Blogging the Book Fest

So if you’ve had even a finger in winds of the publishing world, you’ve probably heard about the Burlington Book Festival. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a three-day venture into the world of books, publishing, editing, copyediting, blogging, book launches, email listings — everything an up-and-coming author could ever want.


This isn’t to say that only baby authors found help at the festival — experienced writers pass their knowledge along and even learned a thing or two about this newfangled thing called the Internet. And of course, right in the middle of these revolutionary ideas about the craft of authorship sits Champlain College Publishing Initiative.


We were out in full force on BBF weekend. CCPI Founding Editor and Publisher Tim Brookes kicked things off on Saturday with a presentation of his Endangered Alphabet collection in the Local History Room at the Fletcher Library. Here’s a link to his presentation.


Managing Editor Kim MacQueen was seen out at the Literary Pub Crawl with the Renegade Writers’ Collective on Saturday night. Renegade Rioters boarded the ArtsRiot bus and went to the hippest nooks and crannies of Burlington’s writers’ scene. They started with Janice Obuchowski at Magic Hat and ended with Tony Whedon performing PoJazz at ArtsRiot’s amazing new Pine Street space.


Then we took a trip to the far forests of Bangladesh with a man named Maung Nyeu.  CCPI is working with Nyeu, who works tirelessly to raise funds and awareness for the schoolchildren of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Maung introduced his organization, Our Golden Hour ( and outlined his efforts to publish textbooks, grammar books and storybooks in the language of these indigenous children before their native tongue is lost completely.


On Sunday, CCPI/Champlain alumna Alli Neal and Kim MacQueen gave a powerful two-hour seminar on indie publishing. And this aspiring writer live tweeted the whole thing from the back. For all the tidbits of good, gooey indie-publishing info, check out the twitter page for @21stCPublishing.


Another Sunday workshop run by CCPI’s Lauren Stevens set introduced Stonehenge to a room full of eager writers. The Stonehenge, invented by Brookes, is a three-sentence prose haiku. The first two sentences create a scene and the third takes the passage in a whole different direction. The name comes from the familiar structure built in the Neolithic period. Stevens led a workshop aimed at introducing Stonehenge Volume One to the world while simultaneously drumming up interest in and submissions for Volume Two.


In the final presentation by a CCPI undergrad, Jeremy Allmendinger presented “Beyond the Boring Blog.” This was a chance for all newbies to the world of blogging, social media, self-publishing and possibly the Internet itself to learn all the do’s and don’ts of blogging. Allmendinger helped users distinguish between useless online blabbering and running a serious, professional blog – a true art form.


And this intrepid reporter could be seen snapping photos, live tweeting, and promoting the awesomeness that is CCPI.