Writing Retreats

BWW Writing Retreats

The first BWW retreat of 2018, is a Write In. We’ll have use of both the BWW’s regular studio space as well as the building’s conference room to spread ourselves out a bit and dig into our work. This style of retreat appeals to writers who are deeply immersed in a particular work and don’t want the distraction of prompts, feedback or direction from leaders. This retreat is exactly what many been needing to fulfill writing resolutions in the new year.

This retreat filled up instantly, but if you’d like to attend, please:

  • RSVP for the wait list because spots may open up. If there are not enough cancellations, you’ll be automatically added to the next retreat, tentatively scheduled for March 11th, celebrating daylight savings time and the return of the light.

Stay tuned for more 2018 retreats and get ready to write!

In the meantime, please feel free to browse our 2017 retreat descriptions below for more inspiration.

Retreat Leaders and Descriptions:

JULY 2017

Headshot of Rebecca Starks

Writing Fiction with Rebecca Starks

Date: Saturday, July 15, 2017

Place: Home of BWW Board Member Terry Cleveland (Georgia, Vt.)


Rebecca Starks’ short fiction has appeared in Tahoma Literary Review and Crab Orchard Review. She is working on a collection of stories and a novel. Her poems have appeared in Rattle, Slice, Crab Orchard Review, Poetry Northwest and elsewhere. She is a founding editor of Mud Season Review and teaches literature to lifelong learners at the University of Vermont. After pursuing a PhD in English from Stanford University, she has taken a number of writing workshops in poetry and fiction, including with Stephen Wright and Antonya Nelson.

Plan for the day:

Beginning with the guidance of John Gardner and Francine Prose, participants read short excerpts of stories and novels pushing for a deeper understanding of craft and its history. Writers spent two hours in the morning writing in response to prompts, then shared that writing out loud and responded to it. They considered questions of style and significance, as a way of working on revision, and had two more hours to write in the afternoon—either responding to a new prompt, working on current material, or expanding on what was begun in the morning—leaving time to share at the end.

 AUGUST 2017

Robin McLean

Writing Prose – Fiction and Nonfiction – with Robin McLean

Date: Saturday, August 26, 2017

Place: Home of BWW member Riki Moss (Grand Isle, Vt.)


Robin McLean was a lawyer then a potter for 15 years in the woods of Alaska before receiving her MFA at UMass Amherst. Her debut story collection Reptile House won the BOA Editions Fiction Prize and was named as one of the best books of 2015 in The Paris Review. Her stories have appeared in The Cincinnati Review, The Common, Copper Nickel, Carve, Green Mountains Review and many others. She teaches at Clark University and splits her time between Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and points West.

Plan for the day:
In this workshop we were subversive. Using a variety of craft exercises we attempted to turn our usual writing style upside down, find ourselves constructing lines we did not know we could write. In doing so, participants went away from the day comfortable with new methods and techniques to stimulate and open their prose beyond our tried and true.


Baron Wormser, BWW guided poetry retreat leader

Baron Wormser

Writing Poetry with Baron Wormser

Date: Saturday, September 16, 2017

Place: Adamant Music School (Adamant, Vermont)


Baron Wormser is the author/co-author of fourteen books and a poetry chapbook. His books include Scattered Chapters: New and Selected Poems (Sarabande Books), The Road Washes Out in Spring: a Poet’s Memoir of Living Off the Grid (University Press of New England), and The Poetry Life: Ten Stories (CavanKerry Press). His novel Tom o’ Vietnam, about a Vietnam veteran who is obsessed with King Lear, will be published by New Rivers Press in the fall of 2017. Wormser has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Bread Loaf, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. From 2000 to 2006 he served as poet laureate of the state of Maine. He has taught many dozens of workshops across the United States and continues to offer generative workshops along with workshops focusing on the works of a particular poet.

Plan for the day:

This was a generative poetry-writing workshop. Participants were given prompts of various poems that offer imaginative opportunities to take off into their own writing. The prompts came from a variety of poets, showing a variety of poetic occasions. There was time to write as many as six new poems during the course of the day. We discussed each poem, followed by more writing time, then read aloud what was written. We did not critique what was written, but rather talked about the imaginative presences that turned up and where they might lead.


Jericho Parms

Writing Nonfiction with Jericho Parms

Date: Saturday, October 21, 2017

Place: Rock Point Retreat Center, Burlington

Jericho Parms is the author of Lost Wax (University of Georgia Press, 2016). Her essays have appeared in Fourth Genre, The Normal School, Hotel Amerika, American Literary Review, Brevity and elsewhere. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, noted in Best American Essays, and anthologized in Brief Encounters: A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction and Waveform: Twenty-First Century Essays By Women. She is the Associate Director of the MFA in Writing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts and teaches at Champlain College.

Plan for the day:
Jericho led an interactive retreat at the Rock Point center on the shores of Lake Champlain, discussing craft, offering samples from authors, initiating periods for writing during the day, and sharing participants’ work. The property encompasses 130 acres on Lake Champlain and has hiking trails through various habitats, as well as a solar orchard and community gardens with a focus on responsible environmental practices.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *