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Events Saturday, January 31, 2015 - ANNUAL MEETING and Winter Program

Thank you, writers! For making our 2015 Annual Meeting

and Winter Program such a great event

And thank you to our presenters,

author and teacher Stephen Kiernan,

and New York Times book reviewer

Christopher Lehmann-Haupt.

You were wonderful.

 

The morning with Stephen Kiernan

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With nearly four million words in print, Stephen Kiernan is a longtime newspaper journalist and author. His books include LAST RIGHTS and AUTHENTIC PATRIOTISM (nonfiction), plus the novels THE CURIOSITY, and THE HUMMINGBIRD (out in the fall of 2015).

A graduate of Middlebury College, the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, and the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa, Stephen has won more than 40 writing awards. His work has been translated into numerous languages, and THE CURIOSITY was optioned by 20th Century Fox for a feature film. Each year his "Winter Tale" is part of the Vermont Stage Company's annual December performance of the same name. He lives in Charlotte with his two sons.

Stephen gave two presentations during the morning of Jan. 31.

First up, "The Biz: Breaking into Publishing"

As the publishing industry simultaneously innovates and consolidates, the challenges of reaching an audience and making an income from writing grow ever more complex. This interactive session addressed such topics as how to find an agent, how to submit a manuscript, what an editor is now, and what the merits and demerits of self-publishing are.

Next, "The Almost Right Word"

The foundation of writing is language, though we often take for granted its tools and powers because we use them in conversation all day. Through a series of interactive exercises, we examined the potency of language and how to give our writing greater specificity and strength.

 

2015 Annual Meeting included election of officers

 

And we heard from Keynote Speaker Christopher Lehmann-Haupt

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[photo by Sigrid Estrada]

New York Times book reviewer and editor Christopher Lehmann-Haupt has worked in the world of books for his entire professional career. He began as an editor for various New York City publishing houses, among them Holt, Rinehart & Winston and The Dial Press.

In 1965 he become an editor on the Sunday New York Times Book Review. In 1969, he was appointed senior Daily Book Reviewer for the New York Times, a position he held until 1995, when he became a regular daily book reviewer. From 1965 until 2000, he wrote more than 4,000 book reviews and articles on a range of subjects from trout fishing to Persian archaeology. In April 2000, he assumed the job of Chief Obituary Writer for the Times, and in June 2006, he retired from the paper.

Since then, he has taught writing courses at Marymount Writing Center, the College of Mount St. Vincent, the CUNY Graduate Center, and Columbia University School of Journalism. He has also written freelance for the Times and served from 2007 until 2012 as editorial director for a small publishing company, Delphinium Books. He still provides occasional obituaries to the Times, and he continues to supervise student projects at the Columbia School of Journalism.

The changing creative culture, "Have You Seen Any Good Books Lately?"

Writers in the Visual/Digital Age: In the last century or so, our culture has shifted away from print and towards cinematics. A number of really first-rate TV shows have been created from books, some of them arguably equal or superior to the original. Superseding this visual age is the new digital one introducing new ways of combining print and image, still and otherwise. So, while the talk always seems to be that the book is dying, and therefore writers grow ever more anxious that they’re becoming superfluous, this isn’t the case. Writers won’t ever be unnecessary or obsolete, but they may play a different role in the visual/digital culture we are now in. ‘Have You Seen Any Good Books Lately?’ enlightened writers, described what they’re facing in today’s multimedia age, discussed how to keep up with and engage with these new media and formats, and ultimately, addressed how to redefine their role as ‘writer’ in the 21st century.

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Thanks to all who came and made it a great day.

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THE VERMONT TRADITION grapples energetically with the basic problem of human conduct...how to reconcile the needs of the group, of which every man or woman is a member,..with the craving for individual freedom to be what he really is.

—Dorothy Canfield Fisher, 1953