Saturday, March 14, 2015

Whisper Farewell to a Weekend at Whispering Pines KidLit Writer's Retreat

URI's Alton Jones campus is rustic and lovely.
Just home from a weekend at kid lit writer's retreat extraordinaire, Whispering Pines. From the first glimpse of the pines (can you hear them whisper?) to the last view of fog rising off the melting ice, it was a weekend filled with networking, critiques, writing exercises, and inspiration.
     It was the 20th anniversary of the retreat, so it was a special event. There were three editors: Kendra Levin, Sylvie Frank, and Mallory Kass, three agents: John Cusick, Erin Murphy, and Ammi-Joan Paquette, and a surprise panel with kid-lit luminaries like Brian Lies,  Kelly Murphy, Carlyn Beccia, Liz Dubois and Jennifer Thermes. And those were only the illustrators.
top row, L-R: WP co-director and author Lynda Mullaly Hunt, author Kimberly Newton Fusco, author Leslie Connor, author-illustrator Jennifer Thermes, illustrator Kelly Murphy, author Erin Dionne, agent Ammi-Joan Paquette. bottom row, L-R: author illustrator Carlyn Cerniglia Beccia, author-illustrator Liz Goulet Dubois, author Barbara O'Conner, author-illustrator Brian Lies, photo by Pam Vaughan
Add to that amazing food, fun games (KidLit Jeopardy), a crackling fire in the comfy living room...
it was a knock- your-socks-off event.

Me and my roomie, Linda.
Always makes me think of Narnia.
I even got to room with Whispering Pines co-founder, Linda Crotta Brennan.

As always I sketched during the panels and talks, one of the things that has kept me sane all my life.
I'm not that great at likenesses, but sketching keeps me focused.
 Mary Pierce, co-director for the past 4 years.

Jennifer Thermes designed this fantastic logo for the event!

Good-bye to Whispering Pines. (sad) Goodbye to snow. (not a moment too soon)
Thanks to everyone for making it such a memorable event.


  1. Looks like a beautiful place. Sounds like a great retreat, you deserve it!

  2. Sounds like a wonderful weekend. Looking forward to hearing more about it.

  3. I sat next to you while you were drawing that sketch - so incredible! You are truly talented.

  4. You certainly captured this year's Whispering Pines with your meaningful words ... and your amazing sketches. I sat behind you during a couple of the presentations and was fascinated watching your drawing.

    It was great to share the weekend with you.

  5. I was watching you sketch that day. All the talent in that room was amazing.

  6. Great post Cheryl! Great weekend! Great to meet you!

  7. Trying this again from a different browser. I think your sketches are wonderful, and not bad likenesses at all. I was glad, as always, to have your sweet, smiling self there all weekend. You add a lot to any party, Cheryl.

    And I absolutely LOVE that photo of the pines with the halo of sunlight behind them. Stunning!

  8. Love the sketches Cheryl...and the essence of WP captured in photos. (Great to see you the other day as well!)