Friday, February 22, 2019

Meeting Minutes February 21 2019

Meeting commenced at 6 pm.  There were 9 members present. Becky was absent so Michelle led the meeting.  We had a brief discussion of upcoming writing contests and events.


Open mic night NorthWest Access TV February 22, 2019. 6:30-9. "Join Northwest Access TV and Lesley Nase for our first ever Storytelling Open Mic."

Scott's regular bimonthly performance at the Traveled Cup in St. Albans Vt. Next performance February 23.

April is National Poetry Month: The possibility of poetry readings at the Swanton library or possibly recorded at NorthWest Access TV was discussed.


Reminder: ONE week left to enter Hunger Mountain Contests.  Information found HERE

Booksie First Chapter contest.  Deadline June 14th.  Information found HERE


Judy announced the limited publication of a booklet containing the winners of the 2018 Edwin M. Church Award as well as several of the contest entries. More details to follow.  Announcement for the 2019 adult contest should come in May. The deadline for the youth contest is April 1st.  Find the application HERE

Michelle mentioned the Itty Bitty Writing Space Anthology she will be published in.  The book is slated for a June release.

New member Harry G shared some of his past and present projects.  He has 2 Indie films on Amazon Prime: "Bridges" and "The Nightingale Chronicles". Both are filmed in Vermont. He is independently publishing a novel: 2 linked novellas. "The Green Mountain Sap Suckers". Currently creating a graphic novel/comic book based on the novel and adapting the text to a play manuscript.

Two requests for editing help were put forth by group members.  The first by new member Mike B for helping with his steamboat manuscript.  The second by Don on Becky's behalf.  A friend seeking help with editing/reviewing his 62,000 word manuscript on Street Rodding. Nancy and Kylie both offered to read portions of the latter. Nancy will read Mike's manuscript.

There was a discussion about meeting structure. Emmet suggested shorter opening remarks, announcements etc in order to leave more time for those who wished to read their work and receive feedback. Announcements, contests etc could be emailed separately. Kylie suggested sending work to group members in advance.  Giving them a chance to read and bring prepared feedback to the meetings. There was some conversation about interested group members holding meetings in between our regular monthly sessions.  Time, place TBD.

Writing prompts for March if you are interested. Phrase: "I lost sight of it two or three times." and/or the photo below.

The meeting concluded with readings by 4 group members. Nancy read her short memoir piece "The Disconnect and Long Way Home". Kylie read part of her novel "Homebound" Scott read a proposed memoir style piece which he might elaborate on. Emmet read part of one of his Dystopia novels in progress.

Next meeting is Thursday, March 21st. 6 pm at the Swanton Public Library.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Meeting Minutes January 31st 2019

Attendees: Don LeFebvre, Nancy Fuller, Joy Choquette, Richard Jervis, Annie Matthieu, Emmet Matthieu, Gerhard Andres, Scott Martell, Kylie Fauth, Judy Paxman, Becky Rupp (Minutes taken by Beck)

Upcoming items of interest:

Friday, February 1
Vermont Writes Day Seven minutes of writing on one of seven topics; all ages can participate. For topics list, see

February is National Letter Writing Month
See International Correspondence Month (InCoWriMo) HERE or Letter Month HERE. The challenge: write a letter or card a day for 28 days. Options for artwork and penpals.

April is National Poetry Writing Month
We'll be doing the Great Poetry Read again at the Swanton Library, to be filmed by NW Access TV in March and shown on Channel 15 during April.
Everybody welcome - can read your own poetry or that of a favorite poet. Get in touch with me if you're interested in participating.

Burlington Writers Workshop (see the link on the right side of the blog)
Free workshops in poetry, songwriting, creative nonfiction, and fiction, plus book discussion groups. Ongoing - see their winter calendar online. Burlington EVENTS. There are workshops and retreats in Montpelier and Middlebury, as well.

League of Vermont Writers
Next program slated for April 13; no info published yet.

Interest in another author's panel?
Sounds like a yes. Possible participants include Bill Schubart, Stephen Payne, Chris Bojahlian, Chloe Viner, Joy Choquette, Jo Knowles. Send suggestions and I'll sent requests.

Who's interested in a book-to-movie discussion group at the library? The plan would be to choose a couple of possibilities in advance, such that participants would have time to read/watch before meetings.

Meeting structure:

It was suggested that it's best to send out announcements/items of interest in a pre-meeting email, rather than present during the meeting. Becky will do her best.

It was also re-affirmed that we'll try to keep readings to 1000 words or so (about four double-spaced pages, with waffle room).

We discussed the fact that simply reading, without comment or input, doesn't help anyone hone their work - but it's difficult to come up with helpful comments off-the-cuff after hearing a single reading. For those who are comfortable - if you send me a copy of a work you plan to read in advance of the meeting, I'll forward to all SWG members so that they can put together some thoughts in advance.

Readings this meeting: Annie Matthieu, Emmet Matthieu, Nancy Fuller, Scott Martell, Richard Jervis, Kylie Fauth.

WRITING PROMPTS for next meeting, should you decide to accept them: see below. (Scientific discovery and skunks. I'm sure you can do something with that.)

Next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 21, 6 PM, at the Swanton Library.

There's been interest in having a meeting every two weeks - what do you think? Vote!

And, if you haven't already, please like our Facebook PAGE

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Meeting Minutes December 27th 2018

Our last meeting of 2018 commenced at 6:05.  We shared some refreshments and then welcomed some potential new members by going around the table and introducing ourselves.

Several possibilities for keeping our writing group fresh were discussed. Regular writing prompts, (there is one for January posted below) and a group writing project: story, play or screenplay were suggested as possible genres.  We discussed upcoming workshops and events, which are listed below, and Becky reminded us of National Poetry Month, which is April.

Writing Trivia: Merriam Webster's top words for 2018.  And some of the newest words added to the dictionary including: airplane mode, hangry, bougie and adorbs


Don't forget Hunger Mountain. Five contests to appeal to a variety of writers. Deadline for all entries is March 1st. Information can be found HERE. Get writing folks!

Resources and Workshops

Young Writer's Project offers a variety of workshops geared to youth.  There is a list of writing prompts on the site to get the creative juices flowing.  They are sponsors of the annual Vermont Writer's Day. Find more information HERE

Burlington Writer's Workshops: Monthly meetings on a variety of topics.  More information HERE

Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, August 14-24, 2019  "founded in 1926 and boasting a rich literary and intellectual tradition, gathers together emerging writers to work closely with a diverse and talented faculty. For 10 days in August, conference attendees experience the intensity—and challenge—of working under the guidance of notable writers, including MacArthur Fellows, U.S. poets laureate, and recipients of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award". More information about the conference's itinerary, cost and scholarships can be found HERE  Application deadline is February 15, 2019

Anne and Michelle read short pieces: Anne a nonfiction memory of childhood. Michelle a fluffy Christmas piece.

January writing prompt if you wish to participate. The challenge is to write a short work using either the phrase or picture shown here, or a combination of the two.

Phrase: "The day the clock stopped"

The meeting adjourned at 7:35. Our next meeting is January 24th at 6 pm at the Swanton Library.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Meeting Minutes November 15, 2018

Our meeting commenced at 6 pm. Three of our members attended Joy Choquette's workshops on November 7th and 14th. Unfortunately, Joy could not be with us for this meeting.  Judy asked on her behalf if anyone would be interested in a blogging workshop.  Several members expressed interest.  There will be more information in the future if Joy decides to hold the workshop.

2 group members are attempting NaNoWrimo. Alternatives to a full novel were proposed for those interested in participating in the remainder of NaNo. Members could write: a blog a day, article a day, short story a day, book proposal or query letters.

Becky proposed a couple of ideas for future group activities
1. The Creativity Project: An Awesometastic Story Collection by Colby Sharp Combines art and writing
2. A writing prompt box.  2 prompts are pulled each month and the entire group attempts a piece (poem, short story, essay, memoir) based on one of the prompts. Becky will bring in a prompt box for December's meeting.


Hunger Mountain: Reminder to all.  There are 5 contests/categories.  Submission of original, previously unpublished work is from October 1-March 1. Find all of the information HERE and happy writing!

Burlington Writer's Workshop offers several workshops monthly on a variety of topics.  The next submission period for their "Mud Season Review" begins December 1st. Find all of the information HERE


Literary North " Read author interviews, discussions about our favorite books, tips about literary resources, and news and notes about northern New England books and authors." Please find more information HERE. Among the listings is a book event featuring local author Stephen Payne and his latest work "Life on a Cliff" Saturday, December 1, 2018 10:00 AM  2:00 PM Bridgeside Books
29 Stowe Street Waterbury, VT


Corrina Thurston is having a book launch and event on December 5th at the New Moon Cafe in Burlington. Her newest book is "Disappearing Act" You can find more details HERE.

Michelle discussed her experiences with NaNo up to this point in the month. Annie read her short story. It was compared to the short story "The Shack" by William Young. Scott read 2 of his song lyrics, including "Pretty Push". Don read his entry for the Emotion Speaks "Anxiety" exhibit. The meeting concluded at 7:30.

Our next meeting is Thursday December 27th.  To celebrate the festive season, please bring something light to share (cookies, bread etc)

Monday, October 22, 2018

Meeting Minutes October 18th, 2018

Our meeting commenced at 6 pm without our fearless leader.  Missed you Becky!

We discussed upcoming workshops, contests and exhibitions, details below.  Three members shared their work. Barbara read a chapter from her modern fantasy novel, Richard read a short story titled "The Truth of It" and Michelle read her upcoming entry for the Green Mountain Power contest. Our meeting concluded at 7 pm


We have a slew of contests with deadlines ranging from October 30th to March 1st 2019.  Please keep an eye on our Facebook PAGE for regular updates.  Here is just a partial list. Follow the links provided for detailed information.  Happy writing!

  1. Columbia College Literary Review Editor's Prize. Deadline December 1st.  Details found HERE
  2. Wild Proton. Deadline November 1st. Details found HERE
  3. Deadline October 30th. Details found HERE
  4.  Fiddlehead story and poem contest. Deadline. December 3rd. Details to be found HERE
  5. The Birdy Poetry Prize by Meadowlark books. Deadline December 1st. Details found HERE
  6. Vermont Writer's Prize co-sponsored by Green Mountain Power and Vermont Magazine. Deadline November 1st. Details found HERE
  7. Hunger Mountain. Deadline March 1st. Details found HERE 
NANOWRIMO! November is national writing month.  Are you brave enough to try and write a novel in a month? If you dare then find details HERE.  Good luck!

Great Christmas Read

Looking for volunteers to read a holiday/Christmas-themed book to be shown on NW Access TV in December. (It’s easy – you sit in a chair and read. Out loud.)
Anybody got a favorite – or what about an original Christmas story? We’ll be filming in November. Contact Becky

The deadline to submit your art/writing to the Emotion Speaks "Anxiety" is October 26th. There will be an open house for the exhibition on Friday, November 9th at the Swanton Library. Details HERE


Write Your First Novel (Workshop with JP Choquette). The deadline for registration is November 1st. Swanton Writer's Group members get a $5 discount. Details found HERE

Local citizens and business owners in conjunction with SAC are proposing the formation of 2 groups. An Entrepreneur group which will likely meet for breakfast, and a Faith Based artist group. Plans are tentative at this time. The hope is to have something in place by late December or early January. More details when available.

Book Recommendation

Ghost Boy: The Miraculous Escape of a Misdiagnosed Boy Trapped Inside His Own Body by Martin Pistorius.

....Ghost Boy is the heart-wrenching story of one boy’s return to life through the power of love and faith. In these pages, readers see a parent’s resilience, the consequences of misdiagnosis, abuse at the hands of cruel caretakers, and the unthinkable duration of Martin’s mental alertness betrayed by his lifeless body.

We also see a life reclaimed—a business created, a new love kindled—all from a wheelchair. Martin's emergence from his own darkness invites us to celebrate our own lives and fight for a better life for others.

Our next meeting will be on November 15th at 6 pm at the Swanton Library.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Meeting Minutes September 20, 2018

Meeting commenced at 6 p.m. We discussed several upcoming writing contests, events and workshops detailed below.

Next was the announcement of the winner of the Edwin M. Church Award. Congratulations to our own Don Lefebrve for his winning entry: "The Farm Connection". A beautiful memoir about farm life in mid-twentieth century VT.  Second place went to Joy Choquette. Third to Tom Benton. The Swanton Library in conjunction with SAC is hoping to publish a book containing all 10 contest entries and the winning youth entry written by Emmett Mathieu "Tracks of Destiny"

Judy shared news regarding a potential movie project in 2019. A grant is being written to fund the writing, production and editing of a short film relating to the 'year of the salmon', which is 2019. There will be more details released in the next few months, including how local writers and film buffs can get involved with the project.  Keep an eye on the SAC website as well as this blog. The idea of recording podcasts of local authors reading their respective works was floated again. There might be grant money available to fund such a project and the library has the equipment to record and edit. More details to follow.

Nancy returned Flat Stanley and Flat Stella. Pictures to follow.  Becky took them for the next month.  She is planning to send them to NYC, among other places.

Three group members read their work, or had it read for them. Emmet, Nancy and Don. The latter read his winning contest entry: The Farm Connection"


Hunger Mountain: Four annual contests will open for submissions on October 1st. The Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize, The Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize, The Ruth Stone Poetry Prize, and The Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing. Submission details and the names of past winners and their work can be found HERE. The deadline for all submissions is March 1, 2019. Happy writing!

Vermont Writer's Prize: There is still time to enter this contest co-sponsored by Green Mountain Power and Vermont Magazine. Deadline is November 1. Details can be found HERE


Registration forms and canvases are now available for the SAC exhibition "Emotion Speaks" The one word theme is Anxiety. Find more details HERE. Please see a SAC member or stop in at the Swanton Library to pick up your materials.  A $5 fee is payable by cash, check or paypal.


Burlington Book Festival: October 12-14 at the UVM Alumni House Silver Pavilion and various other locations. A variety of talks and workshops will occur over the 3 days. Concluded by a presentation by nationally known personality Garrison Keillor. Find all the details HERE,

Burlington Writer's Workshop: Regular meetings are held in their Burlington location.  Find details on current and upcoming events HERE

Corrina Thurston is holding 3 workshops this fall at the My-T-Fine restaurant in Swanton. Corrina is the author of 2 books: "How To Build Your Art Business: With Limited Time Or Energy" and "How To Communicate Effectively: For Artists & Creatives" Workshops will be held on 3 Thursday evenings starting at 6 pm. The subjects and dates: September 27th "How to Market Your Art", October 4th "Social Media for Artists", October 25th "Creating Your Best Artist Statement" More details to be found HERE.

Meeting concluded at 7:40. Our next meeting is Thursday October 18th. 6 p.m. at the Swanton Library.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Meeting Minutes for August 16th

The meeting commenced at 6 pm. We had a short discussion about memoir writing.  Author Gene Shepherd was mentioned specifically his work "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash"  The group also discussed a play writing exercise and the possibility of recording group members work and broadcasting it on local TV or radio.

Renee shared her adventures with Flat Stanley and Flat Stella. Follow the LINK to view her google doc journal.  Nancy Fuller took 'the Flats' for their next adventure.

Upcoming Events/Contests/Exhibits

Swanton Arts Spectacular: August 25th. The Writer's Group in conjunction with SAC will be sponsoring a local author's panel. The following authors are committed: Chloe Viner, Pat Esden, Bill Schubart, Tammy Hetrick, Jerry Johnson, Bethany Morrow, and our own Rebecca Rupp! Hope to see everyone there! It is possible the winner of the Edwin M. Church Award will be announced.

League of Vermont Writers presents: Other Paths to Publication, Independent Presses and Self-Publishing. October 6, 2018. Time: 8:30 am-5 pm. Location: Trinity Episcopal Church in Shelburne.  Find all the details HERE. There is a registration fee. Bill Schubart is one of the speakers

Swanton Arts Council is sponsoring an arts exhibit entitled "Emotion Speaks". The theme for the exhibit is "Anxiety". The deadline for submission is October 26th.  The opening reception will be held on November 9th and the artwork will remain on display until mid December.  Upon registration entrants will receive an 8x8 canvas.  This canvas must be used for the exhibit. Entrants can create a visual, physical or written piece which exemplifies their perception of the emotion anxiety. Multiple entries are encouraged. Further details and a registration form will be available at the Swanton Arts Spectacular and announced here in a separate entry. Questions can be emailed to Judy Paxmam HERE 

Four of our group members read their work: Annie read a portion of one of 3 novels of Emmet Mathieu's proposed scifi series "Phoenix". Renee read a short piece about a man suffering from a mental disorder who thought bugs had literally invaded and consumed his body. Judy read Elizabeth Nance's short story "Going Home". Nancy read her short story "A Post Modern Romance". 

Please check out Nancy's art exhibit "Art by Nancy Fuller" at the Alburgh Library.  It will be on display until the end of August.  Meeting adjourned at 7:40. Upcoming meeting is September 20th at 6 pm at the Swanton Library.

Meeting Minutes February 21 2019

Meeting commenced at 6 pm.  There were 9 members present. Becky was absent so Michelle led the meeting.  We had a brief discussion of upcomi...