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NESCBWI Whispering Pines Retreat 2013

March 25th, 2013


I had the pleasure and luck to attend the New England SCBWI’s most excellent Whispering Pines Writer’s Retreat again this year (I believe this is my 5th year). It takes place in paradise (also known as URI’s Alton Jones Campus in W. Greenwich, RI). Lucky for me, this isn’t so far to travel; yet it is like being a world away!

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     We started with a first night first pages panel…

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…followed by a pleasant Kid Lit Jeopardy deathmatch.

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Valkyrie Lynda fields the questions while Julia Boyce writes upside down and backwards to keep score.

Events take place in and around the campus, but mainly here in the Lodge…

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Retreat Directors Lynda Mullaly Hunt and Mary Pierce got the day rolling on Friday with some shout-outs to the volunteers who make it all work.

giftsAccolades and to Laurie Murphy and Linda Crotta Brennan for their assistance!

The mentors this year were stellar!

mentorsErin Dionne, Shauna Rossano, Mary, Sara Crowe, Lynda, Bethany Strout, and Kelly Murphy up front. Missing from this shot: Leslie Connor!

First up was my amazing illustrator friend Kelly Murphy, who was very up front and realistic about what it’s like to work with authors and publishers. Her work is dynamic and recognizably hers, no matter the subject. She takes a lot of care to do manuscripts justice in her art.
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Some of Kelly’s originals were on display while she signed books.

Erin Dionne is the author of several books that are huge hits in our house. Her talk was about marketing, and it was fun to hear how she makes connections and cultivates community in the real word and online.

erindionne

Author Leslie Connor had some great insight into tapping into the truth when writing. Having that element of truth allows readers to invest in your characters and care about what happens to them. Such a good point.

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Food! The food is incredible at Whispering Pines. And it just keeps coming. And then the plates disappear. It’s a magical way to live for a few days!

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Every meal comes with excellent conversation as well!

First pages, second night…
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…followed by FIRE!

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fire2Cameron Kelly Rosenblum stokes the fire and the silly conversation, all with the same stick.

Now pretend that you have stayed up WAY past your bedtime talking, laughing, and having a great time. Good!

Shauna Rossano, Associate Editor at G.P. Putnam’s Sons, got the last morning started with some great tips on catching an editor’s eye right away by making those important first impressions.

rossano

Sara Crowe, Agent at Harvey Klinger, Inc. gave us some valuable insight into her process of reviewing books for representation. Submissions to her must not only ring true to her, but imply a way she can market it to editors.

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Here’s Bethany Strout, Assistant Editor, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. I had met her at the Blueberry Fields retreat in Maine last year, and she was just as smart and approachable here. She draws from both her knowledge and instincts to choose manuscripts for her publisher.

bethany

 

Alas, all too soon, it comes to a close. I love reconnecting with many of my writer and artist friends in the region here; it really is a charmed event.

4girlsJust a few of the lovely folks as seen at WP… Jennifer Thermes, Janet Costa Bates, Cameron Kelly Rosenblum, and Kim Savage.

A few parting shots, until next time…!


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7 Comments Leave a comment >

  1. on March 25th, 2013, Cheryl Kirk Noll wrote:

    Oh, I’m sighing with regret for not being able to make this wonderful event this year. siiiiiiiiiiiggggggggghhhhhhhh
    Thanks for sharing, Liz. Looks like it was as inspirational, fun, and informative as always. (And I’m not even going to let myself think about the food!)
    Did Lynda give away any octopus this year. : )

  2. on March 25th, 2013, Jeannie Brett wrote:

    oh, I would love to attend Whispering Pines some year. Maybe next? J.

  3. on March 25th, 2013, Julie Kingsley wrote:

    I can almost see my ghost there! Can’t believe that I didn’t go because I was going to Costa Rica, then didn’t go to Costa Rica (though, I did spend a lot on plants!). It looks as wonderful as always.

    Next year!

  4. on March 25th, 2013, Janet Costa Bates wrote:

    Always an inspiring place to be. Liz, thanks for capturing.

  5. on March 25th, 2013, Lynda Mullaly Hunt wrote:

    Hey, Liz! So great to see you this weekend. I think it was one of the best years ever–but just passed too quickly. THANK YOU for taking these lovely picture (Well, except for that Jeopardy one :-) and posting them here so we can all relive the adventure! Appreciate and look forward to your follow-ups after WP. xoxo

  6. on March 25th, 2013, Lynda Mullaly Hunt wrote:

    Hey, Cheryl and Julie!! Missed you both this weekend. I popped my head up looking for both of you during the weekend, remembering you weren’t with us :-( Hope to see you both soon!

  7. on March 25th, 2013, Melissa Hed wrote:

    Liz – thanks for the recap! This was my first year at WP and I hope to make it again next year. The whole weekend was inspiring.

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