The BWW on Vermont Public Radio

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Peter Biello at a BWW meeting on Wednesday, November 20, 2013. Credit: Colleen McLaughlin

Last week, VPR’s All Things Considered host Neal Charnoff stopped me as I was finishing up some work in one of VPR’s recording studios.

“VPR is probably the only news organization that hasn’t covered the Burlington Writers Workshop,” he said, and then he invited me to chat with him for his “Weekly Conversation on the Arts.” Listen to it here.

VPR is my job and I love it, and because I maintain a firm firewall between VPR and BWW, I had never pitched our Best of anthology or attempted to win any kind of free promotion. The fact that VPR has chosen to speak to me about this is an indication that what we’re doing is (1) newsworthy and (2) relevant to the whole state.

If you’re not from the Burlington area and would like to develop resources for a similar workshop in your city, contact me. I’m in the planning stages of building a statewide network of writing workshops, all of which would share the mission of the BWW: to provide free opportunities for writers to find and provide feedback to each other.

Publishing Your Work: Debrief and Podcast

From Left to Right: Peter Biello, Jon Clinch, Dede Cummings, Jessica Swift Eldridge, and Jan Elizabeth Watson.

From Left to Right: Peter Biello, Jon Clinch, Dede Cummings, Jessica Swift Eldridge, and Jan Elizabeth Watson.

Last Saturday’s panel discussion on publishing was a huge success. Authors Jon Clinch and Jan Elizabeth Watson, agent and publisher Dede Cummings, and editor Jessica Swift Eldridge gave fantastic advice to writers.

“I’ve attended others like this through my MFA program and at the AWP conference, but the one on Saturday was by far the best,” said Annemarie Lavalette, who studies at Goddard.

“Excellent choice of panelists,” said Cardy Raper. “I found my head nodding at much of which they had to say.”

In the podcast, you’ll hear every word that caused such head-nodding. Each panelist shared the story of her/his journey to publication, or the stories of some clients. You’ll also hear some helpful nuggets of information on finding, keeping, and firing agents; what not to say when querying publishers; and why you absolutely must keep trying to get your work out there.

Here’s the podcast for your listening pleasure.

You may also want to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes. Just open iTunes and search for “Burlington Writers Workshop.”

We had more questions than we could answer in a reasonable amount of time. Fortunately the panelists agreed to respond to all your questions, so I’ll send them questions soon and post their responses when they’re all available.

Thanks to VPR for providing space for this and Hotel Vermont for providing some rooms for folks traveling from far away.

We’re also taking suggestions on what our next panel discussion should cover. What’s your idea? Send it to us here.

Seven Days: “The BWW Has Ballooned, and Published”

Lizzy Fox, performing her poetry on July 10, 2013.

Lizzy Fox, performing her poetry on July 10, 2013.

Seven Days has published a wonderful article about what The Burlington Writers Workshop has been doing. On the night of the interview, reporter Margot Harrison had originally planned to leave before 8 o’clock, but ended up staying beyond that time. If I had to guess why she decided to stay late, I’d say it’s because you’re all so awesome. Who wouldn’t want to stay late and chat with you?

To prepare for the buzz that this article will likely create, I’m launching some new meetings, which you can join for free at meetup.com. I want to make sure that if you want to attend a meeting, you can.

To that end, if you have suggestions on how I should go about scheduling meetings, please let me know: peter@burlingtonwritersworkshop.com. In fact, suggestions on ANYTHING are welcome! This is your workshop, so help me make it work better for you.

I’ve also got an idea for a three-part book-length workshop for folks who have finished manuscripts ready for review. This will probably be in October or November. More on that later.

And finally, one quick update on last night’s reading at the Essex Library. Success! I’ll post the audio and photos in the next few days. Stay tuned, and thank you for your continued dedication to reviewing each other’s work.

For July, It’s 99 Cents!

bww2013coversmallThe whole point of publishing The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2013 is to launch BWW stories, essays, and poems into the world.

To that end, I’ve made it even more accessible by lowering the price of the Amazon ebook to $0.99!

I’ll boost the price again at the end of July, so take advantage of this deal now. In addition to acquiring these powerful pieces of locally-made literature, you’ll also help us produce next year’s edition. All proceeds are put back into The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2014.

Don’t have a Kindle? Fear not! You can download the Kindle app to your desktop computer, iPhone, or Android.

Check it out here. And thanks!

“Best of BWW 2013” Giveaway On Goodreads

I’m a big fan of Goodreads, the social networking website for readers. It allows me to create an ambitious reading list that I’ll never, ever finish, but at least that list exists, so that when I get spare cash, I can find that book I thought was so cool three months ago and buy it.

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Click on the book and enter to win!

The site has many features. Among those features is the giveaway. I’ve added three copies of The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2013 to the Goodreads giveaway page, and I hope you’ll enter the contest and add it to your “to-read” list. The deadline is later this month. It’s open to people all across the country, but I hope some lucky Vermonters win!  (Goodreads chooses the winners.)

And true to the whole BWW mission, I hope you’ll provide feedback on the book. I’ve been unable to pick my favorite story/essay/poem, but maybe you could list yours!

Digging Deeper Into The BWW

Photo06060834I sat down with Elsie Lynn at The Essex Reporter a few weeks ago to talk about the Burlington Writers Workshop. This conversation was longer than the one I had with Molly Smith at WCAX, and we had a chance to talk about workshop ethics, the fear of sharing too much, and my own penchant for fictional characters who screw up their lives.

I’m finding it hard to answer the question: “How would you describe the book?” These pieces are so different that I’d have to laundry list and summarize each one, and of course that’s not possible in an interview in any medium. I’m thrilled that nobody has asked me to pick a favorite piece–I’m not sure I could!

Anyway, here’s the interview. Enjoy!

The BWW on WCAX

WCAX was kind enough to have me on the morning show this morning. It was definitely worth ironing my shirt for. Please do check this out!

Molly Smith of WCAX and I chat about the book and the BWW.

Molly Smith of WCAX and I chat about the book and the BWW.

I’m typically the one conducting the interviews, so I’m happy to learn what it’s like to be interviewed. In a word: fun!

Tomorrow, The Essex Reporter will feature an interview with me, and it may contain a bit more than this, so Essex residents–watch out for tomorrow’s paper!