Thursday, April 6, 2017

Hightlights Foundation Workshop: Writing Off the Page

March 26 -29, 2017
(L to R): Kekla Magoon, Laurie Calkhoven, Nicole Valentine

Driving to the Highlights Foundation barn felt like driving home. It is now a familiar place. One where I know the magic and love of books resides. It’s a safe place where strangers transform into friends, where everyone receives encouragement and knowledge. 

Writing Off the Page was my third workshop at the barn. Though each experience is different, all have been beneficial to my writing journey. And oh, the food. It’s both nutritious and delicious, much like the knowledge gained.

The description of the workshop is what caught my attention. I wanted to learn creative techniques to carve out my characters, to breathe more life into them, to make them real. I wanted to learn how to pump more heart into my stories. To push my creativity to new limits. I was not disappointed. 

And to make this memory even more heart-warming, several writers in the group made major breakthroughs during our stay. If you’ve never been to a Highlights Foundation workshop, check out their offerings. They’re an investment in your children’s book writing and/or illustrating career.

 Previous Highlights Foundation workshops I've attended are: Picture Books & All that Jazz and Perfecting the Picture Book Text

From the Highlights Foundation web site:  
Writing Off the Page

In this workshop, you will develop new creative strategies to help bring your stories to life:

*Think about your writing from different angles, drawing inspiration from other disciplines (theater, graphic design, visual art) to deepen your characters and create more vibrant landscapes in which to immerse them.

*Practice new ways to get into your characters’ heads. Through meditation, journaling, arts and crafts, and creative projects, you will be pulled out from behind the keyboard to immerse yourself more fully in the worlds of your stories.

*Consider story structure and explore visual and tactile tools for outlining, organizing, and reorganizing your story.