The Director's Reports and Comments, Winter 2010, 2008, Summer 2001 and Summer 1999



Feb. 27, 2011: Dear writers, What a wonderful year with several of our returning writers finishing and publishing their books and others moving closer. My own book, Octavia Boulevard, is now in print through our new collaborative venture, Verdant Books, in conjunction with Northshire Bookstore and Shire Books. I'm busy working working on a new book and helping several talented writers bring their books to fruition. And I'm working very hard to bring one of the most talented writers I've encountered to our conference. More on all of this later. (Scroll down for previous report)

Feb. 2, 2010: Dear writers, new and returning. What I've been working on since I saw you all last is a revolutionary idea: to create a nonprofit writers' collaborative or collective that would publish quality work in prose and poetry in print and online. I've discovered that this is a complicated venture that may take longer than I had initially hoped. But I'm committed to finding new ways to disseminate the work of poets, short story writers, novelists, memoirists, narrative journalists, essayists and other writers who have something important to share. Mostly, I want to start a revolution because, as you all know, the publishing institutions don't really care very much about WRITERS. It's becoming increasing difficult for even established writers to get their works published. Online publication is an option but most of us would prefer both print and online. There's something about the physicality of a book that feels real to us, that helps establish that relationship between reader and writer that is so essential to the process of telling story and sharing poetry. I honor that. AT the same time, I'm not adverse to the possibilities of the Internet. It holds valuable tools to help us promote and share our work. In the next few months, I'll be meeting with other writers on both coasts to discuss these ideas and will post updates here. I'm sure this is a subject we'll discuss at this summer's conference in August, although as always I want the focus of the conference to be on writing rather than on publishing. See you on the pond on Aug. 2!


Notes from the Director, February 2008 Months and years go by so quickly. I notice that the last report I filed a report on this site was several years ago. And since then, how we've grown and evolved without losing what makes our conference so special -- our intimacy and openness. Each year I am amazed by the talented writers who come to our conference and the work that people accomplish over the course of a week. Last summer's conference was no exception. There were stories about fairies and frogs, heros and abusers; poems about the long road and the short straw. Family dramas unfolded on your pages as did rants against all the world's injustices. You brought your worlds -- both real and imagined -- and shared them with us. We sang together. We cried together. Most of all we learned about the power of words to bring people alive on the page, to heal old wounds, to show us what we still need to know or acknowledge. What do I remember from last summer's conference here in February as I prepare for the 2008 version of summer camp for writers: Esmerelda's new friend Elizabeth; Carroll playing the harmonica and doing the hen-house rock; Burnham and Jeff's rap on their fathers; Carolyn's juicy tales and Dwight's new chapters that put a human face on one of American's worst workplace travesties; Madge and Patsy's wry comments; Grace's tale of overcoming. For all of us, I'm sure, Roberta's story of coming out, of learning who she was, remains as a moment of shared understanding. Liz took us on a trip to Ireland while Sally took us to Mexico. Lyn and Kathleen and Steve recreated worlds much closer to home. Martha, Betty and Sarah brought us back to times gone by while Carissa and Karlin gave us glimpses into the world ahead; Ken shared with us his love of his craft and his daughter; Rhoda showed us the power of imagination when it's merged with gorgeous language. And Michael helped us remember the Beatles, the Stones, a time that sometimes seems a million years ago, a time of trust. We had our own Valley Girl and hillbilly poet. We learned what makes some of you angry and what makes others of you carry on. We wrote. Over the years the conference has grown from an event that attracted writers primarily from Vermont. Now, folks come to us from far and wide -- last year from as far away as Texas, Alaska and Virginia -- while so many of our old friends from Vermont returned. It's a perfect mix. New friendships and writing groups were formed. Together we crafted short stories prompted by a single sentence; we wrote pantoums; we shared our secrets; we learned how to unstuff our brains and get a handful of good graphs on the page in just a half hour. We learned that the real secret to writing is putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, to starting, to trusting that eventually we will get it right -- or as close to right as each of us is capable of. Better yet, we learned there is no right; there is the story and the poem that needs to be set down, if only for our own eyes to read. Yet, day after day, when you stood in the shade outside the pavilion or gathered together in a corner of the grounds or stood in front of your eager co-writers, we heard your words and they were beautiful. They brought new meaning to all our lives; they helped us understand. Because, after all, isn't that why we write -- to understand, to share, to come to resolution, to create something engaging from the words and stories spinning around in our brains. I thank you for sharing all this with me and invite you back for another week on the pond. Writers camp, indeed. And the food will be as wonderful as ever. Thanks for coming; hope to see you again.


Director's Report, Summer 2001

You can see now how futile it would have been for me to try to explain before the conference how time would do something wonderful, slow down, become dense, allow for moments of elucidation and discovery while at the same time speed up, never be enough. There's something magical that happens when you take a week of your life and devote it to your craft, especially when you do so with others who are also trying to break the code, solve the mystery, figure that writing thing out. Wasn't it fun?

There's a moment in time at these events when we're all part of that mystery. This summer, I think it was an almost collective moment -- Wednesday afternoon. It was hot, blue sky outside and some of you wanted to stay outside and laze around. Ruth Stone had arrived and I had gathered you inside the pavilion to hear her talk. I knew that her eye surgery had actually worsened her eyesight and that, with the loss of her vision, she was having difficulty keeping herself on track. I didn't want to interview her; I knew what she had to say should come out in a more natural way and I knew she had an important message to relay. It was a holy experience for me, sitting next to her on the old white rattan couch, occasionally prodding the conversation along, recalling my own difficult years living in a town of outlaws and renegades with five little babies and a husband whose worthlessness was becoming more evident daily. Back then, as now, Ruth was a role model. Back then, she advised me to keep a roof over the children's heads, give them wholesome food, read to them and sing, give them crayons and pens and pay attention to what comes of it. And don't listen to anyone who tries to tell you that you have to be more practical, that you can't cobble a livelihood together from words. Look, I did it, she said back then. Look, she said now, reading haltingly, with a little help, but nevertheless giving us the essence of a poem that will remain a jewel in our memories forever. Now, we see that we are still learning from her -- not just how words come to the poet like weather or freight trains, undeniable, ready to heal or pull us apart. Ruth also was teaching us, as she taught herself I suspect, how to age resourcefully, how to let one sense take over for the other, how to continue the love affair with sound and word when we can no longer see the page. And when she sang, Once I Had Three Daughters, who wasn't enchanted?

Other wonderful moments -- all of us transposed by playing word games with Verandah Porsche, reciting with delight TapiOca, over and over. Since the conference, have you found yourself saying the word TapiOca, and rhyming other words with it -- TapiOca, Cherry Cola, Minnesota, TapiOca. What fun to be silly and delighting in language so soon after meeting one another, right after lunch on Day-one of the conference.

Of course, I should have realized that it was going to be a superlative week at dawn that first morning of the conference. Verandah and I were sitting on a log at sunrise, drinking coffee and looking at the steam rising off the lake. We heard this somewhat quacky noise and saw the birds taking wing on the other side of the deck. "Here come the ducks," I announced, then together Verandah and I realized those were not ducks. Waaay too big. Prehistoric, their long legs trailing behind, their long necks stretching ahead, the three great blue herons winged overhead -- a good omen, for sure. Mother Nature was taking no chances, however. She followed the herons with a great white egret, a rarity in Tinmouth Vermont, then sent us a week of weather to write home about -- hot and sultry, with a good, banging storm at the end.

I've been reading your evaluations and remembering something special about each and every one of you. I tried to get you revved up right from the start with that quirky Ernest Hemingway exercise. You took the bait, writing with abandon, making up names and ages and lives like the writers that you were. Wasn't it fun? It's hard to believe that Verandah's workshop and Joan Connor's brilliant teaching, Verandah's reading (and singing), were all accomplished before 2 pm on our first Monday. And we still had David Budbill and Chris Bohjalian to entertain us.

One of the things I wanted to show you about writing was the many ways that words can be used. There's a popular bumper sticker in Vermont that reads, "Moonlight in Vermont -- Or Starve." Writers here have been most creative in their efforts to find work while following their muse. I wanted you to see some of these various ways of living the writing life. Day-0ne alone accomplished that. There was David Budbill in his short-shorts and trim mustache, in one hour giving us a survey of his diversity. He read us excerpts of a play he wrote about the underbelly of Vermont, a love song to his adopted hometown. That was followed by Zen poems; words set to jazz music; words written to fight injustices; words to lambaste the politicians; words to explain; words to confound; words to delight. Perhaps Budbill best showed us how to construct a writing life that speaks to the concerns of the body as much as the concerns of the soul. From plays to poetry, NPR commentaries to jazz music, Budbill is a master of diversity.

Chris Bohjalian has had tremendous success since last he visited the conference, although he was well on is way then, two years ago. We got a nifty preview of the book he's currently working on and he was incredibly generous with his time, explaining to us how he allows his characters to come alive on the page and show him what lives they'll lead. Of course, Bohjalian is a bit overwhelming with his work ethic of getting up at 5 and writing until 11, sometimes later. Discipline, he preached, and hard work. He also shared 10 writing tips. My favorite is this: "Lie. Put down on paper the most interesting lies you can imagine - and then make them plausible." Thanks, Chris. I'll do that - but not here.

Of course, we can't let Monday go by without mentioning Claire Tortolano's individual eggplant parmigianas -- how do you make that plural? -- served with garlic bread and salad and topped off with fresh-baked piselle with strawberries and cream. (And let's not forget Erica Bove's 18th birthday cake, made for us by my right-hand woman, Debbie Kniffen.) Thanks so much Claire; your cooking was down-right superlative -- lots of it, all healthy and varied; something for everyone; and lots of sweets. Yummie! And thanks, too, to Debbie who helped in a gazillion ways none of you saw, from sweeping to changing rolls of toilet paper, to prepping food with Claire, to creating a system for recycling our waste. And thanks to others who brought treats -- Nancy Buffum's homemade donuts; Walter O'Brien's coffee cake; eggs and veggies from Annette Smith's farm. Yep, we created a community, all right.

The biggest thank-you from me goes out to Chuck. How cool that we celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary with you. Wasn't he the Chuck-Star of organization and facilitation? Not to mention the author of some really interesting work from poems to a memoir that left few eyes dry.

There were many other magical moments during the week -- Lisa Lindahl's trip to her car to retrieve her pelvis-pulsing, Jailhouse Rock singing Elvis to accompany Tom Smith's brilliant Elvis poems; the torrential downpour that accompanied Ursula Smith and Linda Peavy's discussion about collaboration; your joint creation of the cast of characters who once knew Billy Joe McAllister. High on everyone's favorite list was Abigail's reading of her new work and her song of rejection, "Dear Abigail." I agree with several of you who said she's creating a new genre, some mix of fiction and philosophy, social commentary and rave. Brilliant. Abigail, we sure didn't reject you.
Day-two also brought us a third member of the Stone family -- Phoebe, daughter to Ruth; sister to Abigail. Wasn't her artwork fantastic? And how lovely she was to show us the genesis of a piece, its development from mere idea to execution. I love Mary McCallum's term for the Stone family. She calls them The Quarry and when she does, I think, how we mine them.
By Day-Two, of course, you'd already been broken in with two writing exercises and were feeling less nervous about reading your work. I recall your pieces so vividly -- Judson Hunter's interesting story of relationships; Christine Lovejoy's heartbreaking tale of a girl everyone dumped on; Stephanie Bird Wilson's funny parody on Tyvek; Nadine Kramer's deep and moving story of tradition and grief. Annette Smith blew me away with the forthrightness of her writing in a genre -- ecological rage -- that can often be tedious and pedantic. I'm still thinking about Sharon Nimtz's family tale and Jennifer Bagley's family tale -- so different yet both touching something deep within each of us. Walter O'Brien showed us the evolution of a piece; his son, Alan, showed us how to deconstruct a piece. Delia French constructed a world for us. Carroll Buffum made us laugh and so too did Carol Rich. Lydia Drinwater's children's story was entertaining at any level.
Who can forget Burnham Holmes' dramatic reading? Besides being a fantastic writer, Burnham's always got a job as an orator. As a matter of fact, next time I have to give a speech, maybe I'll ask him to do it for me. Then there's Jackie Steiner's poetry. It left me speechless as the best poetry usually does. Thank you Jackie. I'm always amazed at how honest writers are. Do you remember Erica Bove, new to this writing business, sharing her journal with us? One of the treats of the conference was seeing how the young people (or should I say the youngest in our group) -- Kit Harrington, Nicole Baker, Christine Lovejoy, Erica Bove, Delia French and Alan O'Brien -- seemed so comfortable with the older writers. We learned a few things from them as well. Kit, thanks for your wide-eyed nature, your beautiful words, your open appreciation of the magic of the week. And Nicole, your reading was one of those special moments during the week, a story within a story, still unfolding in your mind. Thanks for giving us a peek into this work in progress.
Speaking of works in progress, isn't Peter Freyne a piece of work? I'd like to read his memoir if he could draw himself away from holding the politicians' and media types' feet to the fire. Wasn't his tale of finding his voice as a columnist, as well as the fascinating stories of his Irish rebel relatives, fascinating? I know also that you folks enjoyed the help of Susan Keese and Sally Johnson. A final highlight, at least as far as the staff presentations were concerned, was Joan Connor's fabulous story. I loved the texture of the story, its many layers, how it was at once a fable and also a commentary on the fable, as well as a reflection on the writing of the fable. It was hot, was it not? And I don't just mean Joan in her white dress on a blazing afternoon, with or without the parasol. I mean the stark smartness of her.

So many other precious moments -- Jennifer Hazard's memorable reading; Iris Rosenberg and Teri Heard's gentle and supportive natures; Mary McCallum's hysterical story of the family reunion/wedding she attended as the guest of the bride and groom, including spending the wedding night with them; Debbie Kniffen's multi-layered folk tale -- hmmmm. -- was a delight. I also loved the story that Micki Smith wrote, which I think Piper Leo contributed to.
Of course Friday was a disappointment because Grace Paley could not join us but wasn't it wonderful how you all filled in for her? Two of my personal moments occurred on Friday afternoon. The first -- and I'm sure many of you share it -- was Jackie Steiner's passionate folk singing. What fun to hear those old favorites from so many cultures sung with such gusto. And will the MTA song ever be the same now that we know its origins and author? I remember thinking how music had unintentionally become a thread that wove throughout the concert, connecting those moments of mirth and creativity. Thank you Jackie for giving our afternoon such a wonderful touch of grace.

The second memorable moment -- I'll remember it forever -- occurred when Billy Hazard read her remarkable piece about what she learned at the writer's conference. I'll be putting the full text on the page of your writings but, here, let me quote from it:
...

I learned that I have a voice and that I should listen to that voice.

I learned about passion and politics, emotions and enrichment.
I learned that you should describe, detail, verbalize and "moodicize."
I learned that you should keep a journal. No. Make that two journals. No. Make that as many journals as you have rooms and cars. In other words, keep a pen and paper handy at all times. Or a tape recorder. Or your own personal secretary.
I learned that you need to interview, research, imagine, create, weave characters out of dreams and fantasies.
I learned that life is a warehouse -- use your experiences, your family, friends, the familiar.
I learned that there is no right or wrong way to write (Whew!)
I learned that sometimes you write because you are in pain.
I learned that writing is harad work, that it takes determinatin, guts, and persistence.
I learned about technique for different types of writing.
I learned that you can begain at any age and it doesn't matter what sex you are.

I learned that writers do it because they love it -- no one even mentioned fame and/or fortune.
I learned that this "Pavilion" is oozing with talent and we each have our own uniqueness.
I learned that I haven't changed much from high school when I disliked the practices and drills (writing exercises), but loved playing the game.

But most of all, I know that if I don't publish, or if no one ever reads my writing, or if writing leads me to another path, my life is richer and fuller because I finally overcame my inertia. It has been exciting and stimulating being here, meeting new people again, sharing stories and emotions -- living my life again instead of observing life!
By Billie E. Hazard

Amen to that, Billie!


The conference will be held next year from Aug. 5 to Aug. 9. Will you be there?

Yvonne Daley

The Director's Musings after the first conference, August, 1999

I retain the picture of Barbara Mayo reading her story with such intensity that we felt the skin crawl as she wrapped us into the commute and then the arrival, there on our last long day at Tinmouth Pond. It may have been raining outside. Kate Follett had already blown us away with her brilliant story so we were primed for genius. Now, Barbara was telling us how she had found her muse somewhere between Tinmouth and Monkton. As she told of that moment in which inspiration turns the most mundane task into self-discovery, we realized, each in our own way, that we had all had conversations with the muse that week.
I treasure the sound of our shared laughter as Carroll Buffum, dressed in red shirt and no-nonsense pants, leaned forward to recite his wonderful "Hen House Rock." Another gem - that moment of silence after Walter O'Brien read the piece about his father being a role model for the kind of dad Walter strove not to be. In that second, everything I had assumed about him changed. And Jeff Bender, where did he learn that way of writing that was made to be read out loud by someone who could read and write as well as he did?
There is the vignette of Ruth Stone, sitting on the rattan couch with her daughters beside her, variations on a theme of genius and passion and trepidation. When the three Stone women talked about creating the creative home, their story had understory upon understory, each layer showing us a way to survive through the power of words and art and music, through the power of giving voice to the fear of betrayal.
Remember how I asked for a poem, a favorite that Ruth couldn't quite find? First, Abigail --or was it Phoebe? -- recited a line from memory; then, the other sister chimed in. Then, like a Greek chorus, the three women were chanting the words together: "Do they write poems when they have something to say, Something to think about. Rubbed from the world's hard rubbing in the excess of every day?"
Chuck photographed the mother and daughters later that afternoon. The photos capture their long hair, reds and browns, high cheekbones, eyes mutually taking in too much. The differences are less apparent: Phoebe, almost shy, angels and people and chairs and butterflies, lions and teapots leaping from the confines of canvas and paper; Abigail, wise now and bold, a survivor, unraveling fact in fiction. And the mother, Ruth, how is that she has grown so sage while hardly changing over all these long decades? Mary McCallum coined a great phrase for the Stone women: The Quarry. How we mined them.
Grace Paley was less interested in reading her stories than she was in circulating around the room, in her blue cotton skirt, washed pale, her eyes the opposite of pale, as genuine as granite. She wanted to talk to you, to hear your stories. But when she read, again, lucky me, she chose one of my favorite stories, the one called "Traveling." In it, we heard the reasons why we honor her, that ability to be grandmotherly and political at once, to tell our collective story while telling her individual one. Lois Haslam said it best: "Grace Paley's presence afforded me more inspiration than any being I remember for a long time; if the conference had a muse, it was she."

Lois arrived home from the conference to find a black bear in her yard, "glistening and greasy, deflecting the bird feeder pole down to the ground with huge claws." The experience caused her to write one of the more memorable phrases of the conference: "Zeugma. (zoog ma) n. A construction in which two unlike things are yoked together, as in The fruit-bearing writers' conference and a fruit-eating bear loped through her consciousness."
The word zeugma, you might recall, was one of many gifts from Joan Connor, who showed us the brilliant luster of a quirky mind, the genius of words and wit, the gem of the short story. Who can forget her characters, Parrotman and Hummingbird and Ice Tea? Who can forget that moment of recognition in the story, that realization that we are all a little mad, that fear that our disguise might at any second be thrown off? And to be able to write so well and look so good-How does she do it? Again, from Lois: "Tell Joan Connor, in addition to admiring her writing style, I'm off tomorrow to find a pair of Ralph Lauren socks and a Donney-Burke belt to spark up my aging wardrobe."

I have the picture of Joe Citro in his straw hat and shorts, reading dark tales in the broad daylight. Isn't it wonderful to find that this singer of ghosts, ghouls and unsolved mysteries harbors the gentlest of hearts, the warmest of natures? Another mental snapshot contains Chris Bohjalian, a study in craft and good will, honesty and talent. Glennis Drew likened his reading from The Law of Similars, to hearing "the voice of a storyteller in two dimensions." How does one say thank you to such generosity?
In a second, I can reconstruct the image of Linda Peavy and Ursula Smith standing before their makeshift podium, surrounded by 20 years of books crafted together. Theirs is a performance in finishing one another's sentences, a living sonnet to love and companionship and trust as they deconstructed the structure of their writing lives and celebrated the role of serendipity in all our lives, written and not.
And Susan Keese. I picture her arriving with her red pillowcase crammed with goodies to stir the imagination. Again, the word generosity springs to mind: generous with praise, generous with attention, and inspiration. Syd Lea: How do you sum up his gifts in a sentence or two? He showed us that poetry can be real, that men of the woods can be thinkers, that hunters know tears and disappointments, that children matter, that the earth is important, that words sustain. The only thing I wanted was more of his brave world, with or without the punctuation of black ducks quacking from Tinmouth Pond.
I was thankful for Sally Johnson's presence. Because she is an editor, and a good one, she could speak honestly about publishing while also offering encouragement. As a freelance writer, she knows how hard it can be to please someone else while also pleasing oneself. We need to hear that it's hard for even the most successful writer. If there was one consistent message about all this publishing business that came through at the writers' conference, it was that we must persevere, persevere, and persevere.
I have the picture of Laura Usher explaining to our various writers that she was their slave for the day. Later, she read a story so full of potential, a story with many understories still undiscovered. I was glad to have given her a scholarship to attend the conference. When I picture her, I see so many other now-dear faces around her: those who chose the comfortable chairs: Don McGee with his collection of stories from Springfield; Yvonne Strauss with her Tushi tales, humorous and not so funny. There's Kate on a pillow on the floor. Nearby, Patricia Hutchinson has decided to slough off the lack of water and other catastrophes at home to be with us, to share her story. Thank you, Patricia.
I'm remembering you all in your uncomfortable chairs in that old dance pavilion in Tinmouth as Peter Kurth sits before you on a floral cushion. He scratches idly at his beard as he tells of talks with royalty and rubes, the elite and the would-be elite, stories of long research and sweet surprises, of discovery and loss.
I survey the crowd. Dianna Roberts is in the front row, so attentive, trying to take it all in through the eyes and ears, asking questions. I know she's taking what Peter has to say and trying to translate it into her story, finding ways that Peter's tips on research can help her tell the story of orthodox Jews living in a foreign land.
There's Jack Lacy in the back of the room, smiling in a way I bet he rarely did when he was a government man. He's still a man of few words; he makes them count, however, as we learned each time he shared one of his pieces with us. Nearby, Genie Rayner picks up the conversation, finds the positive word when the conversation turns to the trials of publishing. As she did again and again, Genie strikes the note that will make this day's lessons count, reiterates the lesson that we write because we must.
At the first Green Mountain Writers' Conference, we got teased by the beginnings of so many stories that, if our participants write them all, we'll have years of reading to look forward to: Chris Murray's story of death and the loss of innocence, Carol Rich's wacky tales of bears and snowstorms and toilet paper rolls; Bonny Cummings' portrayal of a woman who knows how to survive near everything and still have humor. I'm remembering Alberta Armstrong's opening chapter, remembering how she shared her family with us through a house-painting project, showing how even the most prosaic subjects can make good prose. Janet Millard introduced us to the whimsy of a teacup poodle and a woman who demanded independence, even in old age. And Jennifer Bagley, in the heat of a porch reading, made almost everyone cry with a story about graduations and generations, about parents sandwiched in between the young and old. We know that story, Jennifer, and you told it well.
I have the picture of a poetry slam in which everyone participated; how lucky was that? Favorite lines on a theme of August: From Mary: "In August, I must, I must, I must increase my bust"; From Dianna: "Here, I am the student of scented cedars and red-winged blackbirds, of marble pebbles and words with wings"; From Cheryl Ann Neidzwiecki in her tribute to chef Auguste Escoffier: "As the white toques bob up and down in the kitchen, preparing elegant dishes for the guest arriving shortly, the thoughts of Escoffier permeate through the heat, as would peppers roasting and the chopping of fresh basil"; From Jeff: "I had an easier time going than I had coming this early August afternoon. The road kept winding back into itself in an asphalt knot, which eventually untied in Wallingford at the stoplight intersection of those clearly marked crossroads home."
Here's Glennis again: "The sun must be relentless in its heart: searing your exposed places and penetrating your cotton, silk, or synthetic skin." There was more, all so encouraging. From Genie, this stunning ending to her poem "That Time of Year:" the glowing tapestries of fall's journey down the hillsides would be stifled if not for this turning of the corner."
Which leads me nearly to the end of this part of the story of the first Green Mountain Writers' Conference. We have rounded the corner. I believe the conference succeeded in doing what I hoped it would do: we celebrated the treasure of writers from across the genres; we created a community of writers, some of whom will continue to support one another through writing groups, email messages and other formats; we learned some practical tools for living the writing life; we learned none of us is alone in the need to communicate, the desire to give expression; we had fun. Thanks for being part of it.

Yvonne Daley


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Green Mountain Writers Conference
Tinmouth, Vermont |Aug. 1 - 5, 2011