May 7, 2012

Writers in the Mountains

Logo B&Wis 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.

                                                                                                                                       Logo Design by Katie Miller                                                                                


Listen to the
“Writer’s Voice”

Every Other Tuesday at 1 pm
on 91.3 FM
Streaming online at wioxradio.org


Visit the News page for the latest updates. 


Celebrating A Quarter-Century of Creative Writing and Community in the Catskills

WIM 25






Writers in the Mountains (WIM) is proud to again sponsor the annual Matilda Friedman essay-writing contest for middle school and high school students, now in its sixth year. The contest was established in memory of Matilda Freidman, a longtime friend of Writers in the Mountains, and is generously supported by her family and enthusiastically administered by the WIM board of directors.

Matilda Friedman, born and raised in New Jersey, graduated from The University of Michigan and received a Master’s degree from Kean University. She devoted her professional career to teaching public school but it wasn’t until she and her husband Nathan moved to the Catskills that her writing career flourished. She was an active member of Writers in the Mountains, continued to tutor young students and began to hone her writing skills. Matilda wrote mainly about her childhood, as a daughter of Jewish immigrants, and blended Jewish folktales with her own stories. She found solace and beauty in the mountains that surrounded her home and loved to write about her natural surroundings. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and friend. Her writings – both poetry and fiction – are tender and humorous. She has been published in several anthologies.

Matilda Friedman Essay Contest is open to all students at the middle and high school levels throughout Delaware County. WIM hopes that the teachers and administrators at your school will encourage your students to participate in this fun and empowering process, and will provide leadership in developing their essays and meeting the deadline.

Contest winners receive cash awards for their winning essays. Writers in the Mountains will host a reception for contest winners and their families, where prizes will be awarded and the young writers will be given an opportunity to read their pieces to assembled guests.

The topic for the essay contest this year: 

If you could pick only one invention from history, which one would interest you the most?

The approach to the topic should be determined by each student as they choose.

Please consult the official contest rules below for participation guidelines and information on the prizes and awards presentation.

Writers in the Mountains

2017 Matilda Friedman Essay Contest

Official Contest Rules

Middle school students are asked to write an essay of at least 500 words.

High school students are asked to write an essay of at least 1,000 words.

Essays may be typed or hand-written.

All essays should be double-spaced, whether typed or hand written.

The essays will be judged by WIM board members, who will be looking for originality, creativity, and strength of analytical thinking in the content more than the mechanics of spelling and punctuation, although some attention will of course be paid to the latter. We anticipate the winning essays will be creative, honest, and compelling.

All submissions must be postmarked or electronically date-stamped by October 15, 2017. Please mail paper manuscripts to Writers in the Mountains, PO Box 474, Roxbury, NY 12474; or submit essays electronically to writersinthemountains@gmail.com with the subject line “Matilda Friedman Essay Contest”.

*The student’s name, grade, and school name must appear in the upper left corner of EACH page of the manuscripts, whether paper or digital.*

A reception for contest winners and their families will be held Saturday, November 4, 2017 at 3 pm at the Erpf Center in Arkville, NY. Light refreshments will be served, prizes will be awarded, and winners will be invited to read their essays.

Cash prizes will be awarded as follows:

High School

1st place $100

2nd place $75

3rd place $50

Honorable Mentions $10

Middle School

1st place $75

2nd place $50

3rd place $25

Honorable Mentions $10

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. For more information, visit writersinthemountains.org.




It’s Elemental: The Art of Revision in Poetry with Lissa Kiernan

November 4 – December 16 (skipping Thanksgiving weekend)

The Poetry Barn, West Hurley, NY

Writers in the Mountains (WIM) is pleased to present It’s Elemental: The Art of Revision in Poetry with Lissa Kiernan, November 4 to December 16, 2017 (skipping Thanksgiving weekend). The class will be held Saturdays, from 11 am to 1 pm at The Poetry Barn, 1693 State Route 28A, West Hurley, NY.

Water, fire, earth, air: Each of the four classical Greek elements has characteristics that can be applied as we revise our works-in-progress, engaging all the senses, balancing, strengthening, and distilling our work. Aristotle added a fifth element, ether, as the quintessence, “reasoning that whereas fire, earth, air, and water were earthly and corruptible . . .  the stars cannot be made out of any of the four elements but must be made of a different, unchangeable, heavenly substance.”

For the length of this workshop, we’ll accept as our premise that the best poetry happens when all four elements implode to create a fifth, heavenly substance. Through this lens, we’ll experiment with a number of practical revision techniques, accompanied by craft philosophy extolled by renowned teaching artists such as Stephen Dunn, Annie Finch, Ted Kooser, and Muriel Rukeyser, among others, and watch our works-in-progress mature to their fullest potential.

Lissa Kiernan is the founder of Poetry Barn in West Hurley. She is the author of Two Faint Lines in the Violet, published in 2014, and Glass Needles & Goose Quills: Elementary Lessons in Atomic Properties, Nuclear Families, and Radical Poetics, published earlier this year. Lissa’s work can be found in numerous journals and anthologies including Podium Literary Journal of the 92nd Street Y, and The Yale Journal for the Humanities in Medicines, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Lissa holds an MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry from Stonecoast, and an MA in Media Studies from The New School.

To register for this class, call Jean Stone at (607) 326-4802, or e-mail her at jtstone@catskill.net. Class fee is $100, if you register and pay three weeks before the class begins, 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. Online at writersinthemountains.org.






Poem by Esther Cohen


Raining Poetry in Roxbury 2017sponsored 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 Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and is administered in Delaware County by the Roxbury Arts Group (RAG).




SUNDAY, APRIL 30, 2017


We thank all the presenters, participating authors, the public, and the sponsors for making Writers Unbound a successful event. We particularly thank our keynote speaker Holly George-Warren, an accomplished music biographer, for an informative and engaging presentation.


“The subject will choose you,” Holly George-Warren




We’re looking forward to Writers Unbound 2018!


Look for our brochures at a library near you.




Creative Nonfiction Workshop with Anique Taylor

“With provocative and inspired reading assignments, fun and imaginative homework, and stimulating group discussion combined with compassionate, supportive feedback, Anique Taylor’s Creative Nonfiction class is a cultivated environment where writers can flourish and expand ideas and concepts creatively and safely.” Bonnie Lykes, Boiceville

“I’m excited to take this course. Anique provides interesting reading assignments, meditations, writing exercises, and examples that can be applied to your work in progress. The class also offers an opportunity to share your writings and gain valuable feedback from Anique and fellow classmates. It’s a warm and supportive environment. I highly recommend this course.” Heather Marsten, Woodstock  




“WIM is THE premier organization for writers to gather and learn from each other, informally, and also in the many excellent and thoroughly professional course offerings, in the Catskills. WIM events, such as Writers Unbound, allow writers the opportunity to share their works with the public, to preview their writing, and also exchange practical information that is so helpful for fathoming the marketplace. The atmosphere at all these events is down to earth, warm, and very helpful. And just plain fun! Most of all, WIM provides a support system for writers. Which all of us, no matter how well published, need.” Leslie T. Sharpe, Walton

Meet the Authors – Third Annual Catskills Book Festival was great. Thanks for having me!” Sari Botton, Kingston

“I had the most wonderful time. It was very well organized, warm, entertaining, and educational. Looking forward to their next event. What a terrific organization!” Susan Wilbur, Greenwood Lake

“I just wanted to say that I had a fantastic time. Thank you for including me.” Craig Sanders, New York City

“A wonderful event yesterday! Loved your panel and all the writers who were part of the festival. Keynote speaker Rosie Schaap was amazing as well as the distillery / location.” Melisse Seleck, Phoenicia 

“The book festival was amazing, thank you!” Becca Andre, Roxbury




“What a wonderful event – I love WIM!” Lissa Kiernan, West Hurley

“The best writers in Delaware County. Better writing than at the 92nd Street Y – The Center for Culture in America. Some serious, some insightful, some funny, and some sad – anything you can dream of reading or hearing. It was the best I’ve heard in more than a decade in these mountains.”  Merna Popper, Andes


Free will donation is appreciated
For more information, please call



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