Jan Cheripko and I go back a number of years. We met when I first began publishing with Boyds Mills Press and he was my editor on WILD COUNTRY, one of my personal favorite collections of poetry.
In addition to being a smart editor, Jan is a respected author as well as a teacher and former journalist. You may know of his books for young people: IMITATE THE TIGER; SUN, MOON, STARS, RAIN; RAT; BROTHER BARTHOLOMEW AND THE APPLE GROVE; and others. Here’s a link for more information about Jan. https://secureapps.libraries.psu.edu/PACFTB/bios/biography.cfm?AuthorID=77
Yesterday Jan told me about a Highlights workshop he has agreed to do and I thought it was something that many of you might find of interest. Without further ado I’ve printed the note from Jan below.
“Kent Brown and I were having breakfast the other day and we got talking about my workshop, “Breathing Life Into Minor Characters and Transitional Scenes.” I think, and Kent agrees, that this is a topic that a lot of authors are interested in, and we’d like to make it available. But to be honest, outside of my wife and daughter, very few people know just how wonderful I am. (Of course, on any given day, my wonderfulnesss isn’t so apparent to them, either.)
I haven’t had a book published in several years, because I’ve been spending my time teaching. I haven’t yet made it to be an answer to an author question on Jeopardy (Jerry Spinelli has, by the way.) But I do know this topic, and I do know how to teach it. So Kent suggested that we make this a pilot workshop. The Highlights Foundation has some grants available to any writers who are at any stage in working on a novel and who would like to focus on understanding and developing either minor characters or transitional scenes. It’s a three-day workshop, April 6-9, and the complementary openings include lodging at the cabins and great food. The workshop will be a combination of discussion, centering on studying both classical and contemporary literature; one-on-one mentoring looking at a conferee’s work in progress; and time to write. If you know of anyone interested, tell them to contact Jo Lloyd at 877-512-8365 or visit the Highlights Foundation Website at http://www.highlightsfoundation.org. Or, if they wanted to know more about it, they can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 570-253-0473
For the record, I’ve heard Jan speak about writing as well as a variety of other subjects. He has a standing quip about things being “adequate.” But that doesn’t apply to Jan. He’s quite good. If this workshop sounds like something you’d like to try, you won’t regret it.