About the Green Mountain Writers Group

The workshop experience…

Remington The Smoke Signal 1905
Remington The Smoke Signal 1905

Writing is a lonely pursuit, even among a group of writers responding to a prompt. The next step, after spending so much time alone to create a story or a poem, is to send it out into the world. So you ask a friend or relative to read it…

In our writers’ workshops, we delve deep into that “reader experience.” Working with a fellowship of other dedicated writers is far superior to asking your friends or relatives to read your latest work.

You can expect constructive criticism, positive encouragement, and worthwhile suggestions in a Green Mountain Writers’ workshop.

In 2016, I began leading a two-hour, Friday morning, open-genre workshop. Each week, we meet to review a variety of writing submitted by two of our participants. In each half session, the featured writer is placed in a virtual box, while the rest of the participants discuss their work as if the writer is not present, MFA style. I have seen some terrific work and several novels that have evolved through this type of constructive feedback.

In January, 2021, I launched the Green Mountain Writers Group with the intention of providing a secure online community where members can share their work in a private space, and discuss the writing on Zoom and in a members-only Discussion Board. We needed some walls to protect the shared work and to restrict discussion access to members only. Outside of the virtual wall, we are publishing a hybrid literary review where the public can read our members’ work online and even buy a copy of our first print publication.

…and you can order online:

Poetry & Performance book by Green Mountain Writers

Poetry & Performance, Volume 1

In 2021, Darlene Witte, a Canadian poet and educator, created a writers’ workshop called Poetry & Performance to bridge the gap between poetic words on a page and poetry read aloud. Since then, her workshop has become a popular mainstay for poets from around the world and across the Nation who have banded together to publish this first volume of their work.

Click to order…

Featuring 25 poems by our member poets
$15.95 (+ $4.07 shipping and handling)

About the Green Mountain Writers Review…

A populist online review containing works derived and developed within our workshops. There are more than enough elite literary reviews. I wanted to provide an alternative, a forum where any of the participating members can decide when they are ready to publish their work and interact with the public. There is no judgmental review process other than that of the individual writers themselves. I believe we exist to empower each other. 

On August 23, 2021 we published the premiere issue of the Green Mountain Writers Literary Review: The Tarot, Issue #1.

Why create another community of writers?

Stephen Kastner, founder Green Mountain Writers Review
Piloting the Zoomiverse

Writing is now a daily habit of mine, like coffee, reading, eating, and exercise. But, it wasn’t always that way. I was only a daily writer when I did it for a living as a photo-journalist back in the ‘80s. I have a stack of spiral binders, sketch books, and manila folders full of random bursts of personal journaling. I read Stephen King’s On Writing and felt shame to think I could never measure up to his standards regarding the time he spent writing each day. Then, I read From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Olen Butler. In Chapter Two, he talks about getting into the zone.

“…after you wake up, don’t read the newspaper, don’t watch CNN; if you have to pee don’t pick up the back issue of The New Yorker in the basket nearby. You go to your fiction writing without letting any conceptual language into your head.” Later in the chapter, he describes a process he calls dreamstorming. “It’s a funny state. It’s not as if you’re falling asleep at your computer, but neither are you brainstorming. You’re dreamstorming, inviting the images of moment-to-moment experience through your unconscious. It’s very much like an intensive daydream, but a daydream that you are and are not controlling. You let it go, but it’s coming through language that you’re putting on a screen, so there is some intervention on your part, and yet the essence of it—that rainy street and that dog barking and the lamplight—are nothing you’re going after consciously. The state of communion with your unconscious—the zone I’m trying to describe—is absolutely essential, absolutely essential to writing well in this art form.”

I tried Butler’s suggestion one morning. Good things came from it. I did it the next day, and the next. Before I knew it, a habit had formed. This is now the way I start every day. It’s not a discipline as Stephen King suggests. It’s a pleasure that I claim for myself each day, a sense of personal autonomy. This is my time and I will; not relinquish it to appointments or other obligations. I owe a few hours each and every day to myself, first and foremost, and you do too.

Your support guarantees the future…

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