So Barty came back from Vermont yesterday!
My manuscript, along with 10 others, came back to me bound in a booklet. My job is to read the other 10 and prepare for a discussion/critique. And this is the way that we all learn: by reading other works-in-progress, and seeing what works and what doesn't, and discussing the manuscripts as a group led by one of the instructors at Vermont.
This is no different from the kind of literary analysis we all learn in high school and college, really, except that we are looking for specific things - character development, plot, description, voice - and trying to help strengthen one another's manuscripts.
In fact, literary analysis is a big part of the Vermont program. The applications requires a literary analysis essay. I found it a lot of fun to write - I looked at the middle grade book Clementine which some critics suggested was "plotless" and discussed what I viewed as the plot. I chose that topic because I thought it might help Barty! Well, if it did, it evidently wasn't enough.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to my homework.