Those of you nice enough to follow my blog know that I was missing in action last week. I had the opportunity to attend the Highlights Novel Workshop at the Highlights Foundation in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. I didn't know what to expect, but the week was . . . Amazing!
Amazing and interesting participants with amazing stories guided and mentored by amazing teachers (well-published authors as well as an editor). We met for the first time on Sunday afternoon and spent the following five days getting to know each other and helping each other work through structure problems, plot snags, character issues, pacing situations, etc. with the novels we submitted to the workshop. Each person turned out to be supportive and encouraging of everyone else from the first moment of that very first meeting. Amazing.
The days included one-to-one mentoring for each of our novels, workshops on craft, time to apply what we learned to our novels (helping each other along the way), group critique sessions, group time where we wrestled with each other’s novel problems, and a few hours here and there for quiet writing in our cozy cabins. As an added bonus, we all had a blast together laughing and sharing our lives beyond writing. In summary: A week of writing and revising and talking shop and life with kindred souls. Pure bliss. As I might have mentioned—amazing.
As if all of this didn't make for a spectacular week, the staff of Highlights was amazing, too--friendly and eager to please. The kitchen crew in particular spoiled everyone rotten with delicious meals and snacks. And all of this amazing-ness took place in a rustic, wooded setting complete with trails for hiking and random,happy dogs ready and willing to join a long trek through the woods. What more could a writer ask for?
The novel that I brought (the one that had me boggled and blinded) now has a focus and is back on track. I have a sense of knowing and confidence about what it is and what it is meant to be, in addition to new insights to apply to the rest of my work. Thank you to everyone involved in the Whole Novel Workshop at the Highlights Foundation.
If you’d like more information about The Highlights Foundation workshops, here’s a link to what is being offered at this point: http://www.highlightsfoundation.org/fw-sched-preview/ If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them, either here or via a personal message (you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, or via my website).
Anyway . . . Enough about me and my week. How was your week?