Thursday, January 14, 2010

VCFA Winter Residency '10

Okay, so I'm not being quite as prompt about posting on my blog during the rez, but you should see the schedule they created. These people never sleep. Sometimes I don't think they even take time to breathe!

It's definitely cold here, I think our lowest temps were -3 one night, but the rooms are well-heated and the walks to class are short (sometimes shorter--depending on how cold it is!). As you can see, the campus is quite lovely covered in snow, and I delight at the beauty just outside my window every morning; quaint New England houses across the street, layered in snow with white puffs rising from their chimneys.

The academic experience has been fabulous thus far; amazing and insightful lectures from the faculty and graduating students, critiquing of manuscripts that cause you to have so many lightbulb moments that your head looks like a fourth of July nightsky. Yesterday the picture book semester group had the treat of having Lynne Rae Perkins speak to us. Lynne Rae shared her process (writing and illustrating) and let us pick her brain for about two hours.

This morning we'll hear Lynne Rae speak to the entire student body, and this afternoon Kimberly Willis Holt well speak to us. Tomorrow we get her all to ourselves for our PB workshop group. I can't wait to hear her talk about Waiting for Gregory. If you haven't seen this book, get your hands on a copy. The art is amazing and transformed the sweet text to a whole new level.

Today our faculty preference forms are due--this is the list we give of the advisors that we'd like to work with next semester. Honestly, the staff is so fabulous that I couldn't narrow it down to just five, so I listed six. We had a chance to "speed date" them on Tuesday, where we ask them questions and get to know how they work. It was enjoyable to sit a bit with the advisors and chat about our upcoming projects. It doesn't really matter which advisor I'll get because I know they'll all be good, plus I trust the VCFA system to match me with the best advisor. I'll find out who my new advisor is on Friday morning (technically at midnight, but I'm not so sure I'll be up at that hour).

Speaking of advisors, I know I'll miss working with Kathi Appelt terribly (horribly, no goodly, very badly) but that's just the way it is. I'm sure with each advisor I'll grow in a different way--at least my writing will!

Okay, must get ready for the next lecture...


Rebecca Langston-George said...

What a lovely picture! Sounds like it will be another fabulous learning experience. Such a great dilemna: which incredibly interesting professional writer will I choose to be my advisor?

Jean Ann Williams said...

Really like the photo of that beautiful building, Terry. We look forward to more posts from you, even though you barely have time.

Keep at it, my friend! You'll shine at the end.

Mary Ann Dames said...

Ohhhhhhhhhhh. I miss Vermont College and blowing soap bubbles at -29 degrees. Yes, Terry, you read that correctly. Remember, the time for sleep in on the plane ride home.

Jean Ann Williams said...

I'd like to let your readers know there is a contest going on for writers of middle grade and young adult stories.

New agent Mary Kole with Andrea Brown Literary Agency is having a contest at Go to her sidebar on the right and click on "Kidlit Contest" to read the rules of how to enter.

We can enter the first 500 words, and the deadline is January 31, 2010. The winners get critiques from her, so that's a motivation for sure.

Thank you for passing this on, Terry.

Terry P. said...

Hasn't been that cold, Mary Ann. And if I waited to sleep til the plane ride, I think the massive migraine would prevent me from doing so! Gotta have the 40 winks :-)


Terry P. said...

Happy to, Jean Ann!


Jean Ann Williams said...


The Kidlit Contest link didn't come through and so I'll give the correct one. Go to

I'll get this right, yet. Thank you.

Jean Ann Williams said...

Terry, what's that saying? The third time's a charm?

You may wish to delete that last post, because I still had the wrong address to link to Agent Mary Kole's contest. I tested the right one out and here it is finally. Ha!

Thank you for being patient with me!