Opportunities and Announcements: Week of July 21, 2014

Summer is at it’s peak and the BWW is cooking up some fun to take you through the rest of the season.

BWW now has T-Shirts!

Thanks to the artistic skills of BWW member Amanda Vella and the entrepreneurial Michael Freed-Thall you can order your very own, original design, BWW T-shirt for a mere $15. Men’s, children’s and women’s sizes are available in a wide range of colors. Order forms can be picked up at meetings, filled out and left in the internal mailbox in the BWW space. Checks should be made out to Burlington Writers Workshop. You will be notified when the shirts are in. Payment is due when you pick-up your shirt.

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BWW Wins Vermont Community Foundation Grant for StoryhackVT Workshops


I’m happy to announce that the Burlington Writers Workshop has won a grant from the Vermont Community Foundation to assist with hosting a series of “digital storytelling” workshops with Nate Herzog of StoryhackVT.

This “Small and Inspiring Grant” of $2,143 will fund eight “digital storytelling” workshops with StoryhackVT at the BWW’s writing center off Pine Street in Burlington.

This grant will allow us to purchase, among other things, a digital projector, which will enable a group of would-be digital storytellers to learn how digital media can be manipulated to tell a story. It’s a critical piece of the puzzle, and we’ll have it thanks to the Vermont Community Foundation.

Our friend Nate Herzog of StoryhackVT has this to say:  “The Burlington Writers Workshop was one of the first teams to sign up for our first StoryHackVT event in 2013. Since that event they have shown a continual interest in digital storytelling. It’s exciting to see them invest in equipment and workshops that empower and inform their writing community. I am thrilled to work with the BWW to show writers how they can apply their skills in new media.”

The next StoryhackVT/Burlington Writers Workshop event takes place on Tuesday, July 29 at 6:30 p.m. so feel free to RSVP and join the digital storytelling fun!

Thanks to our fiscal agent, the League of Vermont Writers, for making us eligible for grants like this.

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of July 7, 2014

The financial advisory committee met last week and, among other things, we’ve decided that Cathy Beaudoin will be our volunteer accountant. Cathy is an Assistant Professor at The University of Vermont School of Business. She’s taken the records I’ve been keeping and whipped them into professional shape. If you’d like to receive a copy of the balance sheet, please sign up for our email list.I’ll send it later this week.

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Opportunities and Announcements: Week of June 30, 2014

I’m pleased to report that the BWW has had a very good quarter. I’m meeting with the financial advisory committee today to look at the numbers and plan for the second half of 2014. Next week I’ll share with you the final report. If you’d like to receive the financial report, please sign up for our mailing list.

Here are the opportunities and announcements for this week.

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Five Reasons You Should Submit To Mud Season Review

MSR-logo-rectangleThe Burlington Writers Workshop launched Mud Season Review a few weeks ago. It’s a literary journal run by BWW writers, featuring fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art. So far we’ve received a ton of submissions, which is great. We’re looking forward to receiving more before our first deadline, August 1st.

Here are a few reasons why you, intrepid writer, should submit to Mud Season Review.

1. Mud Season celebrates you. MSR will feature your fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art for a whole month. Plus you’ll also be interviewed about your work.

2. It’s an honor to publish in MSR. Given the quantity and quality of submissions we’ve received so far, it’s likely that we’ll have an acceptance rate of less than one percent. That means whatever we publish is going to be top-notch work.

3. If you need feedback, MSR can help. It’s run by members of a writing workshop, which means writers who need helpful feedback to receive it. For $12, an editor will provide you with a thoughtful response to your work. The editor will address what’s working well and what’s not working well and identify opportunities for growth and development.

4. It’s free to submit your work. So why not?

5. We’ll throw a party for you. On September 20th, we’ll launch our first digital issue at Hotel Vermont. We want you to be there, but if you can’t make it, we’ll still celebrate the work you’ve done. Perhaps, if you use Skype, you could join us by webcam!

If you have questions about Mud Season Review, contact the editors. They’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Good luck!

Opportunities and Announcements: Week Of June 23, 2014

3bearpondOur first event at Bear Pond Books in Montpelier was a great success! Al Uris, Linda Quinlan, and James Gamble gave a great reading, and it was great to meet some new folks in Montpelier. We had a good discussion about “what makes a story” and the conversation continued after the event concluded. I hope you’ll join us at our next event, on July 17th at the Essex Free Library.

Here are the opportunities and announcements for this week.
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Want To Meet An Agent?

HemlvwOur fiscal sponsor, the League of Vermont Writers, is hosting “Writers Meet Agents” on Saturday, July 19th from 8:30 a.m – 4:30 p.m. at the Hampton Inn Burlington. With seven literary agents taking part, the “Writers Meet Agents” event is a great way to expand your writing network with professionals and peers.

Agents appreciate writers who take the time to learn the ropes and meet them at events. Even without a book project ready to pitch, writers who meet agents at conferences gain a foot in the door for future queries.

Of particular interest to BWW members, in addition to the agents (of course), is my session on giving and receiving feedback, both in a workshop setting and one-on-one with friends and colleagues. As regular workshoppers, we’re always giving feedback. After doing workshops with the BWW for five years, and spending an additional six years six years of academic workshops, I’ve learned quite about about what works well and what works less well in giving and receiving responses, and I’m happy the League of Vermont Writers has given me this forum to share what I’ve learned with you.

Additional programming that includes round table discussions with agents and presentations by YA author Jo Knowles and NYC super agent Katharine Sands. There are more agents coming and more programs scheduled, so I invite you to check out the details here.

Vermont Stage Company Wants Your “Winter Tales”

Winter Tales Book in chairOnce again, Vermont Stage Company is partnering with the BWW to write stories for Winter Tales. Created in 2005, Winter Tales has become a Vermont Stage holiday tradition. It features fresh stories and songs each year aimed to lighten up the dark days of winter. For this December’s performance, Vermont Stage Company needs five uplifting, possibly funny, heartfelt stories that’ll be perfect for capturing the spirit of the season.

Your work will be featured on stage with some fine Vermont musicians. Last year, work by BWW writers Colleen Ovelman, Paula Cope, and Hillary Read was featured. All three writers have agreed to help with the story selection process for this year’s production.

What we need from you: A short story or personal essay (in the style of a monologue, 2,500 words) that’s about winter or the holidays (religious or otherwise). The piece must be uplifting to the spirit.

I need your submissions by August 1st. Send them to: submissions@burlingtonwritersworkshop.com. Please put “WINTER TALES” in the subject line.

Some questions, answered:

August 1st is coming up soon. Do I have time to write this?

Yes! The draft doesn’t have to be perfect. I need something by August 1st. If you’re selected, we’ll work with you on edits. Be warned: These edits may be extensive. Winter Tales has very specific needs to accommodate the performance aspect as well as the family-friendly nature of the content, so be prepared for a vigorous back-and-forth with the editors and Cristina Alicea, Vermont Stage Company’s director.

Will I have to read this on stage?

No. A professional actor will work with the director to make this piece come alive on stage. You’ll sit back in the audience and absorb the glory.

Who will own my piece after it’s produced by Vermont Stage Company?

You! It remains yours. If it is published in VSC literature, though, the proceeds from any sale of said literature will go to VSC.

What if I want to write about something sad?

Try it out. It couldn’t hurt to experiment! Aim for some levity, though, and your piece will be a better fit for this.

Can I read a sample of something from a previous year?

Yes! Click here to read a story by Nicole Dash.

Why is the BWW doing this?

This is a wonderful opportunity to have your work featured in a popular public performance. WINTER TALES runs four nights and is viewed by 1000-1200 people every year. VSC is wicked awesome. What more reason do we need?

I’m not a member of the Burlington Writers Workshop. Can I participate?
Sign up at meetup.com to become an “official” member. It’s free and easy.

What if you didn’t answer my question with all this information?
Please do contact me.

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of June 16, 2014

MSR logoMud Season Review, the Burlington Writers Workshop’s literary journal, is now live and accepting submissions from writers all over the world. We’re keeping it simple for now, limiting the publication to one story, one essay, a portfolio of poems, and a piece of art per month, with the official launch date for the first issue of September 20, 2014. Please do help us spread the word and like the page on Facebook.

Mud Season Review’s launch is just one of the many exciting things going on this week. Here are your opportunities and announcements.


Our reading at the Burlington Book Festival this year will be on Sunday, September 21st at 11 a.m., so what better topic to write about for a Sunday morning event than religion? I’m looking for stories, essays, and poems that fall under the “religion” or “spirituality” theme. Write about your own religion or lack thereof. Submit a piece of fiction about religion or dealing with issues of faith. Limit 3,000 words. Send it to submissions@burlingtonwritersworkshop.com.

The History Press is looking for authors to, in their words, “perhaps find some great potential History Press authors.” If you’re interested in writing a local history book, please pitch your idea to Katie Orlando at katie.orlando@historypress.net.

Just a reminder that the League of Vermont Writers is hosting “Writers Meets Agents” on July 19th. I’ll be giving a short talk on the art of giving and receiving feedback, but you’ll likely want to check out all the agents.

I’ll be meeting with the BWW’s financial advisory committee on Monday, June 30th at 4 p.m. Please let me know if you’d like to attend.


As you’ve noticed, we’ve revamped our website. Looks better, doesn’t it? This is the result of a transition from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. It allows us to do more, and the transition wasn’t costly. Thanks to Joe Di Stefano of Okay Plus for helping with the transition!

Jim Gamble was the winner of the tickets to see Patty Griffin at the Flynn Center last weekend. He won because he contributes to the BWW automatically every month, and those who contribute automatically are entered into all our prize drawings. Jim says, “To me, supporting the Burlington Writers Workshop is like supporting my community. We all benefit so much from our individual contributions. It’s more than simply having a space to meet. Our space is an incubator for great ideas, a lab for engendering thoughtful discussion that helps our work grow and mature. I feel being a sustaining contributor to the BWW is sustaining the art and craft of quality writing in Vermont.” Thanks, Jim!

Thanks to Rob Lietar for donating an awesome cabinet to the BWW space. Come by and see it. Rob and I are also working on a new project for the space, but I’ll announce that when we’re closer to finishing it. You’ll like it, I promise.

Cynthia Close published this piece about Rebecca Cummins, Dede Cummings, and other talented women in Vermont Woman Magazine.

Liz Cantrell published this piece about Jenke Arts in Seven Days.

My story, “After Christina,” which was workshopped in July 2013, has been published in South85 Journal.

And finally, we’re hosting our first reading in Montpelier tomorrow night at Bear Pond Books. I hope you can make it. Tell your Mostpeculiar friends!

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of June 2, 2014

thankyoupbThanks to everyone who made our May push for sustaining members a success! We signed up 11 new sustaining members, bringing our monthly income to $585.47. This is super close to our $610/month rent. With one-time gifts, we’ll cover everything, so thanks very much. It’s truly a pleasure to see so many people come together to create this beautiful, artsy thing for Burlington and Vermont.

I’ll have the results of the drawing for the Patty Griffin tickets soon. Here are the opportunities and announcements for this week.

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A Personal Appeal From The BWW’s Organizer

Become a sustaining member of the BWW at $12/month or more and a group of anonymous donors and Cope & Associates will give the BWW $25 AND you’ll be entered to win tickets to see Patty Griffin at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, June 14th.

Thank you for supporting Burlington’s public writing center!

Opportunities And Announcements: Week Of May 26, 2014

M_M_Bergman_high_resFiction writer Megan Mayhew Bergman comes to Hotel Vermont on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. for a free reading, Q&A, and book signing. Join us!

For a contribution to the BWW of $200 or more, we’ll thank you with dinner with Megan at Juniper before the reading, as well as an edit and consultation (in person or by phone) with Megan about a piece of your work. You can arrange this with Megan anytime within the next year. Make a contribution now.

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Opportunities and Announcements: Week of May 19, 2014

ThanksTomorrow marks the fifth anniversary of the creation of the Burlington Writers Workshop. Five years is an eternity for projects like these, so thank you to everyone who makes this community vibrant and strong.

A bit of history: I remember signing up for my first meeting (the group was founded on Meetup.com by someone who has since moved away). It was a spring day in 2009 and I actually thought: Do I really need to attend? What will happen at this meeting? I almost didn’t go. It was easier to just stay home and read or cook dinner or take a nap. But I was new to the area and I wanted to make some friends, so I thought: Why not try it?

And here we are.

Anyway, those are the Cliff Notes of a much longer story. Here are this week’s opportunities and announcements.

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