Writers of children's nature literature - or anyone who aspires to become one - are being invited to join the Roger Tory Peterson Institute and the Highlights Foundation in rural Pennsylvania this week to interact with top writers, illustrators, editors and publishers.
Mark Baldwin, RTPI education director, is the leader of the four-day workshop in Boyds Mills, Pa., a rural location in the northeastern part of the state. He said that the principal purpose of the workshop is to give participants a chance to work in and draw inspiration from nature and what it offers.
''By doing firsthand observing in the field, you're going to be building a rich bank of natural history material that you can draw on for doing nature writing,'' Baldwin said.
The Roger Tory Peterson Institute and the Highlights Foundation will hold a four-day workshop this week where participants can interact with top writers, illustrators, editors and publishers. The principal purpose of the workshop is to give participants a chance to work in and draw inspiration from nature and what it offers.
Workshop conferees will arrive Wednesday afternoon and receive a tour of Highlights Magazine's headquarters in nearby Honesdale, Pa., said Baldwin. The workshop will begin Thursday morning with a session led by Baldwin on enhancing nature observation skills and keeping a nature journal - tasks that will be practiced each morning of the workshop, he said.
Afternoon sessions will feature guest faculty leading workshop attendees in lessons on the craft of nature writing, editing and publishing. Among the facilitators will be Andy Boyles, science editor of Highlights For Children; published novelist Wendy Townsend; and Doug Wechsler of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, a wildlife biologist and photographer whose books aim to show the wonders of nature and its humorous side. Paul Kowalczyk, manager of the forest surrounding the Boyds Mills House, and Solon Morse of the RTPI staff will also be teaching sessions on nature during the workshop.
Through it all, a focus will be on learning to understand nature and write about it in the style for which the Highlights Foundation and its publishing company is best known, Baldwin said.
''This is especially applied to nature writing for children and young people, because that is what Boyds Mills Press really focuses on,'' he said.
The Highlights Foundation offers numerous founders workshops throughout the year. Its flagship workshop will be held this year at Chautauqua Institution from July 17-24. Twenty faculty members and more than 40 sessions are already listed for the 26th annual event on the Highlights Foundation website.
The fee for this week's RTPI workshop, ''Writing From Nature: Blazing A Trail From Field Journal To Publication,'' is $895. Included in the price is an individual cabin, meals provided by a top-notch chef and airport pickup service from Scranton, if requested. For more information, call Baldwin at 665-2473, ext. 228 or visit the Highlights Foundation website at www.highlightsfoundation.org and click on the ''Founders Workshops'' tab.