Muslim Storytellers Retreat Seeks Talented Applicants

The Highlights Foundation, with generous support from the Doris Duke Foundation's Building Bridges Program, is hosting the retreats for selected Muslim writer and illustrator applicants.

Muslim Storytellers Retreat Seeks Talented Applicants
The Highlights Foundation has a history of working with Muslim publishing professionals and hopefuls. Pictured above is are members of the Muslim Storytellers Fellowship, a cohort of storytellers comprised of aspiring, debut and established Muslim authors and illustrators living in the U.S. and Canada whose work speaks to children and teens. Photo source: The Highlights Foundation

For all the Muslim writers and illustrators out there with a passion for creating stories that resonate with children and teens, the Highlights Foundation is currently seeking applicants for one of two immersive in-community retreats designed exclusively for Muslim storytellers in 2024. Applications are due Feb. 1, 2024.

The Highlights Foundation, with generous support from the Doris Duke Foundation's Building Bridges Program, is hosting the retreats for selected Muslim writer and illustrator applicants. The Building Bridges Program fosters mutual understanding and well-being among diverse populations, working with Muslim Americans to create stronger, more inclusive communities. Currently, the Foundation is funding programming for Muslim Storytellers through 2025.

The two retreats themselves will take place in-person over four days and three nights at the Highlights Foundation Retreat Center in Pennsylvania. These retreats, scheduled for May 22–25, 2024, and Sept. 5–8, 2024, provide a nurturing environment for Muslim creatives to craft and share their stories.

Accepted applicants will enjoy a fully funded stay, including lodging and meals, along with a travel stipend of up to $400.

The retreats promise immersive experiences with essential conversations, limited after-dinner programming and opportunities to connect with fellow storytellers. This community-driven approach seeks to amplify voices not only within the retreat but also beyond, ensuring that authentic Muslim narratives for children and young adults find their space in the broader publishing industry.

Previous attendees have been effusive in their praise for the retreat. One applicant said, "This experience was transformational not just as an author but as a Muslim, who grew up in the US, and has never had the chance to know what it feels like to be part of the majority." According to another, they loved the community support afforded by the retreat and felt that the community is “there for you regardless of where you are in your project."

All in-person Highlights Foundation workshops, including these retreats, take place at the Retreat Center: The Barn at Boyds Mills. Nestled in the Poconos Mountains of Pennsylvania, on the traditional and contemporary lands of the Lenape Nation, this site holds historical significance as the original home of Highlights for Children's founders, Garry and Caroline Myers.

All Muslim storytellers are encouraged to apply, regardless if they are published or unpublished. Applications are due by Feb. 1, 2024. Please note that attendance is limited to 24 storytellers per retreat. Successful applicants will be notified of their status by March 1, 2024.

For more information and to apply, visit the Highlights Foundation website at the link below.

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