Excerpts from KathrynÕs email to the director:
In summary, "what worked," was the conference. It had everything: a dynamic community, inspirational speakers (wonderful writing), and useful seminars. It will take me a week just to transcribe my lists: what to read, which sites to seek out, sticky notes to put on my computer to remind me what my stories need (hooks, twists, beauty and surprise). Not only did I leave with tools to work on stories I have already written, but I also left with 2-3 stories nagging to be written. What more could I ask?
Caitlin Gildrien's email to the director:
On Verandah Porche's workshop, "Leaping Lines:" "Verandah: Leaping Lines: The Pantoum: " Such a great form, and Verandah was superb at laying out a small feast of examples and giving some pointers, then stepping back and letting us rip. I think I got a pretty good piece out of this."
James Jordan's email:
"To my amazement, I found myself reading my own work aloud for peer review for the first time in over 10 years."
Marianne Gambaro :
Marianne Gambaro :GMWC continues to be the best of the writersÕ conferences I have attended. Most participants check their egos (and their MFAs if they have one) at the door. The caliber of the participantsÕ writing seems to get better each year. I find it stimulating and exciting.
The guest writers were all terrific and each provided me new tools and insights. While their approaches were quite different, they offered concrete examples of good writing and provided exercises to improve on our own. I appreciated as well that they were so approachable. Guest authors/artists can often be aloof, but I found each to be supportive, curious about the work we were doing, and sincerely interested in being of help. That they are also accomplished writers made the time with them even more inspiring.
I canÕt imagine a more perfect setting for such a gathering than the Mountaintop Inn. What a glorious spot. I know we lucked out with amazing weather, but even if itÕd rained or been scorching, weÕd have been comfortable given the options of outdoors and comfortable indoor spaces. I definitely vote for continuing there. The setting was quite magical, the staff superb, and the food delicious. .
Debbie Lynch:Truly, your conference was exactly what I had hoped. I got some great insights from the speakers, did a little writing in the exercise sessions, ate fabulous food, and got to hike and kayak to my heart's content. The setting was amazing. It was a wonderful week.
Dennis Collins:I love the conference, no matter where it is, or who the speakers are. I should say, I have loved the conference each year, and I've been to 3 of them. I know how hard you folks work to put on the best conference possible. The speakers are always good and the variety of viewpoints among them is a balancing act you seem to excel at. This years lineup was great. The venue was very cool.
Green Mountain Writers' Conference, 2009
Excerpts from Irma's letter of August 05, 2009
From Wallingford to Timouth, you'll travel slightly more than eight miles up and up some more along meandering narrow, tee-lined roadways, cow pastures, and acres of frmland. Nirvana.
... I listened intently and marveled at the positive critiques offered readers. Writers undertain then had a story quickly discovered it lay inside them and stories poured forth.
...Kudos to the culinary magic performed by Chef Claire Clarino inthe long narrow kitchen. We enjoyed and appreciated five days of her artistry with delicious salads, quiche, soups, pasries, fruit and a variety of beverages, including robust coffee!
Daniel, 5, and August, 3, the two spirited, white-haired Maltese entertained us as they frolicked about the grounds. Come and be fulfilled. Just being among so many hard-working personalities was a gratifying experience. Friday came too soon.
Mareen Kessler:First of all, let me say THANK YOU for such a beautiful introduction to writer's groups. I loved my time at the pond, and I will never forget it. Provided the fates allow, I intend to make it an annual happening.... I think the conference was beautifully arranged. The speakers were superb, the assignments were very interesting, and the "on" and "off" times worked very well.
Balance: published writers as guest readers and workshop leaders; participants reading + peer critique -- "I noticed-- "; excellent food -- local and made on site -- my new super scales say that I only gained .2 pounds during the week away :)
Inclusion: vets and newbies on par -- appreciated name tags and no introduction around the room -- playing field level so clear that everyoneÕs work counts and gets comments Morning lessons by you MT W (I think)
Invitation to write whenever -- could leave to do it -- mostly a balance between freedom and structure. You let your scholarship show -- you listen deeply, and make helpful remarks -- your 10,000 hours of writing shows in your teaching;
A general sense of tremendous generosity on your part -- time and materials both
Variation in each day's schedule -- mixing it up a little
Guests stay through the day(s) to hear us read and they comment, too
Self-selection for workshops even if the numbers are uneven
Diversity of guests and every one is hot
Encouraging poetry and prose writing by all of us.
Ben Huffman:As happened for me last year, the experience of spending five days with other people engaged in the same effort was validating of my own, and left me at the end renewed in my intention to keep working. Over the weekend after returning home I found myself adrift back in my usual routine -- unable to become very interested in the various, random seeming demands for my attention. After a while I realized how different this was from the central experience of your conference. Which was, how each one of us was focused on creating a single, discrete, self-contained and meaningful verbal expression. That seems such a rare occurrence in everyday life. I am guessing this may be what attracts some of us to the writing effort. So I appreciate a great deal your work in providing the opportunity for that experience.
Rob Burnside:The conference was even better than I thought it would be---across the board. Truly, everything was four stars! Much thanks to you and the staff.