Opportunities and Announcements: Week of May 25, 2015

Greenmont Farms in Underhill, the location of our July poetry retreat.

Greenmont Farms in Underhill, the location of our July poetry retreat.

It’s time to let us know if you’re interested in attending one of our free writing retreats. We’re holding one for poets on Saturday, July 11th at Greenmont Farms in Underhill. If you’re interested, learn more about how to put your name in the hat here.

Our writing retreats are different. They’re free. But space is limited, so we’re holding a lottery. This ensures that all writers, regardless of income, have an equal chance to attend these learning opportunities.

These opportunities are made possible by people like you, who make contributions to help the BWW cover costs. We have put money in the budget to rent places like Greenmont Farms. We’ve also got rent payments and website maintenance costs (they add up!) so please do make a contribution in any amount. When you do, we’ll thank you with a pair of BWW bumper stickers. Thanks!

This is my final Opportunities and Announcement email. Next week, your new organizer, Danielle Thierry, will be sending you these announcements. Continue reading

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of May 18, 2015

Quick fundraising update: We’re doing really well! We’ve raised $2,787 of our overall goal of $3,100. Thanks to everyone who has helped us get to this point. When we reach our goal, we’ll be able to achieve all the things we set out to achieve this year (paying rent, holding writing retreats, bringing authors to workshops, etc.).

Please make your $50, $100, or $200 contribution today and help us reach our goal.

Forgive my late posting of these; Monday was a busy day. But here they are, your weekly opportunities and announcements. Continue reading

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of May 11, 2015

Fundraising update: So far this month we’ve raised $542 of the $3,100 we need to continue doing what we do. We have rent payments due, plus we just renewed our hosting/management of both burlingtonwritersworkshop.com and mudseasonreview.com to the tune of $167.76. We’ll have to renew with Submittable, too, and that’s about $300. In short: we’ve got some expenses to cover. We rely on folks like you to help out, so please make your $100 gift today. Thanks!

Your donation pays for these opportunities, too, so please do check them out! Continue reading

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of May 4, 2015

Our May fundraising campaign is underway, and so far we’ve raised $300 toward our overall goal of $3,100. We’re on track! If you’ve benefited from the feedback you’ve received at these workshops, and if you enjoy having the opportunities the BWW affords you, please make a contribution in any amount to help keep this going. Thanks!

We’ve got more opportunities for you to check out this week, so please do read on! Continue reading

Podcast: Mud Season Review’s Print Issue Launch Party

Kari Giroux read her story "Tuffy" at the Mud Season Review launch party on Saturday, May 2, 2015.

Kari Giroux read her story “Tuffy” at the Mud Season Review launch party on Saturday, May 2, 2015.

If you couldn’t make it to Saturday night’s party at Hotel Vermont for Mud Season Review’s print issue launch party, check out the podcast!

We heard great stories, poems, and a bit of an essay published in the first-ever print issue of this Vermont-made literary journal.

If you’re interested in purchasing a copy, act now, because they’re selling steadily online and supplies, as they say, are limited.

Enjoy the podcast!

Podcast: Mud Season Review’s Managing Editors Tell All!

A few months ago, I spoke with Rebecca Starks and Danielle Thierry, the Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor of Mud Season ReviewMud Season Review’s first print issue launches this Saturday at Hotel Vermont, and we hope you can make it. It’s free to attend, and we’ll have free food, readings, and a cash bar.

Rebecca, Danielle, and I spoke about all manner of things, including what kind of work Mud Season Review is looking for, as well as the challenges and joys of running a literary publication in general, and running one supported by the community and created by an all-volunteer army of talented editors in particular.

Please enjoy this podcast, and if you like it, subscribe to it on iTunes. Just go to the iTunes store and search for “Burlington Writers Workshop.”

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of April 27, 2015

msr4web

The first print issue of Mud Season Review will be launched on Saturday, May 2 at Hotel Vermont.

The launch of the first ever print issue of Mud Season Review is coming up this Saturday at Hotel Vermont at 7 p.m. I hope you’ll be able to make it. This journal represents the hard work of a lot of BWW members and we’re very proud of it. The party is free for all, so come on down and bring a friend!

A few new opportunities are in this week’s opportunities and announcements, so please do take a look! Continue reading

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of April 20, 2015

David Foster Wallace is the author of INFINITE JEST, a novel known as much for its brilliance as it is for its endnotes.

David Foster Wallace is the author of INFINITE JEST, a novel known as much for its brilliance as it is for its endnotes.

You’ve heard of Infinite Jest. It’s that massive novel by David Foster Wallace that made him a post-modern literary star in the mid-90s. I started Infinite Jest years ago, never finished it, and have been meaning to restart it and read it all the way through. DFW meant for readers to read it twice. I’m still hoping to finish it once.

Patrick Brownson has read it five times. He’s the leader of Burlington’s “Infinite Summer,” a 13-week guided reading of Infinite Jest. Infinite Summer is a great way to commit to reading this masterpiece of postmodern literature because it keeps you rooted in a community of readers. This summer, the BWW, Patrick, and Rick Rowan are working together to bring Infinite Summer to the BWW.

We’ll be scheduling these for every Tuesday from June-August, so if you’re interested, keep an eye on our Meetup.com page on April 30th. That’s when we’ll schedule the meetings for June.

We also have a limited number of copies of the book you can borrow for this. We ask that if you borrow a copy, you stick through the whole summer (you can miss one or two weeks, but you still have to do the reading). Contact us if you’d like to borrow one and we’ll arrange a time for you to pick it up.

We’ve got some writing and job opportunities in this week’s post, so let’s get down to it, shall we? Continue reading

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of April 13, 2015

Peter Biello, Danielle Thierry, and Rebecca Starks spent last week in Minnesota at AWP, showing writers the beauty of Mud Season Review.

Peter Biello, Danielle Thierry, and Rebecca Starks spent last week in Minnesota at AWP, showing writers the beauty of Mud Season Review.

Mud Season Review maintained a table this week at the annual conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, or AWP. This year the conference was in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The purpose of this trip, which we planned last summer, was to reach a potential audience of 12,000-13,000 writers who are likely to have fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and artwork to send to literary magazines.

In a month or so, we’ll be able to compare pre- and post-AWP submission numbers. Overall, though, everyone who stopped by the Mud Season Review table remarked on how good/professional/eye-catching the print issue is. If the numbers suggest that AWP is worth attending, we’ll turn our sights to AWP 2016, which will be held in Los Angeles, California.

The Vermont launch of Mud Season Review is coming up on Saturday, May 2nd at Hotel Vermont. If you’re interested in celebrating the launch of this international publication run by Vermonters, please RSVP here. If we know you’re coming, we can adequately plan for food, space, etc.

There’s quite a bit happening in Vermont’s literary scene this week, so here are the opportunities and announcements. Continue reading

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of April 6, 2015

Spencer Smith reads her essay, "Off Course," at the launch of THE BEST OF THE BURLINGTON WRITERS WORKSHOP 2015.

Spencer Smith reads her essay, “Off Course,” at the launch of THE BEST OF THE BURLINGTON WRITERS WORKSHOP 2015.

Our newest anthology, THE BEST OF THE BURLINGTON WRITERS WORKSHOP 2015, has officially been launched. The party on Friday night was a warm gathering of Burlington’s literati—and I was surprised to receive some generous and thoughtful gifts from folks I’ve come to know and love over the past few years. (I tried not to cry, failed—but I couldn’t help but be moved by such a kind gesture.) A huge success all around. Thanks to you for attending, to Arts Riot for hosting, and to New Moon Café and El Cortijo for providing the noshes.

The new book is available for sale at the workshop space in Burlington. It’s also available online here. We’ll now begin planning our summer book tour, and you’ll be able to purchase the book at any of our events, as well as at local bookstores around the state.

What remains now? Writing opportunities and general announcements for this week.

Continue reading

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of March 30, 2015

photo

THE BEST OF THE BURLINGTON WRITERS WORKSHOP 2015 is ready to be launched on Friday, April 3rd.

The books have arrived! Copies of THE BEST OF THE BURLINGTON WRITERS WORKSHOP 2015 are now in our hands, and we’re excited to say that they’re beautiful inside and out. I’m proud of this third anthology, and I know you’ll enjoy it.

Some of the writers in this book are sharing their work on stage at Arts Riot this Friday. It’s our biggest party of the year, so I hope you’ll come out. Free food, cash bar, collaborative double-dactyl writing games, a raffle of three stacks of books by Vermont authors…it’s going to be a blast.

It’s also my last event as organizer of the BWW, so I’ll be giving a farewell toast to you, the fine literary folks of Burlington. In-coming organizer, Danielle Thierry, will also say a few words on the future of the organization. (Hint: it’s bright!)

We’re also on the verge of moving into our new space this Wednesday morning. We could use another strong set of hands. Can you help? Show up at Studio 266 on Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. and help us start a new chapter in this organization’s history.

Right now, here are this week’s opportunities and announcements. Continue reading

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of March 23, 2015

We’re happy to announce an exciting new opportunity for the Burlington Writers Workshop: We’re moving to Church Street!

This morning, Danielle and I signed a lease for the BWW on 22 Church Street. It’s a beautiful space with wood floors, enormous windows facing Church Street, a kitchenette, and (unlike our current space) walls up to the ceiling. We’ll be on the third floor. We took some photos this morning, so take a look!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We wanted a place that would inspire you and attract new writers. One of our missions is to bring attention to the writers who publish in THE BEST OF THE BURLINGTON WRITERS WORKSHOP, and a place on Church Street is perhaps the best possible choice if we want to build awareness of who we are and what we do.

We want to maintain accessibility for all people of all physical abilities, so it’s likely that we’ll hold regular workshops at other locations, too. We’ll be developing a system for when/where we’ll have these in the coming months.

The BWW’s financial advisory committee assisted in the search for the right new location for us, and they should be commended for their efforts.

You will likely have questions about this. How much does the new space cost? What are the terms of the lease? Why do this now, when we’re changing leadership? We can say that the cost of this space is greater than the cost of our current space, so our costs have risen. We can still meet expenses, especially with your help. We want to answer your questions in person or by email, so please do consider stopping by Studio 266 this Sunday for a forum on all the changes we’re seeing.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

Sunday, Mar 29, 2015, 1:30 PM

Studio 266
266 South Champlain Street Burlington, VT

2 Writers Attending

The BWW has seen a lot of changes in the past month or so, and is about to go through another change–a move to Church Street. We’d like to invite you to an open forum about the questions you may have or the hopes you have for the BWW’s future. The future is bright and guided by you, so please do attend, or else send Peter and Danielle a note thr…

Check out this Meetup →

And now, with the big news out of the way, here are this week’s opportunities and announcements. Continue reading

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of March 16, 2015

Ah, Minneapolis. Known the world over for its giant spoons. Also, 12,000 writers will be there for AWP, and Mud Season Review will be there, too!

Ah, Minneapolis. Known the world over for its giant spoons. Also, 12,000 writers will be there for AWP, and Mud Season Review will be there, too!

This week, several BWW members are gearing up for two big events on the horizon: the launch of THE BEST OF THE BURLINGTON WRITERS WORKSHOP 2015 on April 3rd and the AWP conference in Minneapolis the following week. The party on April 3rd should be a lot of fun, and the conference will be, too, but there’s a lot to be done, such as preparing publicity and nailing down other logistical details.

Now that I’ve finished my work at VPR, I’ve got more time to dedicate to making these two events move smoothly. I’ll also be developing documents that explain what I do as organizer, and what certain volunteer positions do for the BWW. When I’m finished, the BWW will always have a written reference that will guide the organization for years to come.

For now, though, we’ve got some volunteer opportunities for you, and I hope you’ll consider taking them on. Volunteers make our world go ‘round, so please do step up and take ownership of your public writing workshop.

Here are this week’s opportunities an announcements. Continue reading

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of March 9, 2015

ilsleylibrary

Ilsley Library, the location of our first workshop in Middlebury.

We’re going to hold workshops in Middlebury!

Larry Knowles approached me a few months ago asking about the possibility of workshops in Middlebury. I’d heard from a few folks that this was something people wanted, but Larry stepped up and said he’d take charge of organizing them.

Much like Eva Gumprecht and Erin Evans in Montpelier, Larry will be the primary driver of the BWW’s growth in Middlebury. It’s an exciting prospect for folks who were growing tired of driving all the way up to Burlington once each week!

The first meeting is on Wednesday, April 8th and you can RSVP here. Fun fact: we have workshops going on in Burlington, Montpelier, and Middlebury that night. I don’t think we’ve ever done that before. It’s amazing how much enthusiasm there is for creative writing in this state!

 

Middlebury Branch of BWW

Wednesday, Apr 8, 2015, 6:30 PM

Ilsley Public Library
75 Main St Middlebury, VT

9 Writers Attending

This is the first meeting of a new Middlebury branch of BWW.  All genres are welcome and all BWW members, or writers interested in joining BWW who haven’t been able to get to Burlington for workshops, are encouraged to attend.For these workshops, you’ll need to read work posted by group members in the “Files” section. If you’re unfamiliar with how…

Check out this Meetup →

 

Here are this week’s opportunities and announcements. Continue reading

A Change in BWW Leadership

In lieu of the usual “Opportunities and Announcements” post this week, I’m writing to let you know that I’m stepping down as leader of the Burlington Writers Workshop.

thankyoupbThis decision was one of the toughest I’ve ever had to make. I’ve accepted a position as All Things Considered host at New Hampshire Public Radio. This is an exciting opportunity for me and I’m looking forward to pushing the “ON AIR” button in the Granite State. NHPR is a leader in the industry and its staff is incredibly talented and creative. I’m sad to be leaving the talented, creative folks at VPR, but opportunity knocked loudly.

Even though I’ll be leaving Burlington for Concord, New Hampshire, one thing is certain: I will always be a member of the Burlington Writers Workshop. Since I moved here in 2009, my fellow BWW members have been my friends, careful readers, and sources of comfort during tough times. When I moved here, building something like this was not in the plan, but once it became clear that there was a force greater than me pushing this group onward and upward, I couldn’t step away.

This change in my professional life comes at a time when the BWW is ready for new leadership. That’s why I’ve asked Danielle Thierry to take my place. Danielle is a freelance writer and content strategist, and she whips Mud Season Review into shape every month as its managing editor. In addition to being an excellent writer, she’s also an organizational mastermind. The flow-charts she develops are nothing short of astonishing. I do not say this lightly: she will outshine me as a leader. I’m 100% confident that things will continue to grow in a sustainable, well-managed manner under her leadership.

For the next several months, Danielle will shadow me. Someone will shadow Danielle as managing editor of Mud Season Review, and the official take-over will happen on June 1, 2015. I’ll be working with Danielle to generate detailed governing documents, including job descriptions for volunteer positions.

After June 1st, I’ll be happy to serve on the advisory committee and lend long-distance support to Danielle and anyone else within the organization in need of help or advice. I’ll also be a donor, and I’ll be challenging you to contribute to the BWW when our fundraisers come around.

It has been one of the greatest joys of my life to serve you in this way. I have learned so much—about writing, marketing, website development, social media, fundraising, and management. You guys have made me a better person and I’ll always be grateful for that. And I’ll always remember the stories you’ve told me about how your writing improved because of the BWW.

My last event as the BWW’s leader will be the launch of THE BEST OF THE BURLINGTON WRITERS WORKSHOP 2015 at Arts Riot on Pine Street in Burlington on Friday, April 3rd. I hope you will be there—not to say goodbye, because I’ll be back to participate in workshops as a member, but to celebrate a remarkable publication and everything else you’ve helped me build these past six years.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for everything. And keep in touch.

-Peter