Saturday, January 4, 2014

Opportunities for Writers

Here are some opportunities to hone your writing with the folks at The Highlights Foundation:

Your Room to Create At Just $99 a Day

Image by Linda Della Dona

Didn’t get that gift you wanted for Christmas? Have the holidays been too hectic to write a page? Or maybe you’ve just been neglecting your writing lately. You think, "But life got in the way."

Ever so many responsibilities crop up and put us behind in doing what we really want to do.

A number of writers and illustrators who have come here for workshops have suggested that our facility is the perfect place to get away and create. I don't know if it's because people aren’t distracted by Facebook on their phones, or if it's because the food is spectacular. Our chef, Joseph, can meet most special dietary needs.

In addition to The Barn, where you can gather to meet, eat, and write, we have private homey cabins and a first-rate, rustic lodge with plenty of space for quiet writing time or discussion with fellow authors. There are shaded nature trails to walk that wind along a babbling creek in the beautiful countryside of Boyds Mills, and we’ve even started offering yoga sessions.


What we will do:

·         Give you a comfortable place to stay with a writing table and other amenities (refrigerator, coffeepot, tea bags, heat and air) right in your private cabin or lodge room.

·         Offer three squares a day, where you can eat with like-minded people (or take the food back to your room on a tray if you are in the middle of a landslide of writing inspiration).

·         Ignore you when you are in your cabin (unless you need something).

·         Provide a place for group meals, chats and socialization all you want. Around the clock. With beverages, snacks, and at least five flavors of ice cream. You can hold critiques with other writers. YOU set the program.

·         Have printers and a couple extra computers on hand for your use.

·         Perhaps we will have an editor or so happening by for dinner most nights. And likely you will bond with some like-minded creative folks. But the focus is on your creating.

Would have been simpler to say we will pamper you while respecting the sanctity of your writing space? Come relish the treasured time of your own. Get back in touch with your writing self. Let us provide the setting, and you come relax, revitalize, and write.

We have weeklong
dates to choose from, beginning in January and through to December. Arrive any time after lunch, and leave before dinner on the departure day of your choosing. Stay for a day or a week, as long as you need to write. See what works for you. At just $99 a day, this retreat is an affordable writer’s oasis.
For more information about this workshop, contact Jo Lloyd at 570-253-1192, e-mail, or visit to request an application.


Chris Crutcher, Rich Wallace, and Lenore Look



Are boys reluctant readers? It’s a common belief, but we know that boys will read when the right stories grab them.


February 6-9, the Highlights Foundation offers a dynamic workshop to help you create the kind of stories that boys can’t put down.


Writing for Boys provides a firm grounding in the fundamentals of fiction that appeal to boys. Join authors Rich Wallace, Lenore Look, and Chris Crutcher as they show you how to fully develop your characters and provide them with truthful motivations and inner lives. They will focus on two key elements: action and humor.  To learn more, click here.


If your intended readers are boys, this is your opportunity to work with three accomplished authors who know your audience. Rich, Lenore, and Chris are ready to share their collective knowledge of writing stories that keep boys turning the pages. To register, e-mail or phone 570-251-4557.


Check out these writer’s tips from faculty:


Keep a writer's notebook. Aside from reading, keeping a notebook is the most important thing a writer does. It's your writer's PDK (Personal Survival Kit) – it contains everything you need for all your books. Without it you're lost. You have no map, no flashlight, no toilet paper. You'll never make it out of the woods. I'll show you how to keep a notebook, how to use it and where it can take you.

—Lenore Look


Be specific with your details: the jelly stain on the kid's shirt; the smell of gum on his breath; the crumpled parking ticket on the floor of his father's car. The more specific you can be, the more universal the appeal. Use all five senses to immerse us in the character's world. —Rich Wallace


Remember your time at the age you're writing about.  That's what makes your character intimate with the reader, and vice versa.Chris Crutcher


  1. With the advent of the Blogger writing platform, I am able to keep my writer's notes in neat compartmentalized folders. My old writers' notebooks seem to be either faded or lost amongst the piles of books.

  2. Thanks, Carol. Do you refer back to these folders for story ideas?