2014 Revision Retreat:
What the Participants Said
In this working retreat, now approaching its 6th year at the Highlights Foundation (with the 2017 retreat already scheduled), we teach proven techniques for self-editing and revising, work with writers on their manuscripts, and provide writing time. In 2014, a group of 13 attended. In the mornings we talked revision theory and participants tried out revision techniques. In the afternoons, participants gathered for impromptu critique groups, we held individual meetings, or people focused on writing and revising. We taught reader response theory and how to use it to gain insights into a manuscript; explored ways to gain objectivity and more focused responses to manuscripts; tried out a variety of techniques for self-editing, from big picture revision down to final polishing; discovered creative techniques to use to generate new material; took part in group discussions and shared favorite techniques; looked out at the "market" on the final day in an editor Q&A session. You can also see the daily schedule (it's a PDF).
In 2017, the Revision Retreat will take place August 5 to 9, for 12 to 16 participants. Visit the Highlights Foundation website for information or to register. Read on for comments from 2014's participants, and blog posts (including some photos) about the retreat. We receive similar comments every year.
Comments about the Retreat
Linda Kujawski: "The Highlights Foundation Revision Retreat was a turning point for me. With the help of Harold Underdown and Eileen Robinson, I was able to approach my revision with clear-sighted analysis and very specific tools for creative problem solving. I learned how to step away and see the big picture and to focus close to see the details. I also learned how to use writing techniques to prompt new ideas. Harold and Eileen connected all of the techniques in a useful package I was able to take home and use immediately.
"The gift of a book is such a treasured gift and from this workshop I received several new books adding to the overall gift of the retreat itself. Thank you, thank you for writing time, a beautiful peaceful space, and lessons to live by in the revision process."
Debbi Michiko Florence: "This retreat was exactly what I needed at this time. The assignments Eileen gave me are focusing me on what I need most - character depth and emotion. I feel like I'm headed in the right direction. Everything you and Harold taught was pertinent and important and I'm excited to apply everything I learned. I can't thank you both enough!"
Carole Pelttari: "Many high points: The camaraderie with other serious writers; Harold's instruction -- especially on first chapters and keeping the promise; Eileen's guidance through first-night introductions and a later writing prompt exercise; location and food!"
Blog Posts about the Retreat
Theresa Milstein: Anticipation
Kristy Boyce: My First Highlights Retreat: Tight Focus
Debbi Michiko Florence: Highlights Foundation -- A Writer's Retreat
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