Nurturing Your Artistic Voice: A Guide for Kidlit Rebels and Risk-takers 2019

  • Highlights Foundation Highlights Foundation
  • Pocono Mountains Municipal, Coolbaugh Township, PA, USA
  • Sep 22 - 25, 2019 (4 days)
  • $999.00 - Program Price

About This Event


#Kidlit authors & illustrators: uncover ways to bring your artistic voice to the page.

The children’s book industry demands work that feels fresh and can serve today’s competitive market. But how do we merge business demands with the truest artistic expression of ourselves? Is it possible to construct a business plan for an artistic life? Yes. In this three-day workshop, illustrator Carolyn Flores and Newbery award-winning author Meg Medina will offer practical tips on setting goals and developing daily practices and exercises to nurture your artistic voice as a writer and/or illustrator and to keep you growing in both the art and business of publishing.

What You’ll Learn

This workshop offers a unique opportunity to learn from BOTH an award-winning author and an illustrator. You’ll look at Voice from both perspectives.

During this workshop you will:

Review the work of recent creators whose innovative art successfully blends both marketability and a unique aesthetic.

Explore how you can bring your own “self” to the page, and still be marketable.

Journal and write small personal pieces to access Voice as artists and identify our truest goals as creators of works for young people.

Study the probable rough spots in production (or editorial mores) that threaten innovation.

Roll up our sleeves to craft a piece of art or prose that reflects us as literary artists.

Explore the impact of our authorial voices on craft.

Work in small-group roundtables to receive constructive feedback on works-in-progress, facilitated by Meg and Carolyn.

Hear from associate art director Ellice Lee.

Who Should Attend

Beginning, intermediate or advanced authors and illustrators are welcome.

Anyone with just an idea for a picture book or novel–come and let us help you discover how to turn your idea into a marketable story.

Creatives who are looking for a working retreat.

This workshop offers a unique opportunity to learn from BOTH an award-winning author and an illustrator. You’ll look at Voice from both perspectives.


Day 1


Arrival and check in


Appetizers & dinner

After dinner: welcome and introductions, Meg and Carolyn

Student introductions and goal setting

An Opening Exercise: Top Ten

Day 2



Designing Your Mission Statement: Lecture and hands-on session, Meg

Sharing and Celebrations



Virtual visitors set-up and review of questions (What has been the most surprising thing about the evolution of your career? What do you wish you had known early in the game? Is there anything you would have done differently?)

Virtual Visitors SKYPE Hangout

Linda Sue Park, another guest TBD

Roundtable Readings


Appetizers & dinner

After dinner: Writing and Art Time

Day 3



Storyboarding: Lecture and hands-on activity, Carolyn

Going Beyond the Work, with special guest Ellice Lee



Hands-on art studio: Break out and play! Set up afternoon with Carolyn

Virtual Visitors SKYPE Hangout

Akiko White, Character Creation Outside the Cakebox

Pat Cummings: Go Ahead and Think Outside the Box

Continued exploration of art strategies

Optional consultations with Ellice Lee

Optional consultations with Meg or Carolyn


Appetizers & dinner

After dinner: Writing and Art Time

Day 4



Nurturing Your Voice: A Daily Practice with Meg, Carolyn, and Ellice

Q & A

Where to Go from Here: Participants share ideas and goals


Lunch and farewells


About the Faculty

Meg Medina Talks with Roger Sutton of the Horn Book

Meg Medina’s website

The Magic Voice of Meg Medina: Just Listen!

Carolyn Dee Flores’ website and blog

How to Make a Picture Book for Kidz, Carolyn Dee Flores’ Youtube channel

Cynsations Interview with Carolyn Dee Flores: On Inspiration, Translation & Dedication

Interview with Art Director Ellice Lee

An Hour-Long Hallway Discussion, and a Commitment to Helping Other Creators Outside the “Mainstream”

About Voice

Discovering Your Authentic Voice

Writers, Find Your Voice

Find Your Writing Voice

Editors Are Looking for Your Authentic Voice


This is a new workshop, so we have no testimonials yet.

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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