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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 criticisms 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.


Listen to the
“Writer’s Voice”

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


Visit the  News page for latest updates. 



Many thanks to all the authors and the public who attended

“Meet the Authors” – Second Annual Catskills Book Festival! 

For photos from the event click  here





Writers in the Mountains (WIM) is sponsoring the fourth annual Matilda Friedman essay contest for middle school and high school students throughout Delaware County. The Board of Directors for WIM is hoping that students from your school will be encouraged to participate. Authors of the winning essays will be awarded cash prizes. Writers in the Mountains will host a reception for contest winners on November 8, 2015. Students will also have an opportunity to read their winning essays on WIOX radio’s program, The Writer’s Voice.

The topic this year is “What is your favorite music, and how does it move you?” Students are encouraged to choose any musical genre, composition, artist or band that appeals to them, and explain why the music, specific piece, or artist is important to them and how it (or the artist) makes them feel. The approach to the topic should be determined by each student who chooses to enter the contest.

Please consult the complete contest rules for student participation outlined below. We are looking for original essays written by the students. The judging will be performed by WIM Board members who will be looking for strength of thought and creativity in the content more than the mechanics of spelling and punctuation.

The contest was developed in memory of Matilda Freidman, a long time friend of Writers in the Mountains and is supported by her family and the WIM Board of Directors.

Writers in the Mountains

Essay Contest Rules


The topic for all entrants is: “What is your favorite music, and how does it move you?”

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.

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

*The student’s name, grade and school name must appear in the upper left corner of each page.*

All essays must be returned to Writers in the Mountains postmarked by October 23, 2015.  Essays may be mailed to WIM, PO Box 474 Roxbury, NY 12474 or submitted electronically to writersinthemountains@gmail.com.

The essays will be judged for their original content with some attention paid to spelling and punctuation. We anticipate the winning essays will be creative, honest and compelling. The judging will be performed by members of the WIM Board of Directors.

A reception for the winners will be held on November 8, 2015. Cash prizes will be awarded as follows: High School 1st place $100, 2nd place $75, 3rd place $50, and honorable mention $10. Middle School 1st place $75, 2nd place $50, 3rd place $25, and honorable mention $10. Winners will be invited to read their essays at the reception and on WIOX Radio as part of The Writer’s Voice program.


Writing Myth

A Spillian Writing Imaginarium

Saturday, September 26, 2015

50 Fleischmanns Heights Road

Fleischmanns, NY 

Spillian and co-sponsor Writers in the Mountains invites all writers to an afternoon workshop exploring a mythic space that has inspired writers and poets for more than a hundred years.

Imagine past what you think is possible!

It’s September in the Catskills, when changing leaves and the onset of chilly weather bring out the writer in all of us.  On Saturday September 26, Spillian invites you to a writer’s afternoon exploring its home, a meticulously restored historic mansion (a stick-style building constructed in the 1880s by the Fleischmanns family) and grounds, and the mythic space they define and perpetuate—one that has inspired writers and poets for more than a hundred years.

Whether you’re just starting to play with words on the page or are a published professional, this workshop will help you explore bringing mythic depth to your story writing.

Spillian founder, Dr. Leigh Melander, will lead workshop participants in exercises on opening a sense of myth in writing, along with a story-driven wander of the mansion and grounds, and then will invite writers to find a corner on the property to write a short story, myth, or poem inspired (directly or indirectly) by images there.

In the evening, writers will be joined by members of the public for a dinner prepared by Spillian’sgifted chef Chris McGee, and participants will have the chance to read work created in the afternoon. The event comprises an afternoon and evening of ideas, conversation, and the written word in an inspirational mythic setting complete with mountain- and foliage-view porches lined with rocking chairs, wooded walks, and a pond with benches for relaxation and meditation. The cost is modest, and the magic is free. . . .

Workshop – 1 to 5 PM

Dinner and reading – 6 PM

Cost: $25 plus tax

Cash bar

The dinner and reading are open to the public, even if you are not participating in the workshop. Come and be a grand audience for your Catskills writing community!

Generously co-sponsored by Writers in the Mountains.

Reservations required. Please call 800-811-3351 for more information and to make your reservation.

For interested writers, Spillian will share pieces created during the workshop online as part of a launch of the new website and a growing collection of creative work inspired by Spillian.

About Leigh Melander, Ph.D.

Leigh has an eclectic background in the arts—in music, dance, theater, writing, and graphic design—as well as in consulting for strategic planning, outreach and marketing, and event planning for over 20 years. She has performed and taught internationally as a writer, actor, dancer, singer, and harpist at universities and festivals. She has a doctorate in cultural mythology and psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute and wrote her dissertation on frivolity as an entry into the world of imagination. While in California, she launched The Imaginal Institute, offering conferences and online learning opportunities on imagination, writing, and the art of possibility to audiences worldwide. She worked in educational publishing for over fifteen years and is the editor and publisher at a new independent publishing company, Meandering Press. She is currently hosting two radio shows on WIOX Community Radio 91.3 VM, an NPR Community Affiliate: Spillian Revels is a multi-faceted exploration of imagination and how to dream an idea into being, utilizing guests from Spillian driven by my work on creativity, imagination, and entrepreneurial action. Myth America is an in-depth look at stories and metaphors that shape meaning in U.S. culture; and will be featured in an upcoming History Channel series on monsters, myths, and legends. She is proud to serve on the Board of Directors of the Joseph Campbell Foundation, and is the Founding President of the nascent International Association for Myth. leighmelander.com

About Writers in the Mountains

The workshop is generously co-sponsored by Writers in the Mountains, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization with a mission to provide to the general public a nurturing environment for the practice, appreciation and sharing of creative writing. For more information, visitwritersinthemountains.org.

About Spillian

Spillian is a place to revel in imagination so that you can remember your genius—and the genius of the world around you. Imagine past what you think is possible . . . world-class workshops, events, weddings, corporate and personal retreats, all are designed to help you launch your dreams.  Find more at spillian.com.


Writers in the Mountains

At the Andes Roundtable

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

At 7 PM

Writers in the Mountains (WIM) invites you to the Andes Roundtable, Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 7 pm. The event is held at the Hunting Tavern, on Main Street in Andes, NY. Come and learn about WIM’s mission and programs, hear some of the region’s best writers, and have a conversation about the role of arts and letters in our region.

Writers in the Mountains (WIM) is a literary organization founded twenty-three years ago in Roxbury. Over the past two decades the organization has grown to include more than three hundred writers from all backgrounds, all ages and levels of experience, writing in all genres and styles. WIM offers a variety of creative writing workshops year round throughout the entire Catskill region: fiction, poetry, memoir, playwriting, publishing, business writing, illustration, and more.

In addition to a broad range of workshops and seminars, in 2012 WIM launched an essay contest for middle and high school students in Delaware County. The essay contest encourages young writers to pursue their passion and dare to write – WIM’s motto. This year’s topic is What is your favorite music, and how does it move you?  

Additionally, in 2014 WIM ventured into yet another arena: in April 2014 WIM started a book festival for authors, publishers and booksellers in the Catskills and Hudson Valley area. In 2015 the keynote speaker was award-winning author Jenny Milchman, published by Ballantine / Penguin Random House.

Writers in the Mountains hosts The Writer’s Voice, a weekly radio program on WIOX, broadcast Tuesdays at 1 pm, and produced by poet Sharon Israel.

WIM Board of Directors includes professionals with a wide range of skills and expertise: Simona David (consultant), Sharon Israel (poet), Geoff Rogers (writer), Peg DiBenedetto (publisher), Leslie T. Sharpe (professor, author and consultant), Lillian Browne (journalist), Carrie Bradley Neves (editor), Elizabeth Sherr (professor) – all professionals with a strong vision for what the organization is and can be.  




Middle School Winners

1st place: Brynne German, South Kortright Central School ($75)

2nd place: Claire Kletchka, Stamford Central School ($50)

3rd place: Eric Ianiello, Roxbury Central School ($25)

Honorable Mention: Chezney Chichester, South Kortright Central School ($10)


High School Winners

1st place: Rose Battista, Roxbury Central School ($100)

2nd place: Molly Gavett, Walton Central School ($75)

3rd place: Jessica Moore, Roxbury Central School ($50)

Honorable Mentions: Christine Ianiello, Roxbury Central School ($10), Victoria Fairbairn, Stamford Central School ($10), Keyshawn Scott, Stamford Central School ($10)

This program is partly funded by the Friedman family.


Simona David’s Self-Publishing and Book Marketing Research Guide has been released on Amazon.com and Kindle


WIM Pocket Companion for Writers

101 Quick Tips and Thoughtful Prompts for the Writer on the Go

By Bethany Lyttle

With contributions by Ann Epner, Barbara Apoian, Ellen Greene-Stewart and Ev Ellsworth

Available for sale at the Pine Hill Community Center, in the Commons Building in Margaretville, and at the Hobart International Bookport in Hobart 

This pocket-sized teaching tool is a collection of 50 compelling, witty, warm, funny and challenging writing exercises that promise to challenge writers of all levels to new heights of creativity. The WIM Pocket Companion for Writers is funded in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Decentralization Program administered in Delaware County by the Roxbury Arts Group (RAG), and with funds from the O’Connor Foundation.



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