Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Once upon a time . . .

As children’s writers (or illustrators) that line probably sends your mind on a journey—a journey toward a new story. Before you rush off to get something down on paper, let me share more of this story.

Once upon a time I was a wife and mom and would-be children’s writer living in the Pacific Northwest. Every year, I sent off a request for a report on the previous summer’s Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop at Chautauqua. Every year I poured over the excerpts from workshops taught by such icons as Jerry Spinelli and Patricia Lee Gauch. I looked at photos of faculty members interacting with participants: chatting on benches, eating ice-cream cones, strolling down brick-cobbled paths. I can’t tell you how many times I imagined myself at Chautauqua or how much I longed to go there and learn what I needed to know to reach my goals as a children’s writer.

What I can tell you is this—I never went, at least not as a student. Why not? Because I thought I couldn’t afford to go. You see, somehow I missed one essential bit of information: the Highlights Foundation offers scholarships!

There’s no doubt I would have met the criteria:

1. You must have a serious interest in writing for children.
2. You must have an established financial need.

If you’ve read this far in the e-mail, I’m confident that you’re serious about writing for children. If you long to attend Chautauqua as much as I did, it’s likely that financial concerns have stopped you. Now you know—they don’t have to.

It took me two master’s degrees and eight years of editorial experience to finally get to Chautauqua, but I’ve been blessed to serve on the faculty for seven years. If I’d known back then what I know today, I wouldn’t have wasted a moment getting my scholarship application in the mail. Now that you know, don’t wait. Make 2010 the year you go after your dream of writing (or illustrating) for children. Be sure to say hello when you get to Chautauqua. I’ll be looking forward to meeting you there!

Kim T. Griswell
Senior Editor

It’s easy to apply! Just contact Jo Lloyd at 570-253-1192 or e-mail jalloyd@highlightsfoundation.org.

1 comment:

Mom of Teens said...

I did apply for a scholarship and I received it! I see from your "Absolutely True Tale of a Part-Time Children's Writer" that you esteem my two favorite children's authors. Madeleine L'Engle and CS Lewis. I am also attending the Institute of Children's Literature. I am glad to see that another Christian will be there. I hope I am able to speak with you!