Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter, January 2013


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


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).


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 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 To register online, visit 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

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:

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
  • 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 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:
  • 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.