Opportunities & Announcements

Greetings to all!Opportunities and Announcements Logo

Open with a full workshop schedule – poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, song writing, improv, all genres, and writing retreats on the second Sunday of each month.

Winter is long;  check out the calendar  here

When asked about his secret for long life and happiness, Henry Moore said, “Pursue one goal your whole life, and make sure it’s unattainable.” 

Here’s to the writers and the readers in 2019!

Opportunities & Announcements: Week of November 5, 2017

I talked to so many people this week whose lives were seriously disrupted by last weekend’s freaky storm; friends who were without power—and heat—for 5 or 6 days. I suppose the silver lining is the good stories that will come from all that adversity. The experience was certainly one of those times for reflection on the comforts of modern society.

Annual meeting Nov 11, noon, Fletcher Free Library

Speaking of reflection, next Saturday is a perfect time for BWW members to gather and reflect on where we’ve been, but more importantly, where we’d like to take this community of ours in the future. It isn’t too late to RSVP on Meet-Up for next Saturday’s annual meeting, to be held at 12 noon in the Fletcher Free Library. RSVP for the annual meeting now >

BWW Open Mic, Nov 16, 6:30-8:00, Light Club Lamp Shop

The first (of 2) BWW open mics associated with our BCA grant is drawing a big crowd for a full slate of readings, songs from the songwriting workshop, and oral stories. The 10 slots in the program are filled with a wait list, but there’s plenty of room to enjoy the evening at the Light Club Lamp Shop. If you haven’t been there, you’re in for a treat. Can you say “funky”? RSVP for the open mic today >

Seeking BWW writers for the 3rd annual Stories by the Fire

The Hotel Vermont has enthusiastically invited BWW back for the third annual Stories by the Fire, an evening of oral stories on the theme of winter or the winter holidays. The enchantment begins at 6:30, December 9, in front of the lobby fireplace. If you have a first-person, true story you’d like to tell in 8 minutes, please submit a brief description (a paragraph or less). If you have an idea, but haven’t told an oral story to an audience before, coaching is available. Submit your story description >


 Cynthia Close’s creative nonfiction essay, “Slip-sliding Away”—which was workshopped at the BWW—was recently published by The Woven Tale Press. Cynthia also recently published a book review of Stan Brakhage’s Metaphors on Vision in Documentary Magazine 

Nina Gaby’s micro essay “Observations from the Girl Who Wasn’t Even Under the Bridge” was a finalist in The New Millennium Writings monthly muse contest.

 Dian Parker recently published 2 short stories, “Back of Beyond” in The Burlington Beat, and “The Art of Falling” in BlazeVox.

 Jimmy Tee‘s poem “There, I’ve Done Something About It” was published in The Burlington Beat.

 Have you published something recently, won an honor or award, or have an accomplishment to share? Please let us know so we can help share your good news with your fellow BWW members.

A message from your BWW board


Dear BWW members,

If you have seen the most recent Opportunities & Announcements or Facebook posts, you know that Peter Biello, founder of the BWW, has resigned from his leadership roles. Speaking for ourselves and for the larger community, we are sad to see him go, and filled with deep gratitude for his passion, vision, and dedicated service to the organization he founded and nurtured these many years. We are glad that he will stay connected as a member. As a board, our ultimate goal is to honor Peter’s legacy, while looking forward to what we can keep building together.

We hope members can be positive and patient and understanding in this transition. Given the strength of what we have built together, current member engagement, and the depth of skill and non-profit leadership experience on the board, we have great cause for optimism about our future as an organization. No doubt Peter’s announcement has raised questions in members’ minds, and we hope through this message to answer these and lay out some next steps.

At Saturday’s board meeting, we will accept Peter’s resignation and elect a new chair, and then take up the business that was already facing the board. The work ahead includes:

  • Fielding the annual member survey next week, with a greater focus on future direction and assessing what is working and what needs adjustment with regard to BWW publications. The survey is an essential cornerstone to beginning a new strategic plan.
  • Preparations for the November 11 annual membership meeting where we hope to have broad input and a free-wheeling, creative session about strengthening what we are today and envisioning what we want to be tomorrow.
  • Scheduling and shaping our strategic planning process.
  • Continuing work begun last weekend with the Mud Season Review staff to ensure that MSR is well positioned to fulfill its ambitious vision, that staff have a rewarding experience, and that we can meet the expectations and needs of our authors and readers.

Last Saturday, five members of the board had a thoughtful and well-informed conversation with the Mud Season Review staff. One of the outcomes of that conversation was that we decided to put the 2018 Vol 4 print issue on hold for now. We want to get the whole staff together for a meeting soon, and during that meeting, we’ll talk more about the print issue and how we want to move forward with it in the future. But we want to allow time to have that discussion and explore our options before jumping into the work of putting the volume together. Lauren Bender is staying on board as we search for our next Editor-in-Chief. Several other staff members have expressed interest in taking on greater roles. So, more to come. If you are not currently involved in MSR, but would like to be, there are roles to fill. The October online issue, which is dedicated to poetry, will be out on the 20th.

With your help, input, and support, we look forward to building on the solid foundation of the BWW and all it has to offer, and to helping it evolve organically to best meet its members’ needs.

If you have questions, concerns, ideas, etc., please contact any member of the Board.


BWW Board of Directors: Lauren Bender, Partridge Boswell, Terry Cleveland, Deena Frankel, Rebecca Starks, Danielle Thierry

RSVP for the Annual Meeting here

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of June 5, 2017

The May fundraiser has ended successfully. Thanks to everyone who helped us raise $5,157.57 (our goal was $5k). In all, 52 people made a donation. One person gave twice! The average gift was just over $99. Excluding gifts made in exchange for our manuscript review service (which we provide for gifts of $275 or more), the average gift was just over $62.

About that manuscript service: We offer to folks on the Mud Season Review mailing list a chance to have their book-length manuscript reviewed. Someone on the MSR staff reads the manuscript and comments on it, much like we do in our workshops. During this past fundraiser, nine people gave $275 for these manuscript reviews.

If you’re a BWW member and you have a book that needs the eyes of your fellow writers, we do not charge anything to schedule a two- or three-part workshop, to which we’ll invite a group of peers to read your manuscript in big chunks. If you’d like to take advantage of this option, please contact me.

Overall, though, this manuscript review service is a way attract out-of-state money to support what we do in Vermont. We’ve got a dedicated crew of MSR folks who read these books for our donors, and we’re happy to do it.

We’ve got other stuff to talk about this week. So here are the latest opportunities and announcements.

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Opportunities and Announcements: Week of December 26, 2016

Check out Issue #26 at www.mudseasonreview.com

The latest issue of Mud Season Review is live and it is stunning! Issue #26 features the fiction of Vi Khi Nao, nonfiction of Nancy McCabe, poetry of  Seth Copeland, and artwork of Rose B. Simpson. Check out issue #26 >

If you’re a reader of Mud Season Review and want to help us keep the journal going, please consider donating to our December fundraiser. Everything we do here at the BWW—including MSR—is aimed at bringing learning opportunities to Vermont’s writers and editors, while also doing our part to ensure that powerful, relevant writing and artwork continues to get out to the larger world. Donate any amount to help us continue  in our mission >


Calls for submission

Call for storytellers for COTS Literacy Event

Come help us share stories with adults and kids alike at the Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) Main Street and Firehouse shelters on January 17 and 27, 2017.

We’re looking for 5 to 7 BWW members to participate in these events as storytellers or readers. And we’re looking for stories for both adult and child audiences. You’re welcome to propose anything from an original story to your favorite read-aloud children’s book.

This program is designed to help the COTS literacy committee meet its goal of 5,000 minutes of readings for the shelters in 2017.

Got a story in mind? Please contact Deena Frankel at dfrankel118@gmail.com by January 3 with your proposal. Please include the following: a brief description of the story, intended audience, story length, and whether you intend to read or recite.

Call for art submissions for The Best of the BWW 2017

This year marks the BWW’s 5th anniversary of our The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop anthology—a book that is edited by, and features the work of, writers within our community. For this anniversary year, we’re hoping to get local artists involved in the design of the book cover. All Vermont artists are welcome to submit work for consideration. Call for submissions is open through Monday, January 9, 2017.  See the submission guidelines >


New to the BWW?

Join us for a new member workshop.
Thursday, January 5 at 6:30 p.m.

If you’ve attended 5 or fewer BWW workshops to date, we’d like to invite you to a workshop specifically designed for new members.

In this workshop, we’ll start off with a brief overview of the Burlington Writers Workshop—including how it all works and opportunities to get involved. Then, we’ll review a member’s work and walk through the workshop process together. Don’t worry about bringing written feedback to the workshop. Just read the work that’s on the schedule and come with some thoughts to share—or even with just an open mind to listen to the conversation of your fellow writers. Writers of all skill levels are welcome! RSVP for this workshop now >

Want to learn how to give better feedback?

Join us for a workshop on giving better feedback with BWW founder Peter Biello.
Saturday, January 28 at 11 a.m.

Feedback isn’t just for the author receiving it. Writing a response to your peer’s piece is an exercise in careful reading. To write a thoughtful response is to become a better reader, and when you become a better reader, your writing improves, too.

At this workshop, we’ll look at a few strategies for writing a response to someone’s work-in-progress. We’ll also attempt a response to a published piece. RSVP for this workshop now >

Want to deepen your poetry craft?

Join us for a Winter 2017 Poetry Craft Workshop Series with Partridge Boswell
Thursday mornings at 10:30 a.m. (January 12, 19, and 26)

This small-group workshop series will benefit poets at any level who want to improve their poems, from the inside-out & bottom-up, bones & all. In 3 weekly sessions poets will be (re)introduced to elements of craft—devices which accompany us consciously and unconsciously as we excavate and make the poem within. Reading excerpts from Kim Addonizio, Mary Oliver, Mark Strand, Eavan Boland, Ellen Bryant Voigt, Richard Hugo and Annie Finch, along with diverse and ample poems as examples along the way, you’ll gather useful tools to help you shape your raw material and bring the experience of your poem to life.

There’s just 1 spot left in this workshop! RSVP now >


Mud Season Review interviews

MSR art co-editor Mike Sweeney interviews issue #25 featured artist Ole Brodersen >

Congrats and thanks

Congrats to Nina Gaby, whose “One Rule from a Working Life” (an excerpt from a collection of vignettes in progress, due out this spring) won runner-up in the annual Quarter After Eight Robert J. DeMott Short Prose Contest. In addition, Nina’s “The Edge of Shivers” (excerpted from the collection, “Overheard: Story/Gesture”) has been chosen for Proximity‘s special issue on guns, due out in January.

Congrats to Kerstin Lange, whose book review of Middlebury author Jack Mayer’s Before the Court of Heaven was recently published in Seven DaysRead the review >

An interview with Vermont poet Zoe Armstrong

Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop poet Zoe Armstrong

Zoe Armstrong will read her poetry at The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2016 book tour event at Shelburne Vineyard, Sunday, September 25, 2016

Our poetry editor, Michelle Watters, recently had this exchange with Zoe Armstrong, who will be reading her poetry at the upcoming The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2016 book tour event at Shelburne Vineyard. Here’s what Zoe had to say about her poetry and the inspiration for her writing.

How long have you been a member of the Burlington Writers Workshop?

Since June of 2014.

Do you feel it has helped your writing?

Yes, the BWW has helped me gain more confidence to be bold, silly, and controversial with my writing in a public forum. It has helped me think strategically about editing both of my own work and other people’s work. I have gained skills in hosting writing events and work-shopping.

In this year’s anthology, your poem “Wooly Worms” describes the narrator as “a huge alien in a big blue space ship.” Has there been a time in your life when you felt like an alien? 

Most days I generally feel modern humans have a disconnect with nature as much as we are connected to it. When I am on a highway in my car, a.k.a my spaceship, I observe the other space ships swirling around me on our tar pathways and I think the wild life would experience us as we would experience an actual alien in the sky from a space shape.

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Podcast: Mud Season Review’s 2016 Print Launch Party


Alison Prine reads from her work at Hotel Vermont on Saturday, May 7, 2016.

You may have heard that Mud Season Review launched its second print issue at Hotel Vermont a few weeks ago. If you missed the readings by Robin McLean, Alison Prine, Ralph Culver, and Sean Prentiss, you can listen to them here!

You can purchase your copy of Mud Season Review here.

Our podcast is available on iTunes, so feel free to subscribe to it there!

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of January 25, 2016

Mud Season Review Issue #16

Issue #16 is live at www.mudseasonreview.com

If you haven’t read it yet, I encourage you to check out Mud Season Review’s Issue #16, which was published just this past week. The issue features art by LiQin Tan, fiction by Rebecca Fishow, poetry by Luisa A. Igloria, and nonfiction by Arthur Plotnik.

Congrats to the MSR staff on yet another stellar issue. And, if you’re not on the staff but think you might like to be, you should know that MSR is looking for fiction readers! Read this invitation from JD Fox, MSR‘s co-editor of fiction, to learn more >

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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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Why I Give to the BWW

Wendy Anderson, BWW board member and creative nonfiction workshop leader

Wendy Anderson, BWW board member and creative nonfiction workshop leader

Because I want your opinion – and yours – and yours – of my writing. Because I want to read what you’re writing, think about what you’re trying to accomplish, and talk with others about ways to achieve that. Because I want to learn how to string words together so they make you laugh, make you cry, make you wonder.

That’s why I give to the BWW.

Its challenging and supportive workshops. The community of writers who quilt a larger world – more opinions, experiences, and knowledge – than the microcosm in my skull alone.

That’s why I give to BWW.

The generous and deeply thoughtful professional writers who come to sit at our table and share their thoughts about the craft of writing, and the art. Writers who inspire us. The retreats that eject us out of our routines and totally immerse us in a writing world for a day.

Because it gives so much to me. That’s why I give to the Burlington Writers Workshop.

—Wendy Andersen

If you feel the BWW gives a lot to you, please consider making a donation today.

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of November 23, 2015

Each week in our Wednesday Workshop, we go around the table and answer a question posed by our resident questioner and longtime BWW member, Walt Mahany. The questions are sometimes  thought provoking and sometimes humorous, but they always draw responses that spark conversation and help us all get to know each other better. This past Wednesday, Walt’s question was simple and in the spirit of Thanksgiving: “What are you thankful for?” What was telling to me was the number of members whose answer included “all of you.” This includes my own. I moved to Vermont 5 years ago now, but it wasn’t until I got involved with the BWW that it truly began to feel like home. Thanks to what Peter started and what everyone in this community has helped to continue, the BWW has become an incredible mix of creativity, support, and friendship. So in honor of this holiday, I wanted to take a moment to thank you all for that.

And now, onto the news:

Mud Season Review Issue #14This past week brought the launch of Issue #14 of Mud Season Review. Congrats to our amazing Mud Season staff for yet another beautiful issue! Check out the featured art by Harry Wilson, fiction by Jacob Guajardo, nonfiction by Megan Bush, and poetry by Karen J. Weyant for some excellent Thanksgiving holiday reading.

Speaking of holiday reading, we hope you’ll join us on Sunday, December 6th for the last stop of The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2015 tour. We’ll be at Barnes and Noble in South Burlington from 2 pm to 5 pm. Several Best of 2015 authors will be reading, including: Michael Freed-Thall, Nina Gaby, Mark Hoffman, Linda Quinlan, Michelle Watters, and Darlene Witte-Townsend. Nina will also be facilitating a mini-workshop with writing prompts and a discussion of authors’ favorite writing guide books.

This will also be an important fundraiser for the BWW. Barnes and Noble will donate a portion of the days’ sales to the BWW. So please consider coming out to participate in the event and do some holiday book-buying to support the BWW! Look for our event voucher code in next week’s Opportunities & Announcements.
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Opportunities and Announcements: Week of September 7, 2015

Image of Terry Cleveland's property

Home of BWW member Terry Cleveland, site of the 2015 October Guided Retreat

The lottery for our final writing retreat of the year is now open! This is a small-group retreat, designed to offer lots of free time for working on your own projects as well as the chance to come together with the group for targeted discussions on the craft of writing. The retreat will be led by Peter Biello, BWW founder and board chairman.

As with all of our retreats, a lottery system will ensure an equal chance for all active BWW members. The lottery opens today and closes at midnight, Monday, September 14th. If you’re an active member, sign up for the lottery now >

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Opportunities and Announcements: Week of April 27, 2015


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 February 2, 2015

submissionsystemWhat did you do on this snowy Monday? I spent a few hours sending out a short story I spent several months working on last year.

I was inspired by Dede Cummings, who said at our “Writing and Money” panel last month that every time you get a rejection letter, you should send out three more queries (I’m paraphrasing). Last month, I received one rejection letter, so I sent out fifteen submissions today. Not exactly the same ratio, but the idea is the same: I’m giving myself more chances to succeed, and I only need one out of the fifteen to say “yes.”

As for where I submitted my work: I aimed high. As you’ll see on my sticky note system, I’ve sent my story to a few recognizable names. (Note: These places don’t use Submittable, which is great at keeping track of submissions, so I’m resorting to this. This is why Mud Season Review uses Submittable. It’s just easier.)

I’m hoping to do some writing tonight and then maybe send out a few more pieces. If the rejection letters come in, I’ll just keep returning fire.

Anyway, all that is to say: I’ve had a productive snow day, and I hope you have, too. If not, get on Duotrope and find a place for your work, and send it out!

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