Held in a former dance pavilion surrounded by expansive lawns along the shore of tiny Tinmouth Pond, the conference has for 16 years brought aspiring writers together with published authors in a supportive and nurturing environment. Through discussions, working sessions, readings and one-on-one meetings, participants develop their writing skills and share their work with other writers at all levels of development.
This year's conference features Stuart Horwitz, founder of Book Architecture, a firm of independent editors based in Providence and Boston whose new book, "Blueprint Your Bestseller" was named one of 2013's best books about writing by The Writer magazine.
Boston-based author Nichole Bernier, whose novel, "The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D." was a finalist for the 2012 New England Independent Booksellers Association fiction award, will lead fiction workshops and meet one-on-one with writers. Bernier is available for one-on-one meetings with fiction writers.
Like Bernier, another staff writer, author Christian McEwen writes across the genres, publishing and editing long and short fiction, poetry, plays, creative nonfiction and journalism. Her writing workshops will span the genres, touching on fiction, poetry and writing about nature.
Conference director Yvonne Daley of Rutland and San Francisco, the author of four nonfiction books and more than 5,000 news and feature articles and many short stories, will concentrate this year on memoir writing and the ways in which research can be used to strengthen written work, especially fiction and creative nonfiction. Daley is available for one-on-one meetings with memoir and nonfiction writers.
Chuck Clarino, also of Rutland and San Francisco, is a journalist, fiction and memoir writer and avid reader; Clarino will lead a workshop on the joy of reading and the ways in which writers can learn from other authors.
This year's poets include Verandah Porche of Guilford, fresh from the success of her newly published collection, "Sudden Eden." The well-known Vermont poet will - as she has since the conference's inception - lead entertaining and useful poetry workshops in varied styles and formats. Porche will be available for one-on-one sessions with poets.
She'll be joined by Tom Smith of Castleton, who has published two books this year, "From the Raft" and "Morningstar." Smith's workshops will concentrate on word play and revision. Finally, poet Elizabeth Powell of Johnson, the author of "Republic of Self" and the recent winner of the prestigious New Issues Prize in Poetry, will work with poets on how to get material ready for submission and publication.
New this year will be an afternoon of entertainment featuring a dramatic reading by Virginia DeAngelis and Tom Smith followed by a lively concert by popular, Vermont-based musician Patty Carpenter and poet Verandah Porche. A conversation on collaboration will follow the performances.
For more information, visit www.vermontwriters.com, or call 802-236-6133.