Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter, December 2014


Guild Announcements:

  • A good turn-out for the annual HVWG writers conference

Member Announcements:

  • “Move with Mindfulness, Write with Ease” retreat January 24 & 25
  • Keith Willis announces publication of debut novel

Area Announcements:

  • Writers Institute presents novelist Joseph O’Neill December 2
  • Caffè Lena to feature Andy Clausen & Pamela Twining December 3
  • Writers Institute presents “1971: THE FILM” December 5
  • First “Bookmarks” reading of 2014-15 series: December 8
  • ARTHUR’S Market & Cafe Poetry December 10
  • Colin C. Boyd & Michael Oatman discuss “Abecedarius” December 10
  • Next “Second Sunday” open mic: December 14
  • Third Thursday to feature poet Adam Tedesco December 18
  • Storytellers Conference & Expo, March 21-22


A good turn-out for the annual HVWG writers conference
There was a good turn-out for the annual HVWG writers conference held at the East Greenbush library on November 2. It answered area writers’ questions on how to get published.  Panelists included Albany’s Susanne Alleyn, HVWG VP M.E.Kemp (as moderator), Averill Park’s Julie Lomoe and Troy Bookmaker’s Jessika Hazelton. Guest Speaker Robyn Ringler gave a rousing pep-talk to encourage the audience to make themselves heard.


“Move with Mindfulness, Write with Ease” retreat January 24 & 25
The on-rushing energy of “the holidays” is here. When it has settled down, the question will remain: How do you take care of yourself, physically and otherwise, as you write, create and live your days?

On January 24 & 25, 2015, Diane Kavanaugh-Black from Of-the-Essence Holistic Wellness offers her quarterly “Move with Mindfulness, Write with Ease” workshop at Still Point Retreat Center, near Saratoga Battlefield. 10 am-4 pm each day. $59 per day ($29/day limited income); attend one or both days.

As we write, we’ll incorporate stretch breaks and gentle yoga (no experience necessary!), meditative walks or snowshoes (trails and labyrinth on-site). Visit Diane’s website for further information and to reserve a spot. P.S. If not for yourself, this could be a nice gift for someone you love!

Keith Willis announces publication of debut novel
Keith Willis has signed a contract for publication of his debut fantasy novel Traitor Knight with Champagne Book Group of Alberta, Canada. Publication is slated for July 2015.

A knight mantled in secrets and reviled by the very people he’s sworn to defend must salvage the shreds of his honor and defend the kingdom from both a ravening dragon and a scheming traitor. His only hope of success lies in the aid of a feisty damsel-in-distress who’s not at all certain he can be trusted. Traitor Knight (a semi-finalist in the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest) is swashbuckling fantasy-adventure in the tradition of The Princess Bride and Michael J. Sullivan’s Riyria Revelations.


Writers Institute presents novelist Joseph O’Neill December 2

  • Seminar — 4:15 p.m., Standish Room, Science Library
  • Reading — 8:00 p.m., Assembly Hall, Campus Center

Joseph O’Neill received the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award for his bestselling novel, Netherland (2008), the story of a multiracial group of immigrant cricket players living in New York City. O’Neill’s new novel, The Dog (2014), longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2014, is the story of a luckless middle-aged man who flees New York City after a traumatic break-up with his long-term girlfriend in order to take a job as the household manager of a rich and capricious family in Dubai. Calling it, “funny, smart, and sad,” Publishers Weekly reviewer Jonathan Segura said, “I’ve liked a few books this year, but this is the first one I’ve loved.” Click here for more about Joseph O’Neill.

Caffè Lena to feature Andy Clausen & Pamela Twining December 3
On Wednesday December 3, Caffè Lena will host Andy Clausen and Pamela Twining. Open mic sign-up starts at 7 p.m., and readings begin at 7:30.  Plan to read two short poems (less than one page) or one long poem (max of five minutes). The featured readers will perform for about 20 minutes each. Cost is $5. Hosted by Carol Graser

Andy Clausen is the author of Home of the Blues, 40th Century Man, Without Doubt and The Iron Curtain of Love among others. He has traveled and read his poetry all over North America and the world.He has maintained a driven intrepid lifestyle and aspired to be a champion of the underdog.He has written about his friendships with Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Ray Bremser, Janine Pommy Vega, Peter Orlovsky and many others of the Beat Generation. He has lectured at many universities, and for 12 years he conducted poetry workshops in the NY state prison system for Incision Arts. Andy now resides in Woodstock, NY.

Pamela Twining lives in Woodstock, as well, where she raised her children and studied organic farming and healing with herbs. She has read her poetry in many venues, alongside Andy Clausen, Peter Lamborn Wilson, Mikhail Horowitz and Anne Waldman. She’s the author of three chapbooks, i have been a river… (Heyday Press, 2011), utopians & madmen (Dancingfool Press, 2012) and A Thousand Years of Wanting (Shivastan Press, 2013).

For more information, visit or call (518) 583-0022.

Writers Institute presents “1971: THE FILM” December 5

  • Informal seminar — 4:15 p.m., Science Library Room 340, on the UAlbany Uptown Campus.
  • Film screening and discussion with film editor Gabriel Rhodes and author Betty Medsger — 7:00 p.m. [note early start time], Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, Downtown Campus

The film is directed by Johanna Hamilton and is based on the nonfiction book, The Burglary (2014) by Betty Medsger. On March 8, 1971, eight ordinary citizens broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, and obtained files that revealed the existence of COINTELPRO, a secret and illegal program of spying on American citizens. Those responsible have never revealed their identities—until now. “1971: THE FILM” was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.

Betty Medsger was a young reporter at the Washington Post in 1971 when she received from anonymous sources copies of stolen FBI files that revealed the existence of COINTELPRO. She recounts the story, revealing the burglars and their motives, in her new book, The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI (2014). The New York Times Book Review called it, “Impeccably researched, elegantly presented, engaging….”

Gabriel Rhodes is both an editor and a filmmaker. His work has premiered at Sundance and Cannes and has been broadcast on Sundance Channel, A&E, Animal Planet, CNN, PBS and on the NPR radio show “This American Life.” His theatrical documentary credits include “1971: THE FILM” (2014), “Without Shepherds” (2012), “The Tillman Story” (2009) and “Control Room” (2004). Three of his edited films — “The Tillman Story,” “Quest for Honor” (2008), and “MY BLIND BROTHER” (2003) — were shortlisted for the Academy Awards. His commercial clients include Conde Nast, Google, Virgin America, YouTube, Harper Collins and Revlon. He received his Master’s Degree in Documentary Film from Stanford University in 2000.

This event is sponsored in conjunction with UAlbany’s School of Criminal Justice’s Civility, Surveillance and Public Spaces Film Series.

First “Bookmarks” reading of 2014-15 series: December 8
The first “Bookmarks” reading of the 2014-15 series will be “Famiy at the Holidays.” It will take place Monday, December 8, at 7 p.m. The reading is free for both members and non-members of the Arts Center. 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. The theme is curated by author Marion Roach Smith.


  • “As the Light Returns.” Curated by local writer and veteran Dan New. Submission deadline: Monday, January 5. Reading: Monday, January 26.
  • “Gardening as Metaphor.”  Curated by Diane Kavanaugh Black. Submission deadline: Monday, January 19. Reading: Monday, February 9.
  • “Transformation.” Curated by Abby Lublin of the Front Parlor Series. Submission deadline: Monday, February 23. Reading: Monday, March 23.
  • “Speaking Truth to Power.” Curated by local poet/spoken word artist Victorio Reyes. Submission deadline: Monday, March 23. Performance: Monday, April 20.
  • “Sonic Stasis.” Co-Curated by composers Ryan Ross Smith and K. Michael Fox. Submission deadline: Wednesday, April 20. Performance: Monday, May 18.


  • Interested writers/creators should submit online via Submittable.
  • All submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m. on the date indicated. The submission window will close at that time.
  • Submissions should not exceed length specified on the submission form.
  • You may submit to multiple curators but only once per theme.
  • All applicants will be notified at least 10 days before the event or once the curator has chosen readers/presenters.
  • Keep the date OPEN in case you are selected!

Find links to each reading, including deadlines, submission guidelines and other details, by clicking here.

ARTHUR’S Market & Cafe Poetry December 10
Open mic & featured reader. Second Wednesday, December 10. 7 p.m. sign-up; 7:30 begin readings. Featured reader for December is Luis Pabon. Hosted by Catherine Norr.

Colin C. Boyd & Michael Oatman discuss “Abecedarius” December 10
The public and members of the media are invited to an artist talk featuring “Emerging Artist” award winner Colin C. Boyd and “Established Artist” award winner Michael Oatman, with guest moderator Ian Berry from The Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College. Boyd and Oatman will be discussing their current joint exhibition titled “Abecedarius.”

  • WHEN: Wednesday, December 10 at 7 p.m.
  • WHERE: The Arts Center of the Capital Region, 265 River Street, Troy
  • RSVP: Free and open to the public and all press.

“Abecedarius” explores the natural world and the roles humans have played in its misshaping over the years. Having opened on Halloween, a holiday that embraces monsters, “Abecedarius” ushers viewers into a visual history lesson on extinction, scientific mishap and mythology. The show features encounters with ideas unknown, undercooked, and just plain stupid. Finally, Abecedarius will import/export the violence and majesty of worlds otherwise labeled, “out there,” “in here” and “the future.”

Using the literary format of an Abecedarian (“A is for Apple”, “B is for Bear”, “C is for Crops Patented by Monsanto”), the two artists have turned the gallery into a walk-able cautionary tale – with a few nervous laughs – and the goal of the observer to walk away with a better understanding of how our actions impact the earth.

Next “Second Sunday” open mic: December 14
The next “Second Sunday @ 2 Open Mic for Poetry and Prose” will be Sunday, December 14, at 2 p.m. Please bring two poems or five minutes of prose to read. All are welcome. The event is co-hosted by Dan Wilcox and Nancy Klepsch at The Arts Center of the Capital Region, 265 River Street, Troy.

Here are dates for the rest of the 2014-15 series (save the dates!):

  • January 11
  • February 8
  • March 8
  • April 12
  • May 10
  • June 14

Third Thursday to feature poet Adam Tedesco December 18
Albany poet Adam Tedesco will read from his work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany, on Thursday, December 18, at 7:30 p.m. Adam Tedesco has worked as a shipbuilder, a meditation instructor, a telephone technician and cultural critic for the now disbanded Maoist Internationalist Movement. His recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in dcomP, Drunk In A Midnight Choir, MadHat Lit, Pine Hills Review, Similar:Peaks::, Freeze Ray Poetry and Cartridge Lit. Most recently, his unique poetic voice has been utilized by Canadian conceptual artist Isabelle Pauwels as part of her upcoming “27 Across 25 Down” project. He lives in Albany, New York, with his wife and two children.

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 and the work of the Social Justice Center.  For more information about this event contact Dan Wilcox, (518) 482-0262; e-mail:

Storytellers Conference & Expo, March 21-22
A message from Anne Jordan of the Northern California Writers:

Greetings, fellow writers! I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting many of you in my classes or at our other writer events. This [note] is to let you know that yes, we are finally having another expo. This one will be held on March 21-22 at the Hyatt Regency near the San Francisco Airport.

This exciting event is for ALL WRITERS – including poets, novelists, cookbook authors and screenwriters. In fact, we are the only expo that brings Hollywood to Northern California! At the 2015 StoryTellers Expo, we’ll have the Emmy-nominated Head writer of “Everyone Loves Raymond,” Ellen Sandler, giving presentations and workshops for writers interested in adapting their stories for television and film. Ellen is a warm, funny, and supremely talented screenwriter who is also an author of two books. You’re going to enjoy meeting her!

At the expo, we’ll also have publishers (both traditional and self-publish), Hollywood studios and production companies, along with editors and agents to listen to your pitches. At our last event, we had HBO, DreamWorks, Universal, Warner Brothers, Lifetime, Syfy, CAA and Lionsgate eagerly listen to our attendees pitch their exciting projects.

Excited yet? Well, here’s the icing on the cake . . . we’ll also have several wonderful novelists appearing as presenters. One of the biggest and best is NY Times best-selling mystery writer and the winner of the Agatha, Anthony, Barry, Bram Stoker, Edgar, and Shamus awards: John Connolly.  This author is one of my personal favorites – he (deservedly) is acknowledged as one of the best (and most popular) writers in the world. For those of you who don’t already know his books. . . John writes wonderful, supernatural mysteries. Several of John’s outstanding books have been made into movies, and/or are currently in development. John will be teaching attendees how to build tension and suspense in a novel, and how to create characters that readers can connect with.  As a special treat, John will also be autographing his books and meeting with fans afterwards, so be prepared to purchase his books while you’re at the expo!

Currently, we have three tiers of tickets for sale:  Platinum tickets are $650. These VIP tickets include two (3 course) keynote luncheons and a free pass to our famous wine-tasting event. Gold tickets are $550 and include two keynote luncheons, and the Bronze tickets are $325.

I hope you’ll attend the StoryTellers Expo in March.  It truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity for you to meet with the people who can make your literary dreams come true!

For more information, please go to

Best regards,