Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter, April 2014

Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter

Important note: Do not submit news items for future newsletters by replying to this email. INSTEAD, please send news items to hvwgnews@gmail.com. Thank you!

IN THIS ISSUE

Guild Announcements:

  • HVWG poetry contest winner to read at Take Back The Night program April 10
  • Save the date – June 8 – for HVWG Writers Conference
  • HVWG 2014 non-fiction contest submission guidelines

Member Announcements:

  • Hollis Seamon to read from new novel April 5
  • Cecele Allen Kraus announces a new chapbook
  • Carol Derfner’s work included in anthology nominated for 2013 Indie Book Of The Year
  • Carolee Bennett takes on gig as Times Union blogger

Area Announcements:

  • Catherine Norr and Susan Riback to read at Caffè Lena April 2
  • Staged reading of Carolyn Yalkut’s new play “Everywoman” April 3
  • Writers In the Mountains presents “Meet the Authors – First Annual Catskills Book” Festival April 6
  • Monday evening workshop “Significance of Story” begins April 7
  • Writers Institute adds event with Stephen Kinzer April 7
  • Rensselaerville’s 9th Annual Celebration of National Poetry Month
  • April 13 next date for area’s only open mic featuring poetry and prose
  • Poetry Unites essay contest deadline April 15
  • Third Thursday to feature St. Rose students April 17
  • 10-week poetry course starts at JCC of Schenectady April 29
  • Short prose open mic May 3
  • Hudson Valley Fiction Writers Group seeking new members
  • Bernadette Mayer workshop series continues, space limited
  • May 2014 retreat for novelists at Vermont College of Fine Arts
  • New York State Writers Institute Spring 2014 schedule of visiting writers & film series

GUILD ANNOUNCEMENTS

HVWG poetry contest winner to read at Take Back The Night program April 10
The Albany County Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center is sponsoring the 33rd annual “Take Back The Night” rally and march against sexual violence on Thursday, April 10, at the Albany Law School Pro Bono Program. The Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center invites all members of the community to attend this free event and take a stand against all forms of sexual violence, including rape, child sexual abuse, incest, sexual harassment, stalking, domestic violence and hate crimes.

“Take Back the Night” is a nationally recognized event designed to raise public awareness and educate the community about sexual violence and traces its roots back to the anti-rape marches in the early 1970s. Pre-rally events will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the Albany Law School Pro Bono Program campus gymnasium and will feature a tabling of various community service providers, food vendors, live performances and more! The rally and survivor speak-out will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by a march and vigil at 7 p.m. Amy Reynolds Comtois, winner of the Hudson Valley Writes Guild poetry contest held in conjunction with “Take Back The Night,” will be part of the program.

Join the many voices in the fight to end sexual violence and in making strides towards hope, towards change and towards humanity. For more information, call the Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center at (518) 447-7100.

Save the date – June 8 – for HVWG Writers Conference
Please mark your calendars for the HVWG Writers Conference on June 8 at 2 p.m. at the East Greenbush Library. The theme will be “Marketing Your Writing” with panelists from the fields of poetry, self-publishing, e-books, romance and fiction. For more info. call (518) 583-9571 or email: mekemp@nycap.rr.com.

HVWG 2014 non-fiction contest submission guidelines
The Hudson Valley Writers Guild is pleased to announce this year’s non-fiction contest. Submission categories will be memoir/personal essay and humor. There will be a $100 award in each category, and winners will be invited to read their winning submissions at a special program in the fall of 2014. All contestants must be residents of New York State.

The entry fee is $10 for HVWG members and $15 for non-members. Checks made payable to HVWG must accompany submissions. If $30 membership fee is paid with submission, please enclose a separate check. HVWG board of directors and their families and/or current or past students and family of judges are ineligible. Entries must be postmarked June 15-August 15, 2014. Contact information must not appear anywhere on the submission. A cover letter must include: name, address, phone number, email, title, submission category and word count (1,200 word maximum). All submissions must be typed, double-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman or Cambria font. Send three hard copies by mail. No email submissions. Submissions must be previously unpublished. Please no pornography or erotica.

This year’s judges are Diane Cameron and Gene Damm (personal essay/memoir) and Anne Decker (humor). Diane Cameron is a writer, writing teacher and creativity coach. She is a syndicated newspaper columnist and blogger. Most recently, she’s written Out of the Woods: A Woman’s Guide to Long-Term Recovery and Looking for Signs: Essays and Columns. Humorist Anne Decker’s essays have appeared on public radio, in local newspapers and magazines. She has an MFA in writing and literature from Bennington College. Gene Damm is past president of the Friends of the Albany Public Library. He is the author of Guanyin and Other Poems, as well as A Chinese Folk Tale and Other Stories.

All entrants will be notified of winners by email unless an SASE is provided. Results will be posted on our website: http://hvwg.org.

Contact Jan Tramontano at jantramontano@gmail.com for more information. Mail submissions and entry fee to: HVWG CONTEST c/o Jan Tramontano, 14 Brookwood Avenue, Albany, NY  12203.

MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENTS

Hollis Seamon to read from new novel April 5
Hollis Seamon will be reading from her young adult novel, Somebody Up There Hates You, at the Claverack Free Library in Claverack, NY, on Saturday, April 5 at 3 p.m., as part of the library’s “Celebrate Local Authors” series.  For more information, go to http://claveracklibrary.org or call (518) 851-7120.

Cecele Allen Kraus announces a new chapbook
Cecele Allen Kraus’ new chapbook, Harmonica, was released in March by Liquid Light Press. It is available at www.liquidlightpress and at local bookstores.  A reading is scheduled for Friday, June 13, 5 p.m., at The Chatham Bookstore, 27 Main St., Chatham, New York. Reception to follow.

Carol Derfner’s work included in anthology nominated for 2013 Indie Book Of The Year
Columbia County writer Carol Derfner thinks it is “groovy” that a book, which includes a short memoir she wrote last year, is a finalist for a national literary award.  The book, Times They Were A’ Changing: Women Remember the ‘60s and ‘70s, has been nominated by Foreword Reviews as one of the top anthologies published in 2013 by independent publishers.

Derfner’s contribution to the 49 memoirs featured in the book was chosen in a nationwide contest sponsored by She Writes Press in Berkeley, California. Derfner’s story, “In the Family Way,” recounts the tribulations of two sorority sisters who have to come to grips with an unwanted pregnancy in 1964. “Whenever I finish reading ‘In the Family Way’ to an audience, there is a moment or two of silence, then a soft collective moan.  As a writer, it is very gratifying to know my memories of how we lived in the sixties can make that kind of human connection.”

A panel of over 100 booksellers and librarians from throughout the nation will determine the winners of the Foreword’s prestigious annual Book of the Year awards.  In June, cash prizes will be awarded for the best in fiction and non-fiction work and significant recognition will be given to winners in 60 other literary categories.

Carol Derfner is a published author of memoir, short fiction and poetry. She is an active participant with The Center for Creative Non-Fiction, the Arts Center of the Capital Region’s Memoir Project, A Room of Her Own Foundation and the Edna St. Vincent Millay Society. In 2010, one of her short stories was a prizewinner in the Hudson Valley Writers Guild Fiction Contest.  Derfner is currently working on a memoir of her life in politics in Alaska, a crime novel set in Old Kinderhook and an article about Millay’s library.

Foreword, the only literary organization in the nation solely dedicated to reviewing books published by independent publishers, is committed to discovering and reviewing new indie books and finding those authors and publishers whose groundbreaking works stand out in the crowded field.

Carolee Bennett takes on gig as Times Union blogger
Local poet, HVWG member and newsletter editor Carolee Bennett has joined the Times Union‘s cadre of volunteer bloggers. The TU reached out based on the voice and writing style Carolee uses at her personal blog, Good Universe Next Door. Carolee will continue to blog there (focusing exclusively on poetry at least for April which is National Poetry Month), while sharing some of her personal musings about poetry, parenting, love and life downtown with TU readers. The new blog is “Carolee on Lark: The view of all things from a stoop in downtown Albany.” She’d love to see some friendly faces in the comments section!

AREA ANNOUNCEMENTS

Catherine Norr and Susan Riback to read at Caffè Lena April 2
On Wednesday, April 2, Caffè Lena will present poetry readings by Catherine Norr and Susan Riback.  An open reading will follow. Doors open for sign-ups at 7 p.m., and the readings will start at 7:30. The host for the event will be Carol Graser, and the cost is $5.

Tonight’s co-sponsor, Saratoga Reads, is a community reading program celebrating its 10th anniversary with And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. Poetry has a strong presence in the book, and Saratoga Reads is proud to celebrate National Poetry Month at Lena’s Poetry Open Mic.

Catherine Norr is a retired French teacher and lifelong poet and musician. Return to Ground (Finishing Line Press) is her debut chapbook. Her work has appeared in Avocet, The Evening Street Review, Oriel and more. Catherine is on the board of Hudson Valley Writers Guild.

Susan Riback works both as an RN in long-term care and as a poetry teaching artist in local elementary schools. Trained by the National Association of Poetry Therapy to use writing as a healing modality, she has facilitated writing workshops with cancer survivors and writers of all ages using memoir, poetry and creative writing. Her chapbook, Gratitude and Other Poems, was released by Pudding House Publications in 2000, and Shaking the Sand Out: Poems of Motherhood was published in 2003.

Caffè Lena is located at 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs. (518) 583-0022. www.caffelena.org.

Staged reading of Carolyn Yalkut’s new play “Everywoman” April 3
You are invited to a staged reading of UAlbany professor Carolyn Yalkut’s new play, “Everywoman,” on Thursday, April 3, at 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center on the UAlbany Uptown Campus.

Should a woman’s life stop just because she’s giving birth? Time and space collide in WAM Theatre’s staged reading of Carolyn Yalkut’s one-act play that debates global, as well as personal, catastrophe in women’s lives everywhere. The classic quandary of being a woman is explored in this lighthearted, innovative and poignant tragicomedy that reaches across generations.

The play was developed during a fellowship and multiple residencies by the playwright at the Norman Mailer Writers Colony in Provincetown, MA. Professor Yalkut has taught numerous undergraduate courses at UAlbany in association with the NYS Writers Institute Visiting Writers Series.

Advance tickets: $5 general public; $3 students, seniors and UAlbany faculty-staff. Call (518) 442-3997 to reserve. Day of show tickets: $8 general public; $6 students, seniors and UAlbany faculty-staff. For more information, visit website.

Writers In the Mountains presents “Meet the Authors – First Annual Catskills Book” Festival April 6
Writers in the Mountains (WIM) invites you to “Meet the Authors – First Annual Catskills Book Festival,” Sunday, April 6, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Roxbury Arts Center, 5025 Vega Mountain Road, Roxbury, NY.

Participating authors include award-winning writers:

  • Mermer Blakeslee, author of When You Live by a River;
  • Ginnah Howard, author of Night Navigation and Doing Time Outside;
  • Breena Clarke, author of River, Cross My Heart and Stand the Storm; and
  • Laurie Boris, author of The Joke’s on Me, Don’t Tell Anyone and Sliding Past Vertical.

Other prominent participants include poet Cheryl Clarke, PhD (organizer of the Hobart Festival of Women Writers and author of Living as a Lesbian), Dr. Bill Birns (author of A Catskill Catalog and The Myth in the Mountain) and Simona David (author of Self-Publishing and Book Marketing, A Research Guide). In addition, beginner and less known authors will be featured and invited to give talks. Participating authors will read from their works and share their stories with the audience. All selected titles will be offered at a discounted price.

The program will include a segment dedicated to poetry (April is National Poetry Month), a segment dedicated to news from the publishing industry and a raffle with 10 selected titles. At 10:30 a.m., poet Sharon Cucinotta will share the stage with poet Cheryl Clarke and painter Richard Kathmann in a moment dedicated to poetry. At 11:30 a.m., Laurie Boris, who writes for Indies Unlimited, ranked by Publishers Weekly as number three best blog for independent authors, will share the stage with Simona David and discuss latest news and trends in the publishing industry. At 12:30 p.m., a raffle with 10 selected titles will be awarded. In addition, book swaps will be encouraged throughout the day.

Admission is free. Light refreshments, coffee and tea will be available on the premises. Parking is available on Main Street and municipal parking lot. For more information, visit writersinthemountains.org or email writersinthemountains@gmail.com. Writers in the Mountains is a 501 (c) (3) not-for–profit organization with a mission to provide a nurturing environment for the practice, appreciation and sharing of creative writing.

Upcoming literary events at the Roe Jan Community Library, Hillsdale
The Roe Jan Community Library (9091 Rte 22, Hillsdale, NY) will host the following events:

  • Saturday, April 6, 4-5 p.m. Acclaimed poet, Mark Wunderlich, will read from his recently published The Earth Avails.  Previous books are The Anchorage and Voluntary Servitude. The event is free and followed by a wine and cheese reception.
  • Saturday, April 12, 4 p.m. Poetry in Song. Ellen Mandel, pianist, and Daniel Neer, tenor, give voice to some of the world’s most cherished poems.
  • Tuesday, April 15, Noon to 1 p.m. Brown Bag Lunch. We’ll read Dylan Thomas poems.
  • Thursday, April 17, 6 p.m.  Movie night:  Il Postino.
  • Thursday, April 24, 6 p.m.  Poetry Open Mic.  Bring your own poems or a favorite poem to read.  Or come to listen.
  • Saturday, April 26, 4 p.m. Joan Potter, Vicki Addesso, Susan Hodara and Lori Toppel will discuss fiction and memoir, as well as their collaborative book, Still Here Thinking of You, A Second Chance with Our Mothers. 
  • Friday, May 9, 6 p.m. Poem-a-day Open Mic. Poets who have participated in the poem-a-day project will read their original work. To participate in the month-long project, contact Jan Hutchinson (janhutch44@gmail.com) with “April Poetry Challenge” in the subject line.

For more information about library events, call (518) 325-4101.

Monday evening workshop “Significance of Story” begins April 7
Writers in the Mountains (WIM) announces its popular 6-week workshop, “The Significance of Story: Threads of Revelation” with Carol Little at the Andes Public Library, Mondays, 6 – 8 p.m., from April 7 to May 12. Every person’s story is unique, no matter what shared experiences we have had.  We are changed and shaped by what we experience—by our choices, our circumstances and by things that simply happen as we maneuver through life. Stories have personal meaning, turning points and markers. As we remember and write, or write and remember, we bring together parts of ourselves that may have been scattered, hidden or distorted. We gain a deeper understanding for the truth of our lives, and often a greater appreciation for our own journey.

This class is open to anyone interested in writing about their life. No prior writing experience is required. It all starts with a word, an image or a sentence and a willingness to discover. Carol Little, a long time member of WIM, has extensive experience working with groups and with the use of writing for personal expression. She is a psychotherapist in private practice.

To register, visit writersinthemountains.org, go to “register online page” or write to writersinthemountains@gmail.com. To benefit from the early registration fee of $60, register and pay by March 17. Class fee is $75 after that.

Writers Institute adds event with Stephen Kinzer April 7
New York State Writers Institute will host Stephen Kinzer, bestselling nonfiction author, April 7 (Monday). Discussion will be at 7:30 p.m. [note early start time] in the Standish Room, Science Library, Uptown Campus. Stephen Kinzer is an award-winning foreign correspondent, formerly with the New York Times, and a bestselling author of books on American foreign policy in Central America, Rwanda, Turkey and Iran. His newest book is The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War (2013), which recounts how the two powerful men helped to shape America’s zealously anti-Communist foreign policy in the 1950s. The Washington Post reviewer called The Brothers, “a bracing, disturbing and serious study of the exercise of American global power.” The book was named a “Best Book of the Year” by the Atlantic and Kirkus Reviews.

The event is co-sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute; Women Against War; UAlbany’s History, Political Science, and Judaic Studies Departments, and Journalism Program; and UAlbany Peace Action. For more about Stephen Kinzer, click here. For more information about the event, contact the NYS Writers Institute at (518) 442-5620 or by email at writers@albany.edu. You can also visit the blog or like us on Facebook.

Rensselaerville’s 9th Annual Celebration of National Poetry Month
Attention: Cowgirls and cowboys, naturalists and farmers, humor lovers and word lovers, musicians and friends – You don’t have to be a poet to enjoy poetry! All are invited to Rensselaerville’s 9th Annual Celebration of National Poetry Month sponsored by The Rensselaerville Library & Conkling Hall, Rensselaerville, NY.

Events include:

  • Inspiration: An Afternoon of Music and Poetry. April 12, Saturday, 2-4 p.m. at Conkling Hall. Hosted by Peter Boudreaux, musician and writer. This event features the following: poet (and Whitman scholar) Howard Nelson, who will read from his own work, as well as from the poets who inspired him; Alto Sarah Nelson Weiss, who will perform an original piece inspired by Walt Whitman and composed and performed by Peter Boudreaux; the wonderful Village Voices; and musicians Diana Ryan and Hank LaBrecque, who will share pieces inspired by poetry or written by folk-poet songwriters.
  • Four Thursdays. Enjoy four relaxing and stimulating evenings at the library, listening, reading and discussing poetry with friends and neighbors:

Poetic Humor, Laughing Our Way into Poetry Month. April 3, 7 p.m. Hosted by Richard Ronconi, teacher, beekeeper, and occasional writer. As a teacher, Richard found humor to be a good “entrance” into poetry. We don’t always connect poetry with humor.  Often we think of a poem as an expression of beauty, love or some other deep emotion.  Humor is also an emotion favored in poetry. Together let’s read some light-hearted poems that have been written by some distinguished and not so distinguished poets to make us laugh and have fun.  This hour is for readers of all ages, so kids, teens, adults, let’s cheer each other up with an hour of fun poems.

How to Read, and Perhaps Enjoy, Very New Poetry. April 10, 7 p.m. Hosted by Tom Corrado, poet and coordinator of the library’s poetry group. Isn’t poetry poetry? Isn’t all poetry the same? Using sound, imagery and concision to tell a story, convey a message, extract meaning from experience? Isn’t new poetry pretty much like old poetry? Simply new wine in old bottles? Not really! Some interesting things are happening in poetry, and new poets are shepherding poetry into new arenas, crafting poems that at times can be intimidating, befuddling, seemingly meaningless. Find out about new poetry and new poets.

Birds, Bees, Trees and More: The Poetry of Nature. April 17, 7 p.m. Hosted by Virginia Carter, teacher, artist and bird-watcher. Poets have always been inspired by nature, from the ancient Greeks to contemporary poets.  Enjoy an evening reading, listening and discussing a variety of poetry that was inspired by the natural world.

Easy Chairs and Saddle Sores: Cowboy Poetry. April 24, 7 p.m. Hosted by Janet Botaish, equine specialist, EAGALA certified.  “To me, horses and freedom are synonymous.” (Veryl Goodnight). Cowboy poems have a life of their own. They are built with words that are spawned not only from labor, but also from an occupation with which the poet’s very existence is expressly linked. A cowboy or rancher lives where he or she works, and what they do in their work determines their survival.  This is the essence of cowboy poetry. Come and be enchanted by words, both old and new, that are attached to a life few know firsthand.

  • Enjoy your Saturday morning cup of coffee with guest poet Marilyn McCabe. April 26, Saturday, 11:30 a.m. Marilyn’s poem “On Hearing the Call to Prayer Over the Marcellus Shale on Easter Morning” was awarded A Room of Her Own Foundation’s Orlando Prize, Fall 2012, and appeared in the Los Angeles Review. Her book of poetry, Perpetual Motion, was published by The Word Works in 2012 as the winner of the Hilary Tham Capitol Collection contest. Her work has appeared in literary magazines such as Nimrod, Valparaiso Poetry Review and Painted Bride Quarterly, French translations and songs on Numero Cinq, and a video-poem on The Continental Review.
  • Now It’s Your Turn! April 27, Sunday, 2-4 p.m. at Conkling Hall. All are invited to read a favorite poem at our annual Favorite Poem Project emceed once again by the inimitable writer/actress/reverend Claire North. The Favorite Poem Project, part of a national movement begun by former poet laureate Robert Pinsky, encourages communities to come together to share poetry.  Over the past eight years, neighbors and friends have gathered to read aloud their favorite poems, everything from the silly to the serious, favorites from childhood as well as adulthood.  Bring a favorite poem to this year’s event!  If you are a writer, you may also bring one original (as well as one favorite) poem or other short piece to share. Of course you can come just to listen!

All events are free (though donations to the library are welcome). Refreshments served at all poetry month events! For more information about any of these events, please call the Rensselaerville Library at (518) 797-3949 or visit its website at www.rensselaervillelibrary.org.

Please Note: Conkling Hall is located on Methodist Hill Road in Rensselaerville.  All events not in Conkling Hall will be held at the Rensselaerville Library, Main Street, Rensselaerville.

April 13 next date for area’s only open mic featuring poetry and prose
Please join co-hosts Nancy Klepsch and Dan Wilcox for the area’s only open mic featuring poetry and prose.  Open the second Sunday of every month up to and including June, we read in the Black Box Theater of the Capital Region Center for the Arts, River Street, Troy, NY at2:00 p.m.  Please bring two poems or five minutes of fiction or non-fiction prose.

Here are our upcoming dates for Second Sunday @ 2:

  • April 13
  • May 11
  • June 8

All are welcome!  Free and open to the public!

Poetry Unites essay contest deadline April 15
You are invited to enter the first New York State “Poetry Unites” short essay contest, open to all New York State residents for the best short essay (no longer than 600 words) about your favorite poem. After a successful 6-year run in Europe, the Poetry Unites contest, inspired by Robert Pinsky’s Favorite Poem project, has come to New York State.

Marie Howe, the New York State Poet (appointed by Governor Cuomo under the sponsorship of the New York State Writers Institute), and Corinne Evens, a philanthropist, in co-ordination with the Academy of American Poets, the New York State Writers Institute and the New York State Office of Cultural Education, are pleased to announce a contest for the best short essay about a favorite poem. The contest is open to all New York State residents.

Awards:

  • The four winners of the main prize will be featured in short film profiles, which will be placed on the Academy of American Poets website, New York State Library website, New York State Writers Institute website, and may be broadcast in the USA by Public Television.
  • All winners will be invited to NYC gala in October 2014. The invitation will cover travel expenses within New York State.

For more information, click here.

Third Thursday to feature St. Rose students April 17
Poets going by the collective handle “Josie & the Drop-Boxers” will read from their work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany, on Thursday, April 17, at 7:30 p.m. “Josie & the Drop-Boxers” is a group of students in professor Daniel Nester’s “Poetry and Performance” class at the College of St. Rose.  Students will be reading as part of Albany WordFest 2014, the week-long celebration of poetry and spoken word. (For more information, visit albanywordfest.com.)

A reading by a local or regional poet is held each Third Thursday at the Social Justice Center.  The event includes an open mic for audience members to read.  Sign-up starts at 7 p.m., with the reading beginning at 7:30.  The host of the readings is Albany poet and photographer Dan Wilcox.  The suggested donation is $3, which helps support this and other poetry programs of the Poetry Motel Foundation and the work of the Social Justice Center.  For more information about this event, contact Dan Wilcox, 518-482-0262; e-mail: dwlcx@earthlink.net.

10-week poetry course starts at JCC of Schenectady April 29
The JCC of Schenectady will offer another poetry class, “Writing the Contemporary Poem II.” The course will explore not only the use of different forms and styles of poetry writing, but it will also treat the art of writing for a particular audience. Whom do you write for? And whom do you most want to reach?

The market for publishing poetry is wide, so together we’ll explore how to develop your distinctive poetic voice, while also considering which publications might offer your poems a good home. Not every poet wants to publish, but it’s good to keep in mind what readers need to know in order to best understand your work. This course is for anyone who wants to work on creating polished, printable poems, whether or not you choose to submit the poems for publication.

Instructor for the course is Susan Comninos. In addition to teaching creative writing, Comninos works as a freelance arts journalist and poet. Her journalism has recently appeared in The Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Jewish Daily Forward and Albany Times Union and is forthcoming in The Millions. Her poetry has appeared in Subtropics, TriQuarterly, The Courtland Review, Tulane Review, Nashville Review, J Journal: New Writing on Justice, Literary Mama, Quarterly West, Lilith, Tikkun and Judaism, among others. She recently completed her debut book of poems, Out of Nowhere.

Cost is $70 for 10 classes April 29 to July 3 (there is no class on June 3) from 7 – 8:15 p.m. The JCC of Schenectady is located at 2565 Balltown Road, Niskayuna. Register by calling the JCC of Schenectady: (518) 377- 8803. Please ask for the poetry class. For more information, please contact Jewish Cultural Director, Irit Magnes at (518) 377-8803, ext. 235, or iritm@schenectadyjcc.org

The program was made possible through the generous support of the Epstein Jewish Cultural Fund, Meyer & Mary Kurland/Gebell Fund and Jonas & Edith Fleminberg Jewish Cultural Fund and MVP Health Care.

Short prose open mic May 3
Read your own prose of listen to local talent! On Saturday, May 3, the Roe Jan Community Library will host a “Short Prose Open Mic” in the library community room from 4-6 p.m. This event is open to all fiction, non-fiction and memoir writers. No pre-registration is necessary. All readings must be no longer than seven minutes in length. Please come share your work or spend an afternoon enjoying our local talent. Contact Regina Colangelo at Reginac18@verizon.net.

The Roeliff Jansen Community Library, which is chartered to serve Ancram, Copake and Hillsdale, is located at 9091 Rt. 22, approximately one mile south of the light at the intersection of Routes 22 and 23 in Hillsdale. For information on hours and events, call 518-325-4101, or visit the library’s website.

Hudson Valley Fiction Writers Group seeking new members
The Hudson Valley Fiction Writers Group has openings for new members interested in critiquing and being critiqued by a group of mutually supportive writers. The group, which meets every other Wednesday at 7 p.m., was founded by former Guild officer, Joachim Frank, and has been active for nearly 30 years. We welcome new, as well as experienced, writers. If you are interested, please contact Noelle at noelle@nycap.rr.com and attach 4-5 pages of recent work from a short story or novel.

Bernadette Mayer workshop series continues, space limited
Bernadette Mayer will lead her continuing workshop series through a summer session beginning in May 2014.  She will once again provide participating poets with the opportunity to engage in her language experiments.

This session will also place an added emphasis on poetry as it appears on the page.  Bernadette discussed the summer session saying all participants would be creating “unusual, usable musical poetry” as a result of the workshop experiences. She will also talk about her mentors and contemporaries and suggest new directions in verse.  She will suggest books you should have to aid in your writing and how to publish your poems. Bernadette will continue to write and distribute new poems for the benefit of workshop participants and subject matter.

Kevin Killian, writing on famous poetry workshops mentions, Bernadette Mayer’s Poetry Project Workshop in NYC “that gave birth to all those exercises.” Locally, Bernadette has been exercising and teaching those poets who have taken advantage of poetry workshops held in her living room.

Bernadette Mayer’s poetry writing workshop takes place at her home in East Nassau, NY. The workshop will meet on five Saturdays: May 3, June 7, July 5, August 2 and September 6, 2014. Each meeting will take place between 2 – 4 p.m. Mayer will facilitate an atmosphere conducive to bringing forth enhanced new poems from each of the participants. Total Cost: $65, including drinks and light refreshments. Workshop limited to eight participants.

Bernadette Mayer (born May 12, 1945 in Brooklyn, NY ) is a poet and prose writer. In 1967 she received a BA from New School for Social Research. She has since edited the journal 0 TO 9 with Vito Acconci and the United Artists Press with Lewis Warsh and worked as Director of St. Mark’s Poetry Project. Her new book, Helens of Troy, is a Spring 2012 release by New Directions. For more than a decade she and poet Philip Good has lived in East Nassau.

From the beginning of this series of workshops in September 2011, she has provided an expansive menu of poetic technique and belief, as well as her careful listening to an appreciative core of workshop participants including Philip Good, Alan Casline, Edie Abrams and Howard Kogan. These poets have become regulars who continue to attend each new workshop session. They welcome new participants to their lively get together.

Contact: By e-mail contact acasline@aol.com to reserve your place. The mailing address if e-mail is not available is Rootdrinker, P.O. Box 522, Delmar, NY 12054.

Directions:  Take Route 20 East from the Capital District. Just pass Brainard turn left on Route 66 North towards Troy. After a short time on Route 66 take a left on to Tatsawawassa Rd. Mayer’s house is 53 Tatsawawassa Rd. Red in color, it is the first house on the left side of the road. Google map using 53 Tatsawawassa, East Nassua, NY, as destination is recommended. Car pool from Albany area is available.

Payment:  Payment of $65 may be made by check or money order. $40 of the total is a tax deductible contribution. Payment check should be made out to “Committee on Poetry.” IMPORTANT: write “Friends of Bernadette Mayer Fund” on check memo. Provide your mailing address to receive a letter to include in your tax returns for your deductions. Send you payment to Alan Casline, Rootdrinker Institute, PO Box 522, Delmar, NY 12054. We will verify your payment for the workshop and forward your contribution for your tax deduction.

May 2014 retreat for novelists at Vermont College of Fine Arts
An invitation from Connie May Fowler, Director, VCFA Novel Retreat:

I want to take a moment to tell you why I felt a need to create a novel retreat at Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA) and why I hope you’ll consider joining us for six days this May.

For most of us, writing is something we carve into our day with stubborn and often guilty persistence. Because we stare at a blank page as we focus on the voices in our heads — Gardner’s narrative dream — we need a space that is all our own, free from the minutia of “real life.” That can be very difficult to come by. Our modern lifestyles simply don’t lend themselves to the quiet, contemplation novelists require.

A year ago, unable to finish my novel, I thought to myself, I need a retreat and so do a lot of other writers. So, why not create one? Why not breathe life into it through VCFA, a place that feels like a second home to many writers? And why not fashion it in a way that builds community, helps solve issues in our writing, and propels us further toward our common goal: completing our books?

At the VCFA Novel Retreat, you will be given your own writing studio. Every morning after breakfast, you will retreat into your studio for dedicated writing time. In the afternoon, you can continue to write or take advantage of various craft talks. Perhaps you and a faculty member will stroll into downtown Montpelier and discuss your project over coffee. Maybe you’ll find another writer with whom you feel sympatico and you’ll exchange pages, find solutions, discover questions you had never thought to ask. In the evenings, we will gather as a community to discuss that day’s writing-plot problems solved, character dilemmas overcome, possibilities suddenly made apparent. We will read from our work. Bonds that will last a lifetime will be forged. Your novel will take on weight and certitude.

This idea of community can’t be overstated because while we write in solitude, we gain strength and insight from a group of creative and like-minded souls. That is why we are limiting the retreat to thirty participants.

The retreat is designed to give you the gifts of time, quiet, and productivity while still providing personal access to and advice from our terrific faculty: Laurie Alberts (manuscript mentorships), Robin Hemley, Sigrid Nunez, and me. And each of you will be assigned a faculty advisor who will offer counsel and support.

I hope you will consider coming to Montpelier this May. The Green Mountains are beautiful. The campus has all sorts of fabulous spaces that make perfect studios. And when you leave, you will take with you a novel that feels like a real book, rather than just the dream of one.

For more information, please visit the retreat’s website. Or take a look at our Facebook page. And, of course, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me: nretreat@vcfa.edu.

New York State Writers Institute Spring 2014 schedule of visiting writers & film series
“The Spring 2014 Visiting Writers Series features old friends and new faces, always a good mix for literary events,” said Institute Director Donald Faulkner. Visit these links for details about each series:

Events take place on the UAlbany uptown and downtown campuses and are free and open to the public (unless otherwise noted). Here is a list of visiting writers by date (details available at the links above):

  • April 3 (Thursday): Julia Glass, novelist
  • April 11 (Friday): Francesca Marciano, novelist, short story writer and screenwriter
  • April 16 (Wednesday): Lydia Davis, short story author and translator
  • April 22 (Tuesday): Akhil Sharma, Indian-American fiction writer
  • April 29 (Tuesday): Robert H. Patton, novelist and historian

For additional information contact the Writers Institute at (518) 442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.

* * *

Special Editor’s Note for APRIL:
What an edition, right? It’s jam-packed. What a thrill to see so much going on in our region for writers of all genres! I’m writing a special note to let you know that Gmail (where I format the newsletter) was being very “glitchy” as I put this issue together — freezing often and causing me to lose work. I believe, in each instance, I went back in and recreated what disappeared. If you see something amiss — or something “a’missing” — my apologies! And please let me know.

(Regular) Editor’s Note:
I enjoy putting together this newsletter for the HVWG. As a member of the Guild and a working writer in our community, I recognize its incredible value and hope it is a terrific resource for you, as well. Please let me know if there’s anything we can do to improve it.

Here are some housekeeping notes:

    • Want your news item published in a future newsletter? Submit it to me at hvwgnews@gmail.com. The deadline each month is the 25th, and the newsletter publishes on (or around) the 1st. Please note: All announcements are subject to editing.
  • Got issues with the newsletter formatting? other feedback? Please email that same address: hvwgnews@gmail.com.
  • The Hudson Valley Writers Guild offers space in its newsletter for submission and program opportunities but does not endorse any programs or publications that are not offered through the Guild.

~Carolee

Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter, March 2014

IN THIS ISSUE

Guild Announcements:

  • “Take Back The Night Poetry Contest” deadline extended to March 10
  • Hudson Valley Writers Guild 2013 Year-End Membership Report
  • Hudson Valley Writers Guild 2013 Membership Honor Roll
  • Hudson Valley Writers Guild New Membership Form

Member Announcements:

  • Paul Castellani’s new novel available, upcoming readings May 3 & 28
  • Hollis Seamon’s novel included on list of 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults

Area Announcements:

  • Bookmarks reading March 3: “The Times They Were A’ Changing: Memories from the Sixties Generation”
  • Cara Benson & Coli Collen to feature at Caffè Lena March 5
  • Upcoming deadline for Bookmarks reading series: March 5
  • Announcements from Misfit Magazine
  • Upcoming dates for area’s only open mic featuring poetry and prose
  • Writers in the Mountains hosts new self-publishing class March 9
  • Registration opens March 17 for Smith’s Tavern 5th Annual Poet Laureate Contest
  • Bookmarks Reading: “Eat the Past,” March 19
  • Poet Catherine Norr to read at the Social Justice Center March 20
  • Exploration of expressive arts
  • New York State Writers Institute announces Spring 2014 schedule of visiting writers & film series
  • Upcoming workshops from Janine De Tillio Cammarata

GUILD ANNOUNCEMENTS

Take Back The Night Poetry Contest deadline extended to March 10
“Take Back The Night” is an annual event held in Albany during Sexual Assault Awareness Month and coincides with Crime Victims’ Rights Week. The 2014 Take Back The Night Rally and March Against Sexual Violence will be held on Thursday, April 10, at the Albany Law School, located at 80 New Scotland Avenue. To recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month and to celebrate National Poetry Month, The Hudson Valley Writers Guild, in conjunction with the Albany County Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center and Albany Law School, is sponsoring a poetry contest. The winner will recite their poem at “Take Back The Night” and be published in the event program.

Submission guidelines –

  • Theme: Strength, resilience and freedom from violence.
  • Maximum length: 30 lines.
  • Deadline for submissions: EXTENDED through March 10, 2014.
  • Poems may be submitted electronically to greenfaith2@gmail.com.

The winner will be notified on or before March 20, 2014.

Hudson Valley Writers Guild 2013 Year-End Membership Report
At the end of 2013, the Hudson Valley Writers Guild had 143 “active” members, i.e., people who’ve paid membership dues in the past couple years. Of them, 85 (60%) paid 2013 dues and 58 (40%) did not. The 85 dues payers contributed $2,605. There were 13 new members and six people who made voluntary contributions (without being asked). The bulk of the renewals (66) came from people who responded to membership solicitations. They were split roughly evenly between people whose membership expired in 2013 (32) and people whose membership had expired in a previous year (34).

The Guild’s membership solicitation efforts were carried out through 251 mailings composed of 166 renewal requests, 72 thank you letters and 13 new member welcome letters. Additionally, 56 year-end email reminders were sent to the non-paying members.

The direct cost of the 2013 membership effort was $262, which when compared to the $2,605 income, means that the administrative expense for membership was 10%.

Hudson Valley Writers Guild 2013 Membership Honor Roll
The Guild had an honor roll in 2013 of six members who made extra financial contributions in addition to their membership dues. The following people are called out for recognition of their extraordinary efforts:

  • Lin Bell (a new member)
  • Therese Broderick
  • Phyllis Hillinger
  • Gary Phillips
  • Robyn Ringler
  • David Wolcott

Hudson Valley Writers Guild New Membership Form
Yes, it’s true folks! After many years, the Guild has a new membership form, re-designed by Dan Wilcox and David Wolcott. Among other changes, you’ll see the form is more promotional to catch the eye of people at meetings where it might be handed out or laid on a table, hopefully to draw attention to the Guild as an organization people might want to join.

David now has 1,000 copies of the form sitting in a box on his closet floor, but clearly that’s not where they belong. First, they belong in the hands of board members and other members who are organizing Guild events. And then, wherever the Guild is holding a meeting or sponsoring an event, these forms must be out there visibly accessible to the public. In general, whoever is organizing these events can be responsible for making this happen.

Why is this so important? As noted in the year-end report above, the Guild attracted only 13 new members in 2013. That’s just 9% of our active members; frankly, we could do better. And it gets worse: new members last year were about half of the year before. The Guild’s new member enrollment is going down when it should be doing exactly the opposite. With new members comes new blood, new ideas, new energy.

So what do we do? Well, for a start people who need the forms should contact David (see below) and tell him how many copies you need and when you need them. If it’s right away, he will arrange expedited delivery, otherwise he’ll mail them to you. It’s as simple as that! Let’s all work together to help make this happen effectively.

For forms, contact:

David Wolcott
256 New Road
Nassau, NY 12123
davidrwolcott72@cs.com
(518) 859-5773

MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENTS

Paul Castellani’s new novel available, upcoming readings May 3 & 28
Paul Castellani’s new novel, Sputnik Summer, has been published and is available at local bookstores and from North Country Books. Readings and signings are scheduled as follows:

  • Open Door Bookstore, Schenectady, Saturday, May 3, 1- 2:30 p.m.
  • Bethlehem Public Library, Wednesday, May 28, 7 p.m.

In Sputnik Summer, a teenager’s testimony about a homicide rips apart an Adirondack resort town. Here is a synopsis:

It’s only a month into the summer of 1958, and 17-year old Kevin Boyle is already in trouble with an older girl. And a priest who’s zeroing in on Communists and degenerate books in the library is way too interested in his sex life. When he thinks nothing else can go wrong he sees his best friend’s brother shove a tourist to his death at a lakeside hangout. Or did he?

By the time the coroner’s inquest comes around, half the town thinks he’s caused the drop in tourism.  The other half thinks he’s mixed up with the suspect librarian, and his friends are sure he’s sold out to the lawyer who’s dangling a college scholarship and loan to his financially-strapped parents for the right testimony. Whatever Kevin says at the inquest will change his life.

Set in an Adirondack resort town, Sputnik Summer is a story of what happens when simmering tensions between tourists and the folks who rent to and wait on them every summer boil over. Dramatic events force characters to question whether they can trust their friends. What secrets could ruin their lives if revealed? What lies will they tell to get what they want?

The novel is available from your local bookseller or through North Country Books, Utica: 1-800-342-7409, www.northcountrybooks.com. $19.95, paperback, 6×9, 328 pages, ISBN #978-1-886166-39-4.

Hollis Seamon’s novel included on list of 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults
Hollis Seamon‘s novel, Somebody Up There Hates You, has been included on the 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults list complied by the American Library Association. The complete list is available here. This novel will be published under the title ALGUIEN ALLA ARRIBA TE ODIA in Spanish translation by Planeta Publishng in February 2014, in French translation in March by Anne Carriere Editions as DIEU ME DETESTE, and in German translation in May by Random House Germany as EINER DA OBEN HASST MICH.

AREA ANNOUNCEMENTS

Bookmarks reading March 3: “The Times They Were A’ Changing: Memories from the Sixties Generation”
Monday, March 3, 7 p.m., Arts Center, Troy. Curated by local writer and memoirist Carol Derfner. Do you remember The Sixties? It was an era of awakening, rebellion and responses to the world in new and sometimes confusing ways: student rebellion and anti-war demonstrations, civil rights marches, and the agitation for women’s equality, the explosion of American art, music and popular culture; Elvis, Motown, the Beatles and Janis Joplin, Earth Day, organic foods and Julia Child; JFK and Jackie; cool cars and women in the workplace.

We will hear the voices of men and women who were part of the fabled generation who lived those life-changing moments that transformed the way we all live today. Five of the eleven writers are reading for the first time in the Bookmarks series:

  • Paul Bouchey
  • Tina Lincer
  • Mary Scanlan
  • Robert Knightley
  • Tom Martin
  • David Wolcott
  • Natasha Williams
  • Harriet Englander
  • Carol Wandrey
  • Dan New
  • Elizabeth Racicot

Bookmarks is a series of group readings featuring writing that is grounded in personal experience. We encourage both experienced writers as well as those whose work has has neither previously been read publicly nor published, to submit work.

Cara Benson & Coli Collen to feature at Caffè Lena March 5
On Wednesday, March 5, Caffè Lena will present poetry readings by Cara Benson and Colie Collen. An open reading will follow. Doors open for sign-ups at 7 p.m. and the readings will start at 7:30. The host for the event will be Carol Graser and the cost is $5. Caffè Lena is located 47 Phila Street, Saratoga Springs. (518) 583-0022. www.caffelena.org.

Cara Benson is the author of “Cara Benson” and of the poetry book (made). She has been published in NY Times, Boston Review and Best American Poetry. She has been a New York Foundation for the Arts fellow in poetry and chair of the PEN Prison Writing Program. She’s been a visiting writer at the NYS Writers Institute at SUNY Albany, UPENN, Rhode Island School of Design and Skidmore College and has taught creative writing in a NYS prison since 2005.

Colie Collen practices floral design and gardening as her primary forms of focused engagement with the world, but sometimes poetry leaks out on the sides. She lives in Troy, New York, but feels indebted to many places for the textures and leaf-shapes of her writing.

Locally produced, micro-budget, indie feature “Life On the Run” will be filming for the first part of the evening. They’ll be bringing in some open mic people to begin the night. The film is an optimistic and witty celebration of the will to be creative against all odds. Sheila O’Shea plays Beth Farrell whose success as a novelist leads her to poetry. Her debut as a poet will be filmed tonight.

Upcoming deadline for Bookmarks reading series: March 5
Let Your Voice Be Heard. Submission deadline: Wednesday, March 5, 5 p.m. Curated by Thom Francis. What is your passion? What are your dreams? Using poetry and spoken word, tell your story, in your own words. This event is presented as part of Albany Poet’s youth event for Word Fest Week 2014. Young writers are warmly invited to submit! Reading: Monday, April 14, 7 p.m.

Visit the call for entries page at the Arts Center website for details on how to submit.

Announcements from Misfit Magazine
Misfit Magazine #8 is now live at misfitmagazine.net. Poetry, essays, reviews, local poets, the well known and the unknown, side by side. What more could you want? Check it out. Reading for future issues now.

Upcoming dates for area’s only open mic featuring poetry and prose
Please join co-hosts Nancy Klepsch and Dan Wilcox for the area’s only open mic featuring poetry and prose.  Open the second Sunday of every month up to and including June, we read in the Black Box Theater of the Capital Region Center for the Arts, River Street, Troy, NY at 2:00 p.m.  Please bring two poems or five minutes of fiction or non-fiction prose.

Here are our upcoming dates for Second Sunday @ 2:

  • March 9
  • April 13
  • May 11
  • June 8

All are welcome!  Free and open to the public!

Writers in the Mountains hosts new self-publishing class March 9
“Self-Publishing and Book Marketing: What you need to know” with Simona David, Sunday, March 9, 1-4 p.m., Roxbury Library. Workshop will familiarize participants with basic concepts and processes involved in book production and publication. Class fee is $35. Register online at writersinthemountains.org, by phone at (607) 326-4802 or email writersinthemountains@gmail.com.

Registration opens March 17 for Smith’s Tavern 5th Annual Poet Laureate Contest
Smith’s Tavern Fifth Annual Poet Laureate Contest will be held Sunday, April 27, at Smith’s Tavern, 112 Maple Avenue, Voorheesville. Cash prizes: Poet Laureate, $100; second place, $50; honorable mention, $25. The contest is open to the first 20 people to register, and registration begins March 17 at noon by email to dsullivan6@nycap.rr.com. Registrants will receive notification of acceptance right away. Note: You may sign up only yourself.

In the contest, there will be three rounds (any style in English): poems of 25, 35, 45—or fewer—lines respectively. Here’s the schedule:

  1. Starting Time: 12:30 SHARP
  2. Reading order: LOTTERY (by round)
  3. Two opening rounds, then a 30-minute break
  4. Music to celebrate Poetry Month!
  5. Then Final Round
  6. Prizes presented following tallied scores
  7. Names engraved on Laureate statue.

Judges are Susan Oringel (head judge), Ron Pavoldi and Terry Rooney. Scorekeeper is Georgia Gray. The event is sponsored by Sunday Four Open Mic. Hosts: Dennis Sullivan, Edie Abrams, Michael Burke

Bookmarks Reading: “Eat the Past,” March 19
Wednesday, March 19, 7 p.m. Free. Curated by Steve Barnes. Taste and smell are rooted in some of the most primitive parts of our brain, and so food-related moments provide some of our most powerful memories. We’ll share stories about meals we remember and, perhaps, the perils of trying to recreate them.

Poet Catherine Norr to read at the Social Justice Center March 20
Poet Catherine Norr will read from her work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany, on Thursday, March 20, at 7:30 p.m. Catherine Norr has written poetry and performed original songs and covers for many years. She is a member of several peer writing groups and a former board member of the Hudson Valley Writers Guild. Her debut poetry collection, Return to Ground, was recently published by Finishing Line Press.

A reading by a local or regional poet is held each Third Thursday at the Social Justice Center. The event includes an open mic for audience members to read. Sign-up starts at 7 p.m., with the reading beginning at 7:30. The host of the readings is Albany poet and photographer Dan Wilcox. The suggested donation is $3, which helps support this and other poetry programs of the Poetry Motel Foundation and the work of the Social Justice Center. For more information about this event contact Dan Wilcox, (518) 482-0262; e-mail: dwlcx@earthlink.net.

Exploration of expressive arts, March 22-23
If you have been curious about expressive arts and how its methods can enrich your writing, this is the opportunity you have been waiting for. Join us for two days of exploration and experiential learning in Expressive Arts and discover the natural cross-fertilization among the arts: “When I draw and paint my writing becomes more precise and more colorful. When I move by body, my writing becomes more grounded and flows more easily. When I sing and play music, I come into my own rhythm.”

March 22 – 23, 2014
Saturday, 10 – 6, and Sunday, 9 -5
Second floor studio of New York Expressive Arts in Albany, NY
Cost is $200 ($150 for members of HVWG)

All  materials are provided and any art training or previous experience in any of the modalities will not interfere with your participation. Guides are Denie Whalen, Steve Podry, Susannna Armbruster — all graduates of the European Graduate School Masters and CAGS Expressive Arts Therapy Program and all with many years of experience bringing the arts into the world in various venues. To register, contact Denie at (518) 729-3258 or denwhale@earthlink.net. Limited to 10 participants.

New York State Writers Institute announces Spring 2014 schedule of visiting writers & film series
“The Spring 2014 Visiting Writers Series features old friends and new faces, always a good mix for literary events,” said Institute Director Donald Faulkner. Visit these links for details about each series:

Events take place on the UAlbany uptown and downtown campuses and are free and open to the public (unless otherwise noted). Here is a list of visiting writers by date (details available at the links above):

  • March 5 (Wednesday): A Celebration of Poet and Translator Pierre Joris
  • March 10 (Monday): The 18th Annual Burian Lecture presented by Christopher Durang, playwright
  • March 13 (Thursday): Dinaw Mengestu, fiction writer and journalist
  • March 25 (Tuesday): Walter Kirn, journalist, and fiction and nonfiction writer
  • April 3 (Thursday): Julia Glass, novelist
  • April 11 (Friday): Francesca Marciano, novelist, short story writer and screenwriter
  • April 16 (Wednesday): Lydia Davis, short story author and translator
  • April 22 (Tuesday): Akhil Sharma, Indian-American fiction writer
  • April 29 (Tuesday): Robert H. Patton, novelist and historian

For additional information contact the Writers Institute at (518) 442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.

Upcoming workshops from Janine De Tillio Cammarata
Dream Circle Writing for Healing & Self Awareness

  • The Yoga Lily, 1 Barney Road, Suite 222, Clifton Park
  • (518) 744-5565
  • Age: 15+
  • Cost: $10 one week advance or $15 thereafter
  • Next date: Thursday, March 27
  • To register: Click here
  • More info: Click here

Digital Storytelling Program for Teens (Grades 9-12)

  • Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library, 475 Moe Road, Clifton Park
  • Maximum group size is 12
  • Registration is REQUIRED and begins April 7th
  • To register: Click here
  • More info: Click here

Writer’s Journal for Students in Grades 4-5

  • Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library, 475 Moe Road, Clifton Park
  • Dates: Mondays, April 21 – May 9, 3:30-4:45pm
  • Maximum group size is 12
  • Registration is REQUIRED and begins April 7th
  • To register: Click here
  • More info: Click here

* * *

Editor’s Note
I enjoy putting together this newsletter for the HVWG. As a member of the Guild and a working writer in our community, I recognize its incredible value and hope it is a terrific resource for you, as well. Please let me know if there’s anything we can do to improve it.

Here are some housekeeping notes:

  • Want your news item published in a future newsletter? Submit it to me at hvwgnews@gmail.com. The deadline each month is the 25th, and the newsletter publishes on (or around) the 1st. Please note: All announcements are subject to editing.
  • Got issues with the newsletter formatting? other feedback? Please email that same address: hvwgnews@gmail.com.
  • The Hudson Valley Writers Guild offers space in its newsletter for submission and program opportunities but does not endorse any programs or publications that are not offered through the Guild.

~Carolee

Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter, February 2014

IN THIS ISSUE

Guild Announcements:
Guild among sponsors for Take Back The Night Poetry Contest

Member Announcements:
A memoir by Harvey Havel

Area Announcements:

  • Shira Dentz & Andrew Sullivan to read at Caffè Lena February 5
  • Writers in the Mountains (WIM) to hold Creative Non-Fiction workshop with Anique Taylor starting February 13
  • Poet Philip Good to read at the Social Justice Center February 20
  • NYS Writers Institute Spring 2014 Community Writing Workshops start March 5 & 6
  • Exploration of expressive arts
  • Registration open for workshops celebrating women writers
  • First New York State “Poetry Unites” contest announced
  • New York State Writers Institute announces Spring 2014 schedule of visiting writers & film series
  • New York State Summer Writers Institute taking applications summer workshops for adults
  • New York State Summer Young Writers Institute taking applications

GUILD ANNOUNCEMENTS

Guild among sponsors for Take Back The Night Poetry Contest
“Take Back The Night” is an annual event held in Albany during Sexual Assault Awareness Month and coincides with Crime Victims’ Rights Week. The 2014 Take Back The Night Rally and March Against Sexual Violence will be held on Thursday, April 10, at the Albany Law School, located at 80 New Scotland Avenue. To recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month and to celebrate National Poetry Month, The Hudson Valley Writers Guild, in conjunction with the Albany County Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center and Albany Law School, is sponsoring a poetry contest. The winner will recite their poem at “Take Back The Night” and be published in the event program.Submission guidelines –

  • Theme: Strength, resilience and freedom from violence.
  • Maximum length: 30 lines.
  • Deadline for submissions: March 1, 2014.
  • Poems may be submitted electronically to greenfaith2@gmail.com.

The winner will be notified on or before March 20, 2014.

MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENTS

PublishAmerica Presents Mother: A Memoir by Harvey Havel
PublishAmerica is proud to present Mother: A Memoir by Harvey Havel from Albany. Harvey’s memoir follows the turbulent relationship between the author’s mentally ill Pakistani mother and the author himself who carries the same mental illness. From living together in the slums of New York City’s Lower East Side in the 1980s through the author’s education in Connecticut and the several hospitalizations he has to confront, Mother is a powerful and unforgettable read that tries to be as honest as possible in portraying what ought to be a loving relationship between a mother and her son but strays far from that ideal into the areas of abuse, poverty and crushing mental illness.For more information, visit the publisher online www.facebook.com/publishamerica  and www.publishamerica.com.

AREA ANNOUNCEMENTS

Shira Dentz & Andrew Sullivan to read at Caffè Lena February 5
On Wednesday, February 5, Caffè Lena will present poetry readings by Shira Dentz and Andrew Sullivan. Indie Film “Life On the Run” will be filming for part of the evening. An open reading will follow. Doors open for sign-ups at 7 p.m. and the readings will start at 7:30. The host for the event will be Carol Graser, and the cost is $5. Caffè Lena, 47 Phila Street, Saratoga Springs, (518) 583-0022, www.caffelena.org. Contact: Carol Graser via email: cgraser@nycap.rr.com.

Shira Dentz is the author of two books, black seeds on a white dish (Shearsman, 2011) and door of thin skins (CavanKerry Press, 2013), and two chapbooks, Leaf Weather (Shearsman, 2012) and Sisyphusina (forthcoming from Red Glass Books). Her third full-length manuscript was a National Poetry Series finalist this year. Her writing appears in many journals, including The American Poetry Review, The Iowa Review, and New American Writing, and has featured online at The Academy of American Poets’ website (Poets.org), NPR, Poetry Daily and Verse Daily. Her awards include an Academy of American Poets’ Prize, the Poetry Society of America’s Lyric Poem Award and Cecil Hemley Memorial Award, Electronic Poetry Review’s Discovery Award, and Painted Bride Quarterly’s Poetry Prize. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she holds a Ph.D. in creative writing and literature from the University of Utah. Shira is also reviews editor at Drunken Boat and lecturer in creative writing at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Andrew Sullivan is a professional engineer and less-professional writer who has lived in the Saratoga area on-and-off for most of his life. He started writing in college at SUNY Binghamton to take his mind off of math and physics, and he has continued to write ever since. For the past two years, he’s been attending readings and open mics in Albany and Saratoga and sporadically self-publishing on his WordPress blog, Cohesive Narrative.

Locally produced, micro-budget, indie feature “Life On the Run” will be filming for the first part of the evening. They’ll be bringing in some open mic people to begin the night. The film is an optimistic and witty celebration of humanity’s will to be creative against all odds. Sheila O’Shea plays Beth Farrell whose success as a novelist takes her into new territory as she explores poetry. Her debut as a poet will be filmed during Caffè Lena Poetry Night. For more info, please visit facebook.com/lifeontherunfilm.

Writers in the Mountains (WIM) to hold Creative Non-Fiction workshop with Anique Taylor starting February 13
Writers in the Mountains (WIM) will hold a new Creative Non-Fiction workshop with Anique Taylor, February 13 to March 20. The class will be held Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Pine Hill Community Center, Main Street, Pine Hill, NY. The class will bring the compelling and dramatic to students’ personal stories, essays and memoirs. Studying craft techniques of poetry, fiction and playwriting, the class will enter a journey of mood, metaphor, viewpoint, dialogue and tone. It will explore memory, risk, danger, dreams, versions of reality and perceived truth. A combination of free-writing, exercises, short assignments, warm and supportive feedback, plus the study of non-fiction work by famous authors, will help students hone and deepen their writing. All levels are welcome.

Anique Taylor has co-authored works for HBO, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster. Her poems have appeared in The World (St. Mark’s Poetry Project), Adanna, Southern Poetry Review and Earth’s Daughters; her creative non-fiction in Rattle Magazine and e-Bibliotekos’ Pain and Memory. She’s studied poetry at Drew University (MFA), literature at the Sorbonne (Diplome) and fine arts at Pratt Institute (MFA & BFA).

To register, call Jean Stone at (607) 326-4802, or e-mail her at jtstone@wildblue.net. To register online, visit writersinthemountains.org. Class fee is $60, if you register and pay three weeks before the class begins and $75 after that. Writers in the Mountains is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization with a mission to provide a nurturing environment for the practice, appreciation and sharing of creative writing.

Poet Philip Good to read at the Social Justice Center February 20
Poet Philip Good will read from his work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany, on Thursday, February 20 at 7:30 p.m.  Philip Good’s work can be found online with BigBridge, Exquisite Corpse, Tool and The Volta. Look for his forthcoming book UNTITLED WRITINGS FROM A MEMBER OF THE BLANK GENERATION by Trembling Pillow Press.

A reading by a local or regional poet is held each Third Thursday at the Social Justice Center.  The event includes an open mic for audience members to read.  Sign-up starts at 7 p.m., with the reading beginning at 7:30.  The host of the readings is Albany poet and photographer Dan Wilcox.  The suggested donation is $3, which helps support this and other poetry programs of the Poetry Motel Foundation and the work of the Social Justice Center.  For more information about this event, contact Dan Wilcox, (518) 482-0262; e-mail: dwlcx@earthlink.net.

NYS Writers Institute Spring 2014 Community Writing Workshops start March 5 & 6
New York State Writers Institute Fellow and award-winning author James Lasdun will conduct two creative writing workshops for community writers during the spring 2014 semester. Lasdun, a fiction and nonfiction writer, poet, and screenwriter, will offer two eight-week workshops: one on fiction writing and one on poetry. The workshops are offered for non-credit and will be held at the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Admission to both workshops is based on the submission of writing samples. Complete information on the workshops and submission guidelines may be obtained by calling the Institute at (518) 442-5620 or by visiting the Institute’s website.

  • Fiction Writing Workshop – The Fiction Writing Workshop (starting March 6) will focus on detailed discussion of students’ work but there will also be readings from published novels, novellas, and short stories. These will range from the classic to the contemporary, and will be selected with a view to broadening the discussion of topics such as character, plot, style and form, as they arise. Participants will be expected to be strongly self-motivated and to submit two works of up to twenty pages each over the course of the semester. These may be short stories or excerpts from longer works.
  • Poetry Writing Workshop — The Poetry Writing Workshop (starting March 5) is for self-motivated students who already have some writing experience, and is intended to give participants an opportunity to develop and revise poems within a context of constructive peer-group criticism. Course work will concentrate on students’ writing, but will also include close reading of selected texts with a view to discussing specific aspects of the art of poetry, such as voice, metaphor, and the relation of style to subject. Participants will be expected to submit up to ten pages of poetry every second week.

Exploration of expressive arts, March 22-23
If you have been curious about expressive arts and how its methods can enrich your writing, this is the opportunity you have been waiting for. Join us for two days of exploration and experiential learning in Expressive Arts and discover the natural cross-fertilization among the arts: “When I draw and paint my writing becomes more precise and more colorful. When I move by body, my writing becomes more grounded and flows more easily. When I sing and play music, I come into my own rhythm.”

  • March 22 – 23, 2014
    Saturday, 10 – 6, and Sunday, 9 -5
    Second floor studio of New York Expressive Arts in Albany, NY
    Cost is $200 ($150 for members of HVWG)

All  materials are provided and any art training or previous experience in any of the modalities will not interfere with your participation. Guides are Denie Whalen, Steve Podry, Susannna Armbruster — all graduates of the European Graduate School Masters and CAGS Expressive Arts Therapy Program and all with many years of experience bringing the arts into the world in various venues. To register, contact Denie at (518) 729-3258 or denwhale@earthlink.net. Limited to 10 participants.

Registration open for “Celebration of Women’s Voices: Women Writers Past and Present
Registration is open for a writing conference in honor of Women’s History Month, International Women’s Day and the award-winning publication by Codhill Press: Slant of Light: Contemporary Women Writers of the Hudson Valley. Workshops will be held March 7-9 on Historic Huguenot Street, New Paltz, NY. Space is limited, so sign up early. Workshops are open to men and women.

To register for memoir, short story, poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction, getting published workshops and more, visit www.huguenotstreet.org. While you’re at the website, add your email address to the e-news list to receive information about conference. You can also visit the Facebook page for Historic Huguenot Street or call for more information: 845.255.1660, ext. 104.

First New York State “Poetry Unites” contest announced
Open to all New York State residents for the best short essay about a favorite poem. After a successful six-year run in Europe, the Poetry Unites contest, inspired by Robert Pinsky’s Favorite Poem project, is coming to New York State. Marie Howe, the New York State Poet under the sponsorship of the New York State Writers Institute, and Corinne Evens, a philanthropist, in co-ordination with the Academy of American Poets, the New York State Writers Institute, and the New York State Office of Cultural Education, are pleased to announce a contest for the best short essay about a favorite poem. For more information, visit the website.

New York State Writers Institute announces Spring 2014 schedule of visiting writers & film series
“The Spring 2014 Visiting Writers Series features old friends and new faces, always a good mix for literary events,” said Institute Director Donald Faulkner. Visit these links for details about each series:

Events take place on the UAlbany uptown and downtown campuses and are free and open to the public (unless otherwise noted). Here is a list of visiting writers by date (details available at the links above):

  • February 4 (Tuesday): Walter Mosley, novelist, and Frankie Y. Bailey, mystery writer and criminal justice scholar
  • February 12 (Wednesday): American Place Theatre performance of “Black Boy”
  • February 18 (Tuesday): James D. Redwood, short story writer
  • February 19 (Wednesday): Nick Turse, investigative journalist and military historian
  • February 27 (Thursday): E. L. Doctorow, fiction writer
  • March 5 (Wednesday): A Celebration of Poet and Translator Pierre Joris
  • March 10 (Monday): The 18th Annual Burian Lecture presented by Christopher Durang, playwright
  • March 13 (Thursday): Dinaw Mengestu, fiction writer and journalist
  • March 25 (Tuesday): Walter Kirn, journalist, and fiction and nonfiction writer
  • April 3 (Thursday): Julia Glass, novelist
  • April 11 (Friday): Francesca Marciano, novelist, short story writer and screenwriter
  • April 16 (Wednesday): Lydia Davis, short story author and translator
  • April 22 (Tuesday): Akhil Sharma, Indian-American fiction writer
  • April 29 (Tuesday): Robert H. Patton, novelist and historian

For additional information contact the Writers Institute at (518) 442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.

New York State Summer Writers Institute taking applications
Visiting writers for the summer workshops for adults will include Paul Auster, Jamaica Kincaid, Joyce Carol Oates, William Kennedy, Robert Pinsky, Marilynne Robinson and many more. For more information and applications, visit the website.

New York State Summer Young Writers Institute taking applications
The 16th Annual Creative Writing Workshop for young writers will take place July 2 – July 12 at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. The New York State Summer Young Writers Institute is a eleven-day in-residence writing workshop for high school students. The workshop offers young writers artistic development, recognition and respect, and peer support. Students work closely with professional writers, immersing themselves in poetry, prose, creative nonfiction, and the critical evaluation of each other’s work. Admission is limited and participation is determined by the evaluation of creative writing samples submitted as part of the application process.

Workshop participants attend three instructional sessions per day — a ninety-minute workshop in the morning, and two hour-long workshops each afternoon. In addition, the young writers attend readings and presentations by the nationally-known writers who are part of the New York State Summer Writers Institute, which is held at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. Work produced by each student during the Summer Young Writers Institute is published in an anthology. Financial assistance based upon individual need is available to help offset the cost of tuition and room and board.

* * *

Editor’s Note
I enjoy putting together this newsletter for the HVWG. As a member of the Guild and a working writer in our community, I recognize its incredible value and hope it is a terrific resource for you, as well. Please let me know if there’s anything we can do to improve it.

Here are some housekeeping notes:

    • Want your news item published in a future newsletter? Submit it to me at hvwgnews@gmail.com. The deadline each month is the 25th, and the newsletter publishes on (or around) the 1st.
    • Got issues with the newsletter formatting? other feedback? Please email that same address: hvwgnews@gmail.com.
    • The Hudson Valley Writers Guild offers space in its newsletter for submission and program opportunities but does not endorse any programs or publications that are not offered through the Guild.

~Carolee

Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter, January 2013

IN THIS ISSUE

Member Announcements: Linda Mary Wagner’s memoir available

Area Announcements: Registration opens January 2 for workshops celebrating women writers, Winter Journal Class with Geoff Rogers, January 7 – February 11, “Writing the Contemporary Poem” with Susan Comninos to start January 7, Poet Amy Nelson McVeigh to read at the Social Justice Center January 1, February 5 deadline for “The Times, They Were A’ Changing: Memories from the Sixties Generation,” Early application deadline for Odyssey Writing Workshop’ Summer Session is January 31

MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENTS

Linda Mary Wagner’s memoir available
Linda Wagner’s memoir Unearthing the Ghosts (previewed in our last newsletter) is now available at the Book House in Albany, Market Block Books in Troy and the Book Loft in Great Barrington. It is also available for online ordering at Amazon and the Troy Book Makers (excerpt available).

AREA ANNOUNCEMENTS

Registration opens for “Celebration of Women’s Voices: Women Writers Past and Present
Registration opens January 2 for a writing conference in honor of Women’s History Month, International Women’s Day and the award-winning publication by Codhill Press: Slant of Light: Contemporary Women Writers of the Hudson Valley. Workshops will be held March 7-9 on Historic Huguenot Street, New Paltz, NY. Space is limited, so sign up early. Workshops are open to men and women.

To register for memoir, short story, poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction, getting published workshops and more, visit www.huguenotstreet.org. While you’re at the website, add your email address to the e-news list to receive information about conference. You can also visit the Facebook page for Historic Huguenot Street or call for more information: 845.255.1660, ext. 104

Here is a preview of workshops:

  • Getting Your Words Out into the World – Nava Atlas
  • The Corset Controversy – Susan Stessin
  • Prom Gowns and Hiking Boots: Women’s Clothing as a Source of Poems – Suzanne Cleary
  • Writing Begins Where You Are: Claim Your Voice – Kate Flanagan
  • Soul Journaling: Bringing Our Writing Alive by Trusting Our Words – Catharine Clarke
  • What’s Your Story: A Workshop for Writers and Dreamers – Patty Kane-Horrigan
  • Memoir Writing: Silencing, Anger and Resistance – Jan Schmidt and Judy Dorney
  • From My Pen and Power: Journals as History, Art and Self-Recovery – Kim Ellis
  • Traditional Stories and Popular Culture: Inspiration for Your Poems – Lynn Domina
  • Telling Stories: Creative Nonfiction – Pauline Uchmanowicz
  • The Angst Free Writing Workshop – Laura Shaine Cunningham
  • Public Opinion Writing and Blogging – Heather Hewitt

Winter Journal Class with Geoff Rogers, January 7 – February 11
Writers in the Mountains (WIM) announces its Winter Journal class with Geoff Rogers, January 7 to February 11. The class will be held Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to noon at Fairview Public Library in Margaretville.

Winter Journal is a class for the novice and veteran journal keeper alike, anyone who wants to grow as a writer. Participants will write weekly, read their work aloud in class, listen to and discuss the work of others. The prevailing attitude of encouragement and cooperation will set the most hesitant writer at ease. So come join us on a six-week journey of self discovery and revelation, one where you can explore neglected interests, address anxieties, celebrate life, or just rant at an unjust world.

To register, call Jean Stone at (607) 326-4802, or e-mail her at jtstone@wildblue.net. To register online, visit writersinthemountains.org. Class fee is $75. Writers in the Mountains is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to provide a nurturing environment for the practice, appreciation and sharing of creative writing.

“Writing the Contemporary Poem” with Susan Comninos to start January 7
What makes a poem contemporary? Is it awareness of the public sphere? Inclusion of brand names? Creation of a conversational voice? Explore what it means – and how – to write contemporary poetry with local published poet Susan Comninos. Class starts January 7 and will be held Tuesday evenings from 7-8:15 p.m. at the Schenectady JCC Farber/Miness Gallery, 2565 Balltown Road, Niskayuna. The cost is $50. To register, contact Irit Magnes 377-8803 ext. 235 or email iritm@schenectadyjcc.org.

During a 10-week reading and writing course, learn to re-purpose cliches, create “observational” poetry that lends itself to seeming humor or depth and work on verse forms that counter-intuitively free/surprise writers with self-imposed boundaries. Classes will include discussion of published works and writing exercises.

Poet Amy Nelson McVeigh to read at the Social Justice Center January 16
Poet Amy Nelson McVeigh will read from her work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany, on Thursday, January 16, at 7:30 p.m. Amy Nelson McVeigh, together with her husband, the photographer Andrew McVeigh, composed a book of pictures and ekphrastic poems based in the Hudson Valley region, What Time and Tempest Hold Is True (Authorhouse). She has taught at Rutgers University, Brookdale Community College and Fairleigh Dickinson University. Her work can be found on her blog.

A reading by a local or regional poet is held each Third Thursday at the Social Justice Center. The event includes an open mic for audience members to read. Sign-up starts at 7 p.m., with the reading beginning at 7:30. The host of the readings is Albany poet and photographer Dan Wilcox. The suggested donation is $3, which helps support this and other poetry programs of the Poetry Motel Foundation and the work of the Social Justice Center. For more information about this event contact Dan Wilcox, 518-482-0262; e-mail: dwlcx@earthlink.net.

February 5 deadline for “The Times, They Were A’ Changing: Memories from the Sixties Generation”
Upcoming Bookmarks series theme curated by local writer and memoirist Carol Derfner. Submission Deadline: Wednesday, February 5, 5 p.m. Reading: Monday,  March 3, 7 p.m.

Do you remember The Sixties?  “Boomers” and/or their families are invited to share their personal experiences living in an era of awakenings, rebellions and responses to the world in new and sometimes confusing ways through a short memoir, personal essay, a poem or even the lyrics of a song.A decade of momentous breakthroughs, men and women throughout America challenged prevailing social and political norms in the 1960s in ways never imagined before.  

Overshadowed by political assassinations and the Vietnam War, student rebellions, anti-war demonstrations and race riots rocked the nation. Martin Luther King and the fight for civil rights changed America forever. A generation of women moving into the workplace brought new agitation for women’s rights.

A new mass media drove American culture and consumerism like never before. What are your recollections of living through the decade of JFK and Jackie? Remember miniskirts and go-go boots? Nehru jackets? Tie-dye and granny glasses?  Elvis, Motown, Bob Dylan and the Beatles?  Julia Child and the Whole Earth Catalog?  How about Portnoy’s Complaint and Love Story, Easy Rider and The Graduate? Or The Twilight Zone, The Smothers Brothers and Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In? Can you recall where you were during the Summer of Love and Woodstock Nation?

We want to hear the stories of and about the men and women who were part of the fabled generation that transformed the way we live today. Submission guidelines include:

  • Submissions should not exceed 750 words.
  • All submissions must be received by 5 p.m. on the date indicated
  • Interested writers should submit work and a short bio, both in PDF form, to Sara@artscenteronline.org.
  • Please include the following text in the subject line: Memoir Project: Times They Are A’ Changing.
  • All applicants will be notified once the curator has chosen readers.

Bookmarks is a series of free group readings presented as part of The Memoir Project, a program of The Arts Center of the Capital Region. The Memoir Project features classes, workshops and events grounded in the exploration of personal experience. Please visit the Center’s website for details about the series and other literary programs and classes at The Arts Center.

Early application deadline for Odyssey Writing Workshop’ Summer Session is January 31
Odyssey is one of the most highly respected workshops for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Each year, adult writers from all over the world apply. Only fifteen are admitted. Odyssey is for developing writers whose work is approaching publication quality and for published writers who want to improve their work.

The six-week program combines an advanced curriculum with extensive writing and in-depth feedback on student manuscripts. This summer’s workshop runs from June 9 to July 18. Class meets for at least four hours each morning, five days a week. Odyssey class time is split between workshopping sessions and lectures. While feedback reveals the weaknesses in students’ manuscripts, lectures teach the tools and techniques necessary to strengthen them. Intensive, detailed lectures cover the elements of fiction writing in depth. Students spend about eight hours more per day writing and critiquing each other’s work.

The program is held on Saint Anselm College’s beautiful campus in Manchester, NH. Saint Anselm is one of the finest small liberal arts colleges in the country, and its campus provides a peaceful setting and state-of-the-art facilities for Odyssey students. College credit is available upon request.

The early action application deadline is January 31, and the regular admission deadline is April 8. Tuition is $1,965, and housing in campus apartments is $812 for a double room in a campus apartment and $1,624 for a single room.

This year, Odyssey graduate Sara King is sponsoring the Parasite Publications Character Awards to provide financial assistance to three character-based writers wishing to attend. The Parasite Publications Character Awards, three scholarships in the amounts of $1,965 (full tuition), $500, and $300, will be awarded to the three members of the incoming class who are deemed extraordinarily strong character writers, creating powerful, emotional characters that grab the reader and don’t let go. Several other scholarships and a work/study position are also available.

Jeanne Cavelos, Odyssey’s director and primary instructor, is a best-selling author and a former senior editor at Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing, where she won the World Fantasy Award for her work. 2014 writers-in-residence include Melanie Tem and Steve Rasnic Tem. Lecturers for the 2014 workshop include some of the best teachers in the field: authors Elizabeth Hand, Catherynne M. Valente, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman, and Alexander Jablokov; and editor Gordon Van Gelder.

* * *

Editor’s Note
I enjoy putting together this newsletter for the HVWG. As a member of the Guild and a working writer in our community, I recognize its incredible value and hope it is a terrific resource for you, as well. Please let me know if there’s anything we can do to improve it.

Here are some housekeeping notes:

  • Want your news item published in a future newsletter? Submit it to me at hvwgnews@gmail.com. The deadline each month is the 25th, and the newsletter publishes on (or around) the 1st.
  • Got issues with the newsletter formatting? other feedback? Please email that same address: hvwgnews@gmail.com.
  • The Hudson Valley Writers Guild offers space in its newsletter for submission and program opportunities but does not endorse any programs or publications that are not offered through the Guild.

~Caroleea

Hudson Vallye Writers Guild Newsletter, December 2013

IN THIS ISSUE

Guild Announcements:

  • Approximately 50 attend Schenectady Community of Writers event
  • Annual Members Meeting held November 26

Member Announcements:

  • Signings for new book by Anne Samson December 6 & 14
  • Barbara Traynor featured in CNN Money article
  • M.E. Kemp spoke at Adirondack Community College
  • Linda Mary Wagner to publish memoir
  • Short memoir by Carol Derfner in new anthology
  • Carolee Bennett (Sherwood) participating in Tupelo Press’ 30/30 Project

Area Announcements:

  • “A Door Ajar” Series Concludes at EMPAC December 5
  • Third Thursday to feature poet Tim Verhaegen (& “Sanity Clause”) December 19

GUILD ANNOUNCEMENTS

Approximately 50 attend Schenectady Community of Writers event
The Community of Writers event, sponsored by Hudson Valley Writers Guild, the Schenectady County Public Library and NYS Council of the Arts, was held on November 24, the traditional Sunday afternoon before Thanksgiving at Schenectady County Public Library, McChesney Room. This year’s featured writers once again represented and read from a mix of genres:

  • poetry from Alan Casline, Carol Graser, Mary Cufee Perez and Jan Marin Tramontano;
  • excerpts from novels from Phyllis Kulmatiski and Donna Lagone; and
  • memoir from Carl Strock.

The audience of approximately 50 people was filled with appreciative listeners, very responsive to the humor in several readers’ pieces and attentively quiet during moving segments. All authors brought books and broadsheets and were available for conversation, book-signings and sales before and after the readings. Light refreshments were provided by Friends of the Library. Honorary gift certificates to Open Door Bookstore in Schenectady were given to each author through funds engendered by Hudson Valley Writers Guild members and events.

We look forward to the 12th annual event in November 2014!

Annual Members Meeting held November 26
The Annual Members Meeting of the Hudson Valley Writers Guild was held on November 26 at the William K. Stafford Colonie Town Library. The agenda included reports by treasurer Bob Sharkey and membership chair David Wolcott which indicated the financial health of the organization due to on-going membership renewals. In addition, Bob Sharkey reported on the Guild’s grants this year to the Pine Hollow Arboretum reading series and to support the literary journal Up the River produced by AlbanyPoets.com.

Dan Wilcox summarized this year’s programs, and Alan Catlin reported on the recent Community of Writers reading at the Schenectady Public Library (as detailed above). Mimi Moriarty reported on this year’s successful short fiction contest, while Jan Tramontano, who has taken over as the contest chair, gave a preview of the non-fiction contest to be held in 2014.After some discussion the following members were elected to the guild board:

  • Julie Lomoe and Marilyn Rothstein, both for second 3-year terms;
  • Dan Wilcox, for his first 3-year term after a year of not being on the board, as required by the by-Laws; and
  • new board members for 3-year terms Andrea Portnick and Barbara Traynor.

Congratulations to raffle winners Elaine Doremus and David Wolcott who each won $50 and to Andrea Portnick, Faith Green and Jan Tramontano who won books by local authors.

MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENTS

Signings for new book by Anne Samson December 6 & 14
Local author and HVWG member Anne Samson recently published a book called Abba House & Me: Prayer Changes Everything. The book is a tribute to the love and care of two women who operated Abba House of Prayer on Western Avenue in Albany for 30 years, Sister Libby Hoye and Sister Mary Gen Smyth. The book is part history of the Abba House ministry and part spiritual memoir of a challenging time in Anne’s family, when prayer and Abba House were lifelines. The book is available locally from the Book House and Market Block Books in Troy; it is also available from the publisher (Xulon Press), Amazon and as an e-book (Kindle, Nook, Apple).

Anne is having two book signings:

  • Friday, December 6, at 7 p.m. at the Book House in Stuyvesant Plaza and
  • Saturday, December 14, at her church, Christ our Light Catholic Church in Loudonville, after the 4 p.m. mass. A portion of the proceeds from book sales at that event will be donated to the church food pantry.

Barbara Traynor featured in CNN Money article
Barbara M. Traynor was interviewed in an on-line unique retirement lifestyle post for CNN MONEY. Melanie Hicken, personal finance reporter for CNN MONEY, posted the in-depth interview with Barbara (and other volunteer friends) who share her passion for volunteering at organizations that offer free room and board for their services. Her book — Second Career Volunteer, a passionate pennywise approach to a unique lifestyle — is available from her website (www.secondcareervolunteer.com) and on Amazon or AuthorHouse.

M.E. Kemp spoke at Adirondack Community College
M.E.Kemp spoke at Adirondack Community College on Saturday, November 16, on what it’s like to be a mystery writer. Look for M.E.Kemp’s course on mystery writing to be held in April at the Troy Arts Center.  Kemp will go through the five elements that make up a mystery from detective to villain.

Linda Mary Wagner to publish memoir
Linda Mary Wagner is about to self-publish Unearthing the Ghosts: A Mystery Memoir, a coming-of age story interwoven with social history about mental illness and health. She is working with The Troy Book Makers (TBM) to print the book in softcover form and prepare it for e-book publication. Linda says, “I have a full-time job and have had to complete my manuscript and related publication and marketing efforts after my regular work hours. I’ve invested more than $5,000 of my own money this year to reach this point.” She launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to pay the balance of TBM’s bill for the printing of 500 copies. To learn more about my story and the project, please visit the project’s page at the Kickstarter site. Watch for details about book sales in a future edition of this newsletter.

Short memoir by Carol Derfner in new anthology
HVWG member Carol Derfner of Kinderhook announces that She Writes Press (out of Berkeley) has published one of her short memoirs in a new anthology, Times They Were A’ Changing: Women Remember the ‘60s & ‘70s. The anthology is the result of a national contest sponsored in 2012 by She Writes Press commemorating the 50th anniversary of so many socio-political milestones of the 1960s and 70s in America and chronicling the women’s legacy of that time. Derfner’s work is included along with that of 47 other authors from around the country. The 338-page soft cover book retails for $16.95 and can be purchased and downloaded through Amazon.com and shewritespress.com or for $12 plus standard shipping from Derfner at carolderfner@berk.com.

The third place winner of HVWG’s fiction contest in 2010, Derfner is an active participant in The Memoir Project at the Arts Center of the Capital Region, the Edna St. Vincent Millay Society in Austerlitz and the Mavens of Mayhem, the local chapter of Sisters in Crime. Derfner will be curating an evening of memoir by local writers, The Times They Were A’ Changing: Memories from the Sixties Generation, on March 3, 2014, as one of the Arts Center’s annual BookMarks series. Submissions are due February; guidelines can be found at artscenteronline.org.

Carolee Bennett (Sherwood) participating in Tupelo Press’ 30/30 Project
Starting today, Carolee will be writing a poem each day as one of the December poets for the Tupelo Press 30/30 Project. In addition to being a creative exercise, the project is a fundraiser for the literary press. For Carolee, it’s the perfect combination: working on her favorite writing challenge (daily poems!) and helping her favorite press. You can keep up with Carolee’s writing this month at the project’s website here. Tupelo volunteers add new poems to the site a couple times a day, so check in often to follow along.

There are a number of ways you can cheer Carolee on and support a terrific press:

  • subscribe to the annual series (put “Carolee” in the ‘comments’ field; Carolee has set a goal of 3 subscribers for Tupelo… to include her own subscription and 2 others — it’s an amazing holiday gift!)
  • donate to the press via credit card (scroll down to form, put “Carolee” in the ‘honor’ field) or PayPal (click the button, put “Carolee” in the ‘message’ field).

No donation is too small — whether you can contribute $5 or $10 or $25 or whether you have someone special on your list (including yourself!) who would enjoy the subscription (9 books for $99). Writing in community has always been a part of Carolee’s process, as has writing — and publishing — daily. She says, “The press keeps us updated about all contributions — I’d love to feel everyone behind me as the month progresses!”

Carolee blogs at gooduniversenextdoor.com and will be posting about the project there. She lives in Albany with three not-so-little boys and their pug, works as a writer for local marketing agency Media Logic and pursues her MFA in creative writing through Ashland University in Ohio.

AREA ANNOUNCEMENTS

“A Door Ajar” Screening Series Continues at EMPAC December 5
“A Door Ajar” film series launched in October and continues this month. A film series about endings, “A Door Ajar” presents enigmatic films that refuse clichéd cinematic endings. Instead, these films revel in openness, leaving the door ajar for interpretation after the film ends. The series looks at perception and the desire to create meaning.

The final film will be viewed on Thursday, December 5: David Lynch’s Mullholland Drive. David Lynch’s last work on real celluloid film, 2001’s Mulholland Drive is a surrealist neo-noir thriller that scrutinizes the collective dream that is Los Angeles through a famously disjointed narrative.

For the full calendar of events and directions, visit empac.rpi.edu. Tickets are available online or by calling EMPAC’s box office at (518) 276.3921.

Third Thursday to feature poet Tim Verhaegen (& “Sanity Clause”) December 19
Local poet Tim Verhaegen will read from his work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany, on Thursday, December 19, at 7:30 p.m. Tim Verhaegen is a poet and writer of family memoir who has been writing, reading and workshopping his poems in area venues for many years.  Uniquely personal and often humorous, his readings are always engaging and entertaining. The evening will also include the annual holiday visit from “Sanity Clause,” with a gift of poetry for all who read in the open mic.

A reading by a local or regional poet is held each Third Thursday at the Social Justice Center. The event includes an open mic for audience members to read. Sign-up starts at 7 p.m., with the reading beginning at 7:30. The host of the readings is Albany poet and photographer Dan Wilcox. The suggested donation is $3, which helps support this and other poetry programs of the Poetry Motel Foundation, as well as the work of the Social Justice Center.  For more information about this event contact Dan Wilcox, 518-482-0262; e-mail: dwlcx@earthlink.net.

* * *

Editor’s Note
I enjoy putting together this newsletter for the HVWG. As a member of the Guild and a working writer in our community, I recognize its incredible value and hope it is a terrific resource for you, as well. Please let me know if there’s anything we can do to improve it.

Here are some housekeeping notes:

  • Want your news item published in a future newsletter? Submit it to me at hvwgnews@gmail.com. The deadline each month is the 25th, and the newsletter publishes on (or around) the 1st. Please note: All announcements are subject to editing.
  • Got issues with the newsletter formatting? other feedback? Please email that same address: hvwgnews@gmail.com.
  • The Hudson Valley Writers Guild offers space in its newsletter for submission and program opportunities but does not endorse any programs or publications that are not offered through the Guild.

~Carolee

Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter, November 2013

IN THIS ISSUE

Guild Announcements:

  • Uncle Sam (er, “Auntie Guild”) Needs You
  • Schenectady Community of Writers November 24
  • HVWG Annual Membership Meeting November 26 (featuring elections & prizes, including cash – yes!)
  • Errata (August newsletter)

Member Announcements:

  • Misfit Magazine submissions open
  • Howard Kogan reads with Trina Porte in New Lebanon November 8
  • Pre-sale for Catherine Norr’s new chapbook ends November 13
  • Julie Lomoe participates in NaNoWriMo
  • M.E. Kemp at Boucheron
  • Winifred Elze publishes new work of fiction

Area Announcements:

  • Bookmarks theme (“Eat the Past”) Deadline November 6
  • Third Thursday to feature poet Alex Sherman-Cross November 21
  • “A Door Ajar” Screening Series at EMPAC November 21 & December 5

GUILD ANNOUNCEMENTS

“Uncle Sam Needs You” (A Note from HVWG President Dan Wilcox)
Well, not quite — but, actually, “Auntie Guild” could use some help.

I frequently hear folks say things like, “The Guild should do this; the Guild should do that.”  I like to respond that there is no “Guild,” just members who take on projects and tasks that benefit all our members. That’s why we need you — to make things happen.

And perhaps the best way to “make things happen” is by being a member of the executive board of the Hudson Valley Writers Guild.

The Guild by-laws stipulate that its board of directors shall consist of “no fewer than seven (7) nor more than eighteen (18) members” who may serve up to 2 consecutive terms of 3 years each.”  The board also elects from its members the officers, i.e., president, vice presidents, secretary and treasurer.  Most importantly, the board is responsible for the ongoing operations of the Guild. Members of the executive board vote on funding for projects, as well as serve as key figures in planning and coordinating Guild events.

So if you have some good ideas, strong opinions or compelling concepts about how the Guild should be run, why not join the board?  The election for board members is conducted at the annual membership meeting, to be held this year on Tuesday, November 26, at the Colonie Town Library, 6-8 p.m.  (See the notice below in the newsletter for additional details.) Come to the meeting and nominate yourself for the board.

Auntie Guild Needs You.

– Dan Wilcox

Schenectady Community of Writers 11th Annual Reading November 24
The Schenectady Community of Writers 11th annual reading will be Sunday, November 24, at the Schenectady Public Library, from 2-4 p.m. Among those presenting will be Carl Strock, former columnist for the Daily Gazette; Mary Cuffe Perez; Jan Tramontano and Alan Casline.  Carol Graser will serve as moderator.  Light refreshments will be served following the reading. The event is free and open to the public.

HVWG Annual Membership Meeting November 26
If you attend the Guild’s annual membership meeting, you could go home with money in your pocket! The meeting will be on Tuesday, November 26, 6-8 p.m. at the William K. Sanford Town Library, 629 Albany Shaker Road, Loudonville. Refreshments will be served, and there will be door-prizes, including two $50 prizes and books from local authors.  And (of course!) an opportunity to mingle and meet other local writers.

The meeting agenda will include a summary of the year’s activities/events and the election of new members to the board of directors.  The terms for some current board members are expiring, and we need Guild members to step up to help run the organization. Nominations (including self-nominations) will be accepted that night.  The board will elect the new officers at the first board meeting to be held in January.

Please join us: you may go home a little richer (in more ways than one).

ERRATA
The August newsletter contained an article – “HVWG Membership Back on Track” – that described the activities and accomplishments of the membership work group. It inadvertently omitted reference to a fourth work group member. Dan Wilcox perceived the need, recruited the other members and then led the effort to its successful outcome.

MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENTS

Call for submissions: Misfit Magazine
The online poetry publication misfitmagazine.net (edited by HVWG member Alan Catlin) will be reading for open issues as of November 1. Please submit 4-6 relatively short poems (no epics, please!) to editor@misfitmagazine.netMisfit Magazine is open to all kinds of poetry, but please no overtly gratuitous sex, violence or polemical politics.  Please check out recent issues at the site to see what Misfit is all about. Note: In addition, Misfit is always open to considering books for brief reviews.

Howard Kogan reads with Trina Porte in New Lebanon November 8
Post-Election Day Reading and People’s Open Mic. Featured Poets Howard Kogan and Trina Porte. Friday, November 8, at 7 p.m., New Lebanon Library, 550 State Route 20, New Lebanon, NY. Free. Everyone is welcome. Light refreshments, too!

Pre-sale for Catherine Norr’s new chapbook ends November 13
Catherine Norr is happy to announce publication of her chapbook Return to Ground by Finishing Line Press, presently in pre-sale period: September 30-November 13.  The release date is January 11, 2014. You can place an order as follows: go to www.finishinglinepress.com, click on “forthcoming titles” and type “Catherine Norr” in the search box. If you prefer, you can contact the author to place an order — Catherine Norr, (518) 852-5608 or catherinenorr@msn.com.

Julie Lomoe to participate in National Novel Writing Month
Julie Lomoe plans to participate in this year’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and encourages other HVWG members to join her. She’s done it for the past two years, and it’s a great way to motivate yourself to complete an unfinished novel or start a new one. Thousands of people throughout the world share the goal of writing 50,000 words during the month of November, tracking their word count at an online site and earning a jazzy downloadable certificate if the site verifies their word count. No one ever reads or judges what you write: the site only the word count.There’s a local Albany group, and many real-life writing get-togethers are scheduled at local coffee houses and libraries. To learn more, visit www.nanowrimo.org. And please let Julie know if you plan to participate by emailing her at julielomoe@nycap.rr.com or commenting on her blog at www.julielomoe.wordpress.com.

M.E. Kemp at Boucheron, Albany
M. E. Kemp took part on a panel at the recent Bouchercon convention in Albany. Bouchercon is the largest mystery fan conference in the nation. Kemp spoke on writing historical mysteries. She also gave a recent talk on the Salem Witch Trials at the library in Tewksbury, MA. Look for her mystery writing workshop at the Troy Arts Center in the near future.

Winifred Elze publishes new work of fiction
Winifred Elze has published a new work of fiction, Ghosts of Proctor’s Theatre. Rooted in the history of Proctor’s Theatre, it features ghosts who have reportedly been seen there. It is available for purchase at Proctors Gift Center in Schenectady.

AREA ANNOUNCEMENTS

Bookmarks reading series: “Eat the Past” deadline November 6
The Memoir Project, a program of The Arts Center of the Capital Region, invites submissions for Bookmarks, a series of group readings featuring writing that is grounded in personal experience. Running annually from October through May, Bookmarks is a thematically differentiated group reading. Each event is curated by a different individual, hand-selected from our region’s richly diverse community to host. Each individual reading category has a separate submission date, approximately three weeks prior to the event. Works will be evaluated on literary excellence and relevance to the broader Memoir Project theme (i.e. does the work mine the personal to express the universal?), as well as the individual themes set by each curator.

Upcoming theme/opportunity: “Eat the Past” curated by Steve Barnes of Table Hopping. “Taste and smell are rooted in some of the most primitive parts of our brain, and so food-related moments provide some of our most powerful memories. Let’s share stories about meals we remember and, perhaps, the perils of trying to recreate them.” Submission Deadline: Wednesday, November 6, by 5 p.m. Reading: Monday, January 6, 7 p.m. Please visit the Bookmarks page on the Arts Center website for specific guidelines for this theme and upcoming themes.

Third Thursday to feature poet Alex Sherman-Cross November 21
Poet Alex Sherman-Cross will read from her work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany, on Thursday, November 21, at 7:30 p.m.  Alex Sherman-Cross is a student at the College of Saint Rose, where she is studying English Adolescent Education and Religious Studies. She has been writing poetry for as long as she can remember and has been slamming poetry for two years.

A reading by a local or regional poet is held each Third Thursday at the Social Justice Center.  The event includes an open mic for audience members to read.  Sign-up starts at 7 p.m., with the reading beginning at 7:30.  The host of the readings is Albany poet and photographer Dan Wilcox.  The suggested donation is $3, which helps support this and other poetry programs of the Poetry Motel Foundation and the work of the Social Justice Center.  For more information about this event, contact Dan Wilcox, (518) 482-0262; e-mail: dwlcx@earthlink.net.

“A Door Ajar” Screening Series Continues at EMPAC November 21 & December 5
“A Door Ajar” film series launched in October and continues this month. A film series about endings, “A Door Ajar” presents enigmatic films that refuse clichéd cinematic endings. Instead, these films revel in openness, leaving the door ajar for interpretation after the film ends. The series looks at perception and the desire to create meaning.

The series continues with Wong Kar-wai’s hauntingly beautiful film, In the Mood for Love (2000) on Thursday, November 21. In the Mood for Love tells a story of unfulfilled relationships, the fallibility of memory and endings without resolution. Starring Tony Leung (Mr. Chow) and Maggie Cheung (Mrs. Chen), In the Mood for Love is the story of two couples that move into adjoining apartments on the same day.

Finally on Thursday, December 5, David Lynch’s Mullholland Drive will be screened as part of “A Door Ajar.” David Lynch’s last work on real celluloid film, 2001’s Mulholland Drive is a surrealist neo-noir thriller that scrutinizes the collective dream that is Los Angeles through a famously disjointed narrative.

For the full calendar of events and directions, visit empac.rpi.edu. Tickets are available online or by calling EMPAC’s box office at (518) 276.3921.

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Editor’s Note
I enjoy putting together this newsletter for the HVWG. As a member of the Guild and a working writer in our community, I recognize its incredible value and hope it is a terrific resource for you, as well. Please let me know if there’s anything we can do to improve it.

Here are some housekeeping notes:

  • Want your news item published in a future newsletter? Submit it to me at hvwgnews@gmail.com. The deadline each month is the 25th, and the newsletter publishes on (or around) the 1st. Please note: All announcements are subject to editing.
  • Got issues with the newsletter formatting? other feedback? Please email that same address: hvwgnews@gmail.com.
  • The Hudson Valley Writers Guild offers space in its newsletter for submission and program opportunities but does not endorse any programs or publications that are not offered through the Guild.

~Carolee

Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter, October 2013

IN THIS ISSUE

Guild Announcements: Short fiction writing contest winners (including a note from our winner), October newsletter changes, New chair for annual writing contest, Schenectady Community of Writers November 24, HVWG annual meeting November 26

Member Announcements: Marni Gillard’s fall storytelling classes, Misfit Magazine open for submissions November 1

Area Announcements: Albany Writers and Poets Showcase, October readings for Yes! series, Story Sunday Dinner October 6, “Family at the Holidays” deadline October 9, Third Thursday to feature Andy Clausen October 17, Derrick Brown at Proctors October 17, Workshops celebrating women writers March 7-9

GUILD ANNOUNCEMENTS
HVWG celebrates writing contest winners with awards ceremony

L to R: Colleen Geraghty, first place; Rene Houtrides, second place; Mary Ann Ronconi, third place; David Sylvester, judge; Pam Clements, judge; Nancy Klepsch, judge; Mimi Moriarty, coordinator.

L to R: Colleen Geraghty, first place; Rene Houtrides, second place; Mary Ann Ronconi, third place; David Sylvester, judge; Pam Clements, judge; Nancy Klepsch, judge; Mimi Moriarty, coordinator.

On September 15, the Hudson Valley Writers Guild held an awards ceremony at the Bethlehem Public Library for the three winners and two honorable mentions in its short fiction competition run earlier this year.  (For a photo of the event, see the online version of the newsletter.) This competition is for all writers living in the state of New York and not affiliated with the HVWG Board of Directors. The judges for this competition were David Sylvester, Cohoes; Pam Clements, Albany; and Nancy Klepsch, Troy.  Mimi Moriarty, Voorheesville, was the coordinator of the competition.The winners read their stories, or in one case, a designated a reader presented the work. Both honorable mentions were unable to attend, and two of the judges filled in for them. There were 45 people in attendance. Refreshments were provided by Faith Green and Sharon Stenson.The winners were:

  • First Place - Colleen Geraghty, New Paltz, for “The Beer House,” a stunning, heartbreaking account of neglected children who rise above it all with their imaginations.
  • Second Place – Rene Houtrides, Brooklyn, for “Joan of Arc,” a lyric, almost poetic first-person retelling of a familiar legend.
  • Third Place – Mary Ann Ronconi, Berne, for “A Job of National Importance,” a humorous story set in Cuba with a delightful surprise at the end.  (This story was read by Ronconi’s daughter, Amanda.)
  • Honorable Mention – Laurence Carr, Highland, for “Consigned,” a story that asks the questions:  What do I do with mother?  What do I do with mother’s things?  Read by judge David Sylvester.
  • Honorable Mention - Iris Lit, Woodstock, for “Pissed Off,” a story featuring bears and male bonding.  Read by judge Pam Clements.

We also want to share with you a note from one of the winners…
Dear Mimi, HVWG Board Members and Short Fiction Contest Judges:  I was overjoyed and humbled to receive the HVWG Short Fiction Contest Award. The award has given me an opportunity to step back and look at the journey traveled and to contemplate my writing goals for 2014. The reward renews my enthusiasm for writing and allows me to look forward to the future. I feel honored to be among the other recipients, and I congratulate them on their awards. I want to thank the judges for generously donating their time, and I thank the HVWG for its support.  Warmest regards, Colleen Geraghty.

October newsletter changes
With this issue of the HVWG newsletter, we welcome back Carolee Bennett (Sherwood) as editor. Carolee has worked on the newsletter in the past with Bob Sharkey. In recent months, Carol Graser served as newsletter editor, with the support of Robyn Ringler of East Line Books in Clifton Park. When Carol left for full-time work, Carolee once again agreed to take on this important task. Hitting the ground running, so to speak, she has already made changes: to establish a special email address for submission of news items (HVWGnews@gmail.com) and to institute a deadline for submissions (the 25th of the month prior to the newsletter). So please send her your announcements of readings, books published and other items of interest to the literary community. All other Guild-related inquiries – including updates to your email address – may continue to be sent to the Guild’s main address: HVWGinfo@gmail.com.

So, thank you Carol Graser and Robyn Ringler for your work on and support of the Guild Newsletter, and welcome back, Carolee!

New volunteer at the helm of HVWG’s annual writing contest
Another recent change relates to the annual HVWG Writing Contest. (Please note the story on this year’s short fiction contest and the names of the winners listed above.) After five years of coordinating the annual writing contest, Mimi Moriarty is stepping down to free up more of her time to spend with a growing brood of grandchildren. However, long-time Guild member and former member of the executive board Jan Tramontano has agreed to take on the task of running the contest. Next year’s genre will be non-fiction. Welcome, Jan, and thank you, Mimi, for a great job! Watch for more information early in 2014 on the contest.

Schenectady Community of Writers 11th Annual Reading November 24
The Schenectady Community of Writers 11th annual reading will be Sunday, November 24, at the Schenectady Public Library, from 2-4 p.m. Among those presenting will be Carl Strock, former columnist for the Daily Gazette; Mary Cuffe Perez; Jan Tramontano and Alan Casline.  Carol Graser will serve as moderator.  Light refreshments will be served following the reading. The event is free and open to the public.

HVWG’s annual meeting to be held November 26
It’s not too early to put the date for the HVWG annual membership meeting on your calendar: it will be on Tuesday, November 26, at 6 p.m. at the Colonie Town Library.  At the annual meeting, we elect members to the Guild’s executive board. The term for a number of the current board members will be expiring, and we need Guild members to step up to help run the organization. Please start thinking about it now. We will provide more information in the next newsletter, but if you have any questions in the meantime, please send them to Dan Wilcox at the Guild email address: hvwginfo@gmail.com.

MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENTS

Marni Gillard offers two storytelling classes this fall

The Practical Art of Storytelling
Thursdays, September 26, October 10 and October 14, 7-9 p.m. Rensselaer Education Center, 35 Colleen Rd. Troy, NY. Cost: $15 per session or $40 for series (attend one or all three). Information: pmertz@questar.org or (518) 479-6869. Description: Humans tell stories naturally. Through memory-telling participants discover skills and techniques already.We’ll imagine scenes and characters, naturally create dialogue and find the confidence to “tell” to anyone. Come to develop new skills and ways to use storytelling effectively in the workplace.

Storytelling Moments of Our Faith Lives
For seekers from or curious about any faith tradition. Mondays, October 21 and 28, November 4 and 18 (skip Veterans’ Day), 7-9 p.m. Offered by Consultation Center, held at the Diocesan Pastoral Center, 40 N. Main Ave., Albany, NY (well-lit parking to left of bldg. handicapped accessible). Series is $40 if paid by 10/12; $45 after 10/12. Reservations required. See flyer for details. Description: By speaking as story the moments when faith has awakened or challenged us, we learn how faith works wonders. In this 4-session class we develop community, share one-to-one and practice deep, uninterrupted listening. Register by 10/12 and come when you can, if you can’t make all the classes.

Call for submissions: Misfit Magazine
The online poetry publication misfitmagazine.net (edited by HVWG member Alan Catlin) will be reading for open issues as of November 1. Please submit 4-6 relatively short poems (no epics, please!) to editor@misfitmagazine.netMisfit Magazine is open to all kinds of poetry, but please no overtly gratuitous sex, violence or polemical politics.  Please check out recent issues at the site to see what Misfit is all about. Note: In addition, Misfit is always open to considering books for brief reviews.

AREA ANNOUNCEMENTS

Albany Writers and Poets Showcase looking for new guests
“Albany Writers and Poets Showcase” is a half-hour weekly program that features the best contemporary prose and poetry from Capital District residents in Albany and beyond. The sheer diversity of the writers and poets here in the Capital District allows us to feature up-and-coming, as well as experienced writers and poets who cut across the artistic spectrum of slam poetry, spoken word, literary poetry and all prose, such as novels, short-stories and flash fiction. We also interview each of our guests so that the viewer has a more complete picture of our guests’ motivations and passions for their art. The program airs several times a week and can be seen on Channel 18, Public Access Television, in Albany.  The show is hosted by Shelly Sosa and is produced by Shelly Sosa and Harvey Havel. Interested poets and writers should email harveyhavel@hotmail.com to schedule their appearance.

Yes! Reading Series to host two readings in October
On October 2 at 8 p.m., the Yes! Reading Series features nine poets: Martine Bellen, Deborah Poe, Magus Magnus, Ryan Eckes, Joshua Ware, Iris Cushing, Alicia Puglionesi, Jesse Nissim and Alyse Knorr.  And on October 25, also at 8 p.m., it will feature Kate Greenstreet, Paige Ackerson-Kelly and DJ Dolack. All Yes! events are being held at a new location this season: Albany Center Gallery, 39 Columbia Street, Albany. For “up to the minute” event details, find Yes! on Facebook.

Story Sunday Dinner October 6
Marni Gillard and Christie Keegan will perform “Heroines and Tricksters: Tales of Bold, Loving, and Persuasive Characters” on Sunday, October 6, from 5-8 p.m. at the Glen Sanders Mansion, 1 Glen Avenue, Scotia, NY. Entree choices: Chicken Picatta, Sliced Bistro Sirloin or Eggplant Picatta. Cost: $33/ person (3 sets of stories, 3 course dinner/ coffee/tea, tax and tip). Save $3 if you are new or you bring someone new (one discount per person). Reservations: Kate@KateDudding.com. Story Circle website here.

Bookmarks reading series: “Family at the Holidays” deadline October 9
The Memoir Project, a program of The Arts Center of the Capital Region, invites submissions for Bookmarks, a series of group readings featuring writing that is grounded in personal experience. Running annually from October through May, Bookmarks is a thematically differentiated group reading. Each event is curated by a different individual, hand selected from our region’s richly diverse community to host. Each individual reading category has a separate submission date, approximately three weeks prior to the event. Works will be evaluated on literary excellence and relevance to the broader Memoir Project theme (i.e. does the work mine the personal to express the universal?), as well as the individual themes set by each curator.

Upcoming theme/opportunity: “Family at the Holidays” curated by author Marion Roach Smith. “Family and the holidays. An exquisite combination of provocative forces, isn’t it? Perfect for a memoir. Got a story? Come share it with us, and let’s kick off the holiday season in style.” Submission Deadline: Wednesday, October 9, by 5 p.m. Reading: Monday, November 4, 7 p.m. Please visit the Bookmarks page on the Arts Center website for specific guidelines for this theme and upcoming themes.

Poet Andy Clausen will read at the Social Justice Center, Thursday, October 17, 7:30 p.m.
Woodstock poet Andy Clausen will read from his work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany, on Thursday, October 17, at 7:30 p.m. Andy Clausen’s verse has been called “Beat,” “Futurist,” “Whitmanic” and “Blues-based.”  He is the author of Home of the Blues, 40th Century Man, Ginsberg Corso & Me, The Iron Curtain of Love and many others.

A reading by a local or regional poet is held each Third Thursday at the Social Justice Center.  The event includes an open mic for audience members. Sign-up starts at 7 p.m., with the reading beginning at 7:30. The host of the readings is Albany poet and photographer Dan Wilcox.  The suggested donation is $3, which helps support this and other poetry programs of the Poetry Motel Foundation and the work of the Social Justice Center.  For more information about this event, contact Dan Wilcox, (518) 482-0262; e-mail: dwlcx@earthlink.net.

Performing poet Derrick Brown at Proctors October 17
On October 17 at 7:30 p.m., poet Derrick Brown will perform at Proctors. Tickets are $20. Be mesmerized by the strange comedy and dark romance of spoken word with one of America’s most beloved and well-traveled performing poets. Brown has performed his poetry on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, as well as for the Best American Contemporary Poetry Concert Series, The Drums Inside Your Chest. Last year, he curated the wildly successful literature festival Word x Word in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. For more information about the show, please visit http://www.proctors.org/events/derrick-brown.

SAVE THE DATE, March 7-9, 2014 – Workshops celebrating women writers
“A Celebration of Women’s Voices: Women Writers Past and Present.” Historic Huguenot Street, New Paltz, NY, 12561. Registration for writing workshops opens January 1, 2014. To register for memoir, short story, poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction, getting published workshops and more, visit www.huguenotstreet.org. While you’re at the website, add your email address to the e-news list to receive information about conference.

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Editor’s Note
I enjoy putting together this newsletter for the HVWG. As a member of the Guild and a working writer in our community, I recognize its incredible value and hope it is a terrific resource for you, as well. Please let me know if there’s anything we can do to improve it.

Here are some housekeeping notes:

  • Want your news item published in a future newsletter? Submit it to me at hvwgnews@gmail.com. The deadline each month is the 25th, and the newsletter publishes on (or around) the 1st.
  • Got issues with the newsletter formatting? other feedback? Please email that same address: hvwgnews@gmail.com. (For example, we’ve embedded a photo in his edition… did it work in your email client or did it mess up the formatting?)
  • The Hudson Valley Writers Guild offers space in its newsletter for submission and program opportunities but does not endorse any programs or publications that are not offered through the Guild.

~Carolee