSSes” (that stands for “small significant scenes”). The little chapters. I try to keep the amount of transition down, moving from one place to another. I try to avoid too much telling.”–Kathy, from an interview with Roger Sutton of The Horn Book.

The Where of it All: Place and Story, blog post by Kathi Appelt

Cancellation Policy

100% deposit refund for cancellation 30+ days before event.
50% deposit refund for cancellation 15-29 days before event.
0% deposit refund for cancellation 0-14 days before event.
The remaining balance (total price minus deposit) is due upon arrival.
Get full details...

  Write a review - tell others about your experience.

Similar Retreats You Might Like

Thank you!

We're glad you've joined our retreat community. See you around :)

Return to my event ×

Why Retreat?

We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

Become a friend to myself. Scott

Retreat Guru's Vision

We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.

Don't have an account? .
Or connect with

Already have an account? Log in.
Or connect with Facebook