Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter, October 2013


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

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 ( 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:

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:


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: 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 (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.


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 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: 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:

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

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 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 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: (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.


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