I’ve been providing a lot of feedback to writers lately through Mud Season Review. It’s one of the ways we keep the journal funded, but for me, it’s also a writing exercise.
Let me explain. In the past month or so, I’ve read someone’s novel, an essay collection, and four short stories. For each of these I’ve written a 1,500-word analysis, and I’ve made an effort to write a response of some kind on every page of the manuscript. It’s the kind of feedback I hope we’re giving each other in BWW workshops.
Anyway, doing this has really changed how I write. I’m learning how to articulate how I’m feeling as I read, and perhaps more importantly, I’m learning what I don’t want to see in prose. I’m learning what frustrates me as a reader. When I sit down to write my own work, I’m much more conscious now of what pleases me most as a reader, and what would please my ideal reader.
This, I think, is one of the key things about the BWW’s service. We get feedback on our own work, which is helpful, but it’s important to remember that giving feedback is not a purely altruistic act. You get something from it, assuming you put serious thought into it.
This is just to say: We’ve got many opportunities for you to exercise the feedback muscle. Here are the latest opportunities and announcements.
We’re still looking for a space manager to help us take good care of our workshop space on Main Street in Burlington. It’s the kind of job that you do once a week or so. You’d help us keep it clean and identify problems (are we out of water? need coffee? something broken?) and use BWW resources to solve these problems. Having a clean, comfortable space is important to us, so this role is your chance to make a difference without too much heavy lifting. Contact us if you’re interested.
We’ve got lots of response to our most recent call for editors for Mud Season Review. That’s great! We still haven’t made decisions on who to bring on. If you’d like to be considered, please apply here.
Finally, here’s the last call for those of you who want to join the programming committee. The programming committee is going to take on the job of scheduling workshops. We’ve not yet planned September or beyond, so if you’d like to be a part of this committee, contact us.
Mud Season Review usually publishes a new issue on the 20th of every month, except for August, which is our regular summer break. So check Mud Season Review online today (Tuesday) for the latest issue.