Sarah’s Notes from the Highlights Foundation

Like all of the faculty members for the Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop at Chautauqua, award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli has years of experience in the children’s literature field. She really knows her stuff! Here’s a tidbit to whet your appetite for more.

“Eavesdrop. Keep a pocket notebook and pen on you at all times, and sit in a coffee shop or on a park bench or on a bench in a mall, and simply listen to the people around you. If someone says something that makes you smile or just seems so typical of people that age (or that whatever-other-characteristic-you-are-interested-in) or gives rise to any strong emotion in you, steal it. You may find someone in your stories whose mouth it comes out of to great effect at the right moment.” —Donna Jo Napoli

About Donna Jo Napoli
Donna Jo writes for preschoolers through high-schoolers, in a variety of genres from contemporary humor to gothic psychodrama. Her award-winning books include her picture book, Albert, and her novels Daughter of VeniceBreathBeastNorthStones in Water, andThe King of Mulberry Street. And, since this bio is for writers, she wants you to know she has made every mistake in the book and invented some. It took her fourteen long years of rejection letters to sell anything. So take courage—you never know when the phone will ring. Learn more about Donna Jo at

Donna Jo Napoli is just one of the outstanding faculty members on board for the Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop at Chautauqua, July 17—24, 2010. If you’d like to learn more from Donna Jo, sign up while spaces are still available. To reserve your spot, contact Jo Lloyd at 570-253-1192 or e-mail, or register online at

For more information on this year’s faculty and other details about the week-long children’s writers workshop that attendees call “life changing,” visit


About ediehemingway

I am an author of children's middle grade novels and the Regional Advisor for the MD/DE/WV SCBWI chapter.
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