Oh! The HORROR! “Highlights” of Books With Bite

This past week I was privileged to return to The Highlights Foundation for a workshop retreat on writing horror, called Books With Bite. Yep. Many of you don’t know this, but I’m working on a couple of YA novels along with my picture books…and once I saw the description and the brilliant authors who would be presenting, I knew I had to apply. I was thrilled to be accepted!

Our Dragons couldn’t have been more excited to find this rock in the Highlights famous word garden.

People tend to throw around the term “fearless leaders” a lot, but I can honestly say that Nova Ren Suma and Micol Ostow literally fit the description.

As always, the folks at Highlights could not be more welcoming:

While my Dragons insisted on showing one of the more playful, festive desserts, the food served at Highlights is, well, one of the many HIGHLIGHTS…a 5-star farm-to table celebration of healthy yum three times a day!

Before we even got started, my Dragons and I got to meet the fantabulous author/illustrator Denise Fleming, who was an artist in residency. #buckletlist #fangirling

The first night, we enjoyed ice breakers and got to know each other. We’d all received 20 pages of each others’ manuscripts. It was so much fun to match the faces with the extraordinary minds of what had given me nightmares over the past few weeks, lol!

Then we hit the ground running the next morning, talking about what we’d enjoyed within each manuscript, and what we had questions about. To ensure everyone had adequate time, we discussed three manuscripts each morning. I learned so much from my new friends! Plus, each person received a one hour one-on-one with one of the mentors. Mine was Micol. It was enlightening not only to hear her comments, but to truly see how an editor reads. I received so much information, I think my brain began to ooze out my ears… (hey, I’m working on writing horror, give me a break here.)