Opportunities & Announcements: Week of January 22, 2018

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


December fundraising success

Thank you to everyone who supported the BWW this December—whether as a sustaining donor, with a one-time donation, by rounding up your change in the checkout line at City Market, or through a Mud Season Review feedback request, full manuscript review, or tip jar donation.

In December, you helped us raise a total of $8,513.27:

In addition, your board members met this past Thursday night to review financials for the year as well as the budget for 2018. Minutes and financials from that meeting will be available as soon as they are finalized.


BWW anthology name change survey and call for staff

First, the survey

In the 2017 annual member survey and at the annual meeting, a number of people suggested changing the name of the Burlington Writers Workshop annual anthology (The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop).

We sought member input through a survey in December to determine whether our wider membership preferred to keep the name or change it, and to gather suggestions to consider if we are to make a change. The survey split down the middle—with 19 votes in favor of a change and 19 votes opposed.

Below are a few points shared through the survey and through discussion, to offer member thinking on this issue:

  • The idea of “best of” feels like a misnomer to some members because:
    • For some members, it doesn’t feel consistent with our supportive organizational culture.
    • For others, because selected works featured in the anthology each year reflect the subjective judgment of each year’s editors rather than an objective standard of what it means to be the “best of,” the language of “best of the BWW” feels like it sets up a misleading sense of competition.
  • Some members feel that given the 5 years invested in the current name to date, changing the name could result in a loss of brand recognition.

Given the tie vote, we are offering a follow-up survey. This survey is meant to share some new naming options for your consideration, ask again “keep or change” in the context of the alternatives, and get feedback on the alternatives to inform a renaming decision, if we go that way. The survey will be open through Monday, February 5.

Take the survey now > 

And now the call for staff

Editors at work selecting submissions

If you expressed interest through this survey in being part of the 2018 anthology staff and provided your name and email, we’ll be contacting you next week with more information. If you didn’t responding in the survey, but you’re interested in possibly joining the staff, please let us know by Monday, February 5. We’re planning an informational meeting to be held in February.

Express your interesting in joining the 2018 BWW anthology staff >

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:

Wednesday, January 24, 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.: Hosted by Mindy Wong

Wednesday, January 31, 2:30 – 5:30 p.m.: Hosted by Natasha Mieszkowski


Board update

View the board minutes from our December 2018 meeting >

Strategic planning update

View the notes from our January 2018 strategic planning meeting >

Congrats & thanks

Congrats to Anne Charles, whose review of Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump’s America, an anthology edited by Samhita Mukhopadhyay and Kate Harding, appeared in the Jan. 5 issue of the Lambda Literary Review (Vol. 9. Issue 155).

Congrats to Candelin WahlMud Season Review poetry editor, whose poem” Attending Murmurations Dance” was recently published in MockingHeart Review. 

Thank you to Mud Season Review staff members who will be doing this round of manuscript reviews to help raise funds in support of the journal: Lauren Bender, Patrick Brownson, Emily FerroAnn FisherErin PostRebecca StarksCandelin Wahl, and Mindy Wong.

Thank you to Mieko A. Ozeki, owner of Radiance Studios, for leading a highly informative workshop on building a writer’s website to a packed house this week. And thank you to Cynthia Close for bringing this workshop idea to the group and hosting the event.

Thank you to Natasha MieszkowskiCandelin Wahl, and Mindy Wong for hosting open hours sessions in January.

Thank you again to City Market for their “Rally for Change” program that helped raise funds for the BWW this December, and continues to raise funds to support many important nonprofits. And thanks to Peter Biello for signing the BWW up for this program.

Opportunities & Announcements: Week of October 24, 2016

This is a very busy time for the Burlington Writers Workshop! Here are the top 5 opportunities you don’t want to miss over the next few weeks:

Top 5 Opportunities with the BWW

#1 Take the BWW survey

Deadline: October 28, 2016

the-bww-2016member-survey-1Share your thoughts on all things Burlington Writers Workshop—and help to shape what we’ll do in the future. The survey takes about 5 minutes. Deadline is Friday, October 28, 2016.

Take the survey >


#2 Submit your work for publication

Deadline: October 31, 2016

call-for-subsOur call for submissions for The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2017 closes on Monday, October 31, 2016. So make sure to submit your work!

We’re looking for your fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. The only criteria for eligibility is to have attended 1 BWW workshop within the past 5 years. Submit your work >


#3 Come to the BWW’s First Annual Member Meeting & Celebration

11-12-16-1Saturday, November 12 at Main Street Landing in Burlington:

Learn about all we’ve done this past year to meet member goals—and how you can get involved. Celebrate our dedicated volunteers. And, join us for our first BWW open mic night to share your talents with your fellow members. RSVP now >


#4 Support the BWW and win a basket of books

october-schedule-1Tickets on sale through Saturday, November 12 event

More than 20 accomplished authors who’ve either been a featured author in Mud Season Review, led a BWW guest workshop or retreat, or joined us for an expert panel or reading, have already donated copies of their latest books. And many of the copies are signed! Meet our authors >

Raffle tickets are $5 each.

And special offer: The first 2 people to sign up to be a BWW sustaining member (an automatic donation of $12 or more per month) this week will get 5 additional raffle tickets!

The drawing will take place at the Annual Member Meeting & Celebration. But don’t worry. If you can’t join us, we’ll contact you if you win.

To buy tickets, ask your workshop leader or make a donation and write your contact info + “raffle tickets” in the comments field. All proceeds go toward BWW programs & publications!


#5 Support the BWW in our online auction

Bidding open through Saturday, November 12 event

vtiff_logo-1Support the BWW—and local businesses—while buying some amazing gifts for yourself and others. Like a Friend Level membership to the Vermont International Film Foundation or a 10-class card to Evolution Yoga!

evolution-yogaWinning bidders can pay online through the auction site or by cash, check, or credit card at the Annual Member Meeting & Celebration on November 12. All proceeds go toward BWW programs & publications. Check out the auction > 


Flynn Blog

Burlington Writers Workshop members regularly blog for the Flynn Center. Check out these recent posts:

Lauren J. Sanders previews the National Theatre Live’s Frankenstein, coming to Palace 9 Cinemas  on October 27 >

Josh McDonald previews the Middlebury Actors Workshop’s Macbeth, coming to the Flynn MainStage on November 1 >

Lorraine Ryan previews the Capitol Steps, on the Flynn MainStage tonight, October 25 >


Congrats to Anne Charles, whose review of the  2016 memoir A Body, Undone: Living On After Great Pain by Christina Crosby was recently published by the Lambda Literary Review (Vol. 7, Issue 94, Friday, Oct. 20, 2016). Read the review >

Congrats to Sam Hugheswhose poem “Representation” was recently published in Rattle. Read the poem >

And thanks…

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2016 book tour event in Middlebury. Thanks, especially, to Elizabeth Gaucher for coordinating and hosting, David Weinstock and Ann Fisher for co-hosting and reading, and to all of our readers: Zoe Armstrong, Melinda Bachand, Dennis Bouldin, Cynthia Close.

Thank you to Cathy Beaudoin for hosting our first workshop leaders potluck. And thank you to all the dedicated workshop leaders who made it out for our meeting!

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of September 26, 2016

11-12-16-3This past weekend was an inspiring one for this BWW organizer.

On Saturday, I got to spend the day with 14 dedicated BWW workshop leaders (and future workshop leaders) as we discussed how to continually improve the inclusiveness and depth of our workshops, how to make sure newer writers feel welcomed into workshop conversations while ensuring that experienced writers continue to feel challenged, how to keep discussions dynamic with craft exercises and prompts, and all kinds of other ideas both practical and philosophical. Under the excellent guidance of Nora Mitchell, an experienced local writer and creative writing professor, we also explored ways to deepen our own reading experiences so that we can bring those techniques and exercises to BWW workshops.

On Sunday, I got to hear several of our members read their beautiful poetry at The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2016 book tour stop at Shelburne Vineyard. What a lovely, cozy environment for a reading (and the great wine was a bonus too)! Thanks to Michelle Watters, Best of 2016 poetry reader, for bringing us there. I hope we’ll be back soon.

And now, I have the privilege of inviting you—our members—to the first-ever Burlington Writers Workshop Annual Member Meeting on Saturday, November 12 at Main Street Landing in Burlington.

This event is your opportunity to hear firsthand about all the BWW has accomplished this past year to meet member goals—and to help shape the future of our shared community. It’s also a time to connect with other members you may not see regularly in workshops or on the Mud Season Review staff, help to recognize and celebrate our many dedicated volunteers, share your talents with the BWW community, and support the funding that makes everything we do possible (while picking up some great holiday gift-giving items through our auction & book raffle).

Here’s the plan:

4 p.m.: Board presentation of 2016 activities and survey results & open member forum. Bring your thoughts, questions, and ways you can volunteer to share.

5 p.m.: Member reception and auction. Bring your enthusiasm, your friends, and your donations to purchase some excellent gift-giving items to give to friends and family while supporting the BWW. Look for more information coming soon.

6 p.m.: Member open mic. Bring your stories, songs, and poems for our member open mic night. We’re hoping this is the kickoff of many more BWW open mic nights to come.

And don’t forget to take the member survey before you arrive! The 2016 member survey will be open from October 1 – October 14, 2016. Survey results will inform the framework of the open member forum. Check back here, or look for upcoming Opportunities & Announcements emails, for the link to the survey on October 1.

If you’re looking for ways to get more involved in the BWW—or if you’re already a dedicated member and want to continue helping to shape our direction—this is the time. RSVP to save your spot now >


call-for-subsCall for submissions:
 The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2017

This is an exciting year to be part of the anthology, as 2017 marks our 5-year anniversary of publishing the work of BWW members. We’re looking for your best work in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry—and we’d love to hear from voices both known and new to us.

Deadline for submissions is October 31, 2016. Submit your work now >


Elizabeth Powell

Poet Elizabeth Powell

Workshop your poetry with Elizabeth Powell

We have an excellent opportunity for the poets in the group coming up on Monday, October 10 in Burlington. Guest poet Elizabeth Powell will be joining us to lead the Monday Night Poetry Workshop.

Elizabeth is the author of “The Republic of Self,” a New Issue First Book Prize winner, selected by C.K. Williams. Her second book “Willy Loman’s Reckless Daughter: Living Truthfully Under Imaginary Circumstances” won the Robert Dana Prize in poetry, chosen by Maureen Seaton, and will be published by Anhinga Press in 2016. In 2013, she won a Pushcart Prize. Powell has also received a Vermont Council on the Arts grants and a Yaddo fellowship. Her work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Barrow Street, Black Warrior Review, Ecotone, Harvard Review, Handsome, Hobart, Indiana Review, Missouri Review,Mississippi Review, Slope, Sugarhouse Review, Ploughshares,Post Road, and elsewhere. She is editor of Green Mountains Review, and associate professor of writing and literature at Johnson State College. She also serves on the faculty of the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing and Publishing. Born in New York City, she has lived in Vermont since 1989 with her four children.

Save your spot now >

And sign up to have your work reviewed by Elizabeth >

Readings & Events

Four Poets Read at the BCA
Sunday, October 2, 4 p.m.

kerrins-eventFrequent BWW guest poet Kerrin McCadden is reading at an event hosted by another supportive BWW partner, Burlington City Arts (BCA). “Four Poets Read” features Kerrin along with poets Paige Ackerson-Kiely and Justin Boening (winner of the National Poetry Series for his debut collection, Not on the Last) as well as fiction writer Tom Paine. Learn more > 

Best of 2016 Book Tour: Reading in Middlebury
Saturday, October 22, 4:30 p.m.

Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2016 anthologyThe next stop on the Best of 2016 book tour takes us to Middlebury! Hosted by our Best of 2016 fiction editor, Elizabeth Gaucher, and BWW Middlebury members Ann Fisher and David Weinstock, this event will feature readings from some of the anthology’s talented writers: Zoe Armstrong, Dennis Bouldin, and Cynthia Close. Writers from the Middlebury Chapter will also read. RSVP now >



Meet our new Mud Season Review editor-in-chief

Lauren Bender, editor-in-chief, Mud Season Review

Lauren Bender, editor-in-chief, Mud Season Review

On September 20, Rebecca Starks, our founding co-editor of Mud Season Review, passed on the leadership of the journal to Lauren Bender, a dedicated BWW volunteer, Burlington poet, and former co-editor of Green Mountain College’s literary journal, Reverie. I recently had the chance to talk with Lauren about her background and her goals for the journal. Check out our conversation and get to know Lauren a bit. Read the interview >

Flynn Blog

BWW members regularly write for the Flynn Center’s blog. Check out these recent posts:

Lorraine Ryan previews Ifrikya Spirit, coming to FlynnSpace on September 30 >

Colleen Ovelman previews Ben Folds, who recently performed on the Flynn MainStage >


Congratulations to Bill Torrey, whose debut collection of short stories, The Ta Ta Weenie Club, was recently published by Green Writers Press. Bill will be holding his book launch at Phoenix Books on October 5 at 7 p.m. You can learn more about the book at billtorreyvt.com.

Joan Furchgott and Brad Sourdiffe founded Furchgott Sourdiffe Gallery 25 years ago in the heart of Shelburne Village. BWW member Cynthia Close provides some history and surveys the three 25th anniversary exhibitions that celebrate the gallery’s 25 years in a recent article for Vermont Art Guide. Read the article >

and thanks…

Thank you to the dedicated workshop leaders (and future workshop leaders) who attended Saturday’s workshop leader retreat: Barbie AlsopKarin Ames, Wendy AndersenCathy BeaudoinMartin Bock, Dennis BouldinRosa CastellanoAnn FisherDeena FrankelEtiane GeorgeEva GumprechtWalt MahanyNatasha Mieszkowski, and Amanda Vella. And thank you to our retreat facilitator, Nora Mitchell.

Thank you to Michelle Watters for coordinating and hosting The Best of 2017 book tour reading at Shelburne Vineyard. And thank you to the poets who read at the event: Zoe Armstrong, Mark Hoffman, Spencer Smith, and Jimmy Tee.

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of December 21, 2015

For today’s Opportunities and Announcements, I’d like to share with you the results of the 2016 BWW Member Survey. Thank you to everyone who took the time to take this survey. Your answers are helping to shape our 2016 budget, which we’ll be sharing in the new year. And your feedback and suggestions are critical to helping us continue to grow and improve.

In order to help us provide the free workshops, expert panel discussions, writing retreats, and other programming that you’re most interested in, we hope you’ll consider making a donation today. Together, we’ve raised $3,735.00 donated so farand with your help we’ll get to our $5,000 goal. Thank you again to everyone who has donated!

Here’s a recap of what you said in the survey:

As a writer, how important are each of the following to you? Please rate each of the choices below on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 being not at all important and 5 being extremely important):


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Opportunities and Announcements: Week of November 9, 2015

William Notte, featured speaker at the BWW 2015 auction

William Notte, editor and acquisitions consulant, featured speaker at the BWW 2015 auction

We’re looking forward to seeing many of you at this Friday’s Burlington Writers Workshop Silent Auction (Friday, November 13th, 7 p.m. at Hotel Vermont). Come out to hear our featured speaker, William Notte, a veteran acquisitions editor, talk about the process and pitfalls of pitching your book to publishers. And, bid on some great items—including gift certificates to local restaurants and shows, original artwork, and more—to help fund more informative presentations like this one. RSVP now >


Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2016: This is the last week to submit your writing and artwork to The Best of 2016Read the full guidelines>

BWW Annual Member Survey: We want to hear from you! Please let us know how we’re doing, and what you kinds of programming you want to see for 2016.  Take the survey now > 


When you’re making your plans for December, keep these upcoming BWW events in mind:

Saturday, December 5th and 19th, 4 pm: Come out to Hotel Vermont for the first two in a series of BWW oral storytelling events. RSVP for December 5th and/or December 19th >

Sunday, December 6th: Join us at Barnes and Noble in South Burlington for readings by Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2015 authors plus a Q&A session and mini-workshop activity. RSVP for the Best of 2015 Book Tour

Support for the BWW this month comes from Heidi Passalacqua, local Vermont author of Here’s to Making it CountLearn more about the book >

Flynn Center blog

Josh MacDonald wrote this poetic preview of the Improvised Shakespeare Company’s upcoming performances in FlynnSpace.

Congrats and thanks

Congrats to Nina Gaby, whose essay, “No Stranger,” which was workshopped in a BWW meeting last spring, was published this week in Mothering Through Darkness: women open up about the postpartum experience. The anthology is edited by Jessica Smock and Stephanie Sprenger and published by She Writes Press as part of the HerStories Project.

Congrats to Kerstin Lange, whose essay, “In these woods: Finding renewal in the borderland” was recently published in the current issue of Vermont Quarterly.

Congrats to Cynthia Close, Mud Season Review art editor and BWW board member, whose review on Icarus Films’ new boxed set, Patricio Guzmán: A Country’s Journey, Five Films, was recently published in Documentary Magazine.

If you’ve recently been published or achieved a new success in your writing career, please let us know so we can share the news with the BWW community.

Our hours this week at 22 Church Street

Stop by our space at 22 Church Street (3rd floor) during the following times to write, find out what’s going on in the BWW, or just to warm up:

Monday: 10 am – 2 pm

Wednesday: 10 am – 2 pm

Thursday: 10 am – 6 pm

Friday: 10 am – 2 pm


Opportunities and Announcements: Week of November 2, 2015

Burlington Writers Workshop 2016 Member SurveyIt’s time to take the BWW 2016 Member Survey!

This is your Burlington Writers Workshop and we want to know more about what you want most from our programming—and where you see us going in the future. So please take a few moments to take the survey and make your voice heard.

A few details about this year’s survey:

  • The survey is 10 questions long, split across 4 categories. We estimate it will take about 5 minutes.
  • Your responses are anonymous.
  • The deadline to take the survey is Monday, November 16, 2015.

Take the survey now > 

And keep reading for more BWW opportunities!

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