Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter August 2016


Guild Announcements:

  • HVWG fiction contest deadline extended to August 15
  • Seeking board candidates
  • 2016 mid-year membership report

Member Announcements:

  • Upcoming dates for “Write 4 a Day”
  • Judith Prest publishes collection of nature poetry and photography
  • Mary Kathryn Jablonski poems published in Numero Cinq
  • HVWG member seeks editing help

Area Announcements:

  • Ken Hada to read at Caffè Lena August 3
  • Reading of John Hersey’s “Hiroshima” August 6
  • Judith Prest to read at Arthur’s Market & Cafe August 10
  • WIM business writing workshop starts August 11
  • Third Thursday to feature poet Martin Manley August 18
  • Debbie Mayer presents an interactive talk on self-publishing August 18
  • Outreach from Smith Publicity


HVWG short fiction contest deadline extended to August 15
Who says there are no “second chances” in life? The deadline for the 2016 HVWG short fiction contest has been extended to August 15.

The HVWG writing contest alternates genres annually. This year’s contest is short fiction. Winners will be awarded cash prizes and invited to read their winning piece at the Guild’s annual meeting in November 2016. Prizes will be awarded as follows: 1st prize, $100; 2nd prize, $75; 3rd prize, $50; and three honorable mentions, $20 each.

  • Eligibility: All contestants must be residents of New York State. Current members of the HVWG board and their families are not eligible.
  • Judges: Julie Lomoe, Joe Krausman and Andrea Portnick.
  • Guidelines:
    • Entries must be postmarked between April 1 and August 15, 2016.
    • Entry fee: $15 for non-members of HVWG; $10 for members. (Make checks payable to HVWG and include with submission. Visit for a copy of the membership application.)
    • Identification/contact information MUST NOT appear anywhere on the submission.
    • Cover letter should include the following: name, address, phone number, e-mail address, title of submission and word count.
    • Word count must not exceed 5000 words. Any submissions that exceed this number will not be considered.
    • All submissions must be typed, double-spaced, 12-pt. standard font such as Cambria, Calibri or Times New Roman.
    • Submissions must be previously unpublished.
  • Submit four copies through the mail and an SASE if you would like a hard copy of results. Submissions will not be returned.
  • All entrants will be notified of winners by e-mail or SASE. Results will also be posted on our website at

For more information, please contact Faith Green at or (518) 253-8557.<

Mail submissions with entry fee to: HVWG Fiction Contest, c/o Faith Green, 25B Patterson Drive, Glenmont, NY 12077.

Seeking board candidates
NOTICE to all members of HVWG: At the September meeting, there will be a call for those willing to serve on the Board and/or elected office. Someone may be calling YOU. Please think about it. Thank you.

2016 mid-year membership report
By the end of June 2016, the Hudson Valley Writers Guild had 118 active members, people who’d paid their membership dues in 2015 and 2016. Of them, 50 (42%) paid their 2016 dues by mid-year, contributing $1,870 to the Guild’s coffers. There were seven new members (half of last year) and 34 renewing members during this period, plus nine people who’d paid two-year memberships last year. But only two people have paid two-year memberships so far this year. During the first half of the year, 88 membership letters were mailed out (seven new member welcomes, 34 renewal thank yous and 47 membership dues reminders).

The Guild is especially pleased to welcome the following new members so far in 2016:

  • Lann Bell
  • Pat Berger
  • Robert Generali
  • Peggy Kowalski
  • Cheryl Rice
  • Lynn Seftner
  • Amber Thornton

The Guild had an honor roll at mid-year of three members who made extra financial contributions in addition to their membership dues. They were:

  • Anne Decker
  • Phyllis Hillinger
  • Kathleen O’Brien

The Guild’s membership efforts have slowed somewhat so far in 2016 compared to the last three years. That’s why the Guild’s Board is especially grateful for those new and renewing members who did express confidence by their support in the Hudson Valley Writers Guild and the work we do for writers in New York’s Hudson Valley.


Upcoming dates for “Write 4 a Day”
Don’t you deserve at least one day to write? Write 4 a Day is a series of monthly one-day writing retreats in upstate New York. There is:

  • no workshop
  • no agenda
  • no required activities
  • no assignments
  • no schedule
  • no WiFi

Write. Don’t write. Think. Daydream. Doodle. Outline. Come for the whole day or just for part of it; network, collaborate or write solo; wander the woods, hills, fields and streams of Universal Pathways for inspiration (bring sturdy shoes) or sit in a comfy chair and brainstorm. It’s up to you.

WHO – you! We haven’t had to limit attendance yet, but it’s getting to be a consideration. If you want to be sure to reserve a space, email me via the contact form.

WHY – because you deserve a day to devote to your writing (or daydreaming or sketching or scheming or knitting or…)

WHAT – $20 fee for the space (cash/check/PayPal/$15 for HVWG members) and food (a dish to share or your own lunch)

WHEN – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; August 28, September 18, October 23, November 20, December 18

WHERE – Universal Pathways, 692 Pleasant Valley Rd, Berne, NY 12023 – Phone: (518) 872-2272

Detailed directions:

  • 90 west to exit 1S
  • 20 west to
  • 146 west to
  • 156 west to
  • 254/Pleasant Valley Road (the left turn after the turn to East Berne)
  • The road winds along. Continue past the stop sign at Barber Corners, around two bends to the right and then down into the valley; look for the yellow house with a green roof and garage on the right hand side, just past the Browne Farm’s big brown barn with all the quilts.

Judith Prest publishes collection of nature poetry and photography
Judith Prest announces that she has a book coming out, in color. It is a collection of her nature poetry and photographs. The book, Elemental Connections, is self-published (Spirit Wind Studio, LLC) and printed at BookBaby. Book design is by vkdesign.  She can be reached at for any inquiries about the book.

Mary Kathryn Jablonski poems published in Numero Cinq
Mary Kathryn Jablonski announces that she is grateful and thrilled to have five of poems appearing on the Numero Cinq website this month here. She hopes you’ll enjoy them, and feel free to comment on & share the page.

HVWG member seeks editing help
Here’s a note from new member Robert Generali: I am in need of some editing help with a work of fiction I’ve completed of about 43,000 words in length. I have gone as far as I am able and really need another set of eyes on it. The wonderful world of editors, agents and publishers these days is difficult to navigate, to say the least, and is the reason I am reaching out. I would prefer to work with an experienced editor, one on one, and understand that compensation will be necessary. As an unpublished writer, this is a big step forward and I think from the standpoint of comfort staying in the area is the best thing. Sincerely, Robert Generali (email:


Ken Hada to read at Caffè Lena August 3
On Wednesday, August 3, Caffè Lena will present a poetry reading by Ken Hada. An open reading will follow. During renovations at Ken Hada to read at Caffè Lena, this event will be held at Northshire Bookstore, 424 Broadway, Saratoga Springs. Doors open for sign-ups at 6:30 p.m., and the readings will start at 7 p.m. The host for the event will be Carol Graser. This event is free.

Raised in the rural Ozarks, with close ties to his Hungarian ancestors in the gypsum hills of northwest Oklahoma, Ken Hada finds the natural order a powerful presence for writing. In addition to multiple journal publications, his work has been featured four times on The Writer’s Almanac. Ken has received national awards from the Western Heritage Museum and Western Writers of America. His six published books include Persimmon Sunday, Spare Parts, Margaritas & Redfish, The Way of the Wind and The River White: A Confluence of Brush & Quill. Ken Hada is a professor at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, where he directs the annual Scissortail Creative Writing Festival. Reviews and other information are available at

Reading of John Hersey’s Hiroshima August 6
Saturday, August 6, 11 a.m. Townsend Park (Henry Johnson Boulevard & Central Avenue), Albany. The event is free and open to the public, and the public is encouraged to join in the reading. Those interested in reading can sign up to participate when they arrive. Please bring folding chairs. Rain site is the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany.

On August 6, 1945, the United States of America used the atomic bomb for the first time to destroy the city of Hiroshima, Japan. On August 9, the U.S. used the atomic bomb again on Nagasaki, Japan.  Over 200,000 people died immediately in the two bombings, and over a hundred thousand more died in the following decades as a result of the effects of the radiation. Hiroshima by John Hersey tells the story of the bombing on August 6, 1945, by following the story of six of the survivors. The book version has been in print since 1946.

Co-sponsored by the Poetry Motel Foundation, the Tom Paine Chapter Veterans for Peace, Upper Hudson Peace Action and Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace. For more information, contact Dan Wilcox at (518) 482-0262 or

Judith Prest to read at Arthur’s Market & Cafe August 10
Open-mic & featured poet at Arthur’s Market & Cafe, 35 N. Ferry Street, Schenectady, Wednesday, August 10. Sign up at 7 p.m. Readings begin at 7:30 p.m. Hosted by Catherine Norr.

The featured poet is poet, photographer and mixed-media artist Judith Prest. Judith has been widely published in numerous poetry reviews and anthologies. She has two poetry collections — Sailing on Spirit Wind (1998) and Late Day Light (2011) — and two chapbooks. She has exhibited collage and photography in the Capital Region and facilitates expressive arts/creative writing in retreat centers, prisons, treatment clinics, libraries and community centers. Her studio is Spirit Wind Studio, LLC.  She lives in Duanesburg, NY, with husband Alan Kreiger and three cats.

Third Thursday to feature poet Martin Manley August 18
Schenectady poet Martin Manley will read from his work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany, on Thursday, August 18, at 7:30 p.m.

Martin Manley is a long-time activist working for peace, justice and labor rights who has been arrested a number of times for civil disobedience. Although he rarely reads his poetry out, he has been writing for many years. His collection of poems, Flint Knives, contains poems from 1973 to 2014.

A reading by a local or regional poet is held each Third Thursday at the Social Justice Center. The event includes an open mic for audience members to read. Sign-up starts at 7 p.m., with the reading beginning at 7:30. The host of the readings is Albany poet and photographer Dan Wilcox. The suggested donation is $3, which helps support this and other poetry programs of the Poetry Motel Foundation and the work of the Social Justice Center.

For more information about this event contact Dan Wilcox, (518) 482-0262 or

WIM business 6-week writing workshop starts August 11
Writers in the Mountains will hold a 6-week business writing workshop with Dara Lurie, running from August 11 to September 15. The class will be held Thursdays from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Phoenicia Public Library.

This class, dubbed “Author Breakthrough,” is a program for small business owners, artists and freelance writers who wish to create valuable content and great marketing copy. No one understands the heart and soul of your business better than you do. Now it’s time to communicate your vision using effective stories and expert content. You do not have to be a professional writer to create great content. The most important function of your content – whether it’s a book, blog, story or expert article – is to connect with your core message and bring that message into sharp focus for your audience.

In Author-Breakthrough you’ll have access to the experience of like-minded entrepreneurs who will provide the valuable feedback you need to develop and refine your message. The class includes engaging writing and dialoguing activities, content development sessions, creative think-tank environment to develop and test your ideas. By the end of the program you’ll have ready-to-publish articles, stories or blogposts and client-attracting copy for email or social media posts, as well as an action-plan for best use of your content and copy.

Dara Lurie is an author, workshop leader and book coach who helps writers of all levels discover their passionate and original voices in stories. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Film & Theater from Vassar College and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Hunter College.  Her first book, Great Space of Desire:Writing for Personal Evolution, is a memoir and creative guide for writers. For over 12e years, Dara has facilitated writing workshops and retreats in diverse locations from college classrooms in New York City and the Hudson Valley to an open-air pavilion in the Costa Rican Rainforest. This year, she launched a new online mentorship program for small-business owners who want to create inspired content and marketing copy to grow their business.

Class fee is $125. To register, call Jean Stone at (607) 326-4802 or e-mail her at To register online, visit

Debbie Mayer presents an interactive talk on self-publishing August 18
Debby Mayer will give a free talk on self-publishing at the Cairo Public Library Thursday, August 18, at 6:30 p.m. This is an interactive talk based on Debby’s experience and with plenty of samples and discussion of what works and what doesn’t. Cairo Public Library, 15 Railroad Avenue. (518) 622-9864. find the Cairo Library on Facebook.

Outreach from Smith Publicity
Smith Publicity would love the opportunity to connect with your group. We feel that we would be a great fit for a speaking opportunity to provide expert publicity tips and advice to your writers. Smith Publicity is widely regarded as one of the premier book marketing companies in the publishing industry, well-known for our work ethic, tenacity and creativity. From self-published business books to traditionally published national bestsellers, our record is unparalleled.

Members of our executive team – Dan Smith, Sandy Smith and Corinne Moulder – have presented and spoken to many publishing and author associations, participated on expert panels and spoken at national and regional trade-shows. They would be happy to provide book publicity tips and insights to your organization.

Please contact Faith Koerner for more information:


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