In this edition
- Open mic a hit
- No-shows show no…
- Lots of 2018 BWW anthology news
- 2 spots left in Baron Wormser 3/28 workshop
- Help choose the spring Literature Group selection
- Thanks & congratulations
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 >
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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 >
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 >
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 >
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 Days. Read the review >
I am very excited to open the call for submissions for the Burlington Writers Workshop’s first-ever public oral storytelling events.
“It Happened One December: Stories by the Fire, a Hotel Vermont and Burlington Writers Workshop storytelling series” will take place on Saturday, December 5th and Saturday, December 19th beginning at 4:00 pm. We hope these will be just the first 2 events of an ongoing series. The deadline for storytelling proposals is October 31, 2015. Get the full details >
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
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.
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.
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:
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.
Mud Season Review, the Burlington Writers Workshop’s literary journal, is now live and accepting submissions from writers all over the world. We’re keeping it simple for now, limiting the publication to one story, one essay, a portfolio of poems, and a piece of art per month, with the official launch date for the first issue of September 20, 2014. Please do help us spread the word and like the page on Facebook.
Mud Season Review’s launch is just one of the many exciting things going on this week. Here are your opportunities and announcements.
Our reading at the Burlington Book Festival this year will be on Sunday, September 21st at 11 a.m., so what better topic to write about for a Sunday morning event than religion? I’m looking for stories, essays, and poems that fall under the “religion” or “spirituality” theme. Write about your own religion or lack thereof. Submit a piece of fiction about religion or dealing with issues of faith. Limit 3,000 words. Send it to email@example.com.
The History Press is looking for authors to, in their words, “perhaps find some great potential History Press authors.” If you’re interested in writing a local history book, please pitch your idea to Katie Orlando at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just a reminder that the League of Vermont Writers is hosting “Writers Meets Agents” on July 19th. I’ll be giving a short talk on the art of giving and receiving feedback, but you’ll likely want to check out all the agents.
I’ll be meeting with the BWW’s financial advisory committee on Monday, June 30th at 4 p.m. Please let me know if you’d like to attend.
As you’ve noticed, we’ve revamped our website. Looks better, doesn’t it? This is the result of a transition from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. It allows us to do more, and the transition wasn’t costly. Thanks to Joe Di Stefano of Okay Plus for helping with the transition!
Jim Gamble was the winner of the tickets to see Patty Griffin at the Flynn Center last weekend. He won because he contributes to the BWW automatically every month, and those who contribute automatically are entered into all our prize drawings. Jim says, “To me, supporting the Burlington Writers Workshop is like supporting my community. We all benefit so much from our individual contributions. It’s more than simply having a space to meet. Our space is an incubator for great ideas, a lab for engendering thoughtful discussion that helps our work grow and mature. I feel being a sustaining contributor to the BWW is sustaining the art and craft of quality writing in Vermont.” Thanks, Jim!
Thanks to Rob Lietar for donating an awesome cabinet to the BWW space. Come by and see it. Rob and I are also working on a new project for the space, but I’ll announce that when we’re closer to finishing it. You’ll like it, I promise.
Cynthia Close published this piece about Rebecca Cummins, Dede Cummings, and other talented women in Vermont Woman Magazine.
Liz Cantrell published this piece about Jenke Arts in Seven Days.
My story, “After Christina,” which was workshopped in July 2013, has been published in South85 Journal.
And finally, we’re hosting our first reading in Montpelier tomorrow night at Bear Pond Books. I hope you can make it. Tell your Mostpeculiar friends!