May 7, 2012

Writers in the Mountains

is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide a nurturing environment for the practice, appreciation and sharing of creative writing. Our workshops are informal, ordinarily held in six sessions. Each participant has the chance to read aloud either a new work, or a work in progress. The instructor and the other writers in the workshop will critique the writing, offer constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement.

The number of participants in a workshop will vary from as few as six to as many as twelve. We want to be sure that each participant has an opportunity to read and receive evaluations. At the end of the workshop a public reading is arranged so that the work can be shared with the community. Some of our participants have no writing experience at all and others have written for years. There are workshops geared toward all styles, genres, and experience. All that is required is a love of language and the desire to tell a story.


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Writers Unbound (formerly known as Meet the Authors)

Writers in the Mountains’ Catskills Literary Festival

Sunday, April 30, 2017

12 noon to 4 p.m.

Union Grove Distillery

Arkville, NY


Writers in the Mountains (WIM) invites authors residing in, working in, or otherwise connected to the Catskills and Hudson Valley regions to a literary arts and community event and celebration we call Writers Unbound (formerly known as Meet the Authors), the fourth in our series of annual literary festivals. This year the event takes place Sunday, April 30, from 12 noon to 4 p.m. at Union Grove Distillery in Arkville, NY. Union Grove is housed in a big old barnlike building featuring comfortable spaces fitted with stainless steel and copper and wood, a roaring fireplace, and the percolation of fine spirits—all making for a perfect environment in which to listen to, talk about, and think about books and writing.

Building upon the past three years’ success of our literary fair and fare, regional authors and other authors who have a connection to the Catskill Mountains and Hudson Valley are once again invited to join us. Come to sell your books, promote your work, and network with fellow writers and publishing professionals. This year’s keynote speaker is Holly George-Warren, a music writer, historian, and biographer who has written many articles and liner notes, edited compilations and collections, and is author or co-author of more than fifteen books, including her forthcoming biography of Janis Joplin, which will be published by Simon & Schuster in 2018.

This year’s Writers Unbound program includes a Poetry Reading with Featured Poet Sharon Israel and others; a Publishing Panel with writer-editor Sari Botton and publisher Dayl Wise from Post Traumatic Press; an Illustrators’ Moment with illustrators Durga Yael Bernhard and Will Lytle and cookbook editor Carrie Bradley Neves; and New Release of the Year with nature writer Leslie T. Sharpe.

Participating authors will receive additional exposure and visibility for their works through the marketing materials (space ads, calendar listings, posters and flyers) and media appearances (Facebook, Twitter, Watershed Post, WIOX Roxbury, and others) associated with this event. A light breakfast will be served for participants the day of the event. The fee to join us is $35.

For more information, visit writersinthemountains.org, or contact us by e-mail at writersinthemountains@gmail.com or by phone at (845) 750-3563. Registration deadline is April 15, 2017.

Writers in the Mountains is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with a mission to provide a nurturing environment for the practice, appreciation, and sharing of creative writing. Visit us online at writersinthemountains.org.


Registration Form 2017




Real Fiction with Nina Shengold

April 8 – May 13, 2017

Phoenicia Library, Phoenicia, NY

Writers in the Mountains (WIM) presents Real Fiction with Nina Shengold, April 8 to May 13, 2017. The class will be held Saturdays from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm at the Phoenicia Library, 48 Main Street, Phoenicia, NY.

What makes fiction feel real? Whether they’re based on the writer’s experience, a blend of fact and fiction, or pure imagination, stories and novels transport us. We travel to places we’ve never been and recognize them; we meet made-up people whose lives feel as real as our own. Our senses awaken. We feel someone else’s emotions. We long to know what happens next. How do you do that?

This class is for new and experienced fiction writers, as well as for writers in other genres – memoir, poetry, drama – who want to explore the potential of narrative fiction. The approach is practical and supportive, providing both carpentry tools (narrative voice, setting, character, dialogue, scene and synopsis) and attention to detail. Each class will include brief readings, craft exercises, and time for discussion and sharing of work. Bring in a story in progress, or start something new.

Nina Shengold writes in many genres. Her books include the novel Clearcut (Anchor Books), a Book Sense Notable Selection; River of Words: Portraits of Hudson Valley Writers, with photographer Jennifer May (SUNY Press); and 13 theatre anthologies for Vintage Books and Viking Penguin. She won the Writers Guild Award for her teleplay Labor of Love, starring Marcia Gay Harden, and the ABC Playwright Award for Homesteaders.  Nina has taught creative writing at the University of Maine, Manhattanville College, Vermont College of Fine Arts, and locally at Word Café, the Omega Institute, and as a visiting guest artist at SUNY Ulster.

To register for this class, call (607) 326-6135, or e-mail writersinthemountains@gmail.com. To register online, visit Register Online page. Class fee is $100, if you register and pay by March 18, and $125 after that.

Writers in the Mountains is a 501 ( c ) (3) not-for-profit organization with a mission to provide a nurturing environment for the practice, appreciation and sharing of creative writing. Learn more at writersinthemountains.org.





May 8 – June 19, 2017 (skipping Memorial Day)

Andes Public Library

Writers in the Mountains (WIM) presents The Journey from Theme to Images to Poem with Sharon Ruetenik, May  8 to June 19, 2017 (skipping Memorial Day). The class will be held Mondays, 6 to 8 pm, at the Andes Public Library.

This class will embrace the message of the Song Dynasty poet Wei T’ai, “Poetry presents the thing in order to convey the feeling. It should be precise about the thing and reticent about the feeling.”  We will use a series of umbrella themes that participants may interpret in a way meaningful to them. Emphasis will be on the use of imagery and narrative to express an emotional landscape. Themes will include “Home Sweet Home,” “In the Still of the Night,” “Animal Planet,” “Once Upon A Time,” “Into the Woods,” and “How Does Your Garden Grow?”Both beginning and advanced writers are encouraged to attend, share their work, and give and receive helpful feedback from the other members of our group.  The instructor will supply weekly samples and prompts.

Sharon Ruetenik is the author of a poetry chapbook, The Wooden Bowl.She is currently working on a manuscript of sevenlings. Her work has appeared in print and online journals, most recently The Green Door. Ruetenik was awarded a poetry fellowship at the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts. As a speaker for the the New York Council for the Humanities, she has lectured on short stories, novellas, and poetry. Her day job is working at SUNY Delhi as the coordinator of the Writing Center, the international student advisor, and adjunct instructor in composition and literature. Ruetenik lives in Delhi with her family, which includes many large dogs and several indolent cats.

To register, call Jean Stone at (607) 326-4802, or e-mail her at jtstone@catskill.net. To register online, visit writersinthemountains.org. Class fee is $70, if you register and pay by April 17 and $85 after that.

Writers in the Mountains is a 501 ( c ) (3) not-for-profit organization with a mission to provide a nurturing environment for the practice, appreciation and sharing of creative writing. Online at writersinthemountains.org.




Be Part of Raining Poetry in Roxbury

This public street project, modeled after Boston’s Raining Poetry Project, opens on July 1st in conjunction with Roxbury Sidewalk Festival. Poems will be stenciled on the sidewalks of Roxbury using biodegradable water-repellent spray. THE POEMS WILL REMAIN INVISIBLE ON SUNNY DAYS, BUT ONCE WATER HITS THEM, THE POEMS WILL SUDDENLY, MAGICALLY REVEAL THEMSELVES!

Raining Poetry in Roxbury 2017 will feature approximately 20 poems stenciled on our sidewalks. This is a fun and unexpected way to expose people to poetry.

Wanted: Original short poems, 4 line max, 16 word max. Subjects for poems will be open, but we encourage works connected to the Catskills. Poems meeting length restrictions will be selected through a blind-judging committee, made up of four members, and overseen by Writers in the Mountains.

Chosen poems will be stenciled onto Roxbury sidewalks and will not be visible in dry weather. Watering cans will be placed near each poem opening day (and for the three following weekend days). Visitors will walk through town in search of the watering cans, and then sprinkle the water onto the sidewalk to reveal the poems.

An open-air reception will follow later in the afternoon (3:00-5:00, location to be determined). Participating Poets will be invited to read their works and answer questions from the audience.

Please send submissions to jtstone@catskill.net no later than April 30, 2017. Include your name, address, and phone number, in addition to your email address.

Raining Poetry in Roxbury 2017, sponsored by Writers in the Mountains, is made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Decentralization Grant Program, with the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the NYS Legislature, and is administered in Delaware County by The Roxbury Arts Group (RAG).

Poem by WIM poetry instructor Sharon Ruetenik                                                Poem by WIM poetry instructor Sharon Ruetenik in 2016




Sunday, August 21, 2016 at the Erpf Center

We’re looking forward to next year, when our organization will celebrate its 25th anniversary. 


See more photos at http://writersinthemountains.org/2016/08/27/writers-exposed-wims-annual-summer-reading-event/.







Writers in the Mountains’ Board of Directors would like to thank all the students participating in the fifth annual Matilda Friedman essay contest. The topic this year was “#RomeoandJuliet.” The Board received essays from students of Franklin Central School, and Walton Central School.

The following are the winners:

Middle School Winners

1st place: Madeline McLaughlin, Franklin Central School ($75)

2nd place: Isabella Hotchkin, Franklin Central School ($50)

3rd place: Mike Cox, Franklin Central School ($25)

Honorable Mention: Aidan Morrell, Franklin Central School ($10)

High School Winners

1st place: Hana Elston, Walton Central School ($100)

2nd place: Hanah Wagner, Walton Central School ($75)

3rd place: Haley Farrell, Walton Central School ($50)

Honorable Mention: Nicole Fisher, Walton Central School ($10)

The Award Ceremony will take place Saturday, November 5 at 3 pm at the Erpf Center / Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, 43355 State Hwy 28 in Arkville, NY. The winners are invited to receive their awards, along with their parents and their teachers. The winners are also invited on The Writer’s Voice program on WIOX on a date to be determined.

This program is generously funded by the Friedman family.




by Leslie T. Sharpe


The Quarry Fox and Other Tales of the Wild Catskills is a lyric narrative look at the wild animals of the Catskill Mountains and the effect of the seasons on them. Writing in a vivid and evocative style, Leslie weaves, elegantly and expertly, her experiences with the critters on her Catskill mountain with the natural history of each animal, deftly combining her personal observations as a naturalist with current science in a way that totally entertains and informs, and makes you want to pick up a pair of binoculars. This is a book in the tradition of great American nature writing, destined to take its place as a classic of that genre. The Quarry Fox and Other Tales of the Wild Catskills is the first in-depth exploration of Catskill wildlife since John Burroughs essentially invented the nature writing genre in the 19th century. Leslie, a lifelong naturalist and avid birder, as well as a former Vice President of the New York City Audubon Society and editor of The Urban Audubon, shows herself to be, in this volume, Burroughs’ worthy successor.



Our 2017 brochures have arrived. Look for them at a library near you.

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