Mom, author, nurse, teacher . . . reading the world around me

A Week of Mentorship

From the moment my feet touched the ground at the Highlight’s Foundation property in Pennsylvania, I knew I’d made the right choice. I selected Summer Camp at the Barn from a long list of amazing workshops for the opportunity of mentoring. I shared a van from the airport with three of the talented and generous mentors for the week, and from the beginning I felt welcome.

I discovered fairly quickly after arriving that it wasn’t only the official mentors I’d learn from during the week. The group of talented writers assembled at Summer Camp 2017 taught me more than I’d thought possible. Through critique sessions on the screened porch of the farmhouse, impromptu discussions between activities, and chats during meals, I learned. I grew as a writer. I felt a part of a community.

Here it is, October already, and I’m taking time to reflect on how much this experience meant to me. I’m happy to say that through a Facebook group and email list, some of us are exchanging manuscripts for critique and sharing exciting news. One of our group just signed with an agent, and another was chosen as a mentee in Pitchwars. I’m polishing two articles I plan to submit to Highlights, and have already received feedback from two of my fellow “summer camp” alums.

I would highly recommend this experience to anyone interested in writing for children and teens, no matter where you are in the writing journey. You will meet people at varying stages at Highlights that will become a part of your own journey. The generosity of the staff, mentors, and other attendees will remain with me for years to come.





Hiraeth Portrayed in Art


  1. Linda Hood Mcmillan

    I was looking for this poem on line and was very happy to find it! Are you the granddaughter
    of Doctor Walters who purchased the Stovall House! I was raised within sight of the house
    And loved all of Doctor and Mrs. Walters family. Are you a daughter of Peggy
    Walters Wise perhaps?

    • I’m Linda’s! 🙂 We just had a visit from Peggy’s youngest here and spent the evening with David’s youngest! We love our Walter cousins, but are spread to the corners of the world. I adore Sautee and wish I lived closer! Thanks for reaching out. My grandparents were special people and I have wonderful childhood memories of that house.

      • Linda Hood Mcmillan

        Yes, in reading further on your site I realized that you are Linda’s younger daughter!
        Please tell Linda hello for me and how much appreciation I have for my wonderful
        Memories of all the Walters family! Jane Walters and Linda were our Girl Scout leaders for several years and we would get off the school bus there weekly and had such a great time.
        It is an enchanted place I so agree!, I remember waking up there one morning when they had
        Foster children living there to the biggest, deepest snow that we ever had in Sautee. We
        Played all day and they tolerated all our in and out activities as usual. Mrs Coit and Aunt
        Mary were living there also.
        Remembering cottage cheese hanging on the back porch, Dr. Walter milking cows, metal
        Syringes boiling on the kitchen stove, first Girl Cout camp at the Situation, paying $8.00
        For our office visits, being in church with the family, handsome brother Bob Walter and
        His young struggle with a terminal brain tumor! They were important part of our lives!

  2. Linda, my mom was very excited that you contacted me and would love to chat. She remembers you and your sisters well. If you send me an email at I will give you her email address. I have a copy of the full poem I can send as well if you’d like it.
    Thanks for sharing such wonderful memories.

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