The Whole Novel Workshop August 2019

About This Event


Revise and polish your novel in preparation for submission..

The Whole Novel Workshop is specifically designed for writers of middle grade and young adult novels. This unique program offers the one-on-one attention found in degree programs, without additional academic requirements, lengthy time commitments, or prohibitive financial investments. Our aim is to focus on a specific work in progress, moving a novel to the next level in preparation for submission to agents or publishers. Focused attention in an intimate setting makes this mentorship program one that guarantees significant progress.

The Whole Novel Workshop offers writers the rare opportunity to have the entire draft of a novel read and critiqued prior to the workshop, followed by a week of intense, one-on-one mentoring.

Please note that there is an application process for this workshop.

You must register to apply for this workshop. Once you register, you will receive a response with instructions on how to apply—either just for the workshop or to apply for the workshop if requesting financial aid.

For your application, you will need to submit:

A writing sample: 10-15 pages from the manuscript you wish to workshop

A synopsis

Word count

The current status of your manuscript

What You’ll Learn

This workshop includes:

Focused, one-on-one response to your entire novel-in-progress from an accomplished author and teacher

Group discussion and feedback

Seminars on technique, craft, query letters, and agent/editor submissions

Ample time to write and revise

Writing exercises and group reading.

Opportunities to make connections with fellow writers.

Who Should Attend

This course is for best for:

Intermediate to advanced middle grade and young adult writers with a complete or near-complete manuscript draft.

Novelists who would benefit from receiving multiple feedback perspectives. In addition to a whole-novel review, you will receive feedback from our teaching assistants, and TA’s will also be leading round table critiques.

Writers who have begun receiving personalized feedback from publisher submissions.

Writers who have taken one of our introductory novel courses, such as Getting to Know Your Novel and Novel Beginnings.


Day 1

Arrival & check in

Hors d’oeuvres & dinner


After dinner craft session

Day 2

Morning: Morning pages; One-to-one sessions with faculty

Afternoon: 2 lectures

Day 3

Morning: Morning pages; Workshop

Afternoon: Lecture, Sarah Aronson

Day 4

Morning: Q&A

Afternoon: Workshop & lecture

Day 5

Morning: Morning pages & workshop

Afternoon: Free writing time

Evening: After dinner lecture

Day 6

Morning: Morning pages & optional one-to-one meetings

Afternoon: Optional tour of Highlights for Children

Evening: After dinner reading, Q&A

Day 6

“Revision Pot Luck” with faculty

Brunch & departure


Listen for Stories

Tranform Introspection into Dialogue

Eulogy Virtues

Is Your Novel Opening as Strong as It Can Be?

Walking through the Woulds with your Character


“Attending Highlight’s Whole Novel Workshop changed not only the course of my career, but also the scope of my writer friendships. I gained so much knowledge by immersing myself into the culture that is part of Highlights, and came away with the exact tools I needed to plunge in, rework my manuscript, and sign my first two-book contract with HarperCollins. I’ve since signed a second two-book contract with them and I have no doubts that what I learned at Highlights made the difference, and I am still utilizing that knowledge today. Plus, I am still friends with the people I attended with, and we continue, after all these years, to support each other, encourage each other, and cheer for each other. It is a life-altering experience. Go. You will not regret it. Plus, the food was so good I am still talking about it!”–Nanci Turner Steveson

“Thanks to the thorough and insightful feedback on my YA novel manuscript at the Highlights Whole Novel Workshop two years ago, Cowboy Code was picked up by a publisher and will be released this August. I had been laboring over the book for years, and it took a week at Highlights to show me where I needed to pump energy into the manuscript. Thank you, faculty and participants, for for an inspiring and valuable experience.”–Louella Bryant

“Everyone on the faculty was genuinely interested in helping each student to succeed. They were great about having small or one-on-one conversations as well.”

“The faculty were warm, inspiring, wise, encouraging, helpful, and funny. The workshops were as inspiring and as helpful as the presenters. I couldn’t have asked for more!”

“The faculty were awesome. I’ve been through an MFA program in creative writing, so I know top-notch writing instructors when I see them. Learned some very valuable things about my writing at Highlights.”

“The guest speakers were lovely, accessible and thorough with their feedback and guidance.”

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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