2014 Whispering Pines Writer’s Retreat

It’s been nearly 2 weeks since returning from Whispering Pines, a writer’s retreat deep in the woods of the Alton Jones campus of URI. Such a beautiful setting- and a wonderful time as always. The mentors, the camaraderie, the food…everything.



Here’s Lynda introducing the mentors and helpers, who all received thematic welcoming gifts…



Animated author Audrey Vernick talked about how, beyond the craft, luck has a part in the business. She also emphasized not getting hung up on the “rules”.  Kirsten Cappy talked about the various ways you can get the word out about your book, and how to connect in ways we maybe hadn’t thought of yet.

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First Pages, as read by Lynda, Mary and Jenny. I must say, the calibre of the submissions we tend to hear at this retreat tends to be stellar!

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Panelists Christine Krones, Audrey Vernick, Sarah Dotts Barley, Regina Griffin. 


And then, there are shenanigans… photo fun, palm reading, and a failed attempt at levitation (at least in the bodily sense)!


(come on- you have to believe!) 



Kim, Kristen, Julie, Cameron, and Janet during one of the sessions. 


Gather ’round the inferno! The very cozy common room in the Whispering Pines lodge.




The mentors and organizers, lined up all pretty! Lynda Hunt (author and retreat co-director), Regina Griffin (Executive Editor at Egmont USA), Christine Krones (Editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Kirsten Cappy (of Curious City in Portland Maine), Sarah Dotts Barley (Editor at HarperCollins),  Audrey Vernick (author), and Mary Pierce (retreat co-director).


Christine Krones had some good advice about what today’s market needs to see in submissions, and how they can be pitched to their best advantage.

Sarah Dotts Barley talked about not revising as you go, and allowing a book to marinate for a while so you can gain perspective on it.

Regina Griffin’s talk had some great examples of the windy path that a book’s revision can take, and how nothing you write for a manuscript, even if it’s cut, is ever lost. It’s part of the process of making it better.


(I am obviously highly editing our mentors’ talks, but they were all very in-depth and chock full of good info- I took pages of notes!)


We got lucky with some nice weather that allowed us to get out an explore the grounds…





 Caroline, Laurie and Jen.


Surprise giveaways at lunch! Oh, and by the way… THE FOOD. Always wonderful here.

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Three cakes a day? Well, OK, if you insist. 


There are always good times around the table.

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Awesome table-mates: Cameron, Julia, Regina, Sally, Kirsten, Sarah, Jen, and Laurie. 


And now, lets reflect on the surroundings, the people, the work ahead. That’s what I am still doing now.