Writing and Revising Narrative Nonfiction 2018
With Deborah Heiligman, Barbara Kerley, Elizabeth Partridge, Carolyn P. Yoder, Susan Campbell Bartoletti and Catherine Frank
May 7 - 12, 2018
Learn narrative nonfiction storytelling skills and get the feedback you need to complete your revision.
A writer of narrative nonfiction must work with both head and heart. Whether you’re writing a 1,200-word picture book, a 35,000-word middle grade, or a 65,000-word book for young adults, you need to carefully research to gather information and then assess its accuracy and relevance in order to create a compelling, true story.
But how do you find the ‘core’ of your story amid all the details your research has uncovered? How do you shine a spotlight on the main idea? How do you truthfully develop the characters and themes driving the narrative, crafting a story that readers will think about long after they close the pages of your book? That takes revision—often, lots of it.
One month before our workshop begins, you’ll submit EITHER a picture book manuscript OR an outline (can be rough or detailed) plus 10 double-spaced pages of a longer narrative.
Once you arrive at Highlights, you’ll have the opportunity to dig deeply into your revision through:
- Faculty seminars on scene-building, research, revision techniques, visuals, and back matter
- Two one-on-one critiques with your faculty mentor
- Faculty-led discussions of student-generated topics
- Ample time between sessions to work on your manuscript
You’ll work hard—but in a supportive environment. And you’ll return home with stronger narrative nonfiction storytelling skills and the feedback you need to complete your revision.
Application deadline: March 31
About the Leaders
DEBORAH HEILIGMAN Deborah Heiligman’s work spans picture books to novels, fiction and nonfiction. Her young adult narrative nonfiction book, Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith, published in January, 2009, received five starred reviews, as well as a National Book Award finalist, Michael L. Printz Honor book, and won the first ever YALSA excellence […]Learn more about Deborah Heiligman
BARBARA KERLEY Barbara Kerley is the award-winning author of numerous nonfiction picture books, including The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy), a Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Books 2010 winner, Those Rebels, John and Tom, an NCTE Orbis Pictus Award Honor Book, and The World Is Waiting For You, a National Public Radio Great Reads 2013 winner. Her […]Learn more about Barbara Kerley
ELIZABETH PARTRIDGE Elizabeth Partridge graduated with a degree in Women’s Studies from the University of California at Berkeley, and later studied traditional Chinese medicine. She was an acupuncturist for more than twenty years before closing her medical practice to write fulltime. Elizabeth is the acclaimed author of more than a dozen books for young readers, […]Learn more about Elizabeth Partridge
Carolyn is currently senior editor of Calkins Creek Books—the U.S. history imprint of Boyds Mills Press. Calkins Creek specializes in nonfiction and historical fiction picture books, chapter books, and novels. Carolyn is also the senior editor of history for Highlights for Children. She has written numerous articles on research and writing history for children and […]Learn more about Carolyn P. Yoder
Susan Campbell Bartoletti is an award-winning author of picture books, novels, and nonfiction for children, including the Newbery Honor book Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow, the Sibert Medalwinning Black Potatoes, and Dear America: A Coal Miner’s Bride. Her work has received dozens of awards and honors, including the NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for […]Learn more about Susan Campbell Bartoletti
CATHERINE FRANK Catherine Frank is the owner of Catherine Frank Editorial Services, an editorial consultancy specializing in children’s literature and publishing. A freelance editor for more than six years, she is a former executive editor of Viking Children’s Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Books acquired and edited by Catherine have received the Boston […]Learn more about Catherine Frank