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League of Vermont Writers

Registration is open now for the LVW

Winter Program & Annual Business Meeting

January 23, 2016 at DoubleTree Hotel, South Burlington

The theme of the day is "Writing to Heal and Finding Your Authentic Voice"

We'll post extended information on the speakers and presentations, so check back here for more, but we are ready to open registration, so here's a quick run-down of the day!


Sarah Bartlett on "Writing to Heal(th): Creating Safe Circles,"

Gary Miller on "Writers for Recovery: A New Approach to Treating Addiction,"

Dr. Paul Foxman on "Dancing with Fear: How a Psychologist Writing to Heal from Anxiety Became a Best-Selling Author and International Speaker."

A short Bonus Presentation and Workshop for non-members who will not attend our Annual Meeting will be conducted by League member Annalisa Parent.

AND, we've arranged for a Post Meeting Get Together for socializing and networking, with cash bar, at the end of the day.


Pay by credit card using the

"Sign Up Today" button in the right hand column -->

Or download the mail-in registration form here.

Fee (includes morning refreshments and catered lunch):

Members, $45

Non-members, $55

Detailed information will be available in the January edition of League Lines sent to all members, and posted on this site.


Fall Program“What Would You Tell a Room of Writers, if Given the Chance?”

Thanks to everyone who made the Fall Program such a great, fun day. Kudos and thanks especially to three excellent speakers,

Sara J. Henry, Sydney Lea, and Katherine Quimby Johnson.

We're hard at work planning the 2016 Winter Program and Annual Meeting, to take place at the Double Tree Hotel on Williston Road in South Burlington, Saturday, January 23, 2016.

See you all there!

"Into the Words"—LVW's Summer Retreat and Member Showcase!

Congratulations to everyone who was involved with bringing the Summer Showcase Event "Into the Words" into being at Jerry Johnson's beautiful site in Albany, VT.

[Full-disclosure: I was a presenter - Pat G O'B - but I can't take credit for creating this super event. The Program Team that did the work was stellar. Thanks especially to our talented President, Ally Berthiaume, who envisioned this event and deftly guided it into being. I'm confident we'll hear more about all of the volunteers who worked so hard on this one as we progress toward publishing recaps of the event in the next League Lines.]

Purposefully named “Into the Words” playing off the hit-musical and movie Into the Woods, event planners wanted to create that feeling of getting lost in the thing that you love (words) with people who share that adoration (writers).

I'd say they succeeded.

And a heartfelt thanks from the League of Vermont Writers to all of our members and supporters who came out to spend this time with each other. We had a large and wonderful crowd of writers to share the day. You folks are the proof of the pudding -- your participation made all the difference!

Presenters and Workshops

See the day's Schedule here!

Thanks to all who participated in our Spring Program at the Franklin Howe Conference Center in Rutland!


Joanna Tebbs Young

How to find your story beneath the scripts given us by family and society. How to find your own voice. How to write from a place of personal truth that will resonate with readers as universal.

Ben Hewitt

At once humorous, inspiring, and entertaining, Ben explored the rules of good writing. These rules are not what you think. Writers came away with a new perspective on the craft.

Cheryl Young

A good story comes in many ways, expected and unexpected. Cheryl's talk spoke of the story behind the stories, and the rewards and challenges they bring with them.

And thank you to all of the LVW members and friends who came along to listen, learn, and share.

Thanks for all you do!

Thank you, writers! For making our 2015 Annual Meeting

and Winter Program such a great event

And thank you to our presenters,

author and teacher Stephen Kiernan,

and New York Times book reviewer

Christopher Lehmann-Haupt.

You were wonderful.


The morning with Stephen Kiernan


With nearly four million words in print, Stephen Kiernan is a longtime newspaper journalist and author. His books include LAST RIGHTS and AUTHENTIC PATRIOTISM (nonfiction), plus the novels THE CURIOSITY, and THE HUMMINGBIRD (out in the fall of 2015).

A graduate of Middlebury College, the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, and the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa, Stephen has won more than 40 writing awards. His work has been translated into numerous languages, and THE CURIOSITY was optioned by 20th Century Fox for a feature film. Each year his "Winter Tale" is part of the Vermont Stage Company's annual December performance of the same name. He lives in Charlotte with his two sons.

Stephen gave two presentations during the morning of Jan. 31.

First up, "The Biz: Breaking into Publishing"

As the publishing industry simultaneously innovates and consolidates, the challenges of reaching an audience and making an income from writing grow ever more complex. This interactive session addressed such topics as how to find an agent, how to submit a manuscript, what an editor is now, and what the merits and demerits of self-publishing are.

Next, "The Almost Right Word"

The foundation of writing is language, though we often take for granted its tools and powers because we use them in conversation all day. Through a series of interactive exercises, we examined the potency of language and how to give our writing greater specificity and strength.


2015 Annual Meeting included election of officers


And we heard from Keynote Speaker Christopher Lehmann-Haupt


[photo by Sigrid Estrada]

New York Times book reviewer and editor Christopher Lehmann-Haupt has worked in the world of books for his entire professional career. He began as an editor for various New York City publishing houses, among them Holt, Rinehart & Winston and The Dial Press.

In 1965 he become an editor on the Sunday New York Times Book Review. In 1969, he was appointed senior Daily Book Reviewer for the New York Times, a position he held until 1995, when he became a regular daily book reviewer. From 1965 until 2000, he wrote more than 4,000 book reviews and articles on a range of subjects from trout fishing to Persian archaeology. In April 2000, he assumed the job of Chief Obituary Writer for the Times, and in June 2006, he retired from the paper.

Since then, he has taught writing courses at Marymount Writing Center, the College of Mount St. Vincent, the CUNY Graduate Center, and Columbia University School of Journalism. He has also written freelance for the Times and served from 2007 until 2012 as editorial director for a small publishing company, Delphinium Books. He still provides occasional obituaries to the Times, and he continues to supervise student projects at the Columbia School of Journalism.

The changing creative culture, "Have You Seen Any Good Books Lately?"

Writers in the Visual/Digital Age: In the last century or so, our culture has shifted away from print and towards cinematics. A number of really first-rate TV shows have been created from books, some of them arguably equal or superior to the original. Superseding this visual age is the new digital one introducing new ways of combining print and image, still and otherwise. So, while the talk always seems to be that the book is dying, and therefore writers grow ever more anxious that they’re becoming superfluous, this isn’t the case. Writers won’t ever be unnecessary or obsolete, but they may play a different role in the visual/digital culture we are now in. ‘Have You Seen Any Good Books Lately?’ enlightened writers, described what they’re facing in today’s multimedia age, discussed how to keep up with and engage with these new media and formats, and ultimately, addressed how to redefine their role as ‘writer’ in the 21st century.


Thanks to all who came and made it a great day.

It was great to see you all at Stowe for our Fall Program!

As always, it was a program full of information and fun.

Who & What:

Christine Moriarty from MoneyPeace gave a riveting talk on the financials of freelancing! YES! RIVETING! One participant said, "I didn't know how much I was going to learn from this until she started talking. She's GREAT!" Ms. Moriarty is a financial speaker, author and coach. Find her at www.moneypeace.com

Colin Thompson, film writer, director and star of Loser’s Crown had the room in stitches talking about his exploits on the way to becoming and independent screenwriter/film maker. He's shooting his second feature this month (October), and having a great time with friend and collaborator Myles David Jewell. Visit them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/loserscrown.

The panel of editors, with Cindy Barnes [Barnes & MacQueen Publishing Resources], Linda Bland [Cahoots Writing Services], Pat Goudey O’Brien [PGO Editorial Resource and The Tamarac Press], Kim MacQueen [Barnes & MacQueen Pubishing Resources], Angela Palm [Ink and Lead Literary Services], packed a presentation with excellent information and advice.

Thanks to our terrific speakers and to all our members who came out, took part, and made it a wonderful day.

Our biennial Writers Meet Agents event was held at the Hampton Inn Burlington on Lower Mountain View Drive in Colchester.  Accounting for the writers, presenters, exhibitors, agents, and our keynote speaker, we had ninety people on hand, and (as they say in such a cliche way ...), A Fine Time Was Had By All!

Agents who so kindly attended to talk to our writers and ask for their manuscripts were:

Maria Ribas, from the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency (http://www.morhaimliterary.com/agents.html)

Eric W. Ruben, literary agent and Attorney at Law (http://www.rubenlaw.org/contact/)

Katharine Sands, visiting us again from the Sarah Jane Freymann Agency (Sarahjanefreymann.com)

Beth Campbell, from BookEnds, LLC (http://www.bookends-inc.com/)

Kaylee Davis and Kimiko Nakamura, from the Dee Mura Literary agency (http://www.deemuraliterary.com/)

Emily Mitchell, from the Wernick & Pratt Agency (http://www.wernickpratt.com/)

Our presenters were:

Peter Biello, writer, radio producer and announcer at VPR, and founder of the Burlington Writers Workshop

Jo Knowles, award-winning author of books for young readers and young adults

Katharine Sands, literary agent extraordinaire

Our Keynote Speaker was:

David Dobbs, freelance science writer and book authore


And exhibitors supporting the work of the League were:

The Burlington Writers Workshop, represented by Barbara Alsop

IPNE [Independent Publishers of New England], represented by Tordis Isselhardt

and Ink and Lead Literary Services, represented byAngela Palmer

A sincere thank you to all who took part!

Thanks to all who came to the Franklin Conference Center at the Howe Center in  Rutland for our Spring Program in April: All About Agents & Editors.

Our program with JONI COLE [THE WRITERS' CENTER], DAVID COREY [UPNE], and MICHAEL METIVIER [CHELSEA GREEN] was energetic, full of great information, and made all the better through the participation of a great group of writers!

Thanks so much for making the day such a success, and we'll see you all at our Writers Meet Agents event on July 19 at the Hampton Inn in Colchester!

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  • Saturday, January 23, 2016: Winter Program & Annual Meeting
    Registration is open now for the LVW Winter Program & Annual Business Meeting

    January 23, 2016 at DoubleTree Hotel, South Burlington

    The theme of the day is "Writing to Heal and Finding Your Authentic Voice" We'll post extended...
    Pat Goudey OBrien
    24 November 2015

THE VERMONT TRADITION grapples energetically with the basic problem of human conduct...how to reconcile the needs of the group, of which every man or woman is a member,..with the craving for individual freedom to be what he really is.

—Dorothy Canfield Fisher, 1953