It’s Spring Up in Here

Kate/ May 2, 2012/ blog

And I have lots of stories to share. Where to begin?

The Pocono Mountain Retreat on the Shawnee was something special indeed. I made friends, received expert feedback, made bird sounds by the river, saw a golden eagle by the river, painted en plein air while rocking on the porch, and danced like a carefree idiot child.

I learned new techniques for time management from Laurie Halse Anderson, begged for (and received) a pretend portfolio deadline from Laurent Linn, waged a silent auction bidding war with Carter Hasegawa, and talked crayons, clients, mountains and skiing with Amy June Bates.

The weekend ended with a moving keynote address by Kay Winters, which drew tears of love and inspiration from my tired and bleary eyes. Between now and next year I plan (plan!) to be in a more comfortable spot financially so that I can attend this special conference again on my own, without the generous scholarship—so that someone else may benefit and grow from the experience, as I have.

Special thanks to Francesca Amendolia, Adrienne Wright, and Marilyn Hershey for designing and coordinating this out-of-this-world event, donating their time, sweat, and tears for the cause (triple sweat from Francesca, the dancing queen!).

Stay tuned for my upcoming personal accounts of what it’s like to care for baby wild birds, and how not to chase an injured black vulture through a field of cow pies. True story.

*cue hillbilly banjo music*

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About Kate

Kate Garchinsky illustrates and writes children’s books and educational media in her studio in the woodlands near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her debut picture book, The Secret Life of the Red Fox, written by acclaimed wildlife author, Laurence Pringle, received a starred review from School Library Journal. Kate Garchinsky received a grant from the Eckelberry Fellowship at the Academy of Natural Sciences, where she has been researching and illustrating extinction stories about North American birds such as the Passenger Pigeon and the Carolina Parakeet. Prior to creating children’s books, Kate designed lots of fun things like toys, birdbaths and trail maps. She lives with her husband Brian, Julia and Spencer the cats, and her one-eyed beagle, Maggie May. Kate recently signed on to illustrate two more “Secret Life” narrative non-fiction picture books with Boyds Mills Press—The Secret Life the Little Brown Bat (2018) and The Secret Life of the Skunk (2019). While drawing foxes and bats, Kate also began work on Belle’s Journey, a middle-grade non-fiction chapter book by ornithologist and osprey expert, Rob Bierregaard (Charlesbridge 2018). Get to know more about Kate Garchinsky at (aka