Why I give to the BWW

Terry Cleveland, BWW member and Wednesday Workshop leader

Terry Cleveland, BWW member and Wednesday Workshop leader

Three years ago, I decided I needed a forum to look at my questionable attempts at writing. Did I have the talent? Did I have something to say? Did anyone want to read what I had to say? I joined the BWW and sweated my first meeting at which the group reviewed my work.

I came away with a heart swelling with possibility. I received kudos for the courage to write what I had submitted. I received great feedback from the kind and supportive group. And I received what I needed most:  the boost to continue.

That is why I give to the Burlington Writers Workshop: for the boost. Sometimes I will go two or three weeks without the muse at my back. Then I go to a meeting after I’ve read the phenomenal writing submitted and we discuss it in a fun, safe, and intelligent bubble of encouragement. I more often than not will go back to my desk after one of those meetings and greet the muse once again.

I give for the education, the camaraderie, the like-minded people, and the chance to make my writing better. I urge you to do the same. The results are priceless.

—Terry Cleveland

If you feel the BWW gives a lot to you, please consider making a donation today.

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of November 28

It’s time to choose the next novel for our BWW Literature Reading Series! winter-2017-novel-poll

 

 

 

 

 

The group recently finished its best season yet with the reading of William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! and we’re ready to start on a new novel this coming January. There’s still room in this dedicated group of readers who meet each Tuesday evening in Burlington to share their experiences and perspectives of some of history’s most celebrated novels.

As with each season, the current participants have voted among themselves to come up with their top 3 choices for the next novel:

  1. Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master & Margarita
  2. Toni Morrison’s Beloved
  3. Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano

Now, it’s the larger BWW community’s turn to weigh in. Voting is open through Friday, December 9, 2016. Vote now >

Opportunities

Stories by the Fire:

In addition to the opportunity above, don’t forget about It Happened One December: Stories by the Fire, our oral storytelling event coming up on Saturday, December 10, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.  For the second year, the BWW will present Stories by the Fire around the hearth at Hotel Vermont. This oral storytelling event features 8 first-person, true stories—each about 8 minutes long—told without notes in the style of The Moth.

Produced by BWW oral stories leader Deena Frankel and hosted by BWW member Gin Ferrara, this event is free and open to the public. Our media sponsor for the event is RETN. RSVP now >

Member event:

Also, a reminder that all BWW members are invited to the “Afternoon of Poetry and Friends” book launch and reception for BWW member Anne Averyt’s recently published poetry chapbook, Autumn’s Yard. The reception will be held on Thursday, December 1 from 4:30 to 6:30 at Chef’s Corner South End on Flynn Avenue, just below Pine Street.

Announcements

msr-issue-25Mud Season Review‘s Issue #25 launched last week, with artwork by Ole Brodersen, fiction by Amanda Rodriguez, nonfiction by Rebecca Fremo, and poetry by Triin Paja. Congratulations to the MSR team on the launch of another fine issue! Check out Issue #25 >

 

 

 

Flynn Blog

Burlington Writers Workshop members regularly blog for the Flynn Center. Check out these recent posts:

Lorraine Ryan previews “A Christmas  Carol,” coming to the Flynn MainStage on Thursday, December 1 >

Cynthia Close writes about Sally Linder, whose “White Magnetism” exhibit opens on December 3 at the Flynn’s Amy E Tarrent Gallery >

Cynthia also previews National Theatre Live’s Hamlet at Palace 9 Cinema in South Burlington >

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of November 14, 2016

annual-meeting-celebrationThank you to everyone who came out to our first Annual Meeting & Celebration last weekend.

It was such a pleasure to be able to share with you all some of the background work that’s been going on to keep the BWW thriving—and to hear your many wonderful ideas for the future. But more than that, it was deeply warming and inspiring to come together as writers—and as a creative community—to talk and laugh and share our stories and songs together. If you signed up for a volunteer role, I’ll be in touch with more information soon! I’ll also be continuing to update you all on ideas shared and plans for 2017 as those continue to unfold.

Opportunities

It Happened One December: Stories by the Fire

stories-by-the-fireSaturday, December 10, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Hotel Vermont

For the second year, the BWW will present Stories by the Fire around the hearth at Hotel Vermont. This oral storytelling event features 8 first-person, true stories—each about 8 minutes long—told without notes in the style of The Moth.

Produced by BWW oral stories leader Deena Frankel and hosted by BWW member Gin Ferrara, this event is free and open to the public. Our media sponsor for the event is RETN.

RSVP now >

Workshops

kerrin-mccaddenMonday Night Poetry with Kerrin McCadden
Monday, December 5

We’ve got some great workshop opportunities coming up, including a poetry workshop with guest poet Kerrin McCadden on Monday, December 5 at 6:30 p.m. in Burlington. RSVP now>

Announcements

Flynn Blog

Burlington Writers Workshop members regularly blog for the Flynn Center. Check out these recent posts:

Kelly Hedglin Bowen reviews Lyric Theatre’s recent presentation of The Who’s Tommy on the Flynn MainStage >

Josh McDonald reviews the Middlebury Actors Workshop’s recent performance of Macbeton the Flynn MainStage on November 1 >

Lorraine Ryan reviews the Capitol Steps’ recent performance on the Flynn MainStage >

Congrats…

autumns-yard-coverCongratulations to longtime BWW member Anne Averyt on the publication of her poetry chapbook, Autumn’s Yard A meditation on life, love, loss, and eternity, the themed poetry collection uses nature as a metaphor to reflect on aging and sorrow, resiliency and hope.

Anne invites all BWW members to attend her “Afternoon of Poetry and Friends” book launch and reception.

The reception will be held on Thursday, December 1 from 4:30 to 6:30 at Chef’s Corner South End on Flynn Avenue, just below Pine Street.

And thanks…

A huge thank you to everyone who helped make the BWW’s first annual meeting and celebration such a success:

The many BWW guest authors and Mud Season Review authors who donated copies of their books to our book raffle. See the authors >

Our generous auction sponsors: Burlington City Arts (BCA), The Burlington Free Press, Crow Bookshop, Dostie Bros. Frame Shop, Essex Community Players, Evolution Yoga, The Farmhouse Group, The Flying Pig Bookstore, The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts,  Jivana Holistic Spa, Radio Bean, RETN, Sequoia Salon, Vermont Center for Acupuncture & Wellness, Vermont International Film Foundation, Vintage Photography Emporium, and Zabby & Elf’s Stone Soup.

And our members who pitched in to help in many ways, especially:

Our board of directors for their work in helping to create the member survey and analyze the results.

Cathy Beaudoin for her guidance in preparing the annual meeting presentation, her generous donation of Heady Topper (a popular extra auction item at the event!), and her work with staffing the raffle table.

Peter Biello for his always-available guidance, help at the event space, co-leadership of the Q&A session, and emceeing of the open mic.

Lauren Bender for all her help with the Mud Season Review book raffle and the event.

Cynthia Close for her work soliciting auction donations and helping to secure the event space.

Seth Cronin for providing the sound system as well as the live music.

Rebecca Starks for an absolutely unbelievable last-minute catering job for the event.

Mike Sweeney for all his help putting together the raffle basket and supporting event preparation.

And Barbie AlsopJody Smith, Candelin Wahl, and others for pitching in at the event!

Opportunities & Announcements: Week of October 24, 2016

This is a very busy time for the Burlington Writers Workshop! Here are the top 5 opportunities you don’t want to miss over the next few weeks:

Top 5 Opportunities with the BWW

#1 Take the BWW survey

Deadline: October 28, 2016

the-bww-2016member-survey-1Share your thoughts on all things Burlington Writers Workshop—and help to shape what we’ll do in the future. The survey takes about 5 minutes. Deadline is Friday, October 28, 2016.

Take the survey >

 

#2 Submit your work for publication

Deadline: October 31, 2016

call-for-subsOur call for submissions for The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2017 closes on Monday, October 31, 2016. So make sure to submit your work!

We’re looking for your fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. The only criteria for eligibility is to have attended 1 BWW workshop within the past 5 years. Submit your work >

 

#3 Come to the BWW’s First Annual Member Meeting & Celebration

11-12-16-1Saturday, November 12 at Main Street Landing in Burlington:

Learn about all we’ve done this past year to meet member goals—and how you can get involved. Celebrate our dedicated volunteers. And, join us for our first BWW open mic night to share your talents with your fellow members. RSVP now >

 

#4 Support the BWW and win a basket of books

october-schedule-1Tickets on sale through Saturday, November 12 event

More than 20 accomplished authors who’ve either been a featured author in Mud Season Review, led a BWW guest workshop or retreat, or joined us for an expert panel or reading, have already donated copies of their latest books. And many of the copies are signed! Meet our authors >

Raffle tickets are $5 each.

And special offer: The first 2 people to sign up to be a BWW sustaining member (an automatic donation of $12 or more per month) this week will get 5 additional raffle tickets!

The drawing will take place at the Annual Member Meeting & Celebration. But don’t worry. If you can’t join us, we’ll contact you if you win.

To buy tickets, ask your workshop leader or make a donation and write your contact info + “raffle tickets” in the comments field. All proceeds go toward BWW programs & publications!

 

#5 Support the BWW in our online auction

Bidding open through Saturday, November 12 event

vtiff_logo-1Support the BWW—and local businesses—while buying some amazing gifts for yourself and others. Like a Friend Level membership to the Vermont International Film Foundation or a 10-class card to Evolution Yoga!

evolution-yogaWinning bidders can pay online through the auction site or by cash, check, or credit card at the Annual Member Meeting & Celebration on November 12. All proceeds go toward BWW programs & publications. Check out the auction > 

Announcements

Flynn Blog

Burlington Writers Workshop members regularly blog for the Flynn Center. Check out these recent posts:

Lauren J. Sanders previews the National Theatre Live’s Frankenstein, coming to Palace 9 Cinemas  on October 27 >

Josh McDonald previews the Middlebury Actors Workshop’s Macbeth, coming to the Flynn MainStage on November 1 >

Lorraine Ryan previews the Capitol Steps, on the Flynn MainStage tonight, October 25 >

Congrats…

Congrats to Anne Charles, whose review of the  2016 memoir A Body, Undone: Living On After Great Pain by Christina Crosby was recently published by the Lambda Literary Review (Vol. 7, Issue 94, Friday, Oct. 20, 2016). Read the review >

Congrats to Sam Hugheswhose poem “Representation” was recently published in Rattle. Read the poem >

And thanks…

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2016 book tour event in Middlebury. Thanks, especially, to Elizabeth Gaucher for coordinating and hosting, David Weinstock and Ann Fisher for co-hosting and reading, and to all of our readers: Zoe Armstrong, Melinda Bachand, Dennis Bouldin, Cynthia Close.

Thank you to Cathy Beaudoin for hosting our first workshop leaders potluck. And thank you to all the dedicated workshop leaders who made it out for our meeting!

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of October 17, 2016

Support the BWW through our first online auction!

Support the BWW in our first online auction!

Support the BWW in our online auction and member survey

Our first online auction is now live! Thanks to our generous donors in the community, you can support the BWW while buying some amazing gifts for yourself and others. Like a 10-class card (valued at $140) to Evolution Yoga! The auction will be online all month—culminating in a live auction at our Annual Member Meeting & Celebration on Saturday, November 12, 4:00 p.m. at Main Street Landing Gallery in downtown Burlington.

Participating in the online auction is easy. Just complete the quick sign up on the site, browse the items, and place your bids. At the conclusion of the auction, the highest bidders will be able to pay online (via PayPal) or in person by cash, check, or credit card.  Bidders don’t have to be BWW members—so please share widely with friends and family!

Start bidding > 

Your support of the auction will help to fund BWW workshops, retreats, events, and publications for next year. So it’s also important to share your thoughts and ideas for what you’d like to see the BWW do in the future. We’re leaving the 2017 member survey open longer to make sure you have time to share your thoughts. It takes just about 5 minutes. Take the survey now >

Opportunities

Publishing opportunities


call-for-subsCall for submissions open through October 31, 2016:
 The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2017

Don’t forget to send in your submissions for The Best of 2017!  We’re looking for your best work in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry—and we’d love to hear from voices both known and new to us. If you’ve attended a BWW workshop within the past 5 years, you’re eligible! Deadline for submissions is October 31, 2016. Submit your work >

Deena Frankel, BWW oral storytelling workshop leader, shares a holiday-themed stories at Hotel Vermont

Call for winter- or holiday-themed oral story pitches for Stories by the Fire at Hotel Vermont: Open through November 15, 2016 

For the second year, the BWW will present Stories By the Fire around the hearth at Hotel Vermont, December 10, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. This oral storytelling event features 6 to 8 first-person, true stories—each about 8 minutes long—told without notes in the style of The Moth.

Producer and BWW oral stories workshop leader, Deena Frankel, is soliciting pitches now for this event. If you have a story idea and are open to a little informal workshopping in advance of the event, please submit a 1-paragraph summary of your story idea by November 15 to dfrankel118@gmail.com.

If the idea of telling without notes puts you off, we are considering accepting 1 story that is read by the author as an experiment in mixing the 2 styles. So if you have the perfect story under 800 words, please consider submitting your story by the deadline.

Readings & Events

BWW’s First Annual Member Meeting & Celebration
Saturday, November 12 at Main Street Landing in Burlington

Member Forum │ Fundraising Auction │ Open Mic Night

This event is your opportunity to hear firsthand about all the BWW has accomplished this past year to meet member goals—and to help shape the future of our shared community. It’s also a time to connect with other members you may not see regularly in workshops or on the Mud Season Review staff, help to recognize and celebrate our many dedicated volunteers, share your talents with the BWW community, and support the funding that makes everything we do possible (while picking up some great holiday gift-giving items through our auction & book raffle).

If you’re looking for ways to get more involved in the BWW—or if you’re already a dedicated member and want to continue helping to shape our direction—this is the time. RSVP to save your spot now >

Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2016 anthologyBest of 2016 Book Tour: Reading in Middlebury
Saturday, October 22, 4:30 p.m.

Hosted by our Best of 2016 fiction editor, Elizabeth Gaucher, and BWW Middlebury members Ann Fisher and David Weinstock, this event will feature readings from some of the anthology’s talented writers: Zoe Armstrong, Dennis Bouldin, and Cynthia Close. Writers from the Middlebury Chapter will also read. RSVP now >

the-hatcheck-girlThe Hatcheck Girl: Book Launch in Jeffersonville
Friday, October 21, 5:30 p.m.

BWW retreat leader Tony Whedon will celebrate the release of his latest book, The Hatcheck Girl, with poems, jazz, and good conversation at the Bryan Art Gallery in Jeffersonville. Learn more >

Announcements

 Mud Season Review Interviews

Check out the insightful interviews of MSR featured authors:

Guest editor Aimee Nezhukumatathil interviews Issue #23 featured poet Christina Mun-Lutz >

Flynn Blog

BWW members regularly write for the Flynn Center’s blog. Check out these recent posts:

Lorraine Ryan previews Mike Birbiglia: Thank God for Jokes, coming to the Flynn MainStage on Sunday, October 23 >

Cynthia Close reviews Art Garfunkel’s recent performance on the Flynn MainStage >

Lorraine Ryan reviews Flip Fabrique’s recent performance on the Flynn MainStage >

Kelly Hedglin Bowen reviews Rennie Harris Puremovement, recently featured on the Flynn Main Stage >

Lorraine Ryan reviews Ifrikya Spirit’s recent performance in FlynnSpace >

Congrats and thanks

Thank you to our recent guest authors, David HuddleElizabeth Powell, and Sean Prentiss.

Thanks to our board, and especially Cynthia Close, for helping to solicit donations for our auction.

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of October 3, 2016

the-bww-2016member-survey-1The BWW 2017 Member Survey is now open!

This is your chance to share your thoughts on all things Burlington Writers Workshop. Each year, we work to find out more about members’ experiences and what we’d all like to see happen in the future. And this year, survey results will help to inform the discussion at our upcoming Annual Member Meeting in November. So I encourage everyone to take the time to take the survey and make sure your input is included.

The 2017 member survey will be open through October 14, 2016. Take the survey now >

Opportunities

BWW’s First Annual Member Meeting & Celebration
Saturday, November 12 at Main Street Landing in Burlington

Member Forum │ Fundraising Auction │ Open Mic Night

This event is your opportunity to hear firsthand about all the BWW has accomplished this past year to meet member goals—and to help shape the future of our shared community. It’s also a time to connect with other members you may not see regularly in workshops or on the Mud Season Review staff, help to recognize and celebrate our many dedicated volunteers, share your talents with the BWW community, and support the funding that makes everything we do possible (while picking up some great holiday gift-giving items through our auction & book raffle).

If you’re looking for ways to get more involved in the BWW—or if you’re already a dedicated member and want to continue helping to shape our direction—this is the time. RSVP to save your spot now >


call-for-subsCall for submissions open through October 31, 2016:
 The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2017

Don’t forget to send in your submissions for The Best of 2017!  We’re looking for your best work in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry—and we’d love to hear from voices both known and new to us. If you’ve attended a BWW workshop within the past 5 years, you’re eligible! Deadline for submissions is October 31, 2016. Submit your work >

Workshops

labanhillChildren’s & Young Adult Literature

There are still spots open in our special guest workshop with Laban Carrick Hill, author of more than 35 books, including When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Origins of Hip Hop, listed on six 2014 Notable Book Lists, Dave the Potter: Artist, Slave Poet, a 2011 Caldecott Honor Book, Harlem Stomp!: A Cultural History of the Harlem Renaissance, a 2004 National Book Award Finalist. Join us for this children’s & young adult literature workshop!

Thursday, October 20, 2016, 6:30 p.m. 110 Main Street, Suite 3C in Burlington. RSVP to save your spot >

November Workshops

Also, our November schedule is now posted on Meetup. RSVP for November workshops >

Readings & Events

Best of 2016 Book Tour: Reading in Middlebury

Saturday, October 22, 4:30 p.m.

Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2016 anthologyHosted by our Best of 2016 fiction editor, Elizabeth Gaucher, and BWW Middlebury members Ann Fisher and David Weinstock, this event will feature readings from some of the anthology’s talented writers: Zoe Armstrong, Dennis Bouldin, and Cynthia Close. Writers from the Middlebury Chapter will also read. RSVP now >

Announcements

 Mud Season Review Interviews

Check out these insightful interviews of MSR featured authors:

Guest editor Sean Prentiss interviews Issue #23 featured nonfiction author Jonathan Rovner >

Guest editor Robin McLean interviews Issue #23 featured fiction author Nathan Leslie >

Flynn Blog

BWW members regularly write for the Flynn Center’s blog. Check out these recent posts:

Lorraine Ryan previews Flip Fabrique, performing on the Flynn MainStage on Sunday, October 9 >

Kelly Hedglin Bowen previews Rennie Harris Puremovement, performing on the Flynn MainStage on Friday, October 7 >

Colleen Ovelman reviews Ben Folds’ recent performance on the Flynn MainStage >

Congrats…

Congrats to Terry Cleveland and Bill Torrey, who are producing the upcoming “Tell it at Twiggs” storytelling event, the proceeds of which will support St. Alban’s Community Arts. If you’re in the area on Thursday, October 6, check out the event and sign up to tell a true story about yourself in 5-8 minutes. Doors open at 6 p.m. (show starts at 7 p.m.); $5 cover charge. 24 North Main Street in St. Albans City.

and thanks…

Thank you to Rose Eggert and Riki Moss for their great work in coordinating and hosting the final retreat of the BWW 2017 Retreat Season! Thank you to Tony Whedon, our instructor for the retreat, and Treleven Farm, our host. And thank you to Karin Ames and everyone on the retreat committee for a series of very successful BWW retreats this year.

Thank you to Robin McLean for another wonderful guest author workshop with us this past Saturday!

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of September 26, 2016

11-12-16-3This past weekend was an inspiring one for this BWW organizer.

On Saturday, I got to spend the day with 14 dedicated BWW workshop leaders (and future workshop leaders) as we discussed how to continually improve the inclusiveness and depth of our workshops, how to make sure newer writers feel welcomed into workshop conversations while ensuring that experienced writers continue to feel challenged, how to keep discussions dynamic with craft exercises and prompts, and all kinds of other ideas both practical and philosophical. Under the excellent guidance of Nora Mitchell, an experienced local writer and creative writing professor, we also explored ways to deepen our own reading experiences so that we can bring those techniques and exercises to BWW workshops.

On Sunday, I got to hear several of our members read their beautiful poetry at The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2016 book tour stop at Shelburne Vineyard. What a lovely, cozy environment for a reading (and the great wine was a bonus too)! Thanks to Michelle Watters, Best of 2016 poetry reader, for bringing us there. I hope we’ll be back soon.

And now, I have the privilege of inviting you—our members—to the first-ever Burlington Writers Workshop Annual Member Meeting on Saturday, November 12 at Main Street Landing in Burlington.

This event is your opportunity to hear firsthand about all the BWW has accomplished this past year to meet member goals—and to help shape the future of our shared community. It’s also a time to connect with other members you may not see regularly in workshops or on the Mud Season Review staff, help to recognize and celebrate our many dedicated volunteers, share your talents with the BWW community, and support the funding that makes everything we do possible (while picking up some great holiday gift-giving items through our auction & book raffle).

Here’s the plan:

4 p.m.: Board presentation of 2016 activities and survey results & open member forum. Bring your thoughts, questions, and ways you can volunteer to share.

5 p.m.: Member reception and auction. Bring your enthusiasm, your friends, and your donations to purchase some excellent gift-giving items to give to friends and family while supporting the BWW. Look for more information coming soon.

6 p.m.: Member open mic. Bring your stories, songs, and poems for our member open mic night. We’re hoping this is the kickoff of many more BWW open mic nights to come.

And don’t forget to take the member survey before you arrive! The 2016 member survey will be open from October 1 – October 14, 2016. Survey results will inform the framework of the open member forum. Check back here, or look for upcoming Opportunities & Announcements emails, for the link to the survey on October 1.

If you’re looking for ways to get more involved in the BWW—or if you’re already a dedicated member and want to continue helping to shape our direction—this is the time. RSVP to save your spot now >

Opportunities


call-for-subsCall for submissions:
 The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2017

This is an exciting year to be part of the anthology, as 2017 marks our 5-year anniversary of publishing the work of BWW members. We’re looking for your best work in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry—and we’d love to hear from voices both known and new to us.

Deadline for submissions is October 31, 2016. Submit your work now >

Workshops

Elizabeth Powell

Poet Elizabeth Powell

Workshop your poetry with Elizabeth Powell

We have an excellent opportunity for the poets in the group coming up on Monday, October 10 in Burlington. Guest poet Elizabeth Powell will be joining us to lead the Monday Night Poetry Workshop.

Elizabeth is the author of “The Republic of Self,” a New Issue First Book Prize winner, selected by C.K. Williams. Her second book “Willy Loman’s Reckless Daughter: Living Truthfully Under Imaginary Circumstances” won the Robert Dana Prize in poetry, chosen by Maureen Seaton, and will be published by Anhinga Press in 2016. In 2013, she won a Pushcart Prize. Powell has also received a Vermont Council on the Arts grants and a Yaddo fellowship. Her work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Barrow Street, Black Warrior Review, Ecotone, Harvard Review, Handsome, Hobart, Indiana Review, Missouri Review,Mississippi Review, Slope, Sugarhouse Review, Ploughshares,Post Road, and elsewhere. She is editor of Green Mountains Review, and associate professor of writing and literature at Johnson State College. She also serves on the faculty of the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing and Publishing. Born in New York City, she has lived in Vermont since 1989 with her four children.

Save your spot now >

And sign up to have your work reviewed by Elizabeth >

Readings & Events

Four Poets Read at the BCA
Sunday, October 2, 4 p.m.

kerrins-eventFrequent BWW guest poet Kerrin McCadden is reading at an event hosted by another supportive BWW partner, Burlington City Arts (BCA). “Four Poets Read” features Kerrin along with poets Paige Ackerson-Kiely and Justin Boening (winner of the National Poetry Series for his debut collection, Not on the Last) as well as fiction writer Tom Paine. Learn more > 

Best of 2016 Book Tour: Reading in Middlebury
Saturday, October 22, 4:30 p.m.

Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2016 anthologyThe next stop on the Best of 2016 book tour takes us to Middlebury! Hosted by our Best of 2016 fiction editor, Elizabeth Gaucher, and BWW Middlebury members Ann Fisher and David Weinstock, this event will feature readings from some of the anthology’s talented writers: Zoe Armstrong, Dennis Bouldin, and Cynthia Close. Writers from the Middlebury Chapter will also read. RSVP now >

 

Announcements

Meet our new Mud Season Review editor-in-chief

Lauren Bender, editor-in-chief, Mud Season Review

Lauren Bender, editor-in-chief, Mud Season Review

On September 20, Rebecca Starks, our founding co-editor of Mud Season Review, passed on the leadership of the journal to Lauren Bender, a dedicated BWW volunteer, Burlington poet, and former co-editor of Green Mountain College’s literary journal, Reverie. I recently had the chance to talk with Lauren about her background and her goals for the journal. Check out our conversation and get to know Lauren a bit. Read the interview >

Flynn Blog

BWW members regularly write for the Flynn Center’s blog. Check out these recent posts:

Lorraine Ryan previews Ifrikya Spirit, coming to FlynnSpace on September 30 >

Colleen Ovelman previews Ben Folds, who recently performed on the Flynn MainStage >

Congrats…

Congratulations to Bill Torrey, whose debut collection of short stories, The Ta Ta Weenie Club, was recently published by Green Writers Press. Bill will be holding his book launch at Phoenix Books on October 5 at 7 p.m. You can learn more about the book at billtorreyvt.com.

Joan Furchgott and Brad Sourdiffe founded Furchgott Sourdiffe Gallery 25 years ago in the heart of Shelburne Village. BWW member Cynthia Close provides some history and surveys the three 25th anniversary exhibitions that celebrate the gallery’s 25 years in a recent article for Vermont Art Guide. Read the article >

and thanks…

Thank you to the dedicated workshop leaders (and future workshop leaders) who attended Saturday’s workshop leader retreat: Barbie AlsopKarin Ames, Wendy AndersenCathy BeaudoinMartin Bock, Dennis BouldinRosa CastellanoAnn FisherDeena FrankelEtiane GeorgeEva GumprechtWalt MahanyNatasha Mieszkowski, and Amanda Vella. And thank you to our retreat facilitator, Nora Mitchell.

Thank you to Michelle Watters for coordinating and hosting The Best of 2017 book tour reading at Shelburne Vineyard. And thank you to the poets who read at the event: Zoe Armstrong, Mark Hoffman, Spencer Smith, and Jimmy Tee.

Meet our new Mud Season Review editor-in-chief

An interview with Lauren Bender

I recently had a chance to talk with Lauren Bender, our new editor-in-chief for Mud Season Review. As I get to know her more, I’m ever more sure the journal is in very good hands. Here’s what Lauren had to say about how she got involved with the BWW, how she started writing poetry, and how she sees the journal’s future taking shape.

Lauren Bender, editor-in-chief, Mud Season Review

Lauren Bender, editor-in-chief, Mud Season Review

You’re relatively new to Burlington and I remember meeting you at your first BWW event, The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2016 launch party. You were so helpful and willing to jump right in and volunteer. Can you share with your fellow members a little bit about what drew you to Burlington in general and to volunteering with the BWW specifically?

I really fell in love with Burlington after my wife and I attended the Burlington Pride parade/festival for the first time in 2012. I grew up in a large city in Virginia but had spent the last several years living in a small town, which felt limiting to me after a while.

As soon as we knew we were going to move, I started scoping out the writing community, mostly through Facebook. One of the upcoming events I saw was the BWW Best of 2016 launch party. That led to me heading over to the BWW website and joining so that I could RSVP to that event, and then I saw the call for volunteers and thought that would be the perfect way to meet people.

You joined the staff of Mud Season Review shortly after joining the BWW. What drew you to the journal? 

The Mud Season Review Vol 2 launch party happened about a week after the Best of 2016 launch party; that was another event I spotted on Facebook. There were also copies of MSR for sale at the Best of launch, and I was impressed by the design and the quality of work included. I remember immediately wanting to get involved and emailing Rebecca soon after that to ask about any volunteer opportunities.

Can you share some of your favorite pieces from the Mud Season archives?

I really love Lisa Beech Hartz’s art-focused poetry (Issue 19) and Aimee Nezhukhumatathil’s poem “The Smallest Commotion” from our Volume 2 print issue. Lori White’s nonfiction piece “Mapquest to Auntie Iryne’s” (Issue 17) is brilliant with form without any sacrifice to the quality of the writing. With fiction, I’m usually drawn to magical realism and strangeness, so one of my favorites is Jacob Guajardo’s “We Have Commandeered Our Bodies to Science” (Issue 14). And there are a few art pieces that I feel I could stare at for hours: Dr. Ernest Williamson III’s “Regardless of What You Face” (Issue 4) and Jessica Nissen’s “Red Storm” and “Purple Storm” from our Volume 1 print issue.

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Opportunities and Announcements: Week of September 19, 2016

Check out issue #23 at www.mudseasonreview.com

Check out issue #23 at www.mudseasonreview.com

Mud Season Review Issue #23 launched today—and it’s a special issue on 2 fronts.

For the first time, we’ve invited guest editors to select or solicit work for an issue of MSR. Thank you to our guest editors, Aimee Nezhukumatathil (poetry), Sean Prentiss (nonfiction), and Robin McLean (fiction), all of whom were featured authors in our 2016 print issue. I’m looking forward to digging into the work they’ve chosen for this issue.

Issue #23 also marks a turning point in the journal. A point where we move forward in our vision of a collaborative and dynamic experience that allows for many different members of the Burlington Writers Workshop to gain the experience of editing a literary journal and to lend their voices to this community-led creation. After 2 full years of publishing, we have come to our first 2-year editor term limit turnover.

Many, many thanks to the MSR staff members who have been with the journal from the beginning and are moving on from their current positions: Wendy Andersen (copy editor), Cynthia Close (art co-editor), Emily Ferro (associate nonfiction editor), and Brett Sigurdson (nonfiction co-editor). These staff members have made many contributions during their time with the journal and I look forward to seeing their continued contributions to the BWW and the wider literary world.

And last, but certainly not least, Rebecca Starks, our founding editor-in-chief, whose beautiful sense of language, incredible generosity in editing, and tireless dedication to quality has been at the heart of this journal since long before we opened the first call for submissions. Having worked closely with Rebecca, first as managing editor of MSR and then as BWW organizer, I’ve seen firsthand just how much of herself she has given to this journal, its staff, and all of the many writers we have featured—and I will be forever grateful to have had the opportunity to take this journey with her.

Like many of you I’m sure, I will also miss reading the works of art that are Rebecca’s monthly letters-from-the-editor, but I look forward to working with her on new projects for MSR and the wider BWW—and I know we both are very much looking forward to seeing where this journal goes next under an expanded team and new leadership. Look for an introduction to Lauren Bender, our incoming MSR editor-in-chief, and other new staff members soon!

Check out the writing of Christina Mun-Lutz (poetry), Jonathan Rovner (nonfiction), and Nathan Leslie (fiction), and the artwork of Troy Simmons in Issue #23.

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An interview with Vermont writer Spencer Smith

Spencer Smith will be reading her poetry at the upcoming Best of 2016 book tour event in Shelburne

Spencer Smith will be reading her poetry at the upcoming Best of 2016 book tour event in Shelburne

Our poetry editor, Michelle Watters, recently had this exchange with Spencer Smith, who will be reading her poetry at the upcoming The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2016 book tour event at Shelburne Vineyard. Here’s what Spencer had to say about her poetry and fiction writing and the inspirations behind her work.

How long have you been a BWW member?

About three years.

Do you think it has helped you grow as a writer?

I have been writing since 1977 so I don’t know about growing, but I like it. It has been helpful to me as a writer.

When did you start writing poetry?

I was living in NYC, working as a freelance writer. A friend of mine who wrote promos at ABC told me about a Haiku group she’d heard of called The Haiku Society of America. They met once a month at Columbia University.

I never felt like I could write poetry. I had never studied poetry and was very insecure about it, but I thought maybe I could do Haiku because it was a shorter form. We went, I liked it, and I continued to go to the group.

Later, I came to Vermont for a writers retreat in Adamant and I wrote my first poetry that was not Haiku. The poems were about nature. Then I wrote poetry off and on for the next ten years. This poem, “June Heat,” [featured in The Best of 2016] was one of a couple I was working on about Ukraine and Russia.

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Opportunities and Announcements: Week of September 12, 2016

best-of-2017-5Want to have your short story, essay, or poems included in The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2017?

Our call for submissions is now open! This is an exciting year to be part of the anthology, as 2017 marks our 5-year anniversary of publishing the work of BWW members. We’re looking for your best work in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry—and we’d love to hear from voices both known and new to us. Deadline for submissions is October 31, 2016. Submit your work now >

Or, would you like to be a Best of editor?

We’re also putting together our editing team for this year’s anthology. Whether you’re an experienced editor or a writer looking to learn more about the editing process or the marketing and book sales side of publishing, we have a role for you to consider. Working on the Best of is an excellent way to build connections with other writers and editors in the community while also building your editing and publishing experience—and credentials—in an open and collaborative learning environment. Deadline for applications is September 30, 2016 or until positions are filled. Apply now >
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Say hello to Mark Hoffman’s “Saying Goodbye”

Best of the BWW 2016 poet Mark Hoffman

The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2016 poet Mark Hoffman

Our poetry editor, Michelle Watters, recently had this exchange with Mark Hoffman, who will be reading his poetry at the upcoming The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2016 book tour event at Shelburne Vineyard. Here’s what Mark had to say about his poetry and the inspiration behind it.

How long have you been a member of the BWW?
A couple of years.

Do you think the workshop has helped your writing?

Absolutely. It’s expanded my perspective on writing technique and the nature of craft, while giving me a real sense of the process of writing, helping me to understand my own process so I can use it more effectively. Of course all of these things only have value when you practice; you can’t learn to walk just by talking or thinking about it, and writing is the same way. The workshop gives you lots of incentive to keep writing, as well a safe place to trot out new stories and try them out.

Your poem “Saying Goodbye,” which is in this year’s anthology, is simply put a classic love poem reminiscent of W.B Benton’s book of poems This is my Beloved. When writing this poem, did you intend to leave the reader with a sense of loss and time?

Yes, it was written to a specific person. I’d had a three-year relationship with someone; the poem in last year’s anthology was written near the beginning of that relationship. “Saying Goodbye” was written near the end. I often use poems as a way to clarify my feelings; when I hurt or something’s bothering me, poems help to embody those feelings, so I can understand them better and let them go.

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Opportunities and Announcements: Week of September 5, 2016

Well, September is here! And it’s bringing with it many opportunities to get more involved in the BWW—as well as much excitement for what’s ahead.

best of 2017 (3)The first opportunity is a call for editors for The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2017. This year will be a milestone for us, as 2017 will be the 5th annual Best of anthology.

Working on the Best of is an excellent way to build connections with other writers and editors in the community while also building your editing, publishing, and book sales & marketing skills in an open and collaborative learning environment. We’ve expanded the available roles this year—including roles for lead editors, assistant editors, and a marketing & events coordinator—and I’m very much looking forward to working with this year’s team. If you’re interested in being part of Best of 2017, please consider applying.

Deadline for applications is September 30 or until positions are filled. Apply now >

If you’re interested in submitting your poems, stories, or essays for consideration, look for our call for submissions to go out next week!
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Filling the need for lightness and brevity in local poetry

An interview with Vermont poet Jimmy Tee

Our poetry editor, Michelle Watters, recently had this exchange with Jimmy Tee, who will be reading his poetry at the upcoming The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2016 book tour event at Shelburne Vineyard. Here’s what Jimmy had to say about his poetry.

How long have you been a BWW member?

Best of the BWW 2016 poet Jimmy Tee

Best of the BWW 2016 poet Jimmy Tee in his home writing space. 

I have been involved with the BWW since January 2014.

Do you feel that it has helped your writing?

Yes. I have learned to use the language and some techniques to better communicate my jumbled thoughts.

When discussing “”Meow Cat”” [Jimmy’s poem in Best of 2016] with my fellow editors, some felt that it could really be about a woman. Is that true?

It starts out that way. I was aiming to fill the need for lightness and brevity in local poetry.

 So is it about a woman or a cat?

It’s about a cat. I believe an author must work hard to approach the level of the subject. In this case, I lay prone on the floor staring deeply into her napping eyes.

Can you describe this cat for our readers a bit?

Meow Cat belongs to my daughter, Grace. Her official name is ‘Untitled Cat’ and she has also gone under the alias of ‘Rock Steady’. She is calm, affectionate, full of random surprises (as in ‘climbing boxes like Everest’ ), content to just be in the same room with you, but sometimes tribute must be paid and she demands attention.

How long have you been writing poetry?

Maybe ten years or so.

 Do you write in other genres?

Once in a while an essay or short tale. I’m beginning to write a cookbook.

Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years?

I enjoy creating my works in words, so I hope things stay about the same.

Who are your favorite authors?  Have you drawn inspiration from them?

Henry Miller is second to none; his vision of vitality through experience has followed me most of my life. Vonnegut for clear, human sense. Twain for his humor. I have been enjoying the poems of Sappho, Blake, and Hafiz lately.

What was your childhood like?

Lots of smiles and good times.

 What is your favorite place to write? 

At my desk under a Marc Chagall print. I am writing this at the beach, which is nice.

 What are some of the names of pets you have had throughout the years? Any sage wisdom you have picked up from interacting with them?

I had a dog named Bonzo, but he was difficult in many ways. Meow Cat is a gentle soul, untroubled with just a few desires. That’s for me!

To hear Jimmy and others read their work from this year’s anthology, join us for the upcoming The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2016 book tour event at Shelburne Vineyard. Enjoy a glass of local wine while listening to local poets read their work: a perfect pairing for any Vermonter. RSVP now >

About Jimmy

Jimmy Tee, resident poet from Milton, Vermont is a BWW member since 2014. Born and raised in Buffalo NY a very long time ago, he tells himself to keep it light and his cat agrees.

About The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2016

This book is the fourth installment in the Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop series. Founded in 2013, the annual anthology features work that is written, selected, and edited by BWW members. The mission of the anthology is to showcase the work of new, emerging, and established Vermont writers while offering Vermonters the opportunity to learn first-hand about the editing, publishing, and book marketing process. The 2016 edition is available for purchase on our website or in the BWW space at 110 Main Street in Burlington. Buy your copy now >