In addition to me, the “retreaters” included the following Canadian kidlit authors (from the left to right in the photo):
- Vivien Bowers, whose book Wow Canada! has sold over 150,000 copies
- Lori Sherritt-Fleming, an author, educator and performer who founded the Tickle Trunk Players
- Anita Miettunen, whose first book, Big Blue Forever, was published in 2017
- Wendy Phillips, an author of young adult fiction, whose first book Fishtailing won the 2010 Governor General’s Award for children’s literature
- Norma Charles, a former teacher / librarian with 18 published books
- Pam Withers, a young-adult / middle-grade author of 19 adventure books especially popular with teenage boys
- Caroline Adderson, retreat leader
- Lois Peterson, who wrote for adults for 20 years before writing for children (with 7 kidlit books to her name)
- Jenny Watson, who writes middle grade fiction set in the Pacific Northwest
Here we are gathered at Pam Wither’s home near Horton Bay on Mayne Island. Norma is reading a selection of her work, with Caroline and the rest of the group listening intently.
At lunch time, we had the chance to head out to the deck with its great view of Horton Bay.
On the very same weekend as the writing retreat, my extended family also gathered at Hatake Farm on Mayne Island (home to my in-laws). The annual clan gathering usually features a croquet tournament, and this year, my son got into the act for the first time!
It was an amazing weekend of relaxation and inspiration. Caroline gave the whole group some very useful tools to analyze our own work. I found Caroline’s taxonomy of (i) exposition (ii) narrative summary (iii) scene and (iv) half-scene to be particularly helpful. I’m looking forward to applying these new insights to my own writing very soon!
And just for fun, here are some more pics from the weekend!