Whole Novel Workshop for Fantasy

Photos to follow, but I got home last night and am anxious to post about the Highlights Foundation Whole Novel Workshop for Fantasy outside of Honesdale, PA. Actually, it took place at Boyds Mills, the former home of the founders of Highlights for Children. I hate to gush, but I have to. Everything about it, well, except the air travel, which wasn’t their fault, was way more than I ever hoped.
As far as I know, there is no other workshop where a writer can go for a week with a small group (eight of us) of other writers in the same genre (fantasy novels for children in this case) and receive support and guidance for work on the whole novel. Anne Ursu and Laura Ruby had read our books twice before the workshop, sent us long, detailed, incredibly supportive letters with suggestions about all aspects of the manuscript (characters, story arc, etc.). I cannot imagine two more insightful and supportive instructors.
The eleven of us, eight participants, two instructors, and wonderful teaching assistant Chris Heppermann, bonded very quickly. The Highlights people took such good care of us: beautiful individual cabins, three gourmet meals a day, every detail seen to, from airport pick-up to our names on welcoming posters in the cabin windows.
Maybe it was because it was about fantasy, but there was magic afoot at Boyds Mills. We will all stay in touch. An online critique group is already being planned. I miss everyone and will post more when I have slept more.

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