"The Dipper" is our monthly newsletter, where we highlight readings, events, calls for submission, and other literary-related news for the coming month. If you have news or events to share, let us know!
Here in New England, we're in the quiet heart of winter. But the minutes of daylight are accumulating on either end of the day, and if you listen quietly you can just begin to hear the gathering pulse of the spring and summer reading season.
There's still plenty happening in this in between month, though. If you're a regular Dipper reader, you already know about our Slow Club Book Club, which began in January and will go all year long. We're so happily surprised by how many of you are joining us for our first book, A Whole Life, by Robert Seethaler. Haven't joined yet? It's never too late! We'll be sending our next SCBC newsletter out to subscribers soon.
Predictions of dicey weather forced the postponement of Robin MacArthur's January reading from her new novel, Heart Spring Mountain, at the Norwich Bookstore in Norwich, Vermont. The new date is Friday, February 9, at 7:00 pm. We hope to see many of you there! In the meantime, you can read our interview with Robin on the blog.
Also starting Friday, February 9 is JAGFest 2.0 at the Briggs Opera House in White River Junction, Vermont. We recently had a chance to ask Nathan Yungerberg—author of Friday night's play, Esai's Table—a few questions. Check out our interview with Nathan.
In what looks to be an annual tradition for us, Shari and I are following in The Millions' footsteps, by sharing our "Year in Reading" with you. See Shari and Rebecca's lists on our blog. What were your favorite reads in 2017? Let us know and maybe can we share a reader's roundup here!
February's Shooting Stars
In this new feature, we'll each share one cool literary find to help light up your month...
- I'm eagerly anticipating Nafissa Thompson-Spires' new book, Heads of the Colored People. Check out her interview over at Electric Literature and pre-order her book from your local indie. —Shari
- I'm loving the new blog, One Great Things, which delivers a mini literary review every Wednesday. So far, they've reviewed an essay, three poems, and a piece of flash fiction. I love their selections, insights, and enthusiasm. —Rebecca
James Crews (who was a featured poet at our Poetry & Pie event last year) will read from his book, Telling My Father, at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vermont, on Friday, February 9, at 6:00 pm.
Jennifer Tseng, poet and author of the chapbook The Passion of Woo & Isolde, will be reading at the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Monday, February 12, at 5:30 pm.
On Thursday, February 15, the Young Writers Project hosts its annual Vermont Writes Day. Writers of all ages are invited to take seven minutes to write. You can write in response to one of the supplied prompts, or write anything you like. For more information, visit the Young Writers Project website.
Every third Thursday, the Upper Valley Food Co-op in White River Junction, Vermont, hosts the Lettuce Write Poetry Series, a cost-free, judgement-free, all-ages event open to every poet and listener! Write a poem that relates to the monthly theme, and share it with the group. The next meeting is Friday, February 16, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.
Bianca Stone has a new book of poetry, The Mobius Strip Club of Grief. Our friends Ruth and Jeremy at Antidote Books in Putney, Vermont, will be hosting an event for Bianca on Saturday, February 17, at 6:00 pm.
On Thursday, February 22, at 5:00 pm, Haroon Moghul, author of How to Be a Muslim: An American Story, will be leading a discussion and signing his book at Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire.
On Friday, February 23, novelist James Scott, poet Julia Shipley, and essayist Jericho Parms will be reading at Cafe Anna, on the campus of the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier, Vermont. The readings begin at 5:30 pm.
As a part of the Painted Word Poetry Series, Michael Dickman will be at the Fleming Art Museum in Burlington, Vermont, Wednesday, February 28, at 6:00 pm.
Worth a Drive
On Thursday, February 8, at 8:00 pm, poet CA Conrad will be reading in Amherst, Massachusetts, as a part of the UMass Amherst's Visiting Writers Series. The reading will be held at in the Great Hall at Old Chapel on the UMass campus.
Tayari Jones will be at the Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Monday, February 12, at 7:00 pm to read from her new novel, An American Marriage.
Worth a Listen
We're Looking Forward to These February Releases
- Echo in Four Beats, by Rita Banerjee (Finishing Line Press, February 2)
- An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones (Algonquin, February 6)
- Heart Berries, by Terese Marie Mailhot (Counterpoint, February 6)
- Feel Free, by Zadie Smith (Penguin, February 6)
- I Am, I Am, I Am, by Maggie O'Farrell (Knopf, February 6)
- The Line Becomes a River, by Francisco Cantu (Riverhead, February 6)
- The World Only Spins Forward, by Isaac Butler and Dan Kois (Bloomsbury, February 13)
- Virgin, by Analicia Sotelo (Milkweed, February 20)
Calls For Submission and Upcoming Deadlines
The deadline to apply for one of Vermont Studio Center's 60+ month-long residency fellowships is February 15. All artists and writers living and working anywhere in the world are welcome to apply. For more information and to apply, please visit the VSC Fellowship page.
Bread Loaf Environmental Writers' Conference (June 1 to 7) is accepting applications through February 15. Faculty includes Brooks Haxton, Amber Flora Thomas, Luis Alberto Urrea, Ted Genoways, Deirdre Heekin, Scott Russell Sanders, and Ginger Strand. For more information, please visit the Conference page.
In neighboring Amherst, Massachusetts, applications are open for the Juniper Summer Writing Institute (July 17 to 24) and the Juniper Institute for Young Writers (July 22 to 29) at the University of Massachusetts. Faculty for the Juniper Summer Writing Institute includes Eileen Myles, Dorothea Lasky, Rickey Laurentiis, Dara Wier, Noy Holland, Mitchell S. Jackson, and Joy Williams. A non-refundable application fee for the Summer Writing Institute is required. There is no application fee for the Young Writers Institute. For more information about both institutes and to apply, please visit the Juniper Summer Writing Institute website.
Hunger Mountain, the literary journal from VCFA, holds four annual contests: The Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize, The Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize, The Ruth Stone Poetry Prize, and The Katherine Patterson Prize for Young Adult and Children's Writing. All contests are open to submissions through March 1. For more information, please visit their Contests page.
Enter the Mass Poetry contest to have your poem included as part of Mass Poetry's Raining Poetry project. Excerpts from the winning poms will be displayed on the streets of Salem, Massachusetts to celebrate the 10th Massachusetts Poetry Festival (May 5 to 6). Use the submission form to submit up to three original poems on the broad theme of the body by March 1.
The 2018 Frost Farm Prize for Metrical Poetry is open for entries through March 30. The winner receives $1,000 and an invitation, with honorarium, to read in June 2018 as part of The Hyla Brook Reading Series at the Robert Frost Farm. For more information and to enter, please visit the Frost Farm Prize page.
Applications are open until March 31 for two scholarships at The Frost Place:
- The Gregory Pardlo Scholarship for Emerging African American Poets is open to African American Poets writing in English who have published up to one book of poetry. The winner will receive a full scholarship to attend the Poetry Seminar, including room and board, and will give a featured reading at the Seminar. For more information, please visit the Gregory Pardlo Scholarship page.
- The Latin@ Scholarship is open to applicants that self-identify as Latin@, have a strong commitment to the Latin@ community, and are at least 21 years of age. The winner will receive tuition, room and board, and travel for The Frost Place Conference on Poetry. For more information and to apply, please visit the Latin@ Scholarship page.
Vermont Literary Review is taking submissions of creative work about New England until March 31. For more information, please visit Castleton University's website.
The Odyssey Writing Workshop (June 4 to July 13) is accepting applications until April 7. Odyssey workshop for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, is held on the campus of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.. Prospective students must include a 4.000 word writing sample with their application. For more information, please visit the Workshop page.
Registration is open for the VCFA Novel Retreat (May 15 to 21, 2018). Faculty includes Connie May Fowler, Jeff Kleinman, Richard McCann, and Crystal Wilkinson. A $200 non-refundable deposit is required. For more information, please visit the Novel Retreat page.
The Bennington Review is open for submissions through May 15 with no reading fee. For more information, please visit the Bennington Review Submissions page.
The New England Review is open for poetry and digital submissions through May 31. For more information, please visit the NER Submissions page.
Registration is open for the 3rd Annual Poetry Festival at the Fine Arts Work Center (August 5 to 10) in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The Festival includes poetry and songwriting workshops. Faculty includes Traci Brimhall, Cornelius Eady, Nick Flynn, Vievee Francis, Ross Gay, Rebecca Gayle Howell, Patty Larkin, and Patrick Rosal. For information on tuition, housing, and registration, please visit the FAWC Festival page.
February Workshops and Classes
February 9 to 11, Dani Shapiro will lead "The Stories We Carry: Meditation and Writing," a weekend-long workshop that blends meditation and movement, generative writing exercises, group sharing, and discussion. The workshop will be held at Kripalu, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Tuition is $375. For more information and to register, please visit the Event page.
On February 10, Bill Biddle is offering a workshop entitled "Making Slam Poetry and Preparing to Compete in a Poetry Slam" at Catamount Arts. This workshop is intended for writers new to poetry slams and is geared toward ages 12 and up. The workshop is free but registration is required. For more information and to register, please visit Catamount Arts.
Join author and associate professor in the MFA program at the University of New Hampshire, Tom Paine, for an hour-long webinar titled “The Secret Architecture of Short Fiction.” The workshop will be held online, on Monday, February 12, from 7:00 to 8:00 pm. $10 for NHWP members; $25 for non-members. For more information and to register, please visit the New Hampshire Writers Project Workshops page.
Steve Carter, co-owner of Maat Publishing is teaching a workshop called, "Making Scrivener Work for You" on Saturday, February 24, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. This workshop will show you how to use Scrivener to write the first draft, manage characters and settings, develop the structure of your writing, revise, prepare your manuscript to be shared with beta readers, editors, and publishers, make an ebook, and more. $50 for NHWP members. $75 for non-members. The workshop will be held at The Ford House on the SNHU Campus in Manchester, New Hampshire. For more information and to register, please visit the New Hampshire Writers' Project Workshops page.
Judith Hertog is teaching a five-week course, Dare to Write!, from February 27 through March 27 at The Writer's Center in White River Junction, Vermont. The focus of the workshop is personal nonfiction but fiction writers are welcome, too. For more information and to register, please visit The Writer's Center Workshops page.