Tim Fitzgerald (left) and Amanda Vella (right)

Tim Fitzgerald (left) and Amanda Vella (right)

Here’s a sample of what workshop members are saying about The Burlington Writers Workshop.

“It’s a pleasure to share things with this group. I learn so much!”
— Eva Gumprecht

“Enjoyed my first workshop! Learned quite a bit, and met some great people!”
— Judith McLaughlin

“This was a great meeting with lively discussion of both fiction and poetry. I think all learned something about both pieces of work and had valuable contributions to make.”
— Barbara Alsop

“The group provided a close and insightful reading of the story and poems, the conversation was friendly, upbeat, inclusive and perceptive.”
— Mark Hoffman

“I was impressed as always by how closely, with such fine, varying shades of attention, everyone reads—to the point that I can feel their awareness of earlier drafts they’ve never seen. Sometimes I hesitate to submit work because I sense its flaws but they seem too much a part of me for anyone to help me with—but that way of looking at work and feedback disappears as soon as people start talking. It couldn’t have been more helpful, thank you!”
—Rebecca Starks

“What a terrific discussion of Dee and Darlene’s great work. So appreciative of BWW!”
— Andrea O’Connor

“This is a really great group of writers. The caliber of talent is very high and one might expect egos to crush the atmosphere. But they don’t. It’s a very open, honest, respectful, and insightful group that genuinely wants to help each other improve. ”
— Jim Gamble

“Thanks for the feedback, gang! Really helpful. Horror Workshop Rules.”
— Patrick Dodge

“I really appreciated the focus and shared reflections of the group and commend the authors for their bravery in sharing such important pieces of their respective lives. Thanks everyone.”
— Kerstin Lange

“Really interesting, informative, and supportive. I loved the blend of support and criticism – I think you strike a pretty perfect balance. I look forward (with some trepidation) to presenting one of my pieces!”
— Linden Higgins

“I enjoyed the meeting. I’ve never before been in a gang of writers. It felt like I was with my people. I appreciated the care and respect everyone took in their comments. I see why BWW has attracted some 500 participants.”
— Jernigan Pontiac

“It was just what I needed.”
—Vincent Bergamo

“Great to see everyone tonight and get such positive feedback!”
— Joseph Jones

“Thanks to everyone! I appreciated everyone’s thoughtful comments, and the chance to read and think about Michelle’s poems.”
—Rebecca Starks (again)

“Plenty of thoughtful and useful discussion. Everyone invested in the writing samples. Lots of valuable and specific criticism.”
— Kevin Martens

“I’ve attended a lot of workshops that you have to pay for in New York City and these are better and they are free! They remind me a lot of my writing workshops in college ( I went to Hampshire).”
—Michelle Watters

“Thanks everyone for your feedback! I keep saying it but it always seems to be true; the discussions are insightful, the material is read carefully by all participants, and the criticism is inspiring. Thanks again!”
—Mark Hoffman (again)

“Thank you so very, very much for the time you’ve invested in reading my novel and for your insightful comments. I hope the coming pages entertain you and yes, some perplexing passages lurk in the text ahead. I hope you enjoy Act II. I’m looking forward to your always astute comments. Many thanks.”
—Bill Munk

“Very stimulating. I couldn’t sleep well with all the engendered thoughts of our authors’ works and the groups’ comments — but that’s an insomnia I can deal with!”
—Dennis Bouldin

“The format that was created for these workshops seems to be working well. People had thoughtful comments and overall the vibe was positive.”
— Teara Guillmette

“I totally dig it, and will be coming back.”
— Christopher Lewis

“Wow. A really multilayered discussion! (I talked too much — damn caffeine!) Writers’ stuff very stimulating! Lots a terrific insights. Thanks.”
— Catherine Bodnar

“A terrific workshop, and thank you everybody for such great feedback… It’s really helpful to get such an interesting and inspiring array of insight and suggestions… thank you all!”
— Colleen McLaughlin

“The encore jam was great, particularly the pink piano and Amanda Vella on the harmonica.”
— Anne Averyt

“I really appreciated the support and guidance I received [from the BWW] this evening. I was surprised at how empowering it was for me. Your insights lifted me up and every comment felt like a gift […] Your writing inspires me and gives me the courage to continue on. I often get the feeling that what takes place during a meeting goes beyond just a review. I love the synergy.”
— Sue Mick

“I cannot tell you folks how encouraged I feel to dive into this memoir again and bring it home. Your sensitive observations and critiques were so appreciated. Thank you all.”
— Cynthia Gomez

“Welcoming and supportive ”
— Holly Hauser

“Good discussion with many helpful comments.”
— Susan Spencer Smith

“I enjoyed meeting everyone and had a great time-fun and informative. What more could one ask for?”
— Kathy Paul

“Enjoyed the discussion! I was impressed by the care and attention everyone put into the reading (and the dedication and thought put into the writing).”
— Rebecca Starks

“Thank you, everyone, for your helpful and supportive comments on my memoir. I’ve never ventured into this genre before, and it’s a lot harder than hiding behind a fictional character, but you made me feel comfortable and gave me great feedback and ideas to improve the piece.”
— Lynda Majarian

“ Great. Very much enjoyed my first meeting (in a long time) with the group. Looking forward to returning – if not every week, then once or twice a month if possible. ”
— Shelagh Connor Shapiro

Al Uris, before reading his story, "Sand in the Shoes," at the Joslin Memorial Library in Waitsfield.

Al Uris, before reading his story, “Sand in the Shoes,” at the Joslin Memorial Library in Waitsfield.

“This whole thing has opened up a new chapter in my life.”
— Al Uris, referring to the publication of The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2013

“[The workshop] last night was super-helpful to me. I love the broad spectrum of reading styles and criticism. Last night’s table was a banquet. I’m still digesting. ”
— Martin Bock

“Great meeting with super smart people! Looking forward to more. ”
— Kate Sykes

“As a critique group I found it well structured and tight knit, adhering to a simple set of guidelines that allows for a free range of open criticism designed to enhance each writer’s skills. As a group of like minded people trying to connect, it was a relaxed group welcoming newcomers. I look forward to repeating the experience, and adding my own mix of character, critique, and writing skills to the group. ”
— Nathan Payne

“Awesome. ”
— Jennifer Allen

“Talented folks!”
— Robert McCarthy

“This workshop is a great environment to give and receive valuable input. Thank you to all who attended. You all inspired me to continue with my book. I am grateful.”
— Helen Hossley

“I really enjoyed it. I thought the comments were nice and succinct but constructive at the same time.”
— Abigail Clark


Rod Hansen (left) and Lit Tyler (right) at the “hootenanny” after a BWW meeting.

“The after-Meetup jam sessions was the most fun I’ve had playing music in a long, long time – I’m already writing material for the next hootenanny!”
— Rod Hansen

“My first meeting with the BWW was wonderful! A great group of like-minded people discussing my favorite subject. I love seeing the process of writing and the way feedback helps everyone. See you next time!”
— Debra Scheps

“I enjoyed the group on Wednesday. I loved the voices of the people supporting the writers as well as the voices of the writers. The ambiance of the wood-paneled sanctuary under the lounge was special. I feel I’ll learn a lot from this group in many different ways. The way it is organized feels solid and it looks like a lot can be accomplished in a short time. I felt I was in a kind of time warp.”
—Susan Mick

“Thanks for the great feedback!”
— Zach Despart

“Your feedback was invaluable to me at last week’s meeting.”
— Darlene Witte-Townsend

“I can’t wait for more!”
— Robyn Armstrong

“The quality of the writing was impressive and the critiques were respectful, honest and supportive. The length of the discussion was just about right. It was all very relaxed and the guys who pulled out their instruments and jammed at the end was a fun way to end the meeting. So glad I came.”
— Cynthia Close

“What a great group you all are—incisive, thoughtful, helpful. Really enjoyed the meeting last night, my first, and the divergent opinions.”
—Wendy Anderson

“This was my first opportunity to have my writing subjected to the group critique. It was  exhilarating, humbling, and I went through a whole bottle of wine, reading all the member comments when I got home. A very valuable experience and I look forward to the next meeting. Thanks to everyone!”
— Cynthia Close (again)

“I wanted to thank everybody for their comments on my piece, both written and spoken, and tell you how valuable they are to me. You’ve given me great ideas on how to move the story idea forward, when I wasn’t even sure it would work at all! You’re a supportive and encouraging group, and the feedback helps us all take our writing to the next level.”
— Rod Hansen

“Great gathering. Much thoughtful discussion and feedback. Powerful writing.”
— Pat Jackson

“Amazingly smart, fun people talking about amazingly wonderful stories!”
— Andrea O’Connor (again)

“What an engaging and informative conversation! Loved it!!!”
— Rebecca Cummings