Hudson Valley Writers Guild newsletter, June 2014

Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter

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Guild Announcements: 

  • HVWG sponsors free writers conference June 8
  • HVWG non-fiction contest opens June 15

Member Announcements: 

  • Alan Catlin announces publication of “memoir with poetry,” Books of the Dead
  • Hollis Seamon’s book of short stories receives recognitions
  • Taylor Trade Publishing releases 2nd edition of Pauline Bartel’s The Complete GONE WITH THE WIND Trivia Book

Area Announcements: 

  • Misfit publishes 10th issue
  • Elizabeth Gordon (elizag) announces publication of first poetry collection
  • Caffè Lena to present poetry readings by Suzanne Parker and Shira Dentz June 4
  • Author & artist talk with Richard Matturro & Mary Trevor Thomas June 8
  • June 8 is the next Second Sunday at Two
  • Submission Deadline June 10 for Regional Writers Showcase at The Rensselaerville Festival of Writers
  • Pride reading & open mic June 12
  • Rensselaerville Library hosts author Marni Graff & mystery workshop June 12
  • Third Thursday to feature poet Matthew Klane June 19
  • Publish & Promote Your Book conference June 21
  • Evergreen Poets Workshop June 27
  • “Writing for Success: Writers’ Seminar” June 28
  • NYS Summer Writers Institute public readings at Skidmore start June 30
  • Hollywood producer available for presentations & consultation


HVWG sponsors free writers conference June 8
The Hudson Valley Writers Guild will sponsor a free conference for writers and poets on Sunday, June 8, at 2 p.m. at the East Greenbush Public Library, 10 Community Way, East Greenbush, NY.

The guest speaker will be Frankie Y. Bailey, faculty member in the School of Criminal Justice, University at Albany (SUNY) and an award-winning author of nonfiction books on crime, as well as a series of mysteries featuring detective Lizzie Stuart, the most recent being Forty Acres and a Soggy Grave (The Overmountain Press, 2011).  Bailey has launched a near-future police procedural series set in Albany, New York, with The Red Queen Dies (St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne). The second book in this series, featuring Detective Hannah McCabe, is due out in March 2015.

The conference will also include a panel, “Selling Your Words,” discussing marketing your work. On the panel will be poet and HVWG President Dan Wilcox, historical mystery writer M.E.Kemp, self-publishing expert Barbara Traynor and writer and Times Union book reviewer Elizabeth Floyd Mair.

The conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register, call the East Greenbush library at (518) 477-7476. For more information on the conference, email Marilyn  For more information about the Hudson Valley Writers Guild, visit

HVWG non-fiction contest opens June 15
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 between June 15August 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 (1200 word maximum).

All submissions must be typed, double-spaced, in 12pt 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:

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


Alan Catlin announces publication of “memoir with poetry,” Books of the Dead
Alan Catlin would like to announce the publication of his memoir with poetry, Books of the Dead. The book, some 25 years in the making, is a deft blend of prose and poetry about the deaths of his parents: one in New York City, the other in Florida. The book is available by mail, post paid for $15, or in person, at readings in the area, for $13.  For more information or to order, contact Alan at

Hollis Seamon’s book of short stories receives recognitions
Hollis Seamon’s book of short stories, Corpoereality, published in January 2013 by Able Muse Press, has received a gold medal in the 2014 Independent Publishers Book Awards (aka IPPY Awards), short story category. The book is also a finalist in Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Awards. 

In addition, Hollis will serve as the guest author for the New York State Summer Young Writers Institute at Skidmore College in July.

Taylor Trade Publishing releases 2nd edition of Pauline Bartel’s The Complete GONE WITH THE WIND Trivia Book 
A second edition of The Complete GONE WITH THE WIND Trivia Book by Pauline Bartel was published by Taylor Trade Publishing, in honor of the film’s 75th anniversary. This major rewrite of the 1989 original continues the behind-the-scenes chronicle of GWTW – the book, the movie and the phenomenon that continues today. Visit for further information.  


Misfit publishes 10th issue
Misfit announces publication of its tenth issue. More of the same exciting poetry, reviews and a personal essay from the editor. Check it out at Misfit accepts submissions all year round, but “response time during summer will be slower as the editor gets a life” (in the editor’s own words).

Elizabeth Gordon (elizag) announces publication of first poetry collection
“Elizag” announces publication of her first poetry collection, Love Cohoes. Here’s an excerpt from the foreward:

My first summer here, biking on the rail trail, I drove over two big white words spray-painted across the pavement: Love Cohoes. God knows it needs it, I thought, peddling on past a bevy of smoking teenagers. A little girl asking if I would “live here for the rest of your life,” that graffiti flicking beneath my wheels, and my neighbors—their faces and stories, their fears and struggles—invited me into a current of healing, tran­scending love that is as wide and deep and powerful as Cohoes Falls itself, that most sacred place of the Iroquois nation, cataract the close equal in height, width and water flow to Niagara Falls’ American Falls. 

I was thrilled when I moved in to find the falls so close. I hear the roar from my shared back yard. I can love Cohoes when I try to love Cohoes. Trying takes looking and seeing. Poems look, hard.Love Cohoes, published by Crandall, Dostie & Douglass Books, Inc., is $14. It is available locally at Market Block Books in Troy, from the author via email (, at the author’s website ( and from Amazon. 

Caffè Lena to present poetry readings by Suzanne Parker and Shira Dentz June 4
On Wednesday, June 4, Caffè Lena will present  poetry readings by Suzanne Parker and Shira Dentz.  An open reading will follow. Doors open for sign-ups at 7 p.m., and the readings will start at 7:30 p.m. The host for the event will be Carol Graser, and the cost is $5. Caffè Lena, 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs. (518) 583-0022.

Shira Dentz is the author of two books, black seeds on a white dish (Shearsman, 2011) and door of thin skins (CavanKerry Press, 2013). 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 (, 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. 

Suzanne Parker is a winner of the Kinereth Gensler Book Award; her collection of poetry, Viral, was published by Alice James Books in Sept. 2013.  Poems from the book that were published in Hunger Mountainhave been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her poetry has appeared in Drunken Boat,  Hunger Mountain, Barrow Street, Cimarron Review, Rattapallax and numerous other journals. She is a winner of the Alice M. Sellars Award from the Academy of American Poets and was a Poetry Fellow at the Prague Summer Seminars. Her wesbite is

Author & artist talk with Richard Matturro & Mary Trevor Thomas June 8
Richard’s sixth novel, Medea, based on the classic myth of the woman who kills her children, will be coming out in May from Livingston Press. It contains 24 original drawings by Mary Trevor Thomas. There will be an author and artist talk at Bethlehem Public Library on Sunday, June 8, at 2 p.m. Reception to follow. All are invited. For more information, visit 

NOTE: Richard’s last name was misspelled in the last edition; this newsletter reflects the proper spelling. Apologies, Richard!

June 8 is the next Second Sunday at Two
Sunday, June 8, is the next “Second Sunday @ 2” open mic for poetry and prose at The Arts Center, Troy, NY. (This is last open mic for the season! Join us next year for the five year of our open mic series!)

Submission Deadline June 10 for Regional Writers Showcase at The Rensselaerville Festival of Writers
This year’s annual Festival of Writers will be August 1517, 2014. The annual event, held in the historic hamlet of Rensselaerville, New York, to benefit the local library has drawn dozens of writers and hundreds of guests since its inception in 2009. 

The event features a variety of readings, workshops, entertainment and panel discussions. Prominent writers featured at past festivals include William Kennedy, Nick Flynn, Galway Kinnell, and Jean Craighead George. This year’s festival will also host an exciting roster of established writers and will once again showcase the work of local writers adept at capturing the heart of an audience. We seek work by regional writers reflecting the particular experiences, insights and observations of upstate New Yorkers.

The 2014 showcase event, “This Upstate Life: Local Writers Read,” will be Sunday afternoon, August 17, at 2 p.m. For this event, we seek poetry, fiction, personal essay or cross-genre and experimental work specifically rooted in the upstate New York region. On this program, writers will read their own work in a venue in Rensselaerville to be determined.

Entrants must be from the upstate New York Region, and submissions must be postmarked by June 10, 2014. Submissions will be juried by an independent selection committee. For specific eligibility requirements and submission guidelines, visit or  Results will be posted on the Festival of Writers website by July 15, 2014. Authors of selected works will be contacted individually.

For more information, please email with the subject line “FOW Local Writers” or call the Rensselaerville Library at (518) 797-3949.

Pride reading & open mic June 12
What does it mean to be gay in a post same-sex marriage state? As we ponder this question, we will explore our pride in a special reading:

  • Pride reading & open mic, Thursday, June 12, 7 p.m.
  • Fulton Street Gallery
  • 408 Fulton Street, Troy, New York
  • (518) 331-0217

Join Jill Hanifan, Carol Jewell, Nancy Klepsch and Don Levy for a poetry reading at the Fulton Street Gallery to be followed by an open mic! Please join us to listen and/or to read! We hope to see you there!

Rensselaerville Library hosts author Marni Graff & mystery workshop June 12
The Rensselaerville Library (1459 County Route 351, 797-3949) will host two events on June 12:

  • The Art of Mystery Workshop for writers & readers, 3-5 p.m. The workshop will explain the genres, conventions and readers’ expectations. Time will also be devoted to the publishing industry, self-publishing and self-promotion.
  • Marni Graff, author of Scarlet Wench, The Blue Virgin, The Green Remains and  The Nora Tierney Mystery series, will be speaking at 7 p.m.

Please register by phone (518) 797-3949 or email

Third Thursday to feature poet Matthew Klane June 19
Local poet and publisher Matthew Klane will read from his work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany, on Thursday, June 19, at 7:30 p.m. Matthew Klane is co-editor at Flim Forum Press. His books include “B” (Stockport Flats, 2008) and “Che” (Stockport Flats, 2013). A new e-chapbook, from Of the Day, can be found at He currently lives and writes in Albany, NY, where he co-curates the Yes! Poetry & Performance Series and teaches at Russell Sage College. You can read his blog at

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 at7:30. 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;

Publish & Promote Your Book conference June 21
The Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College invites you to attend its “Publish and Promote Your Book” conference on Saturday, June 21, from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. It takes place on our SLC Bronxville campus, only 30 minutes from Midtown Manhattan.

This event is a must for writers who want to learn from NYC literary agents, major publishing house editors and social media/PR experts. Admission is $275/person. An additional fee for three pitch sessions with agents and editors is $125/person. There are only a few more spaces for pitch sessions.

Register today at For more information, contact Sweet Avigale Orefice at (914) 395 2205 or

Evergreen Poets Workshop June 27
You are invited to an evening of poetry with the Evergreen Poets Workshop (EPW). The EPW was formed to meet the need for a small intensive group to workshop poems and discuss related topics as they impact directly upon our work.

Open Mic to follow.  6:30 p.m. on Friday, June 27, 2014 at The Pine Hollow Arboretum, 16 Maple Avenue, Slingerlands, NY 12159. Light refreshments will be served.  For more information, contact Marion Menna at(518) 439-3991.

“Writing for Success: Writers’ Seminar” June 28
“Writing for Success: Writers’ Seminar” will take place 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., June 28, Holiday Inn in Saratoga Springs. Presented by Saratoga Springs Publishing & Millis Entertainment with Northshire Bookstore. Schedule includes: panels on getting published, sessions on how to tell a great story and on digital platforms, Q&A with speakers and vendor tables. For more information and to register by June 13, please visit:

NYS Summer Writers Institute public readings at Skidmore start June 30
You are invited to attend the NYS Summer Writers Institute’s free public readings at Skidmore in Saratoga this summer, every weekday from June 30 to July 25, cosponsored by Skidmore College and the New York State Writers Institute.

All Readings are at 8 p.m. in Davis Auditorium, Palamountain Hall, 815 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Free and open to the public

  • JUNE 30: Fiction reading by Elizabeth Benedict and poetry reading by Campbell McGrath
  • JULY 1: Fiction reading by Francine Prose and non-fiction reading by Nicholas Delbanco
  • JULY 2: Poetry reading by Frank Bidart and fiction reading by Jim Shepard
  • JULY 3: Fiction reading by Russell Banks and poetry reading by Chase Twichell
  • JULY 4: Fiction reading by Howard Norman and poetry reading by Jane Shore
  • JULY 7:Poetry reading by Rosanna Warren and fiction reading by Cristina Garcia
  • JULY 8: Non-Fiction reading by Phillip Lopate and fiction reading by Victoria Redel
  • JULY 9: Poetry reading by James Longenbach and fiction reading by Joanna Scott
  • JULY 10: Poetry reading by Louise Gluck and fiction reading by Caryl Phillips
  • JULY 11: Fiction reading by Joyce Carol Oates.
  • JULY 14: Poetry reading by Carolyn Forche and fiction reading by Amy Hempel
  • JULY 15: Fiction reading by Marilynne Robinson and poetry reading by Peg Boyers
  • JULY 16: Fiction reading by Danzy Senna and nonfiction reading by Honor Moore
  • JULY 17: Fiction reading by William Kennedy
  • JULY 18: Poetry reading by Robert Pinsky
  • JULY 21: Poetry reading by Mark Strand and fiction reading by Binnie Kirshenbaum
  • JULY 22: Poetry reading by Charles Simic and fiction reading by Adam Braver
  • JULY 23: Fiction reading by Rick Moody and poetry reading by Tom Healy.
  • JULY 24: Fiction reading by Jamaica Kincaid and poetry reading by Henri Cole
  • JULY 25: Fiction reading by Paul Harding and poetry reading by Carl Dennis.

For more information, NYS Summer Writers Institute Office of the Dean of Special Programs, (518) 580-5593.

Hollywood producer available for presentations & consultation
Mitchell Peck, Hollywood producer of three studio movies (and numerous studio development deals), is available for presentation and consultation. His studio movies are based on screenplays he developed with first-time, unrepresented writers (IMDB page). 

For 20 years in Hollywood as a producer, he specialized in working with aspiring writers outside the Hollywood system — developing their scripts and successfully guiding them into top literary agency representation, studio deals and produced movies. The problem for aspiring writers outside of Hollywood is that studios have a blanket policy of “no unsolicited scripts,” and getting expert feedback/guidance on a script from a legitimate, accredited professional is nearly impossible.

That’s why he recently decided to open a boutique screenplay consultancy, “Hollywood Embassy,” to help serious, aspiring screenwriters improve their scripts professionally. As part of the launch, he’s offering to host a 30-minute presentation about the realities of breaking in to the movie business from the perspective of a working Hollywood movie producer: “Ambassador to Hollywood: how I helped 9 aspiring screenwriters become Hollywood professionals.” 

If interested, please email