Whispering Pines 2007

Whispering Pines is a fabulous 3600-acre property in W. Greenwich, RI- and every year there is a NESCBWI Writer’s Retreat on the site. This is the first year I have been able to go. I was also the illustrator mentor, which meant that I had to talk about my illustrating and stuff. What a weekend! Scroll down for pictures and impressions of a wonderful event, the kind that truly leaves you ready to create upon your re-entry to civilization.
Here is the entry to the main lodge. The setting is stunning- seemingly untouched wilderness right here in RI, but for a smallish group of rustic conference rooms clustered in one area, connected by paths. view1.jpg
This is the view from the main lodge.
We had a first pages panel with writer Laurie Halse Anderson and editors Lisa Cheng (McElderry Books, Simon and Schuster) and Liz Waniewski (Dial books, Penguin Group). It was fun to hear off-the-cuff comments on everyone’s first pages- the panel did amazingly well under the pressure! The caliber of the writing was good, too, so that made it all the more interesting.
The FOOD at Whispering Pines is top-notch. I have never seen so many good choices at a conference- unusual New England stuff, too- johnny cakes, clam cakes, lobster bisque, prime rib…sigh. Easy to get used to, hard to leave!
Here are Liz Waniewski and Lisa Cheng, the two delightful editor mentors. I personally have full confidence in their abilities to choose good things- because they are both big fans of The Office (a.k.a. the best show on TV now)! But seriously- they are both very good at what they do, and it was cool to hear each of their presentations on how they work, and how publishers work in general.
Here is Laurie Halse Anderson worrying about her latest book release, and signing a book for me. I admit it, I don’t read a lot of YA, and I hadn’t ever read any of her books before coming to the retreat. But Laurie is one of the best speakers I have ever heard, I mean- like EVER. I think she really set the tone for artistic openess during the weekend. Beyond her speech, she is enthusiastic, outspoken and DAMN good at getting each person to face their own artistic demons and/or angels. She’s like an author/therapist…in a good way. Her new book due out soon is called Twisted.

Following is an attractive montage of people, places and things from the retreat. You can see what my room looked like, and also Barb playing with one of her cowgirl alter egos. Don’t worry, the dolls had a good time, too!
After a very late night of scintillating discussions and little sleep, I had to give my talk the next morning.
Everyone says it went well, but it was nerve-wracking- I forgot a whole bunch of things I was going to talk about! It was the first time for me to speak to adults- and they were a great bunch to speak to.
I won a Mystery Box in the raffle- score!
You can see what was inside- I am going to need a bigger YA shelf.
All in all an amazing weekend- I loved meeting everyone there, and would go again to this in a heartbeat!
Thanks Lynda and Jan and everyone for a truly memorable experience!

12 comments on “Whispering Pines 2007

  • on Monday, February 26, 2007 at 7:16 pm, Sandra Alonzo said:

    What a nice commentary about Whispering Pines, Liz. It almost made me feel like I’d been there myself. Thank you for sharing! The photos are super, and really add to what you had to say about the event.

  • on Monday, February 26, 2007 at 7:21 pm, Barbara Lanza said:

    Say, Liz, your writing about Whispering Pines makes the experience come to life for me. It was good spotting a couple familiar faces there having a good time. I wanna go!!!
    The memory and benefit of a beautiful setting with it’s mix of writers, editors and good food should last a long time.

  • on Monday, February 26, 2007 at 7:46 pm, John Nez said:

    Thanks for the reportage and pictures. Makes me wish I could go to one of those.

    Maybe someday. I also got a pang of wishing I could have experienced some real ‘New England’ stuff during the 5 years I lived in New York. New York isn’t very New Englandy…. Dobbs Ferry wasn’t hardly New England at all.

    Oh well…


  • on Monday, February 26, 2007 at 7:46 pm, roz said:

    Oh wow, it sounds like an amazing weekend. And even better if you were surrounded by “Office” lovers. teehee!!
    (Okay…I have to say, I’m so nervous for Jim this week. I’m afraid he’s going to get a black eye!)

  • on Monday, February 26, 2007 at 8:04 pm, Terri Murphy said:

    Thanks for the photos and pics, Liz. Always the presenter, you are. Next best thing to being there! Knowing Barb, I’m gonna have to check Cowgirl Barbie’s homemade punch…:mrgreen:


  • on Monday, February 26, 2007 at 8:54 pm, sharon holm said:

    liz-it was such a pleasure to meet you at WP! You did a great job capturing the “essence” of WP. You also did a great presentation!Thank you for posting the weekend for all to see.(I will contact you direct about the putty cat… 🙂

  • on Monday, February 26, 2007 at 9:11 pm, Mary Cronin said:

    Liz, It was great to meet you at the retreat. Your summary of the weekend was right on the mark. Great comments and photos!

  • on Tuesday, February 27, 2007 at 8:46 am, monica lee said:

    Wow! This looks so great! You took so many pictures! What fun! I love your blog, I feel like I can keep in touch with you a bit more! I do want to come down and see your studio soon! I am getting a bit restless at home!

  • on Tuesday, February 27, 2007 at 8:50 am, Charlene said:

    Weep!!! I didn’t make it this year and I missed it soooo much. Glad you were able to attend (tries not to be too jealous) and I plan to be there next year. This year was my first SCBWI NYC conference (which was fabulous) but I missed the wonderful intimacy and FOOD at Whispering Pines. 🙂 There’s only so much money in the conference budget, yanno.

    All the best!

  • on Tuesday, February 27, 2007 at 8:56 am, Linda said:

    Go Liz!!! I bet you were great.

  • on Tuesday, February 27, 2007 at 1:53 pm, Mary Pierce said:

    I had a fabulous time at WP. The participants, the mentors, all such a discovery. THANK YOU, not only for the sneak-peek inside your creative process, but this outstanding re-cap of the week-end — with photos, no less! WOW! With all that you do, when do you sleep?

    It was great talking to you throughout the conference.

  • on Thursday, March 19, 2015 at 10:44 pm, Liz Goulet Dubois » NESCBWI Whispering Pines 2015 said:

    […] This was a special year, though- the 20th anniversary of it’s beginning. I have been coming since I was the illustrator mentor in 2007. Every year is full of inspiration, bonding, and renewed vigor for our writing careers. It is also […]

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