Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter, September 2016

Member Announcements:

  • Pauline Bartel announces upcoming classes
  • New member requests editing help

Area Announcements:

  • Spencertown Academy Arts Center 11th Annual Festival of Books September 3-5
  • New Writers in the Mountains (WIM) classes begin in September
  • Caffè Lena reading to feature The Gossamer Stone Poets September 7
  • Creative writing workshop for those with chronic lung conditions starts September 10
  • Third Thursday to feature poet Daniel B. Summerhill September 15
  • Evening of Poetry & Prose September 29
  • Indie Author Day October 8
  • Register by October 29 for fiction writing workshop at Roe Jan Library


Pauline Bartel announces upcoming classes
Pauline Bartel announces the following upcoming classes:

  • Learn How to Write Your Life Story / A course for those interested in writing a life story or family history will be held on Tuesdays, September 20, 27, October 4 and 11, 2016 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Hudson Valley Community College. “Writing Your Life Story” is offered through the Office of Community and Professional Education. Course fee is $71, which includes a coursebook. To register, telephone (518) 629-7339. Instructor Pauline Bartel will discuss the step-by-step process that transforms memories into memoirs, including techniques for stimulating memories, conducting personal and family history research and writing the story of your life. One-on-one consulting with the instructor and reader feedback about works in progress will help you preserve precious stories for future generations.
  • Learn How to Write Personal Essays / Transform the ordinary events of your life into extraordinary personal essays. Learn the step-by-step process in “Writing from Your Heart: The Art of Personal Essays,”  a course that will be held on Wednesdays, September 21, 28 and October 5, 2016 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at SUNY Adirondack’s Wilton campus, 696 US 9, Wilton, NY 12831. Course fee is $59, which includes a coursebook. To register, telephone (518) 743-2238. Instructor Pauline Bartel will discuss the process of using writing games to unlock your experiences; choosing the most-effective essay style; shaping your experiences into a first draft; and allowing reader reaction to refine your draft into a polished essay.
  • Learn How to Write a Memoir o Family History / A course for those interested in writing a memoir or family history, “Writing Your Life Story,” will be held on Saturday, September 24, 2016 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Schenectady County Community College in Schenectady, NY. Course fee is $59. A required coursebook ($15) is available from the instructor the day of the class. Register online ( or in person. Instructor Pauline Bartel will introduce the step-by-step process that transforms memories into memoirs, including techniques for stimulating memories, conducting personal and family history research and writing the story of your life or your family.
  • Learn How to Write and Sell Fiction for Kids / If you’re a budding Beatrix Potter or a struggling Dr. Seuss, discover the secrets of writing and selling books for kids of all ages. “Writing and Selling Fiction for Kids” will be held on Thursdays, September 29, October 6, 13 and 20, 2016 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Hudson Valley Community College. Course fee is $71, which includes a coursebook. To register, telephone (518) 629-7339. Instructor Pauline Bartel will discuss how to develop a compelling plot, create characters that come alive on the page, write believable dialogue and how to market stories to publishers. One-on-one consulting with the instructor and reader feedback about works in progress will help students move confidently along the path to publication.

Bartel is an award-winning writer and the author of seven published books. In addition, she has been widely published in more than 100 juvenile, teenage and adult periodicals. She is a member of the prestigious American Society of Journalists and Authors. Visit her website ( for further information.

New member requests editing help
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.”

You can reach Robert regarding this opportunity via email:


Spencertown Academy Arts Center 11th Annual Festival of Books September 3-5
Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s 11th annual Festival of Books takes place over Labor Day weekend, September 3-5. The festival features a giant used book sale, two days of discussions with and readings by esteemed authors and a children’s program. Featured authors this year include Christopher Breiseth, Elizabeth Brundage, Michelle Hoover, Courtney Maum, David Pietrusza, Ruth Reichl, Russell Shorto, Will Swift, Mark Wunderlich and Steve Yarbrough. Admission is free to all of the events, save for the early book-buying opportunities detailed below.

Authors’ books will be available for purchase (at special event prices) and signing. Healthy, delicious snacks and beverages will also be for sale throughout the weekend, including the Academy’s signature “To-Die-For, No-Alarm Vegetarian Chili.” The Festival of Books is funded in part by Poets & Writers with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

The festival, which began in 2006 as a book sale to raise funds for the Academy’s community arts programs, has grown into one of the biggest and most eagerly anticipated cultural events of the year.

FESTIVAL MAIN STAGE / Saturday, September 3

  • The Festival kick-off at 11:30 a.m. — Prizes awarded to the top entries of the Festival of Books Teens’ Short Story and Poetry Contest.
  • 12:15 p.m. — Reading by poet Mark Wunderlich
  • 1:30 p.m. — Novelists Michelle Hoover and Courtney Maum discuss the narrative strategies of using one voice vs. many voices—how and why writers choose a point of view, along with the rewards and pitfalls of these approaches.
  • 3 p.m. — Bestselling author and food writer Ruth Reichl will talk about the joys of shopping for local ingredients, cooking and eating in Columbia County and the Berkshires in conversation with Madaline Sparks, principal of Madaline Sparks Garden Design and Spencertown Academy board vice president.

FESTIVAL MAIN STAGE / Sunday, September 4

  • 12 p.m. — Novelists Steve Yarbrough and Elizabeth Brundage will discuss the importance of setting in a novel. They will explore person, place, and thing— the elements involved in creating fictional worlds in novels.
  • 1:30 p.m. — Non-fiction author Russell Shorto will give a talk titled “From Amsterdam to New Amsterdam” in which he will discuss the common thread that connects his two most recent books: water. It was the battle to control water with dams and dikes that led the Dutch city of Amsterdam to rise to prominence. Amsterdam in the 17th century gave rise to New Amsterdam, which became New York. And water management is today a vital issue with which both cities—and much of the rest of the world—are grappling.
  • 3 p.m. — Sunday’s final program will be a panel discussion titled “FDR’s Legacy From The 1930s” with distinguished scholars Christopher Breiseth, David Pietrusza and Will Swift.

CHILDREN’S PROGRAM /The Festival of Books children’s program on Saturday, September 3 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. will feature a visit from the costumed character Pete the Cat of Eric Litwin’s popular children’s book series. Youngsters will get to shake Pete the Cat’s hand and pose for souvenir pictures with their storybook friend, as well as make book-related art projects in the crafts tent with Chatham art teacher Susan Grybas.

GIANT USED BOOK SALE /At the heart of the Festival is a giant book sale, one of the biggest in the region, featuring more than 10,000 gently used books, including fiction and non-fiction, hard and soft covers—all offered at very affordable prices. There’s a special Kids’ Corner for young readers and a media rack full of CDs and audio books. A first-floor gallery features a handpicked selection of specialty books, limited editions, out-of-print books and new books donated by leading national publishers. The book sale is open to the public on Saturday, September 3, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, September 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Monday, September 5 (bargain day), from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free.

In addition, there are two early-buying events. Spencertown Academy members will have first crack at the books and enjoy wine, cheese and shopping at the Member’s Preview Party on Friday, September 2, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is $25. Tickets and memberships will be available for purchase at the door. Please note: This event is for Academy members and their guests only. (Book dealers are welcome at the early-buying opportunity Saturday morning.)

Shoppers and book dealers who want first pick of the stock can take advantage of an early-buying opportunity on Saturday, September 3, from 8-9:30 a.m. Admission for early buying on Saturday is $20 (cash only). Serious bargain hunters will want to return to the sale on Monday, September 5, when all remaining sale books will be just $1, and all specialty books will be half off the already low prices. There will also be closing hour surprise specials.

Housed in a beautifully restored 1840s Greek-Revival schoolhouse at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. It offers a variety of free and low-cost community arts events, including concerts, readings, theater pieces, art exhibitions, and arts-related workshops and classes. For more information about the Festival of Books, see

New Writers in the Mountains (WIM) classes begin in September
Writers in the Mountains will offer three diverse classes beginning this September:

  • A Journaling Workshop will back by popular demand with veteran instructor Ev Ellsworth. The class will be held Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 12 noon, from September 6 to October 11,  at the Roxbury Public Library.  Class fee is $70. Ev Ellsworth, one of WIM’s most insightful, understanding and popular teachers, helps even the most skeptical and scared novice to dare to write. She is expert at offering writers, from new diarists to veteran journal-keepers, the tools and support they need to ease into journaling.
  • Where Does a Play Come From – And Where Can It Go?, led by The Open Eye Theater’s artistic director, Amie Brockway, will be held at the Open Eye Theater, 960 Main Street in Margaretville, Mondays, 6 to 8 p.m., from September 12 through October 17. Class fee is $70 if you register and pay three weeks before the class begins and $85 after that. Amie has directed dozens of world premieres and nurtured playwrights through three seasons of Summer Shortcuts at the theater in Margaretville and the Eye on Playwrights Lab at The Open Eye Theater in NYC.
  • Anique Taylor’s popular 16-week Creative Nonfiction Workshop will resume September 15, to January 12. The class will be held Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Pine Hill Community Center, Main Street, Pine Hill,. Class fee is $220. In a college-like semester packed with excitement and growth, this extended class will offer writers possibilities for deepening their craft, group support and continuing work on long projects. Anique holds a poetry MFA from Drew University, a drawing MFA from Pratt Institute and a diplome in French Literature from the Sorbonne. She has taught creative writing for Benedictine’s Oncology Support Program, Bard LLI, Artworks and Phoenicia Poetry Workshop.

Visit www.writersinthemountains for full class descriptions and registration information.

Caffè Lena reading to feature The Gossamer Stone Poets September 7 
On Wednesday, September 7, Caffè Lena will present a poetry reading at Northshire Bookstore, Saratoga, by The Gossamer Stone Poets. An open reading will follow. Doors open for sign-ups at 6:30 p.m.,  and the readings will start at 7. The host for the event will be Carol Graser, and the event is free. Northshire Bookstore Saratoga is located at 424 Broadway (

The Gossamer Stone Poets began as The Northshire Poetry Reading Group in October of 2012, sponsored by Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT.  By January 2013, they had become a poetry writing group, as well.  In May of 2015 they self-published Border Lines: A poetry collection, which represents the poetry of six out of the eight Gossamer Stone Poets.  The poets are from Southwestern Vermont and over the border into New York State, hence the name of their book. They meet twice a month for reading and writing meetings, enjoy getting away together for writing retreats to monasteries and Montreal and are in demand for “The Poet Is In” event. Although diverse in their poetry forms and styles, they share a passion for poetry that’s been a beacon in their creative lives.

Creative writing workshop for those with chronic lung conditions starts September 10
Write With Carol–FREE! / Do you have asthma, emphysema, sarcoidosis or another chronic lung condition? Come to a wonderful 9-week creative writing class especially designed for you! The teacher is a Masters of Fine Arts student in her last term at the College of St. Rose, and she can’t wait to help you get your experiences and feelings on the page through poetry. Meet others who are going through the same things. Find support in the group. Come to learn, share and write!! Class will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. starting Saturday, September 10, in Albany. (You will be notified of exact venue.) Contact Carol, at (518) 441-7271 or with any questions or for more information. She can’t wait to meet you!

Third Thursday to feature poet Daniel B. Summerhill September 15
Poet Daniel B. Summerhill will read from his work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany, on Thursday, September 15, 7:30 p.m.  Daniel Summerhill was previously named “Youth Poet Laureate” in 2009. He is an Oakland native an a nationally recognized poet/performance artist.  His poetry collections include the 2016 Brown Boys on Stoops and the recent Crafted.

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

Evening of Poetry & Prose September 29
Greetings, Literature Fans!  Please join us for another special Evening of Poetry and Prose live from the Student Ghetto here in Albany, New York!

Where?  At the Hudson River Coffee House, 227 Quail Street, between Madison and Western (on the corner of  Quail and Hudson Streets)

When? 6:30 p.m., Thursday, September 29

The event is FREE, but if you like what you hear, books and chapbooks by the readers will be for sale. Coffee, tea and refreshments are for sale at affordable prices by Anton and his team! Please bring a friend.  It should be a legendary evening for all. For more information, please contact For more specific directions or question about the HRCH, please contact Anton at: We hope to see you there!

Indie Author Day October 8
During the Inaugural Indie Author Day on October 8,libraries from all across North America will host their own local author events with the support of the Indie Author Day team. In addition to these local programs, each library’s indie community will come together for an hour-long digital gathering at 2 p.m. Eastern featuring Q&A with writers, agents and other industry leaders. Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity for libraries and authors to connect on both local and global levels!

The two Capital District libraries so far signed up to participate are:

  • East Greenbush Community Library
  • Schenectady County Public Library

For any writers interested in participating, contact the library directly. For more information go to

Register by October 29 for fiction writing workshop at Roe Jan Library
“The ABCs of Writing Page-Turning Fiction,” a writers’ workshop taught by author, teacher and scholar Joanne Dobson, will be held on Saturday, November 12, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Roeliff Jansen Community Library.

The workshop is designed for writers of all levels — from more experienced writers who wish to refresh and deepen their skills to new writers who want to learn the basics. Brief lectures will cover fundamentals of creating compelling fiction: character, plot, voice, setting, narrative momentum and point of view. Lectures will be interspersed with short, intensive writing exercises permitting participants to explore the topic being addressed.

The fee is $20 for those who register by October 29, and then increases to $25. The fee can be waived upon request. To register or to request fee waiver contact Bobbie Slonevsky at Snow date for the workshop is November 19.

Roeliff Jansen Community Library, which is chartered to serve Ancram, Copake and Hillsdale, is located at 9091 Route 22, approximately one mile south of the light at the Hillsdale intersection of Routes 22 and 23. For information on hours and events, call (518) 325-4101 or visit the library’s website at Follow the library on Twitter: @libraryroe.

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