Tag Archives: LoonSong

The Magic of LoonSong

LoonSong, 2017, a retreat for children’s and young-adult writers.

We woke every morning to inspiration

beside a lake, deep in a forest, in the wilderness of northern Minnesota.

A place where Debby invited us into her dream.

Debbie Dahl Edwardson

It was a time of multilayered, multifaceted writer talk.

It was a time of long walks,

of pontoon rides,

of solitary paddles.

It was a time to sit alone and dream.

Lectures by some of the most exciting people in our field.

Gary Schmidt

M T Anderson

Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann

Julie Berry

Panel discussions that morphed into whole-group conversations.

Candace Fleming and M T Anderson

one-on-one consultations with an editor,

Liz Bicknell, Executive Editorial Director of Candlewick Press, and retreatant

or with an agent.

Faye Bender, agent with The Book Group, with retreatant

Readings

and campfires.

And finally sad farewells.

LoonSong, 2018, a retreat for children’s and young-adult writers.

So much to look forward to!

September 6th to the 10th, 2018.

Registration opens December 1st.

Faculty already on board, Susan Cooper, Nikki Grimes, Cynthia Leitich Smith.

www.loonsong.org

LoonSong Writer's Retreat

LoonSong, sponsored by Vermont College of Fine Arts

Photos by Jane Buchanan.

LoonSong, Once Again

“Magical!”  It’s what the participants said last fall about the first ever LoonSong Writers’ Retreat set in the stunning wilderness of northern Minnesota.

“The best writing retreat I’ve ever been on!”

“Intimate and yet expansive.”

“My soul sings.”

And it’s going to happen once again, September 7th through the 11th,  2017.  Faculty—and oh, what a faculty!—and participants will gather on the shores of pristine Elbow Lake, so far north in Minnesota as to almost be in Canada, for stimulating lectures and panel discussions, writing prompts and workshops, readings and one-one-one agent, editor and marketing consultations.

Last year the retreat filled early.  This year more than half the spots were gobbled up in the first hours registration was open.  But there are still places.  If you are a children’s or young-adult writer at any stage of your career, just-beginning or been-going-for-a-long-time-and-in-need-of-rejuvenation, this retreat is for you.

We writers work in such deep isolation, we need one another.  Here’s your opportunity to learn, to refresh, to make connections, to get fired up again.

The 2017 faculty?  M.T. Anderson, Gary Schmidt, Eric Rohmann, Candace Fleming.  Can you think of a more stellar cast?  Faye Bender from The Book Group will be there as agent. Jordan Brown, Executive Editor with Walden Pond Press and Balzer+Bray at HarperCollins Children’s Books will be our editor. Vicki and Steve Palmquist of Winding Oak will offer advice as marketing consultants.  And more.

Elbow Lake Lodge Credit: Loonsong.org

Elbow Lake Lodge where we meet is rustic, comfortable, beautiful.  The food, served by the Ojibway Tribe, is outstanding.  Besides time to write, to share, to listen there will be opportunity for kayaking, paddle boat rides, bonfires.  You can even swim if you are the hearty sort!

You can fly either into Duluth or into Minneapolis/St. Paul and there are multiple ways—including a shuttle provided by LoonSong—to reach the resort from there.

This retreat is the dream child of Debby Dahl Edwardson, graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts, author of many highly regard books and finalist for the National Book Award.  Growing up, Debby spent her summers on Elbow Lake, and the place inspires her still.  She has always wanted to bring other writers here to share the inspiration, and after a lot of dreaming—and a lot of work—LoonSong is it.

LoonSong is sponsored by Vermont College of Fine Arts, and if you’re interested, you’ll have an opportunity to learn about VCFA’s Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults, the first program of its kind and the most highly regarded in the country.

But LoonSong isn’t just an introduction to another program.  It is its own place, its own opportunity, its own magic.  Check us out.  You’ll love every minute, and you’ll return home filled to the brim!

Credit: Edwardson | Loonsong.org

All the information you need is available at www.loonsong.org.

I’ll be there, too.  I hope to see you!

LoonSong

LoonSong facilityThe autumn air, the stillness of the water, the cry of the loon. If you long for time away from your daily grind, for days nestled in a quiet spot with beautiful views and inspirational people, a time to write and think, dream and learn, come join us at LoonSong!

Be part of our inaugural retreat for children’s authors who are serious about their writing. Come listen to award-winning writers talk about their process; hear what’s happening in the children’s book market and network with people who can help you grow your career; join in discussions about craft and business; participate in informal critique groups; take time for yourself and your writing. All among the towering pines and graceful birches along the shores of Elbow Lake.

This retreat is for you! A rich smorgasbord. Select the options that meet your needs—lectures, small workshops, consultations—or retreat to your beautiful lodgings to write and dream.  Connect with an editor, an agent, marketers. Enjoy pontoon rides on the lake with your fellow writers. Gather around bonfires.

Check out the schedule and sign up today. LoonSong will give you what you need: time, expertise, and inspiration.

The place, Elbow Lake Lodge in the pristine Boundary Waters area of northern Minnesota. The nearest town is Cook. Commercial shuttle service to Duluth is available from the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport and LoonSong offers a shuttle from Duluth where you can begin to meet your fellow participants. Or you can arrive in your own car.

(I know when I’m considering travel to out-of-the-way places, before I can begin to dream I need to set aside any anxiety about getting there. We’ll take care of you!)

The faculty are writers Katherine Paterson, William Alexander, Kathi Appelt, Kekla Magoon, and me (Marion Dane Bauer).

Steve and Vicki Palmquist of Winding Oak will present on marketing and provide individual marketing consultations.

Rubin Pfeffer is our agent. (He happens to be my agent and he’s extraordinary.)  You can pitch your work to him in an individual session.

And now we can announce that we have an editor on board, Yolanda Scott, Editorial Director at Charlesbridge. As well as hearing her speak and having both Yolanda and Rubin present at readings, ten lucky folks to be chosen at random can have an individual consult with this exceptional editor. (Check the LoonSong website for details)

LoonSong is a collaboration with Vermont College of Fine Arts, so if you are interested in gathering information about the oldest and most prestigious MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults in the country, that will be available, too. All the writing faculty are connected with VCFA, Katherine on the Board of Trustees, the rest of us current or former faculty. And the retreat is designed by Debby Dahl Edwardson and Jane Buchanan, VCFA grads, and by me.

LoonSongLoonSong will be a boutique experience, intimate, nurturing, relaxing, inspiring. And there are a few spots still open.

Sign up and come join us, September 8th through the 12th, 2016. This will be the first of what we hope will be a long and rich tradition.

I would love to see you there!

 

 

LoonSong

LoonSongWriters need other writers. At every stage of a career.

The newbie dipping a toe into the icy water of agents and editors and contracts and marketing plans and publication.

The just-on-the-edge-of-success writer who has had one-too-many encouraging notes from editors and too few contracts in hand.

The mid-career pro who needs to step for a moment outside the isolation of the work, to create, connect, discover.

The long-time writer who simply wants to be with others who share the vision, to be renewed.

A couple of autumns ago, two Vermont College of Fine Arts alumni of the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults, Debby Dahl Edwardson and Jane Buchanan, and I, a retired faculty member from VCFA, gathered in Debby’s cabin on an island in a lake in northern Minnesota. We went there to dream of a retreat for writers for children and young adults, those just starting out and seeking information and encouragement and those long established and looking for a community of their peers. We knew that given a long weekend in this breathtaking wilderness we could nurture one another. And that is how LoonSong came into being.

Now the dream has come to fruition. The first LoonSong retreat will gather from September 8th through the 12th, 2016. It will have riches to offer for children’s and young-adult writers at every stage of their careers. And we will meet, not in a rustic island cabin, but in Elbow Lake Lodge, a gorgeous, lake-side resort.

Here are the outstanding faculty who have agreed to join us:

William Alexander writes science fiction and fantasy for middle grade audiences. His novels include the National Book Award-winning Goblin Secrets and the Eleanor Cameron Award-winning Ambassador.

Kathi Appelt is the author of the Newbery Honor-winning, National Book Award finalist, PEN USA Literary Award-winning, and bestselling The Underneath as well as the National Book Award finalist The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, and many, many fun and rollicking picture books.

Kekla Magoon is the author of young adult novels including The Rock and the River, for which she received the ALA Coretta Scott King New Talent Award and an NAACP Image Award nomination, and X: A Novel, which was long-listed for the National Book Award in 2015. She also writes nonfiction on historical topics, including Today the World Is Watching You: The Little Rock Nine and the Fight for School Integration, 1957 and the forthcoming PANTHERS! The History and Legacy of the Black Panther Party in America.

Oh . . . and me. I’m on the faculty, too. (You can check my credentials if you like.)

And believe it or not, Katherine Paterson, our first National Ambassador for Children’s Literature, twice Newbery Medalist, named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress, will be our keynote speaker!

Extraordinary literary agent Rubin Pfeffer will be there, and since he’s my agent, I can promise that he is truly extraordinary.

An editor, yet to be named, probably someone who works with one of the faculty so you’ll be able to see them interact, will be there, too.

Vicki and Steve Palmquist of Winding Oak, the folks who manage this web site and market all my books and do the same for many other writers for young people, will be there to teach us about marketing and to give individual consultations.

Vermont College of Fine Arts is sponsoring the conference and those who are interested will have an opportunity to learn about VCFA’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, the oldest and most prestigious program in the country. (I’d say “in the world,” because it is that, but that would sound pretentious.)

You can come to learn from masters, to connect with your peers, and/or simply to retreat and write. You create your own experience. In addition to lectures and panels and workshops, writing prompts and consultations, there will be quiet space for writing. Oh, and I mustn’t forget to mention bonfires on the beach, pontoon rides on the lake and a whole wild world out there, beckoning.

This is truly a boutique program with room for fewer than forty participants, so check it out now. I’m guessing it’s going to fill fast.

I’d love to see you there!