- MSR changes and opportunities
- Strategic planning retreat
- Stories By the Fire online and on TV
- Podcast workshop scheduled
- Congratulations & thanks
Mud Season Review aims for long-term sustainability & invites more BWW members to join the staffAs announced at our annual meeting in November, the BWW board and Mud Season Review staff have been meeting over the past 2 months and discussing how to help ensure the journal’s long-term sustainability while staying true to all aspects of its mission. We are now in a position to share our collective plan to help Mud Season further its objectives as an integral part of the BWW. Some very promising changes are afoot. Click here to read the plan
Adding professional development for our staff The main goal of Mud Season Review is to help interested BWW members learn how to become editors, better understand the publishing world of literary journals, and build connections with authors and artists outside of Vermont. To that end, the BWW will now offer at least 4 professional development workshops throughout the year, with in-house and outside editors sharing their knowledge with MSR staff as well as editing staff of the BWW annual anthology. The first will be later this January. Adjusting the publishing schedule to allow for more community building As part of the Burlington Writers Workshop, Mud Season also serves as an extension of the BWW community and learning initiatives. To that end, we are modifying the publishing schedule significantly to allow staff more time to meet, mentor and be mentored, and attend workshops so they can continually develop skills and build stronger connections with each other as a team. Going forward, Mud Season will publish 6 online issues per year, one every other month, with discrete one-month submission periods. Paying contributors in lieu of an annual print issue to save resources and adjust to a changing media climate Because the print issue requires a significant investment of funds and time-intensive work, as well as the work needed to raise those funds, Mud Season will not be doing a print issue unless staff members decide in a particular year to take on this challenge and make it happen. Instead, with the money raised through manuscript reviews, Mud Season will begin to pay contributors, $50 for each featured author and artist and $15 for each illustrating artist. This decision was made based in part on the following considerations:
- While these are nominal amounts, payment of any amount shows respect for the work that goes into writing and art, and provides a strong marketing tool.
- Paying contributors is seen as an even greater draw than having a print issue in today’s changing media climate.
- Our MSR contributors have consistently expressed a preference to be online rather than in the print issue, because being featured online gives them the spotlight through an interview and allows them to share their work on social media.
- The BWW already provides the experience of designing and working on a print journal through our annual anthology of member work.
- Any relevant experience, from editing to proofing, to website design and social media aptitude, to community building and marketing
- A statement of your interest, whether in a particular genre (nonfiction, fiction, poetry, art) or in a particular role (reading, editing, interviewing, social media, marketing)
- What you hope to gain from involvement with Mud Season
- An assessment of how much time you could give to the journal (hours per week) and whether you would be available to meet 4-6 times a year
Finally, a note on missionIn the annual survey and at the annual meeting, questions were raised about the connection between the BWW and Mud Season. We would like to share a few thoughts on this. By giving BWW members the experience of a literary journal and putting it in touch with the broader literary world beyond Vermont, we enrich our organization in 2 primary ways:
- Voices new to us become part of our community, whether virtually or by coming to lead workshops and retreats or by giving time and money to the organization (all of these have happened to date)
- Mud Season volunteers come back to workshops with new perspectives, more experience reviewing stories and poems and essays, and more experience with the process of submitting and getting work into publishable form. Better writers and readers enhance the quality and reputation of workshops, result in better feedback to submitters, and draw in more community members and funding that allows the organization to expand its offerings. We are hopeful that with the new workload balance, everyone in the community will benefit from the symbiosis between the BWW and Mud Season.