Opportunities & Announcements: Week of December 11, 2017

Hands in a circle graphic‘Tis the season when nonprofits remind us that their important work can’t happen without our tax-deductible support…because it’s true!  If you’re thinking about end-of-year giving, please remember the good work that depends almost completely on BWW member donations. Whatever you took away this year—a workshop or retreat, the opportunity to work on a publication, the fellowship of a writing community, a place to write—was all made possible by member contributions. As the end of the year approaches, please give what you can to support the health and growth of the Burlington Writers Workshop. Donate today >

Survey says…

That’s a teaser. Actually the survey is still open to gather input for the 2018 BWW anthology (aka The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop) and to recruit people interested in staffing the publication. At the moment, opinion is running 5-to-3 in favor of renaming, and there are some great ideas for names on this list. When the survey closes, January 2, 2018, We’ll announce the results and—if renaming is in the cards—offer a few ideas for final selection. Watch for an organizational meeting date early in the new year. And thanks to those who have already expressed interest in staffing.

If you haven’t done so, please provide your feedback and let us know if you’d like to be part of the team. Take the survey >

Packed house for Stories By the Fire

Stories by the Fire: A BWW and Hotel Vermont event

What could be more fundamentally human than listening to fellow humans tell stories around a fire? Saturday night more than 60 people gathered at the Hotel Vermont for the 3rd annual Stories By the Fire, a very special night hosted by Gin Ferrara and featuring 7 BWW members and community storytellers. Special thanks to the hotel for again providing the warm and welcoming space, and the snacks. If you missed it, thanks to our media sponsor RETN, you’ll be able to watch it online and on Channel 16. Watch for a link coming soon.

Writing retreat—literally—Feb 18

The Retreat Committee has some wonderful ideas in development for 2018, and its first event, February 18 at the BWW space, is something different. For this retreat, writers will neglect everything and lock in to just write, glue themselves to their chairs, eat pretzels, run up and down the stairs, take bathroom breaks…that’s it. This will appeal to writers who are deeply immersed in a particular work and don’t want the distraction of prompts, feedback, or direction from leaders. Also for anyone feeling like they don’t have time to write due to life’s many distractions, as well as writers who just want to get out of the house and not into a bar. If this is exactly what you’ve been needing to fulfill your writing resolutions in the new year, sign up for a seat and get ready to write. RSVP for this BWW winter retreat >

The Rally is On…At City Market: Rally for Change

Throughout December, remember that shopping at City Market and “rounding up” at the check out benefits the BWW. Through their Rally for Change program, 50% of round-up donations go to the Chittenden County Food Shelf, 40% to the Committee on Temporary Shelter, and 10% to the BWW. Visit the downtown store or the new location in the South End.  Learn about City Market’s Rally for Change >

Congrats and thanks

Congratulations to Cathy Beaudoin whose nonfiction stories “Opening Up My World” and “Seeing is Believing” were published in Five on the Fifth and Kind Magazine, respectively. Her fiction story “Gaining Momentum” has been accepted by Scarlett Leaf Review.

Thanks to our 8 Stories by the Fire storytellers:  Gin Ferrara, Peter Burns, Deena Frankel, Owen Foley, Cardy Raper, Anne Mollo and Bill Torrey.

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of September 8, 2014

If you’re a member of the Burlington Writers Workshop, it’s likely that you measure yourself using two yardsticks: (1) The quality of your writing and (2) the quality of the feedback you give to your fellow writers.

In both cases, the word “quality” is a matter of opinion. What makes a piece of writing good is up for debate. Ditto for feedback.

However, there are techniques you can use to help move your writing along, and there are steps you can take to becoming a better provider of feedback. I’ve outlined some steps that I hope you’ll consider. We ought to give each other the best possible response at every single workshop, and reading this, IMHO, is a good way to start.

Okay. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on to this week’s opportunities and announcements.

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Opportunities and Announcements: Week Of June 23, 2014

3bearpondOur first event at Bear Pond Books in Montpelier was a great success! Al Uris, Linda Quinlan, and James Gamble gave a great reading, and it was great to meet some new folks in Montpelier. We had a good discussion about “what makes a story” and the conversation continued after the event concluded. I hope you’ll join us at our next event, on July 17th at the Essex Free Library.

Here are the opportunities and announcements for this week.
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Opportunities and Announcements: Week of May 19, 2014

ThanksTomorrow marks the fifth anniversary of the creation of the Burlington Writers Workshop. Five years is an eternity for projects like these, so thank you to everyone who makes this community vibrant and strong.

A bit of history: I remember signing up for my first meeting (the group was founded on Meetup.com by someone who has since moved away). It was a spring day in 2009 and I actually thought: Do I really need to attend? What will happen at this meeting? I almost didn’t go. It was easier to just stay home and read or cook dinner or take a nap. But I was new to the area and I wanted to make some friends, so I thought: Why not try it?

And here we are.

Anyway, those are the Cliff Notes of a much longer story. Here are this week’s opportunities and announcements.

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An Evening With David Budbill

David Budbill

David Budbill with Shakuhachi. Credit Jeb Wallace-Brodeur.

Vermont writer and poet David Budbill will join us at Hotel Vermont on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at 7 p.m. for a reading and Q&A about his work, the writing process, the publishing industry, and anything else that’s on your active, creative mind. RSVP today!

Budbill is a legend in Vermont’s literary scene. He’s perhaps best known for Judevine, a stunning portrait of life in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, filled with characters who love so much it hurts.

A few years ago, I interviewed David about his collection of poems, Happy Life, on Vermont Public Radio. In our conversation, we talk about how he rebelled against the conventional wisdom that poets are supposed to be dark and gloomy. The whole interview, which includes samples of his poetry, is available here.

David Budbill’s poetry also appears regularly on The Writers Almanac. You can listen to his poems here.

“An Evening With David Budbill” would not be possible without the generous support of Hotel Vermont and the League of Vermont Writers. We hope to see you there!

The BWW on WCAX (Again)

bwwwcaxNothing like live TV to focus the mind on a Wednesday morning.

I spoke on WCAX this morning about our new space in Studio 266 and our partnership with Hotel Vermont. The first time I appeared on WCAX, we had fewer than 300 members. Now we’re north of 500. It’s great that we’ve seen so much growth and met so many smart and talented people.

If you caught the interview this morning and would like more information, please contact us. There are lots of ways to get involved and, as you’ll see in the schedule, many opportunities to meet local writers.

Hotel Vermont and the BWW Begin Joint Publishing Project


One of Hotel Vermont’s rooms. BWW member work will be published in small books, which means Vermont writers will find their work on bedside tables like this one.

Think about the last time you stayed at a hotel. Did you bring a book? If you did, was it written by a local author?

Writers and avid readers rarely go anywhere without something to read. For me, arriving at a hotel room and discovering I’ve forgotten to bring a book causes a special kind of anxiety. This will not be a problem if I ever stay at Hotel Vermont. Starting in 2014, Hotel Vermont will make sure that their guests will have something special to read. Something local.

The good folks at Hotel Vermont will publish new pieces of writing by members of the Burlington Writers Workshop on a quarterly basis. They’ll provide small books for each of their 125 rooms. Guests will be able to keep these little books and take your writing home with them.

”This opportunity to feature Vermont writers for all of our guests to read will help render a truly Vermont experience,” says Tori Carton, Hotel Vermont’s Marketing Coordinator. “The arts are an integral part of the Hotel Vermont experience and we hope that our partnership with Burlington Writers Workshop will continue to advance the arts in our community and give our guests a well-rounded and unique stay in Burlington.”

Hotel Vermont Lobby 1(1)

All these people in Hotel Vermont’s lobby are (we assume) talking about BWW member work.

In short, writers get a wider audience, and Hotel Vermont’s guests get a pleasurable reading experience. It’s a win-win. An ideal scenario: a literary agent or publisher happens to stay at Hotel Vermont and discovers a BWW writer’s immense talent and offers a book deal. Hey, we can dream, can’t we?

Work by Anne Averyt, Caitlin Corless, Tony Whedon, and Lizzy Fox will appear in the first edition, which is scheduled for publication in early 2014. These pieces originally appeared in The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2013. Future selections do not have to have been published in the Best of collection. In fact, I’ve seen lots of good work in the workshop that hasn’t found a home yet. This is another opportunity to make sure that your writing gets the audience it deserves.

So let’s extend a warm “thank you!” to Tori Carton and all the people at Hotel Vermont for supporting the arts.

Questions? Contact us.