Taking Your Writing & Art to New Places: Published Authors and Illustrators at Work 2019

About This Event


You’ve launched your career – now what? Discuss, dissect, collaborate, and grow.

This workshop is for published authors and illustrators to have time to talk about their careers, challenges, deadlines, and upcoming projects. With this workshop, we are aiming for meaningful conversation about how to continue to push the boundaries of our work. How do we acknowledge the power of our recurring themes and at the same time find ways to break new ground and find innovation?

Please note that this workshop is for published authors and illustrators.

When registering, you will need to include:

Two or more titles of your own published work.

A short paragraph indicating ways in which you hope to grow as a writer or illustrator.

We will confirm your registration for the workshop once we receive this information.


What You’ll Learn

Enjoy presentations and activities intended to spark artistic leaps.

Have time to write, illustrate and collaborate according to your own goals.

Participate in an editor Q&A. We have TWO wonderful editors coming: Neal Porter and Kathleen Merz!

Spend evenings and mealtimes in community, making connections and filling the creative well.

Optional Portfolio/Dummy Review

Optional One-to-One Editorial Consultation

Optional guided meditations from Laurie Calkhoven: to help you center your mindfulness, breath, and visualization, pouring new life into your work-in-progress.

Who Should Attend

All published authors and illustrators are welcome, no matter what their experience level.


Day 1


Arrival and check in


Appetizers and dinner

After dinner: Welcome and introduction to our time together, Jennifer Jacobson

Day 2



Faculty talk, Padma Venkatraman



Faculty talk, Nikki Grimes


Appetizers and dinner

After dinner: Participant Directed Merriment

Day 3



Faculty talk, Juana Martinez-Neal



Writing/Retreat Time


Appetizers and dinner

After dinner: Editor Q/A session

Day 4



Faculty talk, Gareth Hinds



Writing/Retreat Time


Appetizers and dinner

After dinner: Participant Directed Merriment

Day 5



Faculty talk, Jennifer Jacobson


Lunch and farewells


Jennifer Jacobson’s website

Juana Martinez-Neal’s website

Video interview with Juana Martinez-Neal

Creative Process with Juana Martinez-Neal

Gareth Hinds’ website

Creative process with Gareth Hinds

An interview with Gareth Hinds

Nikki Grimes’ website

A video interview with Nikki Grimes

Padma Venkatraman’s website

Video interview with Padma Venkatraman on “Story in the Public Square”

Creative Process with Padma Venkatraman

Horn Book magazine interview with Neal Porter

School Library Journal interview with Neal Porter

Coffee Break: A Day in the Life of Kathleen Merz, Managing Editor

Five Questions with Kathleen Merz

Interview with Melissa Sweet, 2018 faculty.

Interview with Ruth Behar, 2018 faculty.

Interview with An Na, 2018 faculty.


“Everyone’s presentations and the week as a whole was just so beautifully crafted, and I enjoyed every second of it. I came in just hoping to have time to work on a few personal projects, and I’m leaving with soooo much more – fixing past projects, so many ideas for new projects, and just a deeper understand of what I want to create!”

“I attended Taking Your Art and Writing to New Places last year. It blew my writing process wide open. I highly recommend it for published authors who need a shot of innovation in the arm and a week of pampering and community that only Highlights and the talented Jennifer Jacobson can deliver.”–Cate Berry

“I think of myself as a very creative author but I was needing to feel coaxed, pushed, nudged in new ways, so I signed up for the first published author creativity workshop and was it ever terrific! Responding to the guidance from the various workshop leaders led me to places I never would have found on my own. I had a breakthrough with a picture book text and also a novel-length project. It was great for spots where I knew I was stuck and also spots where I was stuck and didn’t know it.”–Jane Kurtz

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.
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