Opportunities and Announcements: Week of November 24, 2014

Okay, here’s the deal: We’ve launched an anonymous survey to gather your opinions about what literary projects we should tackle in 2015. The survey closes tomorrow. It’s very, very important for us to gather your opinions on what we should do. The good news: It takes less than two minutes to complete.

I know sometimes people say “it takes two minutes” when it really takes five or ten. But really, it’s just two minutes.

Why is this so important? We make our best decisions when we make them together. So please—two minutes of your time is all we need. Here’s the survey.

Here are this week’s opportunities and announcements. Continue reading

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of November 17, 2014

surveyimageThis week’s news is short and sweet. The Annual BWW Survey is ready, so please take two minutes to tell us what you think we should do in 2015. Here’s the link.

The deadline to fill out the survey is midnight on Tuesday, November 25th. Don’t waste this opportunity to guide the growth of your local writing workshop.

Here are the opportunities and announcements for this week. Continue reading

Opportunities and Announcements: November 10, 2014

With the end of 2014 approaching, it’s time to start looking forward to 2015. What would you like the BWW to do next year?

Some context: Last year, we sent out a survey asking members what they wanted to do in 2014. We offered five choices to choose from, and more than half of all respondents said they wanted to start a literary journal. In June, we launched Mud Season Review. A smaller number of folks also requested that we open up a permanent studio, and we did that, too.

Our survey is a map of our priorities. We use it to figure out where we should go. With the help of some BWW members, I’ll develop the survey in the next few weeks. You’ll help us decide which big projects we should tackle, and then we’ll raise the money in December to bring those projects to life. So take a moment and tell me where you think we should go in 2015.

Keep in mind that we’re in a unique position. With more than 740 members, BWW members can pool money and volunteer time to make pretty much anything happen. We don’t need to be attached to a university or an expensive writing retreat to enjoy all the learning opportunities that writers and would-be writers deserve. Call me an optimist, but we’ve done quite a bit so far by working together, and I’m confident we can do more.

Here are the opportunities and announcements for this week.  Continue reading

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of November 3, 2014

vellaart

Amanda Vella hangs her art at the BWW workshop space. She’ll also have paintings on display in the main gallery.

This Friday from 5-9 p.m., the artists at Studio 266 and the Burlington Writers Workshop are hosting an evening of art and poetry to mark the passing of summer and the arrival of fall. Amanda Vella stopped by Studio 266 this weekend to hang some of her paintings. Martin Bock will read some of his poetry and Colleen McLaughlin will be one of the “musical guests.”

I hope you’ll stop by and bring a non-perishable food item for the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf. RSVP here.

Here are this week’s opportunities and announcements. Continue reading

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of October 27, 2014

Howard Frank Mosher speaks to BWW members and the public at Hotel Vermont on Tuesday, October 21, 2014.

Howard Frank Mosher speaks to BWW members and the public at Hotel Vermont on Tuesday, October 21, 2014.

When it comes to his writing schedule, Howard Frank Mosher does not compromise. On Tuesday night, he gave a presentation of his work at Hotel Vermont. After the presentation, he signed books and chatted with his fans.

Most of the time, when we invite an author to town, the author stays at the hotel and travels back in the morning. But not Howard. He drove back to the Northeast Kingdom that night. “Gotta be in the chair in the morning,” he said—meaning, he had writing to do.

Howard makes good storytelling seem easy. But during his presentation, he showed us a picture of himself, surrounded by piles of drafts of one of his novels. Writing is hard work, but the end result can be a stunning work of literature. Howard reminded us of that.

Another wonderful thing came out of Howard’s visit, and that thing is listed in this week’s opportunities and announcements. Continue reading

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of October 20, 2014

Howard Frank Mosher will offer a presentation of his work, titled "Where in the World is Kingdom County?" on Tuesday, October 21st at Hotel Vermont.

Howard Frank Mosher will offer a presentation of his work, titled “Where in the World is Kingdom County?” on Tuesday, October 21st at Hotel Vermont.

The big news this week: Howard Frank Mosher will join us for a presentation of his work tomorrow (Tuesday, October 21st) at Hotel Vermont. It’s a free event, open to the public, beginning at 7 p.m. Howard is one of those people you think of when you think: Vermont writer. You can learn more about him and RSVP on Facebook.

Here are the opportunities for Vermont writers and BWW announcements for this week. Continue reading

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of October 6, 2014

BWW organizer Peter Biello sanding one of the two new workshop tables.

BWW organizer Peter Biello sanding one of the two new workshop tables.

We’ve been using donated tables since we opened in January, and they have been great, though a little bit awkward, since one table was about three feet shorter than the other. BWW member Rob Lietar bought the wood and other materials for matching pine tables. On Saturday, Rob and I screwed the planks in place. Yesterday, I sanded one of them flat, and it’s looking good (so far).

Rob will be sanding, gap-filling, and sanding again this week. We’ll stain the tables next weekend, so we’re hoping to have these installed by Monday, October 13th. If anyone has experience making furniture and some time to spare, please do let me know. Rob knows the ropes, but an extra set of hands could be a big help!

Anyway, here are this week’s opportunities and announcements.

Opportunities

I mentioned last week that we’re now looking for editors for The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2015. I hope you’ll take a moment to look at the job descriptions and apply.

Justin from Retro-Motion is looking for freelancers to write for an agricultural publication. If you’re interested, contact him: justin@retro-motion.com

I’m looking for a volunteer to help with the marketing efforts for our StoryhackVT workshops. As you may remember, the BWW won a Vermont Community Foundation grant to hold digital storytelling workshops with Nate Herzog, founder of StoryhackVT. This will involve a little Facebook, a little Twitter, and some flyering. It’ll be painless, I promise. Please contact me if you’re interest.

Announcements

Mud Season Review launched the interview with our first fiction writer, Barbara Harroun.

My interview with David Huddle ran on VPR’s Vermont Edition last week.

Laban Hill’s workshop on October 23rd will be moved or cancelled, depending on what those who were planning to attend want Laban to do. In the meantime, consider attending Laban’s reading at Phoenix Books that night at 7 p.m.

You have spoken, and you want Howard Frank Mosher to talk about A Stranger in the Kingdom when he comes to Hotel Vermont to speak on Tuesday, October 21st. We are looking for donors to help pay for this event. Make a gift of $300 or more to the BWW and we’ll treat you to dinner with Howard at Juniper, Hotel Vermont’s fancy schmancy restaurant, before the reading. You’ll like it! Make your gift today.

The Hatch is coming to the Flynn Center! Learn more here.

Congratulations! You’ve reached the end this week’s announcements. If you’ve read this far, you deserve a prize. Contact me and say “I want my prize” and I’ll leave you something special in the BWW workspace this week.

Sponsors

Thanks to Marble House Project for supporting the BWW. They offer writing courses in Southern Vermont, and you can learn more about it here.

Thanks to Quantum Leap Capital in South Burlington for supporting the BWW. For several months, QLC has been a great supporter of this workshop. QLC offers financial planning for people of all ages and income levels.

 

 

 

 

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of September 29, 2014

Did you know that, on the last day of the month, we schedule a month’s worth of workshops? Tomorrow is the last day of September, so we’ll post all of November’s workshops to Meetup.com. If you have an idea for a workshop, send it to me ASAP, and we’ll see if we can fit it. If not, it’ll have to wait until December.

We’ve got lots of opportunities for you to get involved with the local writing scene, so let’s get to them!

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Opportunities and Announcements: Week of September 22, 2014

Poet Artress Bethany White reads her work at the launch of Mud Season Review on Saturday, September 20, 2014. White's work will appear in a forthcoming issue of MSR.

Poet Artress Bethany White reads her work at the launch of Mud Season Review on Saturday, September 20, 2014. White’s work will appear in a forthcoming issue of MSR.

This year’s Burlington Book Festival was a great success. We held our launch party for Mud Season Review and gave a stellar reading on religion and faith the following morning. We met lots of new folks and reconnected with some old friends. In short, it was a fantastic weekend for literary folks in Vermont.

We’ve posted pictures of the Mud Season Review festivities on the MSR Facebook page, which I hope you’ll both “Like” and invite your friends to “Like.” As one of our authors said at Saturday night’s reading, it’ll be exciting to see where this journal is in five years. A good place, I’m sure.

Anyway, without further ado, here are this week’s opportunities and announcements.

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Opportunities and Announcements: Week of September 15, 2014

Thank you to everyone who came to “Community Night” at Bluebird BBQ. We raised a total of $260 for the BWW, which is awesome and greatly needed.

If you couldn’t make it but would still like to help us pay for BWW expenses, please make a donation here. We need your support. Thanks!

There are quite a few opportunities and announcements for you this week, so here they are.

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A Free Writing Retreat for Women

photo 1Tayna Lyn Willard, a member of the BWW, has offered to lead a free writing retreat for women on October 25th. The retreat will take place at HOWL (Huntington Open Women’s Land trust). There is a house, a barn and 50 acres of land including fields, streams and hiking trails.

This is a nature retreat for both poetry and prose writers. Poetry-focused time will be from 9 a.m. – noon and prose-focused time will be from 1-4 p.m. This is meant to be only a lightly guided retreat with much time and space allowed for writing and creating during the retreat.

There is an option to camp overnight in the field by the pond. HOWL has a full kitchen and shower available for the use of anyone who would like to camp that night. Camping participants should plan to bring their own food or eat in a neighboring town. Participants should also bring anything they need to sleep, such as a sleeping bag and tent. Tanya will also be leading a hike once the sessions are over for anyone interested in staying active. HOWL is only about a five minute drive from Camel’s Hump if anyone is interested in hiking that afterwards. Continue reading

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of September 8, 2014

If you’re a member of the Burlington Writers Workshop, it’s likely that you measure yourself using two yardsticks: (1) The quality of your writing and (2) the quality of the feedback you give to your fellow writers.

In both cases, the word “quality” is a matter of opinion. What makes a piece of writing good is up for debate. Ditto for feedback.

However, there are techniques you can use to help move your writing along, and there are steps you can take to becoming a better provider of feedback. I’ve outlined some steps that I hope you’ll consider. We ought to give each other the best possible response at every single workshop, and reading this, IMHO, is a good way to start.

Okay. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on to this week’s opportunities and announcements.

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