Had some company

Hi everyone,

Had some awesomesauce friends over yesterday. Thanks to mama Michele Heinrichs, who drove eight hours roundtrip, Ryan and Sarah brightened my day. AND they brought me chocolate chip cookies! What gets better than that? Can’t think of anything!20160823_124216_resized20160823_151534_resized
We had another good workshop day yesterday and wind up this morning. As always, I’m taking home more than I brought with me — all these good memories of friends old and new. Thanks to everyone who once again pitched in to make it a successful workshop.20160823_122108_resized

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Getting there

BULLETIN: Happy birthday to Tim Williams, my very favorite son-in-law in the world!

Hi everyone,
Ken and David
The remake of the poetry collection I mentioned is coming along well. Some of the poems are lending themselves to revision while others are being replaced with new ones. At the rate it’s going I should finish the poems by the end of next week and get a start on the additional 100-word prose pieces that will accompany each one.

Just received another note from a participant in the upcoming poetry workshop sixteen days from now. I don’t know if anyone else will sign up at the last minute, but we have a good group.

I have a meeting this afternoon and a birthday party at our house this evening. The rest of the day I’ll work. Not a bad way to end the week!

Looking forward to Honesdale

Hi everyone,
Barnfall 032
That’s Kent Brown, mastermind behind these workshop opportunities. Three more poets have signed up for my workshop next month. This brings us to ten, a good number, and they are coming from California, New York, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Illinois. It isn’t too late if anyone is still thinking it over. I’ve started the process of getting acquainted with the folks who are coming and yesterday I made good progress making notes and handouts.IMG_7305 For each half-day segment I’ll present handouts specific to that topic while I’ve giving my talk. The handouts will include descriptions and examples plus prompts to help get the poets started on writing their own. We’ll tackle free verse, unrhymed verse forms, short rhymed verse forms, long rhymed verse forms, and even try a rhymed picture book story. Should be fun.
smallDavidHarrisonPosterized
Today I’ll spend some time considering what we might do as a group on Monday and Tuesday evenings after dinner. Traditionally we gather on the patio, sit around in chairs, and take turns entertaining ourselves reading and/or performing poetry. One year Jeanne Poland brought some rhythm instruments and we all had a good time playing with them. IMG_7315Matt Forrest showed us how to make his favorite recipe for smores one evening around the fireplace. Joy Acey, you’ve always had good ideas for the evening activities. Too bad you’re not able to get there this year, but I’m sure you’ll be with us in spirit.

http://tinyurl.com/poetspublish

Karen Boss is coming

Hi everyone,
KAREN BOSS headshot
I just received excellent news. Karen Boss, my editor at Charlesbridge, is driving in from Boston to make a special appearance at my poetry workshop in Honesdale. I am delighted! Karen is a wonderful editor and will have a lot to say about the publishing business in general and getting poetry published in particular.

My first book with Karen came out in February this year: NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T.61wO366ugqL__AA160_ Currently we’re wrapping up my part of a second book of poetry, also illustrated by Giles Laroche in his unique style. I’m sure that Karen will have something to say about that when she speaks. She is sweet but tough and knows her stuff. Hey! A couplet!

Karen will arrive on Sunday in time for the kick-off dinner and spend the evening with us. The next day she will speak about the workshop’s theme: how do we get our poetry published? No one person has all the answers but Karen will add significantly to the conversation. Not only that, she’s going to stay with us that day and evening before leaving on Tuesday morning. Here’s her bio.

Karen Boss is an associate editor at Charlesbridge where she works on fiction and nonfiction picture books and middle-grade novels. She holds a MA in Children’s Literature from Simmons College and regularly acts as a mentor for their Writing for Children MFA program. Karen also has an MA in higher education administration and worked at colleges and in the nonprofit sector for the first 15 years of her career. She still works part-time in development at Hyde Square Task Force, a nonprofit that works with at-risk youth in Jamaica Plain. Some authors she’s currently working with are David L. Harrison, Jane Yolen, Nancy Bo Flood, Rich Michelson, and debut author Tami Charles. Her favorite children’s book is The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White, and she thinks that Holes by Louis Sachar is quite possibly the best thing ever written.

I’m grateful to Charlesbridge for loaning us this talented editor, and I’m grateful to Karen Boss for driving the distance twice to join us at The Barn. If you are coming to my Highlights Foundation Workshop, Karen will truly be a highlight! If you are counting, we now have four editors (Mary Colgan, Rebecca Davis, Allison Kane, and Karen Boss), plus an art director, Patrick Greenish. I don’t want to brag, but is this cool or what?

One month from today

Hi everyone,
Honesdale, David and Jeanne
Thirty days from now I’ll fly to Scranton and go from there by car through Honesdale and a few miles farther into the Pennsylvania countryside to the original site of Boyds Mill. Across the road is a farmhouse, the home of the folks who started Highlights Magazine for Children. On that property writers and artists from the United States and abroad now come to meet together, work under the guidance of established professionals, and take home good memories as well as knowledge that applies directly to their creative goals. Workshops take place in “The Barn” and attendees stay in cottages located short walking distances away.
smallDavidHarrisonPosterized
One month from today I’ll greet this year’s poets who will be there to participate in a workshop I’ll lead over the following two full days and through noon on the third. During that time we’ll eat together, play together, and work together. I’ll divide our time into half-day segments, each highlighted by a presentation from an editor, a presentation and prompt by me, and plenty of time to work on that segment’s chosen form of poetry.
Ken and David
These workshops are small so everyone gets to know the group and feel comfortable as we spend the days and evenings together. Some poets are still looking for their first publication while others have already experienced that pleasure and hope to achieve additional success. No matter where the poets are in their careers, the small size of the group assures that everyone benefits and learns from one another.
Honesdale, Becca, Susan, and David - 2
As of this morning, seven poets have signed to join me at The Barn. With four weeks to go, I think we might hear from two or three more. That would still be a good number. Here’s the link for more information. http://tinyurl.com/poetspublish

Honesdale, David and Cory