Opportunities & Announcements: Week of February 5, 2018

In this issue (click to jump to a section):


New Member Informational Workshop

Thursday, February 28, 6:30 p.m. in Burlington

Have you attended 5 or fewer BWW workshops to date? If yes, please join us for a new member workshop with BWW board members Rebecca Starks and Danielle Thierry. We’ll offer a brief introduction to the BWW—including how it all works and opportunities to get involved—and answer any questions you might have.  Then, we’ll review the work (fiction, nonfiction, or poetry) of 1 member, focusing on specific elements of craft and giving honest responses to the writing. All skill levels are welcome.

RSVP for this workshop now >

Fast Feedback Workshop with Joni B. Cole : 2 spots open

Saturday, February 17, 10:30 a.m. in Burlington 

We’ve had 2 spots open up in the February 17th Fast Feedback Workshop with Joni B. Cole.  As part of this workshop for writers of fiction and creative nonfiction, participants are invited to bring 2-3 double-spaced pages of a work-in-progress to read aloud for appreciation and quality feedback. The discussions also will include instruction on craft, and insights on how to cultivate a positive and productive creative process. Both nervous beginners and seasoned authors are welcome. Enrollment is limited to 9. The workshop is taught by Joni B. Cole, founder of the Writer’s Center of White River Junction and author of the new book Good Naked: Reflections on How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier (listed as “One of the Best Books for Writers” by Poets & Writers magazine).

RSVP for this workshop now> 

Lottery opens for Generative Prose Workshops with Baron Wormser

Individual workshops to be held Wednesdays, March 14, 21, and 28, 6:30 p.m. in Burlington

These workshops will consider how various approaches to sentence construction can broaden any writer’s approach to his or her material. We will do 2 prompts each session, one from a fiction writer and one from a nonfiction writer.

Each is an individual workshop and they do not need to be attended as a series. Participation in these workshops will be decided via a lottery. The lottery closes on Friday, February 23, midnight. Enter the lottery now >

Baron Wormser is the author/co-author of fourteen books and a poetry chapbook. His books include Scattered Chapters: New and Selected Poems (Sarabande Books), The Road Washes Out in Spring: a Poet’s Memoir of Living Off the Grid (University Press of New England), and The Poetry Life: Ten Stories (CavanKerry Press). His novel Tom o’ Vietnam, about a Vietnam veteran who is obsessed with King Lear, was published by New Rivers Press in the fall of 2017. Wormser has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Bread Loaf, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. From 2000 to 2006 he served as poet laureate of the state of Maine. He has taught many dozens of workshops across the United States and continues to offer generative workshops along with workshops focusing on the works of a particular poet. Founder of the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching and the Frost Place Seminar, Baron lives in Montpelier and teaches in the Fairfield University MFA Program.


Reminder: BWW anthology name change survey

The BWW anthology follow-up survey concerning the possibility of changing the anthology’s name will be held open until this Friday, February 9. We’d like to see at least 40 responses before we close the survey. If you haven’t responded, please share your opinion on this important question.  Take the survey now > 

Open hours at the BWW studio: All writers welcome!

During “open hours” at the studio, Burlington Writers Workshop members are invited to come to the workshop space to free write, write with guided prompts, make coffee or tea, and mingle with other fellow writers. RSVP for an upcoming open hours time  below:


Board and strategic planning update

At the last meeting of the BWW board of directors, we finalized the budget for 2018, and focused attention on next steps in developing our strategic plan. (Meeting minutes will be posted shortly.) Here are our evolving ideas for next steps, with strong emphasis on the board’s intention to have lots of conversation in many different ways as we go forward.

  1. Mission/vision statement: Board member Partridge Boswell is doing some initial drafting of a revised mission/vision statement. (All organizations should have poets  do this work!) Once we have a working draft, we’ll bring together the BWW members who were part of the initial strategic planning retreat, and other interested folks, for an informal focus group discussion. We’ll also offer other, online opportunities for feedback and discussion.
  2. Sustainability and the need for committees or working groups: In the coming month, we’ll be considering a committee structure to engage members more formally in the work that sustains the organization. In some areas, such as retreats and space management, leaders have emerged naturally and the work is in hand. In other areas, more hands are needed to make lighter and more collaborative work. Stay tuned for more details later in February.
  3. Strategic initiatives: Based on the work at the strategic planning retreat, the board has articulated 4 strategic initiatives that seem to have broad consensus. We hope to have more conversation about these at the upcoming mission/vision statement gathering. Initiatives include:
  • Powerful programming: Supporting and developing workshop leaders and providing content and support that continually evolves to meet emerging member needs (such as the work being done now to ensure MSR can continue on a self-sustaining path).
  • Digital platform reinvention to better support members and membership development.
  • Redefinition of “free” to a sustainable model and practices for the organization’s long-term health.
  • Administrative support.

The next meeting of the BWW board of directors will be held on February 15 at 6:30 p.m. This meeting will be a phone conference. If you’re interested in listening in, please feel free to contact us and we’ll provide the conference number.

Mud Season Review applies for Barrelhouse Amplifier Grant

A dedicated team of volunteers met the January 31 application deadline for this year’s Barrelhouse Amplifier grant for small literary magazines. If Mud Season Review is selected for this $1500 award, the money will be used to provide editing workshops and other types of professional development to journal staff in order to continue to strengthen the journal and its value for those who do the work. Thanks to Danielle Thierry, Margaret Grant, Rebecca Starks, Erin Post, Lauren Bender, and Deena Frankel for the collaborative work that produced a strong and creative application.

Flynn Center Blog

BWW members regularly blog for the Flynn Center. Read Joyce Gallimore’s recent preview of Pilobus’ “Shadowland” >

Congrats & thanks

Congratulations to Barbie Alsop whose poem “social security day” was published in the February edition of Peeking Cat Poetry, Issue 34.

Congratulations to Martin Bock, whose “Studies in Depth,” photos, sculpture and a Burlington Ode, will be exhibited at the Fletcher Free Library in Burlington from February 6 to April 28.

Thank you to Wendy AndersenKristabeth Atwood, Melinda BachandKelly BartlettPatrick Brownson, Rosa CastellanoTerry ClevelandEva GumprechtStephen KastnerSeth Melvin CroninNatasha Mieszkowski, and Rita Munro for hosting workshops in January. And thanks again to our January special guests, Vermont Poet Laureate Chard deNiord and digital marketing consultant Mieko A. Ozeki.

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