Whispering Pines

Mentor Laurie Halse Anderson (r) speaks to attendees at the 2007 Whispering Pines

Mentor Laurie Halse Anderson (r) speaks to attendees at the 2007 Whispering Pines

In 1995, after attending a week-long Highlights Foundation Chautauqua Workshop in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, Linda Crotta Brennan hoped to develop a similar program in New England. She envisioned an intensive and intimate weekend-long getaway for dedicated writers. She and Laurie Smith Murphy searched for a venue and found the idyllic Whispering Pines Conference Center, on the University of Rhode Island's Alton Jones Campus.

Initially, the retreat featured an established author and an editor, and was limited to twenty-five attendees. Each person received a 30-minute in-depth critique. After a few years, an illustrator was added to the faculty.

Over the years, Linda and Laurie continued to stay involved in the retreat, sometimes as coordinators and sometimes as attendees. In 2005, Lynda Mullaly Hunt became involved in the planning, and in 2007, she took responsibility for the event. Today, the retreat routinely draws about thirty full-time attendees and another two dozen one-day participants. The faculty consists of two editors and an agent as well as an established author and author/illustrator.

Year Retreat Coordinators
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2010 Linda Crotta Brennan, Laurie Smith Murphy Laurie Smith Murphy, Linda Crotta Brennan Linda Crotta Brennan, Laurie Smith Murphy Laurie Smith Murphy, Linda Crotta Brennan Barbara Keevil Parker, Andy Frew Barbara Keevil Parker, Kathy Pacheco Kathy Pacheco, A. Michelle Laurie Smith Murphy, Cynthia Mitchell Laurie Smith Murphy, Cynthia Mitchell Linda Crotta Brennan, Laurie Smith Murphy, A. Michelle Laurie Smith Murphy, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, A. Michelle Laurie Smith Murphy, Lynda Mullaly Hunt Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Jan Kozlowski Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Lucia Zimmitti Lynda Mullaly Hunt Lynda Mullaly Hunt Lynda Mullaly Hunt