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 a monthly publication of which the whole organization is justifiably proud.

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 our contact form describing your interest and a little about your background.


Opportunities and Announcements: Week of March 20, 2017

Read our interview with Elizabeth Gaucher, whose nonfiction essay is featured in The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2017.

The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2017 and Mud Season Review Vol. 3 are off to the printer! We’re very much looking forward to sharing the latest editions of both publications at this year’s book launch celebration, to be held Friday, April 21 from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at Contois Auditorium in Burlington’s City Hall.

Gearing up for the celebration, we’ll be featuring interviews with some of our Best of and Mud Season writers who will be reading at the event. This week, our Best of nonfiction editor, Nina Gaby, speaks with Elizabeth Gaucher, whose piece, “Dialing the Dark,” is included in this year’s anthology.

Read the interview >

And join us to hear Elizabeth and others read at the event >


Spring 2017 Literature Reading Series
Beginning Tuesday, April 4 at 6:30 p.m. in Burlington
Thank you to everyone who voted to choose our next reading for this series. Each Tuesday evening this April, you’ll find us in our space in downtown Burlington reading and discussing James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room. Space in the group is filling up fast. RSVP now >

New member workshop
Thursday, April 6 at 6:30 p.m. in Burlington

Have you attended 5 or fewer BWW workshops to date? If yes, please join us for a new member workshop.  This is a great opportunity to learn about the workshop and see what’s it like to review a piece, all among other new members.  All skill levels are welcome. RSVP now >

Book Launch Party
Join us on Friday, April 21 at 6 p.m. to celebrate the launch of The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2017 and Mud Season Review Vol. 3. Enjoy readings from authors featured in both publications, plus free food, cash bar, music, and good company. RSVP now >

Join the staff of Mud Season Review
We have editing and reading positions open on our art, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry teams right now. We’re also looking for someone to help coordinate events. If you love literature and want to experience working on a literary journal, please let us know. Send inquiries to Lauren Bender, editor-in-chief, at editor@mudseasonreview.com.



Flynn Center blog

BWW writers regularly blog for the Flynn:

Jeffrey Lindholm reviews Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s recent performance on the Flynn MainStage >

Cynthia Close reviews The Chieftains’ recent performance on the Flynn MainStage >

Congrats and thanks

Congrats to Deena Frankel, our oral storytelling workshop leader and designer of The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshopwho will be performing at the upcoming Boston Women in Comedy Festival.

Congrats to Michelle Watters, leader of a monthly BWW poetry workshop and Mud Season Review co-editor of poetry, whose poem was recently accepted by Typehouse Literary Magazine.

Thanks to Karin Ames for filling in on scheduling while our BWW scheduler (Dennis Bouldin) is away on vacation.

Thanks to Katie Jickling from Seven Days for joining us for Saturday’s workshop on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Vermont’s “Right to Know” laws for journalists.


Support for the BWW comes from A Book of One’s Own Literary Services. Janice Obuchowski is a longtime fiction editor who helps cull and refine writing.  Through offering substantial feedback and developmental suggestions on short stories, essays, and book-length manuscripts, she can make your writing more compelling, polished, and ready to submit to agents and literary journals.  Contact her at ownbookliterary@gmail.com to inquire about specific pricing and services, or visit ownbookliterary.com.

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of February 13, 2017

RETN’s Producers Party. Photographer: Jon Alderman. Learn about the other amazing partners honored by RETN for their work in 2016 at RETN.org/blog/

Today, I’m very happy to share with you that the Burlington Writers Workshop was recently awarded RETN’s 2016 Community Partner Award. This award honors the BWW’s collaborative efforts to support public media and create new opportunities to engage the public, including both January’s StoryCraft: A Way With Words at the RETN/VCAM studio and December’s It Happened One December: Stories by the Fire at Hotel Vermont.

For me, this award is a reminder of the greater good we creative folks can do when we pool our varied talents and come together to bring more art out into the community. I remain very grateful for the opportunity to have partnered with  an organization like RETN, which, like the BWW, is focused on ensuring that the ability to make—and experience—art remains accessible to all.  I’m very much looking forward to more collaborations in the future.

Thanks to everyone at the station, and especially to Gin Ferrara for leading these collaborative efforts and for bringing oral storytelling to the BWW. Thanks, as well, to Deena Frankel, for her continued leadership of our oral storytelling workshop and her coordination of Stories by the Fire, and to all those who participated in both of our collaborative events this year.


Book Launch Party: Best of the BWW 2017 and Mud Season Review vol. 3

Friday, April 21, 6:00 – 9:30 p.m.
Burlington City Hall’s Contois Auditorium

Join us for a special celebration of the 5th anniversary of The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop series and the 3rd annual print issue of Mud Season Review. Enjoy free food, a cash bar, and live music. Listen to readings by some of our featured authors. And celebrate the hard work and creative efforts of your fellow writers and editors.

This celebration is free to attend and open to all—not just BWW members—so feel free to bring a friend (or more)! We do ask that you please RSVP >

Upcoming workshops

Want to get a free author head shot? There’s just 1 spot left in our Author Photo Day event, Saturday, February 25. Sign up for your 15-minute photo session >

Need help navigating the world of Submittable and Duotrope? Get advice on how to submit your work from BWW founder Peter Biello. There are a few spots left in this workshop, scheduled for Saturday, February 25 at 3:00 p.m. RSVP now >

Also, our March 2017 workshop calendar is now available. RSVP for March workshops >


Mud Season Review

Congrats to the Mud Season Review staff on another great issue. Issue #27 is live now, featuring the fiction of Thomas Benz, nonfiction of Meredith Boe, poetry of Talal Alyan, and artwork of Jane LaFarge Hamill.
View Issue #27 >

Check out the staff’s recent interviews:

Mike  SweeneyMSR art co-editor,  interviews Issue #26 featured artist Rose B. Simpson.

Katie StrommeMSR nonfiction co-editor, interviews Issue #26 featured nonfiction author Nancy McCabe.

Lauren BenderMSR editor-in-chief, interviews Issue #26 featured fiction author Vi Khi Nao and Issue #27 featured nonfiction author Meredith Boe.

Patrick BrownsonMSR fiction co-editor, interviews Issue #27 featured fiction author Thomas Benz.

Flynn Center Blog

BWW writers regularly blog for the Flynn:

Kelly Hedglin Bowen previews Garrison Keillor’s upcoming Just Passing Through, coming to the Flynn Center MainStage on February 16.

Joyce Gallimore MOMIX: Opus Cactus previews , on the Flynn MainStage February 12.

Congrats and thanks

Congrats to Anne Charles, whose review of Mary Oliver’s “Upstream: Selected Essays” was published in the Lambda Literary Review 8.107 (January 27, 2017): Online. Read the review>

Thank you to Partridge Boswell for leading our very successful 3-workshop poetry craft series. Stay tuned for more craft series with Partridge in the future!

Thank you to Jensen Beach for sharing his insights and advice as our recent Friday Morning Workshop guest author.

Thanks to Deena Frankel, who led the BWW’s collaborative storytelling event with Burlington’s Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS). Thank you as well to all of our storytellers for sharing their time and talents!

Thank you to Peter Biello and Lauren Bender for representing Mud Season Review at AWP 2017! Peter and Lauren report great success in getting MSR books into the hands of many new readers, and encouraging many more talented writers to send their work to us for consideration.

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 >

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of November 28

It’s time to choose the next novel for our BWW Literature Reading Series! winter-2017-novel-poll






The group recently finished its best season yet with the reading of William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! and we’re ready to start on a new novel this coming January. There’s still room in this dedicated group of readers who meet each Tuesday evening in Burlington to share their experiences and perspectives of some of history’s most celebrated novels.

As with each season, the current participants have voted among themselves to come up with their top 3 choices for the next novel:

  1. Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master & Margarita
  2. Toni Morrison’s Beloved
  3. Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano

Now, it’s the larger BWW community’s turn to weigh in. Voting is open through Friday, December 9, 2016. Vote now >


Stories by the Fire:

In addition to the opportunity above, don’t forget about It Happened One December: Stories by the Fire, our oral storytelling event coming up on Saturday, December 10, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.  For the second year, the BWW will present Stories by the Fire around the hearth at Hotel Vermont. This oral storytelling event features 8 first-person, true stories—each about 8 minutes long—told without notes in the style of The Moth.

Produced by BWW oral stories leader Deena Frankel and hosted by BWW member Gin Ferrara, this event is free and open to the public. Our media sponsor for the event is RETN. RSVP now >

Member event:

Also, a reminder that all BWW members are invited to the “Afternoon of Poetry and Friends” book launch and reception for BWW member Anne Averyt’s recently published poetry chapbook, Autumn’s Yard. The reception will be held on Thursday, December 1 from 4:30 to 6:30 at Chef’s Corner South End on Flynn Avenue, just below Pine Street.


msr-issue-25Mud Season Review‘s Issue #25 launched last week, with artwork by Ole Brodersen, fiction by Amanda Rodriguez, nonfiction by Rebecca Fremo, and poetry by Triin Paja. Congratulations to the MSR team on the launch of another fine issue! Check out Issue #25 >




Flynn Blog

Burlington Writers Workshop members regularly blog for the Flynn Center. Check out these recent posts:

Lorraine Ryan previews “A Christmas  Carol,” coming to the Flynn MainStage on Thursday, December 1 >

Cynthia Close writes about Sally Linder, whose “White Magnetism” exhibit opens on December 3 at the Flynn’s Amy E Tarrent Gallery >

Cynthia also previews National Theatre Live’s Hamlet at Palace 9 Cinema in South Burlington >

Meet our new Mud Season Review editor-in-chief

An interview with Lauren Bender

I recently had a chance to talk with Lauren Bender, our new editor-in-chief for Mud Season Review. As I get to know her more, I’m ever more sure the journal is in very good hands. Here’s what Lauren had to say about how she got involved with the BWW, how she started writing poetry, and how she sees the journal’s future taking shape.

Lauren Bender, editor-in-chief, Mud Season Review

Lauren Bender, editor-in-chief, Mud Season Review

You’re relatively new to Burlington and I remember meeting you at your first BWW event, The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2016 launch party. You were so helpful and willing to jump right in and volunteer. Can you share with your fellow members a little bit about what drew you to Burlington in general and to volunteering with the BWW specifically?

I really fell in love with Burlington after my wife and I attended the Burlington Pride parade/festival for the first time in 2012. I grew up in a large city in Virginia but had spent the last several years living in a small town, which felt limiting to me after a while.

As soon as we knew we were going to move, I started scoping out the writing community, mostly through Facebook. One of the upcoming events I saw was the BWW Best of 2016 launch party. That led to me heading over to the BWW website and joining so that I could RSVP to that event, and then I saw the call for volunteers and thought that would be the perfect way to meet people.

You joined the staff of Mud Season Review shortly after joining the BWW. What drew you to the journal? 

The Mud Season Review Vol 2 launch party happened about a week after the Best of 2016 launch party; that was another event I spotted on Facebook. There were also copies of MSR for sale at the Best of launch, and I was impressed by the design and the quality of work included. I remember immediately wanting to get involved and emailing Rebecca soon after that to ask about any volunteer opportunities.

Can you share some of your favorite pieces from the Mud Season archives?

I really love Lisa Beech Hartz’s art-focused poetry (Issue 19) and Aimee Nezhukhumatathil’s poem “The Smallest Commotion” from our Volume 2 print issue. Lori White’s nonfiction piece “Mapquest to Auntie Iryne’s” (Issue 17) is brilliant with form without any sacrifice to the quality of the writing. With fiction, I’m usually drawn to magical realism and strangeness, so one of my favorites is Jacob Guajardo’s “We Have Commandeered Our Bodies to Science” (Issue 14). And there are a few art pieces that I feel I could stare at for hours: Dr. Ernest Williamson III’s “Regardless of What You Face” (Issue 4) and Jessica Nissen’s “Red Storm” and “Purple Storm” from our Volume 1 print issue.

Continue reading

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of August 22, 2016

Tony Whedon

Tony Whedon will lead the 2016 Burlington Writers Workshop Guided Creative Nonfiction Retreat

The Lottery for the October 2016 Guided Creative Nonfiction Retreat with Tony Whedon is now open

This full-day retreat will be held on Saturday, October 1, 2016 at Treleven Farm Annex in New Haven, Vermont. Last year’s participants reported an amazing time of learning and growth with poet and essayist Tony Whedon.

The retreat lottery will be open through midnight, September 1. All active BWW members and volunteers are encouraged to enter.

Enter the lottery >


Retreat opportunities

September 2016 Guided Poetry Retreat with Baron Wormser
Saturday, September 17, 2016

In addition to the October 2016 Guided Creative Nonfiction Retreat mentioned above, we also have a few spaces left in our September 2016 Guided Poetry Retreat with Baron Wormser. This full-day retreat will be held on Saturday, September 17, 2016 at Adamant Music School in Adamant, Vermont. The remaining spaces will now be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Enter the lottery now >

Current volunteer opportunities

Help staff the Burlington Book Festival table
September 17 – 18, 2016

The Burlington Book Festival is coming up fast and the BWW will be hosting a table at the event. Staffing the table is a great way to help support the BWW while connecting with other writers at the festival. If you’re interested, please contact us.

Introduce your favorite writer at the Book Festival

We also have an opportunity for BWW members to help introduce their favorite writers at the upcoming Burlington Book Festival on Saturday, September 17.

If you’d like to help introduce one of the writers listed below, please contact festival director Rick Kisonak directly at burlingtonmag@gmail.com.

M.T. Andersen│Jennifer Armstrong│Jensen Beach│Chard deNiord│Tina Escaja│Amy Hassinger│Ann Hood│Leland Kinsey│Meg Little Reilly│Graham Macindoe│Elizabeth Marshall Thomas│Vi Kha Nao│Jay Parini│John Elder Robison│Elizabeth Powell│Mario Susko│Susan Stellin│Z.G. Tomaszewski│Teri Youmans Grimm

Join the staff of Mud Season Review

We’re filling positions fast for Mud Season Review, but there are still some open.

Positions open now include:

  • Managing Editor, Project and Communications
  • PR/Marketing Manager
  • Fiction Co-editor (*new)

Positions opening in September (but still accepting applications now!) include:

  • Nonfiction Co-editor
  • Art Co-editor
  • Copyeditor

Learn more about the responsibilities, desired qualifications, and estimated time commitment for these positions. Get more info and apply now >


Read some Faulkner with us

Come read with us on Tuesday nights this fall in Burlington

Come read with us on Tuesday nights this fall in Burlington

In case you missed last week’s Opportunities & Announcements, a reminder that the winner of the 2016 Fall Literature Reading Series poll is William Faulkner’s Absalom! Absalom!

The reading series kicks off with its first meeting on Tuesday, October 4th at 6:30 p.m. in Burlington. It’s a wonderful group that keeps regulars coming back each season and is always ready to welcome newcomers. RSVP now >

Also, the full September schedule is up now on Meetup.com. Find your favorite workshop >

Upcoming events

We have 2 exciting events coming up in September:

Writers in the Round at the Burlington Book Festival
Saturday, September 17, 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Hotel Vermont

As part of the Burlington Book Festival, join the Burlington Writers Workshop and Mud Season Review for an evening of “writers in the round,” where poets alternate reading short poems that play off what has just been read. This event will feature: Vermont Poet Laureate Chard deNiord, accomplished Vermont poets Partridge Boswell and Julia Shipley, and our own Lauren Bender and Michelle Watters from Mud Season Review.

Location: Hotel Vermont, 41 Cherry St in Burlington

RSVP now >

Book Tour: Best of the BWW 2016 Poetry Reading at Shelburne Vineyard
Sunday, September 25, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Shelburne Vineyard

Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop poet Zoe Armstrong

Zoe Armstrong will read her poetry at the upcoming Best of 2016 book tour event

Join us for a poetry reading at Shelburne Vineyard, hosted by Michelle Watters, poetry editor of The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2016.

Enjoy a glass of local wine and delicious, perfectly paired appetizers while listening to the readings of four Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2016 poets: Zoe Armstrong, Mark Hoffman, Spencer Smith, and Jimmy Tee.

Location: Shelburne Vineyard,  6308 Shelburne Rd in Shelburne

RSVP now >

Read an interview with Best of 2016 poet Zoe Armstrong >


Repeating last week’s congrats & thanks as well due to a mailing list issue that kept us from mailing out last week’s Opportunities & Announcements post:

Congrats to Riki Moss, whose artwork was recently featured as part of the “Adept Pursuits – Accomplished Work” exhibit at the Fourth Corner Foundation Gallery in Windham, Vermont and is currently on display as part of the “Women In The Men’s Room” exhibit at The Men’s Room Salon, located right downstairs from the BWW space at 110 Main Street in Burlington. You can check out Riki’s work there through September.

Congrats to Amanda Vella, who was recently selected as part of the Wall to Canvas Live Art Competition, sponsored by the Magic Hat Brewing Company.

…and thanks

Thanks to JD Fox, who is moving on from his role as co-editor of fiction for Mud Season Review, for all he’s done for the journal.

Thanks to Sam Hughes, who is moving on from his role as our Monday night workshop host, for all of the many wonderful workshops he’s led for the BWW.

Welcome to new workshop leader Rosa Castellano, who will be leading a monthly Monday night poetry workshop beginning in September. And thank you to Martin BockAmanda Vella, and Michelle Watters—existing workshop leaders who will each also be hosting monthly Monday night workshops starting this fall.

Have you recently been published, won an award, taught a writing seminar, or accomplished something else you’d like to share with your fellow BWW members? If yes, please let us know so we can help share the good news!

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of August 1, 2016

This week brings a few new opportunities to get more involved in the Burlington Writers Workshop!

Baron Wormser, BWW guided poetry retreat leader

Baron Wormser, 2000 Poet Laureate of Maine, founder of the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching, and award-winning poet, will host the BWW’s 2016 Guided Poetry Retreat

First up:

Our September 2016 Guided Poetry Retreat with Baron Wormser

This full-day retreat will be held on Saturday, September 17, 2016 at the beautiful Adamant Music School in Adamant, Vermont.

The retreat lottery is open now through midnight, August 15, 2016. All active BWW members and volunteers are encouraged to enter!

Enter the lottery now >

Find out how else you can get involved. Continue reading

Opportunities and Announcements: Week of June 21, 2016

Mud Season Review Issue #21Issue #21 of Mud Season Review is now live! Take a look at this month’s issue to see the artwork of Kaylynn Sullivan TwoTrees and read the fiction of Jessica Bryant Klagmann, nonfiction of Nancy Wyland, and poetry of Ace Boggess.


An opportunity from a BWW sponsor, the League of Vermont Writers

Support for the BWW comes from the League of Vermont Writers. LVW invites you to their biennial WRITERS MEET AGENTS event on July 23 at the Double Tree Hotel in South Burlington. The all-day event includes presentations, panels, and opportunities to pitch your finished manuscript to agents.

Several BWW members have signed up so far and we’ll also have a booth at the event. Hope to see you there! Visit the LVW website to register, purchase one-on-one pitch sessions, and get more details > 

Other upcoming opportunities

Never been to a BWW workshop?
Our new member informational workshops are the best way to get started. There are still spots left in our next one coming up on Monday, June 27 at 6:30 p.m. in Burlington.  We’ll talk about how the workshops work, our approach to giving feedback, how to submit a request to have your work reviewed, and the many other opportunities for getting involved in the BWW. RSVP now >

Get involved by volunteering
The saying may be worn, but the sentiment is not. Lots of hands make light work. If you’d like to volunteer to help out with the BWW, please contact us anytime. If you’re not sure how you can help or how much time you can give, we’re happy to find opportunities that fit your skills and schedule. There are many ways, big and small, in-person and virtual, that you can be part of helping the BWW keep doing what we do.

Read for Mud Season Review
Interested in fiction? You might enjoy becoming a fiction reader for our literary journal, Mud Season Review. While there are occasional in-person staff meetings for the journal, much of the work for this role can be done online from home. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us.


Retreat update

The lottery for our first retreat (the guided fiction retreat with Megan Mayhew Bergman) is now closed. Thank you to all who entered. Lottery winners will be notified and asked to confirm their spots by June 24. If you don’t hear from us, we encourage you to enter the lotteries for future retreats. The next lottery will be open beginning July 1. More info on upcoming retreats can be found here >

Flynn Center blog

Burlington Writers Workshop members regularly blog for the Flynn. These members recently wrote about performances as part of the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival:

Lorraine Ryan wrote this review of Diane Schuur and the Legendary Count Basie Orchestra.

Brett Sigurdson wrote this review of Antibalas and this review of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.

Josh McDonald wrote this review of the Ingrid Jensen Quintet.

Congrats and thanks

A huge congratulations to our chairman of the board, Peter Biello, for his radio team’s recent National Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television News Association. Peter and his New Hampshire Public Radio news team won in the category of New Series for their series titled “The First Decade: Early Childhood Disparities and the Future of N.H.’s Kids.” You can listen to the full series here >

Welcome to Lauren Bender, our new Mud Season Review poetry reader.

Thank you Dan Hopkinson, our new space volunteer for Tuesday summers in the Burlington space.

Thank you to Darlene Witte-Townsend and Wendy Andersen for their work in reconfiguring our Burlington workshop space.

Our hours

Stop into our Burlington space (110 Main Street, Studio 3C) during the following times this week to get some quiet writing or reading time in, or to find out more about the BWW:

Monday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Tuesday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Wednesday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Thursday: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. 

Friday: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

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 May 9, 2016

Support the Burlington Writers WorkshopWe’re making great progress toward our May fundraising goal of $6,000. Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far to help us raise $1,981 in our first week!

This great start is a true testament to how much our community means to its members. If you haven’t donated yet, we hope you’ll consider making a contribution in any amount to help us to continue producing high-quality literature like Mud Season Review, providing forums for authors to read their work at events like Saturday’s print issue launch party, and bringing accomplished authors like Julia Shipley to our workshops.

And remember: If you become a sustaining member at $12/month or a one-time donation of $150, we’ll thank you with a pair of BWW pint glasses, so you can raise a toast to this awesome community anytime you want!


Don’t miss your chance to workshop your poetry with Julia Shipley.

Julia Shipley with the Burlington Writers Workshop

Julia Shipley will lead The Monday Workshop on May 16 in Burlington

We still have spots open in the Monday Workshop with Julia Shipley, Monday, May 16 at 6:30 p.m. in Burlington. And, we’re looking for two poets to submit their work for review. This is a wonderful opportunity to get feedback on your work from an award-winning poet—as well as your fellow BWW members.

Julia Shipley is the author of a full-length poetry collection, The Academy of Hay, (Bona Fide Books, 2015) winner of the Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize, and a long-form lyric essay, Adam’s Mark, (Plowboy Press, 2014), which was selected as a Boston Globe Best New England Books of 2014. She is also the author of four poetry chapbooks, including the limited edition, letterpress printed One Ton Crumb (CC&B, 2014), First Do No Harm(Honeybee Press, 2014), Herd (2010), winner of the Sheltering Pines Press Chapbook Award, and Planet Jr. (2012) winner of the Hazel Lipa Environmental Chapbook Award from Flyway Journal of Writing and Environment. Winner of the Ralph Nading Hill Award, and finalist for the Curt Johnson Prose Award in Creative Nonfiction and the Teachers and Writers Bechtel Award, she’s also received grants from the Vermont Community Foundation and the Vermont Arts Council (Featured grantee 8/4 /2011), and received fellowships to The Frost Place (NH), The Center for Book Arts (NYC) and The Studios of Key West (FL).

Send a request to submit your work for this workshop. And don’t forget to RSVP to save your spot!

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Opportunities and Announcements: Week of April 25, 2016

Mud Season Review Issue #19

Check out Issue #19 at www.mudseasonreview.com

Mud Season Review issue #19 is up for viewing! This issue offers a preview of what’s inside MSR’s print issue vol. 2, forthcoming in May. Check out the artwork of Sonja Hinrichsen, fiction of Evan D. Williams (with illustrations by Meredith C. Bullock), nonfiction of Melissa Wiley, and poetry of Lisa Beech Hartz. And don’t forget to RSVP for the print launch party on Saturday, May 7, 7 p.m. at Hotel Vermont.

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Opportunities and Announcements: Week of April 18, 2016

Mud Season Review print issue vol. 2 launch partyThe next few weeks bring two of our biggest events of the year. First up is the Best of 2016 launch party on Friday, April 29th at the BCA. If you’re planning to attend (and we hope you are!), please remember to RSVP. This will help us to accurately plan for food and seating for the event. The following week brings the launch party for Mud Season Review print issue vol. 2. This celebration will be held Saturday, May 7th, beginning at 7 p.m., at Hotel Vermont. The evening will feature author readings by Ralph Culver, Robin McLean, Sean Prentiss, and Alison Prine as well as an art installation of work by Riki Moss, whose artwork is featured in the MSR print issue. Please kindly RSVP for this event as well.

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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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Perchance to Read

JD Fox, Mud Season Review editor

JD Fox, co-editor of fiction and consulting poetry editor for Mud Season Review

Most likely, anyone coming to this site has the writing bug, either actively writing (yay!) or thinking about doing so (yay to you, too!). After all, the site is called the Burlington Writers Workshop.

But there is a hidden word in its title. One that should go without saying. So, of course, I’m going to say it and talk about it. Though before I do, can you guess what it is?

Actually it’s two words, to be all Strunk-and-White proper. However, the other one is “and,” which is a great word, but isn’t the one I’m looking for.

Did you guess it now?

This organization could be called Burlington Writers (and Readers) Workshop.

Writers, in general, tend to be voracious readers. Which is a good thing. Not only does reading improve your own writingit also makes other writers happy. Especially when reading leads to publication, which leads to their work being read by a larger audience than, say, just the staff at Mud Season Review.

As fiction co-editor at MSR, I read a lot of submissions. Not all of them, of course, get published. But did you know that not all of the ones I like get published either?

So how do we decide?

Lots of readers, lots of discussion, and lots of coin tossing.

Just kidding about the coin tossing.

But nothing gets rejected based on only one set of eyes. And by the time something makes it all the way to publication, it has had a great number of eyes upon it and has been read and reread. There is often story advocacy involved and more than a little persuasion.

After all, we’re human. Maybe I didn’t get the symbolism of the rocking chair during my read and need to have it pointed out. Or maybe I need to make the case that a story isn’t scant, but brilliantly minimalistic.

We all have our biases, thoughts of what makes a good story, and reasons for liking or disliking something. I know for myself, dialogue is one of the more important elements. I have a lot of flaws as a writer, but I tend to write strong dialogue. So when it isn’t done well, it’s difficult for me to take a work seriously, even one with otherwise cool rocking chair symbolism.

The diversity of our fiction team helps us ensure that what ends up on our site is the best that we can find. We are currently looking for more readers to join our staff. If you are a Burlington Writers Workshop member and you’re interested in reading for us, please send an e-mail to editor@mudseasonreview.com.

—JD Fox, co-editor of fiction and consulting poetry editor, Mud Season Review