Summer Is Upon Us & Some Exciting News

IMG_1860.JPGWith summer finally here, we can all let out a collective sigh of relief, but I am doing some stacking of wood for next winter at my home office, so there is always the “Winter Ready” — to paraphrase our very own poet, Leland Kinsey’s new book title — work that has to be done, especially in Vermont with our longer winters… But that brings me to the next thing: winter, seasons, climate crisis, and building awareness.

It seems that there is tremendous awareness and enthusiasm in the air—the publishing world and GWP readers and supporters are out there and the numbers are growing…. It is absolutely imperative that we ALL work together to halt the burning of fossil fuels—To that end, if we all do something, we can at least try to slow the process…. I never like to say, “It’s too late,” or “There’s no turning back…” Rather, I like to think of HOW we can affect change in our work, as individuals and on a global scale. Here is an encouraging NYT headline!
—If the conservative Republicans and climate change deniers make a fuss about this, so be it. It is now going to be a law, and this is good news!
This summer, in two weeks actually, I will be teaching a craft class at the Bread Loaf Orion Environmental Writers’ Conference. This is the first year of the conference, and it is going to be fabulous! I am honored to be part of the faculty, and please suggest other venues you think may be appropriate. My classes at Bread Loaf are described here:

“Making the Global Personal: Using Poetry and Publishing as an Activist Tool” with Dede Cummings
Using examples of poetry from the anthology “So Little Time: Words and Images for a World in Climate Crisis,” we will discuss the editorial and selection process involved in shaping content that is both meaningful and persuasive. How can we use poetry as a tool for environmental activism as we work to raise awareness of global climate chaos? How do we communicate on a personal level by framing a large issue through a small lens?

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“Building the Environmental Activist Writer’s Platform” with Dede Cummings
How to create an environmental-activist public radio commentary in 500 words—how to edit from the first draft, pitch, create the lead for the radio host, work on voice inflection, tone, and pacing. Create a byline and a platform from which to pitch your work, whether you are a fiction writer, poet, or essayist, and make a difference

My commentary on VPR about the kidnapped Nigerian girls, was heard far and wide—I am grateful for the media platform I have built as an environmental and social activist. There is a fascinating article by Zach Beauchamp on Vox about how social activism can be effective to bring about change.
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Our social activism originates here in Vermont, in the small home office of Green Writers Press. We have pledged to publish books using a “localvore” community activism model.

Here is what we are working on….

A fall book that is going to be a keeper…
Dede and editor/author Robin MacArthur, are getting Contemporary Vermont Fiction ready for first pages, and we are really excited about the fabulous lineup of authors we have featured in the book. Writers from Vermont, or writers who have written about Vermont, will be featured in the collection…

No place is a place until things that have happened in it are remembered in history, ballads, yarns, legends or monuments. Fictions serve as well as facts. —Wallace Stegner

Contemporary Vermont Fiction: An Anthology is a 240-page collection of short fiction by established Vermont-based writers, each of whom are rendering their own unique and diverse perspectives on the cultural and physical landscape of the Green Mountain State.

Featuring stories by Jeffrey Lent, Julia Alvarez, Howard Frank Mosher, Megan Mayhew Bergman, Robert Olmstead, Joseph Bruchac, Suzanne Kingsbury and many others, this book is a chorus of voices portraying the diversified landscape and culture of Vermont: old farmers and young farmers, old hippies and young hippies, summer folks and loggers, factory workers and telephone line workers, Abenaki’s and migrant workers, etc.

Though we believe such a book will be especially relevant to Vermont residents and tourists, Green Writers Press has national distribution and we hope the anthology will have a broad reach and impact. We consider this collection not just an ode to a specific place, but a book about how places shape and are shaped by the people who inhabit them, how places are interpreted differently by different writers, and about the power of fiction itself: how stories are a means of engendering empathy, illuminating interconnection, prompting new ways of imagining and living, and by doing all of these, help birth cultures of conservation.

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A New Magazine Coming…
We decided “Journal” was too academic sounding and now it is called GWP Magazine, and online it is GWP-zine.

It is shaping up to be a lively magazine, filled with short stories that have a wonderful place-based style of contemporary writing and also poetry. It is not going to be flashy or in color, just classic and simple type design with lots of air and a quiet look. Each cover will have a gorgeous photo in color with another photo on the back cover. It will be online, downloadable as an eBook, for 9.99, and .99 for each story. We will do a print-on-demand run of approximately 100 copies to start with, and as needed. Out October 20th.

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