Want to Edit a Literary Journal?

If you’ve ever submitted your fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or artwork to a literary journal, you may have wondered: What’s it like to receive all these submissions? How do you decide what’s worthy of publication?

If you’d like to gain some experience choosing pieces for publication, we’ve got some opportunities for you on Mud Season Review.

Our volunteer staff members read submissions of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and artwork on a rolling basis using an online system called Submittable. It’s a fun, collaborative effort that results in the publication of eleven online issues and one gorgeous print edition each year.

We need folks who are living in the Burlington area or can easily commute to Burlington. Though most of this work can be done remotely, we do need editors to meet in person at our workshop space in Burlington from time to time to collaboratively make editorial and other decisions.

We have immediate openings for editors and readers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. If you’re interested, tell us by filling out the form below.

Your Full Name : *
Your Email : *
Genre(s) of Interest : *
Why do you want to be an editor? : *
Please briefly describe any editorial experience you may have. If you have none, write "None." : *
Are you a member of the BWW? : *
 

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 >

Opportunities

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 >

Workshops

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 >

Announcements

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 >

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of October 17, 2016

Support the BWW through our first online auction!

Support the BWW in our first online auction!

Support the BWW in our online auction and member survey

Our first online auction is now live! Thanks to our generous donors in the community, you can support the BWW while buying some amazing gifts for yourself and others. Like a 10-class card (valued at $140) to Evolution Yoga! The auction will be online all month—culminating in a live auction at our Annual Member Meeting & Celebration on Saturday, November 12, 4:00 p.m. at Main Street Landing Gallery in downtown Burlington.

Participating in the online auction is easy. Just complete the quick sign up on the site, browse the items, and place your bids. At the conclusion of the auction, the highest bidders will be able to pay online (via PayPal) or in person by cash, check, or credit card.  Bidders don’t have to be BWW members—so please share widely with friends and family!

Start bidding > 

Your support of the auction will help to fund BWW workshops, retreats, events, and publications for next year. So it’s also important to share your thoughts and ideas for what you’d like to see the BWW do in the future. We’re leaving the 2017 member survey open longer to make sure you have time to share your thoughts. It takes just about 5 minutes. Take the survey now >

Opportunities

Publishing opportunities


call-for-subsCall for submissions open through October 31, 2016:
 The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2017

Don’t forget to send in your submissions for The Best of 2017!  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. If you’ve attended a BWW workshop within the past 5 years, you’re eligible! Deadline for submissions is October 31, 2016. Submit your work >

Deena Frankel, BWW oral storytelling workshop leader, shares a holiday-themed stories at Hotel Vermont

Call for winter- or holiday-themed oral story pitches for Stories by the Fire at Hotel Vermont: Open through November 15, 2016 

For the second year, the BWW will present Stories By the Fire around the hearth at Hotel Vermont, December 10, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. This oral storytelling event features 6 to 8 first-person, true stories—each about 8 minutes long—told without notes in the style of The Moth.

Producer and BWW oral stories workshop leader, Deena Frankel, is soliciting pitches now for this event. If you have a story idea and are open to a little informal workshopping in advance of the event, please submit a 1-paragraph summary of your story idea by November 15 to dfrankel118@gmail.com.

If the idea of telling without notes puts you off, we are considering accepting 1 story that is read by the author as an experiment in mixing the 2 styles. So if you have the perfect story under 800 words, please consider submitting your story by the deadline.

Readings & Events

BWW’s First Annual Member Meeting & Celebration
Saturday, November 12 at Main Street Landing in Burlington

Member Forum │ Fundraising Auction │ Open Mic Night

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).

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 >

Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2016 anthologyBest of 2016 Book Tour: Reading in Middlebury
Saturday, October 22, 4:30 p.m.

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 >

the-hatcheck-girlThe Hatcheck Girl: Book Launch in Jeffersonville
Friday, October 21, 5:30 p.m.

BWW retreat leader Tony Whedon will celebrate the release of his latest book, The Hatcheck Girl, with poems, jazz, and good conversation at the Bryan Art Gallery in Jeffersonville. Learn more >

Announcements

 Mud Season Review Interviews

Check out the insightful interviews of MSR featured authors:

Guest editor Aimee Nezhukumatathil interviews Issue #23 featured poet Christina Mun-Lutz >

Flynn Blog

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

Lorraine Ryan previews Mike Birbiglia: Thank God for Jokes, coming to the Flynn MainStage on Sunday, October 23 >

Cynthia Close reviews Art Garfunkel’s recent performance on the Flynn MainStage >

Lorraine Ryan reviews Flip Fabrique’s recent performance on the Flynn MainStage >

Kelly Hedglin Bowen reviews Rennie Harris Puremovement, recently featured on the Flynn Main Stage >

Lorraine Ryan reviews Ifrikya Spirit’s recent performance in FlynnSpace >

Congrats and thanks

Thank you to our recent guest authors, David HuddleElizabeth Powell, and Sean Prentiss.

Thanks to our board, and especially Cynthia Close, for helping to solicit donations for our auction.

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of October 3, 2016

the-bww-2016member-survey-1The BWW 2017 Member Survey is now open!

This is your chance to share your thoughts on all things Burlington Writers Workshop. Each year, we work to find out more about members’ experiences and what we’d all like to see happen in the future. And this year, survey results will help to inform the discussion at our upcoming Annual Member Meeting in November. So I encourage everyone to take the time to take the survey and make sure your input is included.

The 2017 member survey will be open through October 14, 2016. Take the survey now >

Opportunities

BWW’s First Annual Member Meeting & Celebration
Saturday, November 12 at Main Street Landing in Burlington

Member Forum │ Fundraising Auction │ Open Mic Night

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).

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 open through October 31, 2016:
 The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2017

Don’t forget to send in your submissions for The Best of 2017!  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. If you’ve attended a BWW workshop within the past 5 years, you’re eligible! Deadline for submissions is October 31, 2016. Submit your work >

Workshops

labanhillChildren’s & Young Adult Literature

There are still spots open in our special guest workshop with Laban Carrick Hill, author of more than 35 books, including When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Origins of Hip Hop, listed on six 2014 Notable Book Lists, Dave the Potter: Artist, Slave Poet, a 2011 Caldecott Honor Book, Harlem Stomp!: A Cultural History of the Harlem Renaissance, a 2004 National Book Award Finalist. Join us for this children’s & young adult literature workshop!

Thursday, October 20, 2016, 6:30 p.m. 110 Main Street, Suite 3C in Burlington. RSVP to save your spot >

November Workshops

Also, our November schedule is now posted on Meetup. RSVP for November workshops >

Readings & Events

Best of 2016 Book Tour: Reading in Middlebury

Saturday, October 22, 4:30 p.m.

Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2016 anthologyHosted 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 >

Announcements

 Mud Season Review Interviews

Check out these insightful interviews of MSR featured authors:

Guest editor Sean Prentiss interviews Issue #23 featured nonfiction author Jonathan Rovner >

Guest editor Robin McLean interviews Issue #23 featured fiction author Nathan Leslie >

Flynn Blog

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

Lorraine Ryan previews Flip Fabrique, performing on the Flynn MainStage on Sunday, October 9 >

Kelly Hedglin Bowen previews Rennie Harris Puremovement, performing on the Flynn MainStage on Friday, October 7 >

Colleen Ovelman reviews Ben Folds’ recent performance on the Flynn MainStage >

Congrats…

Congrats to Terry Cleveland and Bill Torrey, who are producing the upcoming “Tell it at Twiggs” storytelling event, the proceeds of which will support St. Alban’s Community Arts. If you’re in the area on Thursday, October 6, check out the event and sign up to tell a true story about yourself in 5-8 minutes. Doors open at 6 p.m. (show starts at 7 p.m.); $5 cover charge. 24 North Main Street in St. Albans City.

and thanks…

Thank you to Rose Eggert and Riki Moss for their great work in coordinating and hosting the final retreat of the BWW 2017 Retreat Season! Thank you to Tony Whedon, our instructor for the retreat, and Treleven Farm, our host. And thank you to Karin Ames and everyone on the retreat committee for a series of very successful BWW retreats this year.

Thank you to Robin McLean for another wonderful guest author workshop with us this past Saturday!

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 >

Opportunities


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 >

Workshops

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 >

 

Announcements

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 >

Congrats…

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 September 12, 2016

best-of-2017-5Want to have your short story, essay, or poems included in The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2017?

Our call for submissions is now open! 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 >

Or, would you like to be a Best of editor?

We’re also putting together our editing team for this year’s anthology. Whether you’re an experienced editor or a writer looking to learn more about the editing process or the marketing and book sales side of publishing, we have a role for you to consider. Working on the Best of is an excellent way to build connections with other writers and editors in the community while also building your editing and publishing experience—and credentials—in an open and collaborative learning environment. Deadline for applications is September 30, 2016 or until positions are filled. Apply now >
Continue reading

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of October 26, 2015

, 18 x 24 Oil on Fiberboard, 2015

“Faith, Fierceness, Fear, Fish and Fate” ( 18 x 24 Oil on Fiberboard, 2015) by Robert Zurer, Mud Season Review October 2015 featured artist

Are you an artist as well as a writer? Or, do you know a talented artist? Mud Season Review, the BWW’s literary journal, is looking for art! Each month, the journal publishes the work of—and an interview with—one featured artist. We also display illustrative work along with each of our 3 literary genre pieces—and we’re always looking for art for our next print issue too. So there are lots of opportunities to have your artwork viewed by our growing audience. We hope you’ll consider submitting or pass this along to your artist friends. Submit your artwork now >

Keep reading for more BWW publishing and storytelling opportunities!

Continue reading

A Call for Oral Storytelling Proposals

Submit your oral storytelling proposal by October 31st for:
It Happened One December
Stories by the Fire, a Hotel Vermont and Burlington Writers Workshop storytelling series

Saturday, December 5th and 19th, 2015
4:00 pm at Hotel Vermont

—An invitation from Deena Frankel, BWW Oral Storytelling Workshop leader

Hotel Vermont Lobby

Fireside at Hotel Vermont

Nobody wants to think about December just yet, but we all know it’s coming. So think about sitting by the fire in the lounge at Hotel Vermont, with snow falling on St. Paul Street, listening to tales of winter. Or better, yet, telling your own!

This December the BWW has two storytelling collaborations on tap with the Hotel Vermont to share true tales told live by BWW storytellers—our first-ever oral storytelling public events. With your help, we’ll enjoy great success and continue this as a regular series in the new year.

These will be curated events with an editorial panel of seasoned storytellers, led by our own Oral Storytelling Workshop leader Deena Frankel, choosing a well-balanced line-up from proposals by BWW story makers. Noted area storytellers will host each evening.

Here’s how it works:

Submit a brief, one-paragraph written proposal for a 7- to 8-minute story that connects, at least loosely, to the themes of winter, December, or a December holiday. The panel will pick 6 or 7 stories for each of the 2 evenings. (Let us know if you can make one but not the other.)

Stories guidelines are similar to the popular Moth series: a true story that happened to you (at least 94% true), rehearsed but not memorized, told without notes.

If your story idea is selected, we’ll invite you to “workshop” your story either at a BWW Oral Storytelling Workshop or at a mutually workable time with the panelists, sometime before the event.

The deadline for proposals is October 31, 2015.

Submit your oral storytelling proposal >

New to oral storytelling? That’s okay!

If you already tell stories out loud, you know how connected it feels to tell a well-crafted slice of your own life to an eager audience hanging on your every word. If you’re a writer, and haven’t tried this version of storytelling yet, here are some great reasons to give it a try:

  • Telling our stories out loud and in person connects us to a deeply ancient and primal human experience.
  • Crafting an oral story in a limited timeframe demands disciplined editing and choices that will help you as a writer.
  • Oral storytelling reveals what a story is REALLY about—why you care, and why we should care—more surely and quickly than you can imagine.

At the BWW’s September Oral Storytelling workshop, a writer attending her very first BWW workshop listened to the first story and then asked if she could tell her own. And, with no rehearsal and no real discussion of the form, she knocked our socks off with a story about coming to understand her tough, immigrant grandmother. Wow, writers make good tellers!

So please consider making a story proposal and helping the BWW make our inaugural public storytelling events at Hotel Vermont a hit this December.

Here’s an example of a storytelling proposal to stimulate your thinking. This was a successful pitch for a curated event on the theme of “summer”:

When I was 11, my very cool New York cousin got a job waiting tables at a resort in near my suburban home and he came to stay with us for the summer between high school and college. He brought all his cool with him: his red Fu Manchu mustache, his Buick Roadmaster convertible, and his love of folk music. I helped him work on the Buick, he introduced me to Bob Dylan, and he treated me like a pal instead of an annoying little kid cousin. After that summer a feud between our mothers separated us for more than 30 years, but rediscovering my very first record album—Blonde on Blonde—made me want to find my cousin again, hoping for a nostalgic reconnection. With the help of the internet, I found him, but the reality of my reunion with a self-absorbed slob couldn’t possibly match up to my memory of that cool, 1960s New York cat. Sometimes memory is better than reality and listening to old vinyl is a better tribute than an actual reunion.

Submit your oral storytelling proposal or come check out an upcoming oral storytelling workshop: Thursday, October 29th and Thursday, November 19th

 

A Free Writing Retreat for Women

photo 1Tayna Lyn Willard, a member of the BWW, has offered to lead a free writing retreat for women on October 25th. The retreat will take place at HOWL (Huntington Open Women’s Land trust). There is a house, a barn and 50 acres of land including fields, streams and hiking trails.

This is a nature retreat for both poetry and prose writers. Poetry-focused time will be from 9 a.m. – noon and prose-focused time will be from 1-4 p.m. This is meant to be only a lightly guided retreat with much time and space allowed for writing and creating during the retreat.

There is an option to camp overnight in the field by the pond. HOWL has a full kitchen and shower available for the use of anyone who would like to camp that night. Camping participants should plan to bring their own food or eat in a neighboring town. Participants should also bring anything they need to sleep, such as a sleeping bag and tent. Tanya will also be leading a hike once the sessions are over for anyone interested in staying active. HOWL is only about a five minute drive from Camel’s Hump if anyone is interested in hiking that afterwards. Continue reading

BWW Wins Vermont Community Foundation Grant for StoryhackVT Workshops

vcflogo

I’m happy to announce that the Burlington Writers Workshop has won a grant from the Vermont Community Foundation to assist with hosting a series of “digital storytelling” workshops with Nate Herzog of StoryhackVT.

This “Small and Inspiring Grant” of $2,143 will fund eight “digital storytelling” workshops with StoryhackVT at the BWW’s writing center off Pine Street in Burlington.

This grant will allow us to purchase, among other things, a digital projector, which will enable a group of would-be digital storytellers to learn how digital media can be manipulated to tell a story. It’s a critical piece of the puzzle, and we’ll have it thanks to the Vermont Community Foundation.

Our friend Nate Herzog of StoryhackVT has this to say:  “The Burlington Writers Workshop was one of the first teams to sign up for our first StoryHackVT event in 2013. Since that event they have shown a continual interest in digital storytelling. It’s exciting to see them invest in equipment and workshops that empower and inform their writing community. I am thrilled to work with the BWW to show writers how they can apply their skills in new media.”

The next StoryhackVT/Burlington Writers Workshop event takes place on Tuesday, July 29 at 6:30 p.m. so feel free to RSVP and join the digital storytelling fun!

Thanks to our fiscal agent, the League of Vermont Writers, for making us eligible for grants like this.

Five Reasons You Should Submit To Mud Season Review

MSR-logo-rectangleThe Burlington Writers Workshop launched Mud Season Review a few weeks ago. It’s a literary journal run by BWW writers, featuring fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art. So far we’ve received a ton of submissions, which is great. We’re looking forward to receiving more before our first deadline, August 1st.

Here are a few reasons why you, intrepid writer, should submit to Mud Season Review.

1. Mud Season celebrates you. MSR will feature your fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art for a whole month. Plus you’ll also be interviewed about your work.

2. It’s an honor to publish in MSR. Given the quantity and quality of submissions we’ve received so far, it’s likely that we’ll have an acceptance rate of less than one percent. That means whatever we publish is going to be top-notch work.

3. If you need feedback, MSR can help. It’s run by members of a writing workshop, which means writers who need helpful feedback to receive it. For $12, an editor will provide you with a thoughtful response to your work. The editor will address what’s working well and what’s not working well and identify opportunities for growth and development.

4. It’s free to submit your work. So why not?

5. We’ll throw a party for you. On September 20th, we’ll launch our first digital issue at Hotel Vermont. We want you to be there, but if you can’t make it, we’ll still celebrate the work you’ve done. Perhaps, if you use Skype, you could join us by webcam!

If you have questions about Mud Season Review, contact the editors. They’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Good luck!

VT Stage Company Features BWW Writers in “Winter Tales”

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The cast of “Winter Tales” takes a bow after Saturday night’s performance.

Vermont Stage Company’s “Winter Tales” wrapped up this weekend. For two Burlington Writers Workshop members, it marked the end of work that began last summer, when they answered the call for submissions of winter-themed stories put out by Director Cristina Alicea.

The BWW pieces by Colleen Ovelman and Hillary Read started and finished the show, which also featured work by novelist Stephen Kiernan and music by Patti Casey. Colleen’s piece about eight and a half things she didn’t want for Christmas moved slowly and gracefully from funny to poignant. Hillary’s story of a man whose Christmas is turned upside down by a mysterious, elderly guest shed new light on the idea of the “Christmas gift.” Both were beautifully done and acted well by Karen Lefkoe and Bruce Campbell, respectively.

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Bruce Campbell reads Hillary Read’s story, “One Thing Before I Go.”

Both stories are published in Vermont Stage Company’s “Winter Tales” book and it’s likely that, over the course of this week, more than 1,000 people have now heard their stories.

Alicea indicated to me last night that she’d like to see this partnership continue. I would, too! If it gives a broader audience to work by Burlington Writers Workshop members, what more can I ask for?

Learn more about this partnership.

How Many Literary Journals Does The World Need?

litjournalsAt least one more. Since BWW members indicated in the BWW 2014 Survey that we’d like to create one, it’s probably wise to think about the benefits of and reasons for doing so. Here are the top four reasons (there are more, of course, but I’ll keep this short).

Experience. What’s it like to put a literary journal together? What can we learn from the submissions we receive, even if we don’t print them? How can we make use of and improve our editing and graphic design skills? This is a learning opportunity for any writer in Vermont. Isn’t that exciting?

There’s lots of great literature out there looking for a home. I’ve heard of some literary journals receiving hundreds of submissions every month. Clearly not every story/essay/poem can find an audience in the existing stock of journals. This new project will expose more readers to new/different writers.

It’s fun. Maybe this is just a bit of geeking out on my part, but I think this kind of thing is enjoyable.

We’re special. Many print literary journals are attached to universities or small presses. We’re not. Anyone can join this workshop. Thus, anyone can be involved in some aspect of its creation and promotion.

Of course, there is the question of money, so here’s the deal: We need 25 workshop members to set up monthly dues by clicking here. Monthly optional dues are $12/month.

Anyone can make monthly donations or one-time contributions of any amount by clicking here.

Making automatic monthly contributions is better, and here’s why: smaller donations over time will be easier to manage. Also, fundraising research shows that giving monthly ensures continued support. If we want 2015 to be similar to 2014, giving monthly is the way to go.

Of course, giving once helps a lot, too!

Once BWW member funding reaches the 25 contributor mark, I’ll begin looking for corporate support/grant funding for this. Anyone who makes automatic monthly contributions of $12/month or more gets a copy of the journal we print and The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2014, which is coming out in April.

Once we’ve got the funding for this in place, we’ll start to talk about the second priority on our list: finding a permanent location for the BWW Writing Center. But that’s for another day.

Questions? Contact me.