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League of Vermont Writers

Calling All Vermont Writers!

It's that time again. The League's biennial Writers Meet Agents Event is here in July, and we have a dynamite line-up of eight agents eager to talk with you and hear about your book projects. 

These dedicated agents are actively building their lists, but take a look -- they're also authors who have toiled in the trenches just like the rest of us. What a wealth of advice they have for Vermont writers.

We'll be scheduling pitch sessions with our guest agents throughout the day, as well as offering presentations on the business and skills of writing. This is a conference you don't want to miss--a chance to immerse yourself in your craft and network with peers and professionals.

Space is limited, so register early:

(see shopping cart here...) or

(see mail-in registration form here)

Proposed Agenda:

  • Registration and Meet and Greet (includes Morning Refreshments) : 8:30 am
  • Opening Address and Introduction: 9:00 am
  • Agent Panel and Presentations: Throughout the Morning
  • Pitches Scheduled: Throughout the Morning
  • Lunch, catered, buffet: Noon
  • Afternoon Presentations and Pitches
  • Afternoon Roundtable Genre Discussions
  • Post Conference Cocktail Hour with Cash Bar: 4:30 pm

 

Literary Agents with us this year:

Dede Cummings, Literary Agent,
author, publisher, and design services
Green Writers Press
West Brattleboro, Vermont

http://greenwriterspress.com

https://dedecummingsdesigns.com

Now a Vermont treasure for poets and scribes and all who toil in the publishing trades, Dede Cummings is a writer, literary agent/publisher and commentator for Vermont Public Radio.

She started her publishing career at Little, Brown after graduating from Middlebury College, where she was the recipient of the Mary Dunning Thwing Award, attended the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferenceas an undergraduate waiter, and studied with Hayden Carruth at the Bennington Writers’ Workshop. In 2013, Dede was a poetry contributor at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.

Her poetry has been published in Mademoiselle, The Lake, InQuire, Vending Machine Press, Kentucky Review, Connotation Press, and Bloodroot Literary Magazine. She was a Discover/The Nation poetry semi-finalist and was recently awarded a writer's grant and a partial fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center.

Dede is also a journalist and published author of six nonfiction health and organic lifestyle titles fromHatherleigh Press, distributed by Random House and Skyhorse Publishing in New York. Dede lives in West Brattleboro, Vermont with her family, where she designs books and runs her ownpublishing imprint, DCDesign Books and the startup Green Writers Press.

Green Writers Press is a small Brattleboro-based publishing company founded by Dede in 2014, dedicated to spreading environmental awareness by publishing authors who proliferate messages of hope and renewal through place-based writing and environmental activism. In the past three years, Green Writers Press has expanded significantly, publishing such authors as Julia Alvarez, John Elder, and (upcoming) Clarence Major. Green Writers Press recently debuted their own literary magazine, The Hopper, a cultural space, both online and in print, that allows literature, art, poetry, and interviews to come together toward an invigorated understanding of nature’s place in human life.

Sorche Fairbank
Fairbank Literary Representation
Hudson, NY
http://www.fairbankliterary.com

Sorche is a good friend of LVW returning this summer with more sage advice.

From her web site: A small, selective agency and member of AAR, the Author's Guild, and Grub Street's Literary Advisory Board, Fairbank Literary Representation is happily entering its eleventh year. Clients range from first-time authors to international best-sellers, prize winning-journalists to professionals at the top of their fields.

Our tastes tend toward literary and international fiction; the occasional mystery or thriller with a firm sense of place; memoir that goes beyond the me-moir; topical or narrative non-fiction with a strong interest in women’s voices, global perspectives, and class and race issues; quality lifestyle books (food, wine, and design); pop culture; craft; and gift and humor books.

We are most likely to pick up works that are of social or cultural significance, newsworthy, or that cause us to take great delight in the words, images or ideas on the page. Genres: Narrative non-fiction, general fiction, literary fiction, international voices, mystery/thriller (selective), reference, biography, works on race and class issues, lifestyle, pop culture, cookbooks, science, architecture and design, food and wine, humor.

Lately we have been doing extremely well in the humor/gift/pop culture category, and we’d love to take on more projects in those categories. We do have a strong sense of humor, but above all, we look for a fresh voice, approach, story, or idea.

Jan L. Kardys, Literary Agent
Black Hawk Literary Agency LLC
Chairman, Unicorn Writers' Conference
Redding, CT
see her activities at:

http://www.jankardys.com/BlackHawk_Literary_Agency.html

http://www.unicornwritersconference.com/jan-kardys.html

We're thrilled to welcome a woman with such diverse talents and experience to our summer event.

Jan's diverse book publishing career includes executive positions at ten of the major book publishers: Doubleday; St. Martin’s Press; Scholastic, Macmillan, Scribner’s, Little, Brown & Company; Warner Books; Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; Lippincott & Crowell Publishers; Simon & Schuster/Prentice Hall; and Condé Nast Publications. 

Her experience and know-how are in editorial, art/production, subsidiary rights, contracts, copyrights, permissions, book agenting, editing, writer’s conferences, publishing consulting, and freelance editing.

Jan worked for Google for three years where she added Internet sales and marketing to her already extensive expertise.

As chairman of the Unicorn Writers Conference, she brings writers and publishing professionals of all stripes together year after year, and now she's bringing that expertise to Vermont in July.

Paula Munier, Senior Literary Agent
Author, Blogger, Coach, and Content Strategist
Talcott Notch Literary Services, LLC

http://www.paulamunier.com

Paula is returning to Vermont with all her stellar background, interests and impressive skills in tow.

On her web page, Paula says: for nearly twenty years, this framed quotation has graced my office: “Après les choses qui sont de première nécessité pour la vie, rien n’est plus précieux que les livres.” The quote is from Pierre Simon Fournier’s 1764 typography manual, and it means: “After all the basic necessities of life, there is nothing more precious than books.”

The only thing I love more than books are the writers who write them, Paula says. She has worked with talented writers in a wide range of endeavors—reporters, nonfiction authors, content creators, from memoirists to novelists, screenwriters, graphic novelists, cartoonists, comic book writers, short story writers, and poets.

From Gannett, Greenspun and Prima Games to Disney, Quayside, and F+W Media, Paula has worked in the cause of good writing and good writers.

Her specialties include mystery/thriller, SF/fantasy, romance, YA, memoir, humor, pop culture, health & wellness, cooking, self-help, pop psych, New Age, inspirational, technology, science, and writing.

P.S. from Paula: "If you write crime fiction…you should know that I’m very involved with the mystery community, having served four terms as President of the New England chapter of Mystery Writers of America as well as on the MWA board. (I’m currently VP of that organization.) I’ve also served as both co-chair and Agents and Editors chair on the New England Crime Bake committee for seven years and counting. And I’m an active member of Sisters in Crime.

Katharine Sands, Literary Agent
Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency
New York City

http://www.sarahjanefreymann.com

A great friend to LVW over the years with scads to tell us and teach us, we're eager to see Katharine again this summer.

From her web bio: Katharine is the agent provocateur of Making the Perfect Pitch: How to Catch a Literary Agent’s Eye, a collection of pitching wisdom from leading literary agents. She recently contributed “Grey is the New Black” to Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey, a nonfiction look at the cultural phenom of the bestselling novel.

Actively building her client list, Katharine likes books that have a clear benefit for readers’ lives in categories of food, travel, lifestyle, home arts, beauty, wisdom, relationships, parenting, and a fresh look at issues, life challenges, or popular culture. When reading fiction she wants to be compelled and propelled by urgent storytelling, and hooked by characters. For memoir and femoir, she likes to be transported to a world rarely or newly observed.

Genres: History, Mind/body/spirit, Health, Travel, Lifestyle,. Cookbooks, Science,General fiction, Mystery, Romance, Suspense/thriller, Reference, Biography, Business/investing/finance.

Rebecca Podos, Literary Agent
Rees Literary Agency
Boston, MA

http://www.reesagency.com/rebecca-podos/

http://www.rebeccapodos.com

Such a pleasure to welcome Rebeccca to our event and to hear her ideas and wise counsel as agent and author.

Rebecca is a graduate of the MFA Writing, Literature and Publishing program at Emerson College. Her debut YA novel, The Mystery of Hollow Places, was recently published by Balzer+Bray (HarperCollins).

Rebecca is interested exclusively in Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction; particularly books about complex female relationships, beautifully written contemporary, romance with more at stake than "will they/won't they," genre fiction with a strong focus on character, books featuring marginalized voices and cultures, and LGBTQIA stories across all genres.

Janet Reid, Literary Agent
Fine Print Literary Management
New York City

http://fineprintlit.com

How fortunate we are to welcome Janet to Vermont this year, with her incredible breadth of experience and advice!

Seen on her web site: Janet Reid specializes in compelling fiction, particularly crime fiction; and narrative non-fiction. She’s always on the lookout for fabulous projects. 

Her publishing background includes fifteen years in book publicity with clients both famous and infamous. In her spare hours she drinks scotch and stalks Jack Reacher.

And do not forget her wildly helpful, popular and incredible web site on writing the killer query: Query Shark. See it at: http://queryshark.blogspot.com

Heather Flaherty, Literary Agent
The Bent Agency 
New York City

http://www.thebentagency.com/home.php

How lucky we are to have Heather with us this year, with info for so many genres and specialites.

Heather grew up in Massachusetts, between Boston and the Cape, and started working in New York City as a playwright during college. After much country hopping and some work in editorial, Heather became a YA and Children's Literary Scout, consulting with foreign publishers and Hollywood regarding what the next big book will be. Now as an Agent, she's thrilled to grow authors for that same success.

Currently, she's looking for authors of Middle-Grade and Young-Adult fiction, as well as select Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction projects. For YA, she's looking across all genres, and loves an excellent and authentic teen voice. For MG, she's looking for more realistic stories (either contemporary or period), about coping, coming-of-age, or situations seen through the eyes of a young person. In Adult, she's specifically wanting female-centric thrillers and commercial woman's fiction with solid storytelling and strong voices. She’s also always on the lookout for fantastic upmarket projects that bridge the gap between commercial and literary lists.

On the non-fiction side, she leans towards pop-culture, humor, and social-media based projects, as well as teen memoir.  @HeddaFlaherty

FEES for Writers Meet Agents 2016:

For LVW Members: $125.00

[Late Registration, after July 15: $135.00]

For Non-Members: $155.00

[Late Registration after July 15: $165.00]

 

SPACE AT THIS CONFERENCE IS LIMTED, SO REGISTER NOW!

Register for Writers Meet Agents 2015 using credit card with PayPal here.

Register with our mail in registration form and mail in a check here.

 

Ten-minute Pitch Sessions: $25/ea. [limit 2 sessions per writer until all have had a chance to sign up for a pitch.]

Writers who wish to purchase pitch sessions should arrange their session(s) with our registrar. Use this email link: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (subject line, in caps: ARRANGEMENTS FOR JULY PITCH SESSIONS).

 

NOTE FOR PEOPLE WITH DIETARY RESTRICTIONS: If you're registering through PayPal, please use our email address below to let us know if you need a special meal for lunch (mail registrations include a question on the form). We'll let you know if our menu addresses your restrictions, or we will order a special meal for you, if needed.

If you have questions or need further information about any aspect of our event, please contact us:

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , with the subject line, "WMA Meals question" or "WMA Event Question."

Saturday, April 16th was our Spring Program, with something on the agend for everyone -

at the Franklin Howe Conference Center in Rutland, VT.

A How-to on poetic writing with Kerrin McCadden.

Helpful Hints for writers creating book proposals with Gina Tron.

Crafting a memoir with Ellen Perry Berkeley.

[See details in our League Lines newsletter here.]


Thanks to all who made this a successful day!

 

Registration is open now for the LVW

Winter Program & Annual Business Meeting

When: Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016

Where:  DoubleTree Hotel, Williston Road, South Burlington

Time: 8:30 a.m. (sign-in) - 3:00 (end of Program)

Special Wine Social: 3:00 - 4:00 pm, Cash Bar



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

See Program schedule and details

in our newsletter: January 2016 edition of League Lines here

Presenters:

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 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 with Cash Bar for socializing and networking at the end of the day.


REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN.

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 is in the January edition of League Lines sent to all members, and posted here.

 

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

alt

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

alt

[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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Join us for these exciting events!

  • Saturday, July 23: WRITERS MEET AGENTS 2016!
    Calling All Vermont Writers! It's that time again. The League's biennial Writers Meet Agents Event is here in July, and we have a dynamite line-up of eight agents eager to talk with you and hear about your book projects. 
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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