Home again home again . . .

Hi everyone,

I’ll post a picture or two of the poetry workshop when I have a few minutes. It was a good week that included a lot of writing and discussing poetry. I got to bed at 1:30 this morning and gave myself the gift of an extra hour of sleep today. I look forward to being home for quite a while now because I’m seriously behind on my own work and need solid blocks of time to start catching up.

Fuller report soon. For now, thanks for being patient during a period when I rarely had an Internet connection or the time to post.


Highlights Foundation Founders Workshops

BULLETIN: Check out Joy Acey’s blog yesterday and today for her lovely treatment of COWBOYS. Thank you, Joy! Here’s the link: http://poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com

Hi everyone,

Kent Brown is one of my all time favorite people. There are many reasons for this. Kent not only served for years as publisher of Highlights for Children, the world’s foremost magazine for young people, but he also imagined and then turned into reality a new line of books called Boyds Mills Press that would include America’s first and only imprint of poetry books for children — Wordsong.

It has been my pleasure to work with Kent and numerous fine people at the company since 1993 when SOMEBODY CATCH MY HOMEWORK was published. COWBOYS, which came out early this month, marks my 28th title with Boyds Mills Press, 16 of them with Wordsong.

Another of Kent Brown’s passions is to foster and encourage the development of countless budding artists and authors of children’s literature. He is not alone in this work. His family and their company have long been known for their generosity and steadfast efforts to bring new generations of creative people into the world of children’s books.
I’m sorry that this photo came out dark. The facility is new and lovely.

For the past few years, The Highlights Foundation, now headed by Kent, has been moving toward the establishment of a place to serve the needs of emerging writers and artists who come to the company founders’ property near Honesdale, Pennsylvania to study under a variety of people who are successful in their fields. That dream is now a reality and I’m pleased to introduce Kent Brown to tell you more about it. Kent?

Dear David,

We are in full bloom at our new Barn in Boyds Mills, and are holding 32 workshops this year. A number of our long-time faculty from Chautauqua are going to join in.

See the full list at www.Highlightsfoundation.org .

Look forward to welcoming you, Eileen Spinelli, Rebecca Dotlitch, and Becky Davis to The Barn next month.


Kent L. Brown Jr.
Executive Director
Highlights Foundation, Inc.
814 Court Street
Honesdale Pa 18431
570 251 4500

Poetry Writers Workshop and Cheryl Harness

BULLETIN: I am embarrassed to say that when I posted Cheryl Harness on “What Are the Pros Up To?” two days ago, I somehow missed a section of her remarks. I have apologized to Cheryl, who was a good sport about it, but I just don’t want to lose a chance to share the rest of her thoughts merely because the Internet gremlins were at work on the appointed day. So please read her comments in their entirety at the end of today’s post. You will not be sorry!

Hi everyone,

Today it’s a personal plug by way of inviting you to consider signing up for my poetry workshop on June 2-5. This will take place a few miles outside of Honesdale, Pennsylvania in the home of the founders of Highlights. I am glad that Carol-Ann Hoyte plans to be there. I know of another regular contributor to this blog who is also considering it. It would be great fun if my workshop served as a place where many of us could meet for the first time and work together. Think about it!

Here’s a memo that Boyds Mills Press sent out a few days ago.

Subject: RE: 2011 Workshop News from the Highlights Foundation

It’s time to break out that brand-new 2011 planner and pencil in those things you don’t want to miss out on this year! The Highlights Foundation has a scheduled packed with exciting new workshops, as well as time-tested favorites that fill fast.

We keep our workshops intimate, with a low faculty-student ratio to give you and your writing plenty of focused attention. Reserve your space early so you don’t miss out! Take a look at our Founders Workshop newsletter, request an application for the workshop(s) of your choice, star those dates in your planner, and give yourself something wonderful to look forward to in the new year.

Please feel free to forward this e-mail to others who might find it of interest, paste it into your blog, or spread the news on social-networking sites.

For more information about the workshops in general: http://www.highlightsfoundation.org/Founders_Workshops_2011/Founders_Workshops.html

For more information about my workshop. http://www.highlightsfoundation.org/pages/current/FWsched_writeAPoem_11.html

Highlights Foundation, Inc.
814 Court Street
Honesdale, PA 18431
Phone: (570) 251-4500
E-mail: contact@highlightsfoundation.org www.highlightsfoundation.org**************************8

Now, here is Cheryl.

David, did I tell you that I sold a manuscript? For the first time in an awfully long time – ’twas rain in a dry landscape, I swear. Almost makes one tempted to believe in oneself and that one isn’t going to wind up living in one’s car. Albert Whitman’s going to do my picture book about Dr. Mary Walker, that cranky old reformer (only dame to be cited with the Medal of Honor).

The nice, sweet ed. there had me do a couple of pictures by way of an audition so I’m still waiting to see if I’ll be doing the illustrations. I’d never had to do that before, but as you know, the world is a very different place nowadays. and always has been, as you also know.

I had a great visit in Joplin with old friends w/ Vicki Grove & Veda Boyd Jones. I swear that’s the best thing about this so-called book biz, the people you get to know. You for instance.

I have some other reasons:

1. Because when the writing biz is going well, it’s pretty satisfactory fun. Even when it’s not, one can work out a fine little life in the margins.
2. Sometimes we make money.
3. The things we learn. Being able to tell about them, if not as much as we’d like.
4. Finding out how we think & feel about things.
5. To share our points of view, mine being that there pretty interesting people, dead or alive, well worth the knowing and that in the knowing, we’ll be heartened. I have been anyway.
6. The places we get to go, such as, well, the first place that comes to mind is Susan B. Anthony’s house in Rochester, NY. and the White House, for that matter. It occurred to me then and now that when the occupants went out the door to talk to people, they may well have felt that it wouldn’t do any good, wouldn’t change anything, but they went anyway.
7. Total strangers read what we write. One can hope.
8. Being part of our civilization’s conversation, the borderless, timeless nation of wordsmiths, writers of letters, manifestoes, tales, explanations, & drivel.
9. To justify our lust for office supplies.
10. Like I’m going to go get a real job?

I got to visit Florida here lately, to see my fizzy, 94-year-old Uncle Lester, and I, Auntie Social, went to Savannah, GA to attend the wedding of my baby brother’s daughter, THE little Sara pictured in my Ghosts of the White House, time being a runaway train. She’s completing a doctor of physical therapy degree. Her new husband is Josh Stinson, an exceedingly cute baseball player w/ the Mets organization.

Life sure has its compensations, no?

If you’re not ready yet to say goodbye to Cheryl, visit her own blog at http://timepiebytheslice.blogspot.com/2011/01/winter-morning.html

Thank you, Cheryl.