Writing the Watershed Festival Offers Workshops for Aspiring Writers

The Schoharie River Center announces a workshop series in conjunction with the upcoming literary arts festival: Writing the Watershed – a Literary Festival Featuring Literature, Stories, and Writers from the Mohawk Region.  The workshops for children and adults take place over the duration of the festival, August 24-26, 2018 and require pre-registration and a workshop fee of $25.00.  The workshops are as follows:


Field Notes and Story Lines with Mary Cuffe Perez

Saturday, August 25 from 10-noon and Sunday, August 26 from 10:00 – 11:30

A two-day nature writing workshop composed of a nature walk followed by a writing session inspired by what was observed and learned during the walk.  As a result of this workshop, it is hoped that everyone would gain a greater awareness of and appreciation for the natural world and a new perspective of nature as a source of creativity.

Journals and pencils will be provided; participants should have bug spray, water and, if they choose, binoculars.  For Ages 8 and up.  Mary Cuffe Perez is a writer and amateur naturalist who lives in Galway, New York.  She has published four books and written natural history articles for Adirondack LifeNorthern WoodlandsNYS Conservationist, and others.

Books include  Woman of Too Many Days, Calyx Press, poetry;  Skylar, Penguin, children’s novel; Nothing by Name, Shaggy Dog Books, novel-in-verse;      Barn Stories, North Country Books, creative non-fiction


Memoir Writing with Helen Condon

August 24 and 25, 2018

Why write a memoir?  Memoirs release us from demons. They allow us to connect with others.  Life Writing gives us the freedom to reclaim our lives.  You’re reconstructing by the telling.

This workshop by Helen Condon will provide participants with some of the tools and techniques for writing their own life’s stories.  The workshop begins on Friday, August 24 from 7:00 – 8:30 with an introductory session (with refreshments) and continues on Saturday, August 25th from 10:00 – noon.

Participants should bring a notebook and pencil for writing.  Appropriate for adults.  Please come willing to share your thoughts

Helen Condon holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She has written a memoir entitled “The Big Rug,” the story of grieving for her husband of 33 years and producing a 15X18 foot braided rug in forty one days. As she says, “Writing a memoir can be cathartic and may release pent-up emotions you are unconsciously hiding. It did so for me, and I hope it can do so for others.”


Writing with Roots:  A Poetry Workshop with Daniel Bowman

Sunday, August 26, 2018, from noon until 1:30

This 90-minute poetry workshop will take a look at strategies for writing about our home places, with a particular focus on the Mohawk River valley and upstate New York. We’ll examine ways to hone in on the unique details of setting, and read sample poems that root us carefully in their places. Then we’ll study a few helpful poetic forms such as ekphrasis (writing about art—in our case, photographs) and found poetry (taking existing texts and re-fashioning them into something new).

You’ll have time to begin at least two new original poems, and share what you’ve done with other like-minded writers.

The workshop will be led by Daniel Bowman Jr., Associate Professor of English at Taylor University in Indiana. Bowman grew up in Mohawk, NY, and graduated from Mohawk Central School. His Palatine ancestors came to upstate New York over three-hundred years ago.

Bowman holds a BA in English from Roberts Wesleyan College (Rochester, NY), an MA in comparative literature from the University of Cincinnati, and an MFA in creative writing with a focus in poetry from Seattle Pacific University. His first book of poems, A Plum Tree in Leatherstocking Country, was published in 2012 by VAC Poetry in Chicago, and is set largely in the Mohawk Valley. His work has appeared in many print and online magazines around the country, including The Adirondack Review, American Poetry Journal, Books & Culture, The Midwest Quarterly, The Northern Agrarian, Rio Grande Review, Saint Katherine Review, Seneca Review, and others.

To Register, please go to the website of the Schoharie River Center, http://www.schoharierivercenter.org/writingthewatershed.html.

Pre-registration is required for each workshop.  For information, contact the Schoharie River Center at 518-875-6230.

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