Writing for All Young Readers: Board Books through MG Series 2019

  • Highlights Foundation Highlights Foundation
  • Pocono Mountains Municipal, Coolbaugh Township, PA, USA
  • Oct 10 - 13, 2019 (4 days)
  • $999.00 - Program Price

About This Event


This workshop is for anyone looking for ways to break in or expand upon a career in writing for children, from board books to middle grade series.

Crystal Allen, Kelly Starling Lyons and Kristy Dempsey met at the Highlights Foundation’s Chautauqua Workshop over a decade ago. Their friendship was forged over works-in-progress, critiques, and the drive to publish great books for all children.

Fast forward to now, and between the three women, they have over 30 books published for readers of all ages. They’ve designed a workshop to share with you all that they have gathered over years of their journeys. This workshop is designed to help writers uncover the possibilities offered in the children’s book industry as well as discuss ways to make the most impact on children of all ages.

Highlights Foundation Program Director Alison Green Myers Gives a Preview of the Workshop:

What You’ll Learn

Study the industry:

Find out how to turn your passion and ideas into a career.

Hear from faculty about their publication journeys.

Explore ways to break into the industry.

Discover how to work in multiple genres and for varying ages.

Learn where to find work-for-hire opportunities.

Work on your craft:

Hear faculty lectures on plot, character, voice, language and more.

Have one-to-one mentor feedback on your manuscript.

Complete hands-on writing exercises.

Have opportunities for peer review of your manuscript.

Who Should Attend

This introductory course appeals to:

Anyone who is curious about what it takes to begin writing or illustrating books for children: you’ll get an in-depth look at genres and the marketplace as well as participate in craft exercises to get you started.

Pre-published or recently-published writers or illustrators who want to get direction about their publishing path.

Anyone who would benefit from faculty and peer feedback on their work.


Just addded: editor Q&A with Eileen Robinson!

Day 1


Arrival & check in


Appetizers & dinner

After dinner: Welcome and introductions

Turning Passion into a Career with Crystal, Kelly, Kristy

Day 2



Begin by Beginning –Ideas/First Lines, Crystal

Board Books and Picture Books, Kristy



Writing humor, Crystal

Non-Fiction and Historical Fiction, Kelly

One-to-one critiques and free writing time


Appetizers & dinner

After dinner: Fireside chat and s’mores

Day 3



Early Readers, Chapter Books and Middle Grade, Kelly & Crystal

Plot, Pacing and Paging, Kristy



Characters: Sweetie Pies and Smart*sses, Kristy

Voice, Emotion, and Language, Kristy and Kelly

One-to-one critiques and free writing time


Appetizers & dinner

After dinner: Fireside chat and book signing

Day 4



The Business of Publishing, Kelly

Q/A with all faculty

Goal setting and final remarks


Lunch and departures


Getting Started Writing Children’s Books

Investing in Your Writing

How to Write a Children’s Book: Get Started with These 5 Steps

7 Quick Tips for Beginning Writers

Writing Books for Kids is Hard, But You Can Totally Do It

Relax Into the Story

Investigate, Observe, Document, Evaluate: A Process to Write for Young Readers

About the Faculty & the Workshop

Faculty Interview: Kristy Dempsey, Crystal Allen, Gwendolyn Hooks, Kelly Starling Lyons

Faculty Interview: Kristy Dempsey and Kathryn Erskine

Kristy Dempsey – Taking a Leap


“I found the faculty to be open, accepting of questions, respectful, extremely knowledgeable, and able to share their knowledge in an engaging, forthright manner that was very helpful.”

“The faculty members were extremely knowledgeable, experienced, and personable. They presented so much information in a short amount of time! A very worthwhile conference.”

“I felt a sense of community and a genuine feeling that the faculty wanted everyone to be successful.”

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...

Reviews     To review this event, visit the page for the venue or retreat leaders (above).

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:

To drop deep into the practices and connect with my true nature... Alison

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.