Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Poetry Day in Lancaster, PA

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Date(s) - 10/07/2017
10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Lancaster Public Library
125 N Duke Street - Lancaster, PA



Join Highlights HELLO! editor Paula Morrow, novel-in-verse author Linda Oatman High, author/playwright Sandy Asher, and the Eastern PA Chapter of SCBWI for a comprehensive look at the possibilities for poets today. Whether you write for babies or teenagers, this workshop has something for you!


  • POEMS FOR YOUNG READERS:  WHERE DO THEY COME FROM AND WHERE DO THEY GO? with Sandy Asher. The short answers are "Anywhere" and "Everywhere."  Drawing on her own experience and others', Sandy will delve far more deeply into finding inspiration and markets in unexpected places.  Writing prompts and sharing will be included.


  • WRITING TO THE BEAT OF A DIFFERENT DRUMMER with Linda Oatman High. Linda will use her novels-in-verse “Teeny Little Grief Machines,” “A Heart Like Ringo Starr,” “That Selfie Girl,” and “Otherwise” to demonstrate how tough subjects can be tackled using poetry. Writing prompts will be included.


  • THE HEAT OF INSPIRATION; THE COOL CONTROL OF REVISION with Paula Morrow. Paula’s editing philosophy is not to change anything the poet has written but to point out areas that could be strengthened and ask questions for the poet to consider. She’ll bring (with the writers’ permissions) samples of poems she has edited previously, to highlight common aspects that participants can then apply to their own work.


  • pointerNOT YOUR USUAL FIRST-PAGE READ! *Register before September 15 to participate! First-page reads are fun and enlightening—but they have one big drawback when it comes to poetry. Because a poem is a complex piece of writing, an editor will often set a poem aside to read more than once before making the yea/nay decision.

We will offer a variation on the usual first-page session. Poems are to be sent in advance. Paula will read each one and make notes on the page. At the workshop, she’ll pull pages from a hat (or bucket or barrel?!) and give two comments: her first impression on reading the poem and her additional thoughts after re-readings. Guidelines will be e-mailed to participants after registration.

Meet the Faculty!

Paula and Harley Paula Morrow began reading and memorizing poetry for pleasure as a young child and never stopped. For her PhD in American Literature, poet F. D. Reeve graciously gave her access to his personal archives at his home in Vermont. She returned for his 80th birthday party and again to give him a bound copy of her finished dissertation.

Currently the editor of Highlights Hello! magazine, she was formerly an Executive Editor at Cricket Magazine Group, where she edited Ladybug, launched Babybug, and also edited picture books and chapter books for Cricket Books. Paula lives in Mt Airy, MD, within walking distance of her public library. 
LindaLinda Oatman High  is an author/journalist/playwright who lives in Lancaster County, Pa. She has written more than 20 books for children and teens, with the newest release being the middle-grade novel One Amazing Elephant, published by HarperCollins in 2017. Her YA novels in verse have won awards and honors, and she was honored in England in 2012 with the Sunday Times EFG short story award shortlist. Linda teaches at schools and workshops both nationally and internationally, and will be leading a creative writing tour in Iceland in May of 2018. Info on Linda and her books may be found                   on
 Sandy Asher is the author of twenty books for young readers and more than three dozen plays. She is also the editor or co-editor of five collections of fiction, including Dude! Stories and Stuff for Boys, On Her Way: Stories and Poems about Growing Up Girl and With All My Heart, With All My Mind: 13 Stories about Growing Up Jewish — winner of the 1999 National Jewish Book Award in children's literature. Her poems have appeared in children's magazines, literary journals, and anthologies. Sandy has been honored with the American Alliance for Theatre and Education's Charlotte Chorpenning Award for a distinguished body of work in theatre for young audiences, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship grant, and an Aurand Harris Playwriting Fellowship from the Children's Theatre Foundation of America. She lives in Lancaster, PA.