Dear Bread Loaf Guest,
We would like to welcome you to Bread Loaf. Bread Loaf fosters communities where open-mindedness, respect, and appreciation are truly valued and where each person can thrive and benefit from their time on the mountain. We’re glad you’re coming and look forward to working with you. Below you’ll see information that we hope will be helpful to you as you prepare for your visit.
During the session, the Bread Loaf campus is shared by the Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference and the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference. Each group has its own workshops, lectures, and classes and then comes together to share social hours, meals, and the evening readings. Many of the evening readings in the Little Theatre will feature a faculty member from each program.
Arrival and Departure
Please plan to arrive on your scheduled arrival date.
Bread Loaf Guests should check in at the Front Desk upon arrival to get your housing information. Then, please look for us in the Bread Loaf Inn Back Office (located at the back of the building). We’ll have your guest folder. The folder will contain details about the conference including a schedule of conference events. Note: If you will arrive later than 5 p.m., please call the Bread Loaf office at 802-443-5286 to let us know.
On your departure day, please plan to gather your things together by 9a.m.and either leave them in the corner of your room until you head off campus, or if you like you can bring them over to the Back Office and leave them there. This will give the housekeeping staff the time they need to prepare the room for any incoming guests.
To make shared taxi arrangements from the Burlington Vermont Airport or train station in Essex Junction, VT, Bread Loafers reserve a ride with Vermont Tour and Charter. Bread Loaf will pay for your taxi to and from Burlington or Essex Junction. When you submit the Vermont Tour and Charter reservation form, note “Bread Loaf Guest” directly into the credit card number field on the form.
For important details about how we plan to keep the Bread Loaf conferences a safe and healthy community, please read again the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences COVID-19 Protocols and Pledge 2022. At the time that you submitted your signed form, you would have received a copy via email for your files. We encourage you to bring a printed copy of the pledge with you to campus to use as a reference during the session.
Middlebury College and Bread Loaf Policies
Before your arrival on campus, we ask that you familiarize yourself with the Middlebury College and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences policies concerning community health, safety, and responsibility. All Bread Loafers are responsible for knowing and understanding these polices, which are articulated HERE. Should you have any questions at any time, please do not hesitate to contact one of the following Bread Loaf staff members or one of the Middlebury College contacts noted in the policy information linked to above.
Jennifer Grotz, director, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences (firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-443-5286)
Megan Mayhew Bergman, director, Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference (email@example.com) or 802-443-5286)
Noreen Cargill, administrative director, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences (firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-443-5062)
Jason Lamb, coordinator, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences (email@example.com or 802-443-5286)
Each guest has a private room, and the bath is usually shared by floor. Please note that some rooms are located on the second and third floors of buildings, and there are no elevators. If you have special needs for medical reasons, please let us know right away, so that we can make arrangements for you.
Pillows, sheets, blankets, and towels are provided. Each bed will have the folded stack of clean linens placed at the end of the mattress so participants and faculty are able to make their bed. The Bread Loaf Inn Front Desk staff can assist with providing additional linens during the week as requested.
Bread Loaf is a smoke-free campus. Vermont State Law prohibits smoking in any building on campus, including dormitories.
Guests can access the Internet once on campus by selecting the MiddleburyGuest wireless network then following the prompts to accept the certificate and connect (be sure to connect to MiddleburyGuest and not MiddleburyCollege).
Ways to Contact You While You’re on Campus
You will be able to stay in touch via email. There is a computer lab on campus with Mac computers (no PCs). And if you bring your laptop, iPad, or phone, wireless access is available in public spaces (and possibly in your room, though that is not a sure thing). Please see the important wi-fi note above on how to register for wi-fi once on campus.
Bread Loaf is a remote campus and cell phone service is, for the most part, unavailable at this time (Verizon customers may have some service in the Inn or the Barn). Please do not plan on having cell phone service and make other arrangements before you travel to the conference. Participants have successfully stayed in touch with home using their smartphone to access wi-fi calling, Facetime, or Zoom. A phone card could also be useful as there are landlines available on the campus—usually one phone per floor in each of the buildings. After you arrive, you could share that floor phone number with family at home. The phone for the main switchboard on campus is 802-443-2700 (hours are usually 8 AM to 10 PM). The Front Desk staff member will transfer the call to your floor or take a message for you, if needed.
Address for mail
Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences
PO Box 216
Ripton, VT 05766
Address for FedEx or UPS
Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences
4229 Route 125
Ripton, VT 05766
Incoming mail will be held daily at the Front Desk of the Bread Loaf Inn. Stamps will be available for purchase at the Front Desk as well.
Items you may want to bring
- Phone card (See the Ways to Connect section included in this handbook —cell phone service is for the most part unavailable at this time on the Bread Loaf campus).
- Water bottle—Conference days are long and it’s important to stay hydrated. Water fountains are located in the Barn, where most meeting spaces are located.
- If you’re driving, you may want to bring a fan; there are no air conditioners on campus, and the evenings can be warm. Evenings can also be quite cold, so an extra blanket may be useful as well.
- You should plan to bring clothes for both warm and cool weather. Temperatures during the day and evening could range from the 50s to mid-80s. (We suggest that you bring some warm layers in case you’re meeting with participants on a cottage porch and it’s chilly out.)
- Flashlight or head lamp with batteries
- Insect repellant
- Medication such as Benadryl in case of bug bites
- Your prescription medications and your medical insurance card. We also recommend that you bring a list of your current prescription and non-prescription medications and the phone and fax numbers for your health care provider.
- Laundry detergent
- Bathing suit—you can swim in Lake Pleiad (the outing will require use of a car and there is a short hike through the woods to get to the lake)
- Hiking boots—in case you would like to explore hiking trails in the Green Mountain National Forest. The Long Trail, stretching from Massachusetts to Canada, is just a few miles away.
- Ear plugs, just in case
- Bathrobe and flip flops—there are shared bathrooms in housing.
- Running and walking gear—in case you would like to explore the dirt trails near campus.
- Funds—the bookstore will accept Visa, Mastercard, and cash. The Barn Socials and evening Pubs will provide a cash bar, with cash and cards accepted. There is no ATM on campus.
- Alarm clock
- Small cooler, if you wish—access to a refrigerator is not generally available.
- Eyeshade/sleep mask
- Reusable mug/thermos
- Yoga mat (see Yoga section below)
- We’re sorry, but pets are not allowed on campus.
- Binoculars (for the nature walk, if you would like to attend).
- Extension cord
- Adapter for your three-pronged laptop or hairdryer (many outlets on the mountain are two-pronged)
- There is a fully equipped computer room on the Bread Loaf campus, with Macs (not PCs); however, if you like, you can bring along your laptop or iPad. Wi-Fi access is available in most public spaces, including the Library, Inn, and Barn.
We are able to pay guests a small stipend of $500, which the college will mail to you following the session. Unfortunately, we are not able to pay for travel. If you are arriving by plane at the Burlington Airport or at a local train or bus station, however, we can pay for your roundtrip taxi to the Bread Loaf campus. See more details in the Arrival and Departure section above.
Your arrival date is a travel day—your first meetings will take place the following morning at the earliest. Most meetings with Bread Loafers take place in a 2 PM to 4 PM time slot, but meetings may be scheduled at other times during the day as well. It’s possible that your schedule may include some breakfast meetings in order to fit in meeting slot around the participants’ schedules. During your stay, you will probably have a combination of 15-minute individual meetings and also hour-long group meetings with ten or so people. The meeting locations might include the Barn main room, classrooms, living rooms, and cottage porches, among other locations. Your meeting details will be emailed to you prior to your arrival.
Here is some of the information about meetings that we give to participants before they arrive on campus:
Many Bread Loaf participants have found meeting with publishing professionals to be a very positive and helpful experience during their time at Bread Loaf. The editors and agents also enjoy these conversations very much. Our purpose in providing these meetings is to give you a chance to understand the publishing process a little more clearly by hearing from people directly involved in the industry. Many participants have told us that these personalized meetings have allowed them to deal with matters of publication in a matter-of-fact way, with more understanding and less apprehension.
These meetings also give editors and agents the opportunity to meet you. The meetings are not “tests,” just early introductions, and gathering information is the primary goal. The guests are here for only a couple of days or so, and we have not asked them to offer editorial feedback on written work, so they are not expecting to read your work here at the conference. If they are interested, they will let you know that they would like you to submit a sample or a manuscript, but in general they are just looking to give you some concrete advice according to the stage you are at with your writing. Therefore there should not be any sense of disappointment on either side if the meeting does not lead to an invitation to submit work.
Here are some common questions and responses that we share with participants:
How can I make use of my time with an agent or editor from a publishing house? What can I accomplish?
PLEASE COME PREPARED: Participants should come prepared with questions for the guest with whom they are meeting, whether the questions are about a particular project that the writer is trying to advance or about the publishing world in general.
If you have a finished manuscript or are in the process of developing one you may share your working pitch with the agent or editor. They can help you refine it and give you a better understanding of what is important in the presentation of your work. Or you can ask questions about publishing and get feedback about where you are in your writing process. For instance, a guest might be able to comment about whether or not you are ready to send out a manuscript; about your concept for a book; about the submission process at their particular agency or publishing house.
How should I prepare for a meeting with a magazine editor?
PLEASE COME PREPARED: Participants should come prepared with questions for the guest with whom they are meeting, whether the questions are about a particular project that the writer is trying to advance or about the magazine publishing world in general. Your meeting with the editor is an opportunity for you to have a conversation that will be useful to you, whether you’re new to submitting or have published in magazines before.
It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with their magazine first. One option is to have a conversation with the editor about specific pieces in the magazine. This can help you to understand that magazine’s particular character and what the editor is looking for in a submission. You could also ask about the submission process if you wish. You might want feedback about previous submission experiences, or to talk about whether you’re ready to submit your work.
Meeting Schedule Changes or Cancellations
Please check your email every morning by 9 AM. We will email you any changes to your schedule. If you need to make other arrangements, please let us know.
Lectures and Readings
While on the mountain, we hope you’ll enjoy going to some of the lectures and readings. You will find a schedule of conference and events in your guest packet that you will receive upon your arrival to Bread Loaf.
Bread Loafer Readings
Bread Loafer readings are a nice opportunity for contributors to share some of their work, meet people from other workshops, and get some experience reading before an audience. These informal readings are hosted by a Bread Loaf staff member and take place in the Barn on some afternoons and evenings (details will be noted on the daily schedule in your guest packet).
Barn Social and Barn Pub
The Barn, located in a central spot on the Bread Loaf campus, is a place for participants, faculty, and guests to gather and socialize. During the conference the Barn Social will take place from 5:30 p.m. until just before dinner each day, and the Barn Pub will take place from 8:45 p.m. to midnight. The Social and Pub offer soda and snacks that are free of charge and beer or wine for purchase. There is no ATM on campus, however the bars will accept cards as well as cash.
The breakfast buffet is available starting at 7:30 AM and served until about 8:45 AM. After that time you should be able to find coffee and tea available in the Dining room and Barn until lunch time. Lunch is available between 12:45 PM and 2:00 PM, and dinner is available at 6:30 PM. Guests are invited to visit the Barn for a social hour before dinner at 5:30 PM and a Barn Pub in the evening starting at 8:45 PM.
The Davison Memorial Library at Bread Loaf hosts a collection of reference books and literature, including a reserve shelf stocked with books by faculty.
The Apple Cellar (Bread Loaf’s computer room) is located downstairs in the Library. It features Macs that have internet access and connections to printers; one or two PCs also connected to the internet and printers are available on the main floor of the Library.
The store stocks books written by Bread Loaf faculty and staff. Cash and cards are accepted.
Visit the Front Desk in the Bread Loaf Inn for matters regarding your room and lodging, moose facts, lost and found items, local lore, information about local walking/running trails, buying postage, mailing packages, transportation tips, and other general information.
This summer the Front Desk will have COVID-19 antigen tests available during the session.
Visit the Back Office in the Bread Loaf Inn with any questions. Photocopying is available. Faxing via the Back Office may be possible.
Coin-op washers and dryers are in the Laundry House in front of the Barn. Guests provide their own laundry detergent. If you need change for the machines, the Front Desk staff will be glad to help. Some irons are also available.
Please park your vehicle in the large parking lot in front of the Barn. It is illegal to park on Route 125 and you may get a ticket.
Self-care During the Conference
The conference schedule is quite busy, and we want to take this time to note how important it will be to pace yourself and to take care of yourself during the session. To this end, yoga classes will be offered daily. AA Meetings are scheduled to take place each evening. See details below, and find more ideas listed in the Extracurricular Activities section later in this Handbook.
Yoga instructor Chessy Kelley will offer Vinyasa yoga classes daily from 530 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Barn Classroom 008. The classes are appropriate for all abilities and all are welcome. A handful of mats will be available. If you’re able to bring your mat from home, please do.
AA Meetings are scheduled to take place daily from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Barn Observatory, an upstairs classroom with the entrance on the right side of the Barn building. To schedule additional meeting times while on the mountain, just let a Back Office Staff member know. Staff will reserve the room and include a note about the meetings on the Crumb Bulletin Board near the Dining Room.
In case of emergency dial 911 from any campus phone. A sign near each phone lists important details including the exact address and phone number for that location.
For non-emergency health matters, a self-care cart is available near the lobby of the Bread Loaf Inn. The cart is stocked with items such as Band-Aids, Advil, and Tylenol. Please plan to bring Benadryl pills and ointment in case of bug bites as well as any other first-aid items you feel might be necessary for your personal comfort during the session. And should you find that the cart does not address your particular concerns, the Bread Loaf Inn front desk staff will help you with a referral, and Porter Hospital is located in Middlebury, if needed.
For mental health matters, contact the conference directors, administrative director, or coordinator (Jennifer Grotz, Megan Mayhew Bergman, Noreen Cargill, or Jason Lamb) for a referral, or call the emergency number at the Counseling Service of Addison County (dial 9 and then 388-7641 from any campus phone).
When packing, remember to bring your prescription medications and your medical insurance card. We also recommend that you bring a list of your current prescription and non-prescription medications and the phone and fax numbers for your health care provider.
Scheduled (please note that, based on your arrival and departure schedule, some of these events may not be available to you).
- Robert Frost picnic
- Book-signing Outdoor Reception
- An evening coffee reception
- Barn Social and Barn Pub
- Hiking trails around campus
- Visiting the stream just across the hayfield
- Swimming in Lake Pleiad, which is a good quarter-mile hike down the Long Trail. Transportation is needed to get to the trail head.
- The Front Desk may have some equipment available for games such as volleyball, Frisbee, whiffle ball, and croquet.
We hope this information is helpful when preparing for your visit. If you think of any questions, please let us know.
Noreen Cargill, Administrative Director
Jason Lamb, Coordinator