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.
Every Tuesday at 1 pm
on 91.3 FM
Streaming online at wioxradio.org
Visit the News page for the latest updates.
WRITERS IN THE MOUNTAINS
THE 2016 MATILDA FRIEDMAN ESSAY CONTEST
FOR DELAWARE COUNTY STUDENTS
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 fifth year. The contest was established in memory of Matilda Friedman, 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; winners will also have an opportunity to read their essays on live radio. Additionally, 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: #RomeoandJuliet.
Because 2016 marks the 400-year anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, we chose our subject to honor the Bard, and chose a reference to the play of his perhaps most familiar, in some form, to students of all ages. The topic was further shaped by the fact that young people’s lives today are hugely influenced by cell phones and social media. Starting with a notion of, “How would Romeo and Juliet’s story have gone differently if they could Tweet?” the premise opens many possibilities for thought, from how cell phones and social media have changed the world from 400 years ago to how they have changed the lives of today’s youth versus their parents or grandparents. It may also spur questions like: What advantages do you see yourself getting from cell phone communication and social media? Do they help you understand relationships and life? Do you see them helping you explore opportunities and define goals you might not have otherwise? Do they help you relax, or connect, or do you sometimes feel frustrated and overwhelmed, and just wish you could throw them away and get outside and face-to-face?
The approach to the topic should be determined by each student as they chose, from comedy to philosophy to personal memoir.
Please consult the official contest rules below for participation guidelines and information on the prizes and awards presentation. And thank you for encouraging your students to Dare to write!
Writers in the Mountains
2016 Matilda Friedman Essay Contest
Official Contest Rules
The 2016 topic for all entrants:
How would Romeo and Juliet’s story have gone differently if they could Tweet? How have cell phones and social media changed the world from 400 years ago, or just your life versus your parents or grandparents? What advantages do you see yourself getting from cell phone communication and social media? Do they help you understand relationships, and life in general? Do you see social media helping you explore opportunities and define goals you might not have otherwise? Does your cell phone help you relax, or connect, or do you sometimes feel frustrated and overwhelmed, and just wish you could throw it away and get outside and face-to-face?
Feel free to approach to the topic any way you choose, from comedy to philosophy to personal memoir.
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, 2016. Please mail paper manuscripts to Writers in the Mountains, PO Box 474, Roxbury, NY 12474; or submit essays electronically to email@example.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 5, 2016. Light refreshments will be served, prizes will be awarded, and winners will be invited to read their essays. Authors of the winning essays will also be invited to read their work on “The Writer’s Voice” program on Catskills community radio station WIOX in Roxbury, NY.
Cash prizes will be awarded as follows:
1st place $100
2nd place $75
3rd place $50
Honorable Mentions $10
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 to the general public a nurturing environment for the practice, appreciation and sharing of creative writing. For more information, visit writersinthemountains.org.
WRITERS IN THE MOUNTAINS (WIM)
The Writer’s Circle – A Free Weekly Writers’ Collective
Facilitated by Lillian Browne
Wednesdays, October 5 – November 9, 2016
6 to 8 p.m.
William B. Ogden Free Library, Gardiner Place, Walton, NY
Writers in the Mountains (WIM) presents The Writer’s Circle, a free weekly writers’ collective facilitated by Lillian Browne, and held at the William B. Ogden Free Library at Gardiner Place in Walton, NY. The group will meet Wednesdays, from 6 to 8 pm, October 5 to November 9, 2016.
The aim of the program is to inspire new projects while developing craft. Facilitator Lillian Browne, journalist and editor, will lead participants in weekly writing exercises exploring different methods to overcome writers’ block and improve storytelling in creative non-fiction, fiction, poetry, prose, flash-fiction and essay. The program, which includes weekly reading/open mic session, is suited for beginners as well as those wanting to explore different writing styles. Participants will receive feedback in a supportive environment. Drop in for one session or participate in all six.
Lillian Browne is a journalist, outdoor enthusiast and lover of stories. Between hikes, she writes about the environment, politics and crime in Delaware County. Her collection of local ghost stories, Haunted Walton, will be released later this year.
WRITERS IN THE MOUNTAINS (WIM)
WHERE DOES A PLAY COME FROM? AND WHERE CAN IT GO?
with Amie Brockway
Mondays, October 3 – November 21
6 to 8 pm
At the Open Eye Theater in Margaretville, NY
Writers in the Mountains (WIM) presents Where Does A Play Come From? And Where Can It Go?, a six-week long workshop with Amie Brockway at the Open Eye Theater, 960 Main Street in Margaretville, Mondays, 6 to 8 p.m., from October 3 through November 21 (skipping October 31).
In this class instructor and students will explore first impulses for writing a play, and the creative process from page to stage. Participants will look at specific examples found in selected short plays, and in excerpts from longer works. They will discover and examine their own creative impulses and see where they lead. There will be time for reading, listening, discussing, and writing in each class. Students will be encouraged to begin and complete a short play or monologue over the course of the six sessions, or to continue with a longer work already begun. And, they’ll look at opportunities for a finished play — locally, regionally, and nationally. This class is suitable for beginning and experienced playwrights.
Amie Brockway is producing artistic director of The Open Eye Theater, where she has directed dozens of world premieres and nurtured playwrights through three seasons of Summer Shortcuts at The Open Eye Theater in Margaretville, and the Eye on Playwrights Lab at The Open Eye Theater in NYC. She has served as Editor of TYA Today, and has had articles published in Dramatists Guild Newsletter, American Theatre Magazine, and Animal Issues. She has served as guest director of new plays at the Bonderman National Youth Theater Playwriting Symposium, New Visions/New Voices at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and The Coterie in Kansas City, MO. She taught a playwriting class for Writers in the Mountains at the Roxbury Arts Group. She has been a Playwright Fellowship Panelist for Ohio Arts Council and Playwrights Center in Minneapolis, MN, and Literary Consultant at Mount Sequoya New Play Retreat. She has been a script reader/evaluator for Manhattan Theatre Club and Playwrights Horizons in New York City, the Bonderman in Indianapolis, and Write Now in Tempe, AZ. She is currently among the judges for the 2013 ALAP Short Play Festival in Los Angeles, CA. In 2015 the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE) awarded her the Sara Spencer Artistic Achievement Award. Amie holds an MFA in directing from Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts, and a BFA in theater from SUNY, Purchase.
To register call Jean Stone at (607) 326-4802, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. To register online, go to writersinthemountains.org/registeronline. Class fee is $70.00 if you register and pay three weeks before the class begins, and $85 after that.
WRITERS IN THE MOUNTAINS (WIM)
Toward a Radical Poetics with Lissa Kiernan
November 5 – December 10, 2016
The Poetry Barn, West Hurley, NY
Writers in the Mountains (WIM) is pleased to present Toward a Radical Poetics with Lissa Kiernan, November 5 to December 10, 2016. The class will be held Saturdays, from 11 am to 1 pm at The Poetry Barn, 1693 State Route 28A, West Hurley, NY.
This new, six-week workshop will explore and foster poetry that bears witness to social injustice, raises awareness, disturbs silence, and inspires positive change. Students will learn a variety of techniques (metaphor, humor, compression, hyperbole) and study several poetic sub-genres (found, formal, persona and documentary poetry) that help to distill the poetic from the polemic.
We’ll perform close-readings of the works of poets who have repeatedly given voice to complex social issues such as war, race, sexuality, gender, and human, environmental, worker, and animal rights—from the greats (Langston Hughes, Audre Lorde, Muriel Rukeyser, Denise Levertov) to the lates (Nikki Finney, Martin Espada, Camille Rankin, Cate Marvin)—together with weekly generative exercises designed to be open to the full spectrum of opinions and viewpoints, (left-leaning to right, pro or con) and thoughtful peer feedback.
Lissa Kiernan is the founder of the Poetry Barn in West Hurley. She is the author of Two Faint Lines in the Violet, published by Negative Capability Press in 2014. Her 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. She holds her 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 email@example.com. Class fee is $100, if you register and pay three weeks before the class begins, and $125 after that.
WE THANK EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE RAINING POETRY PROJECT
Roxbury General and Writers in the Mountains presented The Raining Poetry Project on the sidewalks of Roxbury during the Roxbury Sidewalk Festival, Saturday, July 2. Poems written by local poets were stenciled on the sidewalk, and visible only when wet. Roxbury General provided watering cans. It was such fun event. We thank everyone who participated!
Poem by WIM poetry instructor Sharon Ruetenik
WE THANK EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED IN “WRITERS EXPOSED,” OUR ANNUAL SUMMER READING EVENT, Sunday, August 21, 2016 at the Erpf Center.
We’re looking forward to next year, when our organization will celebrate its 25th anniversary.
Free will donation is appreciated
For more information, please call