Transformative Experiences: In-Community Retreats for Creatives

Rooms 433-434, Summit Building, Seattle Convention Center, Level 4
Thursday, March 9, 2023
3:20 pm to 4:35 pm


With representatives from many in-community retreats—the Jewish Symposium, Writing the Rainbow, Latinx Symposium, AAPI Retreat, the Diversity Fellowship, and more, this panel of diverse voices will celebrate ways to invest in and create programming for storytellers. This collection of writers and illustrators will dig into the challenges, successes, and most importantly the need for marginalized creatives to have safe, in-community spaces to grow their careers and amplify one another's work.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: OUTLINE_AWP_Highlights_Foundation_Event_Outline.pdf



Alexandra Villasante's debut, The Grief Keeper, was an Indies Next, Indies Introduce, Junior Library Guild Selection and winner of the 2020 Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ YA Fiction. Her short stories will appear in the upcoming YA anthologies Our Shadows Have Claws and All Signs Point to Yes.

Daria Peoples holds a BA in English and a MA in education. She is an elementary school art teacher and an author and illustrator of many picture books. She was an inaugural Diversity Fellow for the Highlights Foundation.

Linda Epstein is a senior literary agent at Emerald City Literary Agency and author of the middle grade novel, Repairing the World (Aladdin, 2022). She teaches at The Highlights Foundation and elsewhere, has an MFA in writing for children and young adults from The New School, and lives in Woodstock, New York.

Alison Green Myers is a writer, poet, and teacher. She's the program director for the Highlights Foundation and a National Writing Fellow. Her novel A Bird Will Soar won the Schneider Family Book Award from the American Library Association, and was named the best book of the year for kids from PaLA.

Debbi Michiko Florence, a third-generation Japanese American and former educator, is the author of middle grade novels Keep It Together Keiko Carter, Just Be Cool Jenna Sakai, Sweet and Sour, and This Is How I Roll. She is also the author the chapter books series Jasmine Toguchi.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center