Catskill Mountain Story Festival

 

Catskill Mountain Story Festival

Presentations by Writers in the Mountains and Silver Hollow Audio, including a Food Panel with chef Bryan Calvert from Binnekill Tavern, author of “Brooklyn Rustic: Simple Food for Sophisticated Palates.” 

Catskills Visitor Center

Mount Tremper, New York

June 15, 2019

 

At Writers Unbound Sixth Annual Catskills Literary Festival

 

April 28, 2019

Union Grove Distillery

Arkville, New York

At Writers Unbound Fifth Annual Catskills Literary Festival

April 29, 2018

Union Grove Distillery

Arkville, New York

Writers Unbound – Literary Festival

FlyerWriters in the Mountains (WIM) invites you to its annual literary arts and community event and celebration Writers Unbound (formerly known as Meet the Authors), the fourth in our series of annual literary festivals. This year the event takes place on Sunday, April 30, from 12 noon to 4 p.m. at the Union Grove Distillery in Arkville, NY. Union Grove is housed in a big old barnlike building featuring comfortable spaces fitted with stainless steel and copper and wood, a roaring fireplace, and the percolation of fine spirits—all making for a perfect environment in which to listen to, talk about, and think about books and writing.

The daylong event welcomes all writers and readers, artists and audience, and community members from every walk to enjoy a warm gathering of successful and fascinating writers, illustrators, editors, educators, booksellers, and publishers from Syracuse to New York City and points between and beyond. This year’s keynote speaker is Holly George-Warren. As a writer specializing in music history and biography, she has written many journal articles and liner notes, edited compilations and collections, and is author or co-author of more than fifteen books, including her forthcoming biography of Janis Joplin, which will be published by Simon & Schuster in 2018. She also teaches, lectures, and is a consultant, curator, and archivist in the museum arena; she serves as the director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Oral History Program.

Come by to shop for books directly from their authors, hear readings and peer-to-peer discussions, join in an enticing raffle (books are the prize, of course), and vote in the Best Book Cover contest.

Participants include poets Sharon Israel, Anique Taylor, Sharon Ruetenik, Lissa Kiernan, and Clark Strand; authors Leslie T. Sharpe, Nina Shengold, Sari Botton, Dara Lurie, Carrie Bradley Neves, and Simona David; playwright Amie Brockway; illustrators Durga Yael Bernhard and Will Lytle; and publisher Dayl Wise from Post Traumatic Press.

The program is as follows:

12:30 p.m.—Poetry Reading / Featured Poet Sharon Israel

Sharon Israel is the host of Planet Poet-Words in Space, an edition of The Writer’s Voice program on WIOX 91.3 FM in Roxbury, New York. She has just released her first chapbook Voice Lesson, published by Post Traumatic Press. Her work most recently appeared in Per Contra, SPANK the CARP, 5:2 Crime Poetry Weekly, Medical Literary Messenger, and Spry Literary Journal. In 2016 Ms. Israel appeared as a panelist at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival in Salem, Mass. As a poet and soprano, she collaborates with composer Robert Cucinotta on works for voice, live instruments, and electronics. She will be reading selected poems from Voice Lesson.

1:00 p.m.—Publishing Panel / Group Discussion Addressing the Latest News and Trends in Publishing

Panelists include authors Leslie T. Sharpe and Anique Taylor, and publisher Dayl Wise from Post Traumatic Press. Moderated by Simona David.

1:30 p.m.—Keynote Address “The Art and Craft of the Biography” with Holly George-Warren

Holly George-Warren is a two-time Grammy nominee and an award-winning writer named one of the top women music critics “you need to read” by Flavorwire.com. She is the author or co-author of fifteen books, including A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, from the Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor ManPublic Cowboy No. 1: The Life and Times of Gene Autry; and the forthcoming biography of Janis Joplin, which will be published by Simon & Schuster in 2018. She co-wrote the New York Times bestseller The Road to Woodstock (with Michael Lang), as well as John Varvatos: Rock in Fashion (with Varvatos) and It’s Not Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (with Jenny Boyd). Among her other works are The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: The First 25 Years; Punk 365Grateful Dead 365Bonnaroo: What, Which, This, That, the Other; How the West Was Worn (with Michelle Freedman); Cowboy! How Hollywood Invented the Wild West; and the nonfiction children’s books Honky-Tonk Heroes and Hillbilly Angels: The Pioneers of Country & Western MusicShake, Rattle & Roll: The Founders of Rock & Roll; and The Cowgirl Way.

2:30 p.m.—New Release with Leslie T. Sharpe, author of The Quarry Fox and Other Critters of the Wild Catskills 

Leslie T. Sharpe is a writer, editor, and educator. A member of PEN American Center, she is the author of Editing Fact and Fiction: A Concise Guide to Book Editing (Cambridge University Press, 1994), which is regarded as a “modern editing classic” and “On Writing Smart: Tips and Tidbits,” featured in The Business of Writing (Allworth, 2012).  Her new book, The Quarry Fox and Other Critters of the Wild Catskills, published by The Overlook Press in March 2017, is a lyric narrative look at the wild animals of the Catskill Mountains. Ms. Sharpe will be reading excerpts from her new book, and will discuss the genre of nature writing, as it relates to the Catskill Mountains.

3:00 p.m.—Fiction: Roots and Branches with Nina Shengold 

Nina Shengold writes in many genres. Her books include the novel Clearcut (Anchor Books), a Book Sense Notable Selection; River of Words: Portraits of Hudson Valley Writers, with photographer Jennifer May (SUNY Press); and 13 theatre anthologies for Vintage Books and Viking Penguin. She won the Writers Guild Award for her teleplay Labor of Love, starring Marcia Gay Harden, and the ABC Playwright Award for Homesteaders. Ms. Shengold has taught creative writing at the University of Maine, Manhattanville College, Vermont College of Fine Arts, and locally at Word Cafe, the Omega Institute, and as a visiting guest artist at SUNY Ulster.

3:30 p.m.—Illustrators’ Moment

Illustrators Durga Yael Bernhard and Will Lytle, cookbook editor Carrie Bradley Neves, and art writer Simona David will talk about the ins and outs of illustrated books.

4:00 p.m.The Bounty of Books Raffle, with a prize of ten selected book titles, will be awarded (come early, tickets are limited!), and the winner of the Best Cover Contest will be announced.

Throughout the day, participating authors will read from their works and share their stories with the audience. Admission is free. For more information, visit writersinthemountains.org, or e-mail writersinthemountains@gmail.com.

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. Learn more at writersinthemountains.org.

At “Meet the Authors” – Third Annual Catskills Book Festival

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Featured Poet: Danniel Schoonebeek
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On the Publishing Panel with Leslie T. Sharpe, Lillian Browne, and Anique Taylor
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Keynote Speaker: Rosie Schaap, author of the “Drink” column for the New York Times Magazine
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With the New York Times bestselling author Sari Botton
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Peg DiBenedetto with Linda Lowen
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Cookbook editor Carrie Bradley Neves

At the Union Grove Distillery in Arkville, NY on April 24, 2016

© 2016 Simona David

“Meet the Authors” – Third Annual Catskills Book Festival, Sunday, April 24 at Union Grove Distillery

WIM's Book Festival 2015Writers in the Mountains (WIM) invites you to a literary arts and community event and celebration we call “Meet the Authors,” the third in our series of annual book festivals. This year the event takes place on Sunday, April 24, from 12 noon to 4 p.m. at the Union Grove Distillery in Arkville, NY, an exciting new enterprise in the area. Union Grove is housed in a big old barnlike building featuring comfortable spaces fitted with stainless steel and copper and wood, a roaring fireplace, and the percolation of fine spirits—all making for a perfect environment in which to listen to, talk about, and think about books and writing.

The daylong event welcomes all writers and readers, artists and audience, and community members from every walk to brave the mud and chill of early spring and enjoy a warm gathering of successful and fascinating writers, illustrators, editors, educators, booksellers, and publishers from Syracuse to New York City and points between and beyond. This year’s keynote speaker is Rosie Schaap, author of the celebrated memoir Drinking with Men as well as the “Drink” column for The New York Times magazine.

Come by to shop for books directly from their authors, hear readings and peer-to-peer discussions, join in an enticing raffle (books are the prize, of course), and vote in the Best Book Cover contest.

Participating authors include Sari Botton, Robert Burke Warren, Linda Lowen, Ginnah Howard, John Gregg, Susan Wilbur, Craig Sanders, Jo Salas, Nava Atlas, Mary Lou Harris, and poet Danniel Schoonebeek, among others.

WIM Book Fair 2015 (1)

 

The program is as follows:

12:30—Poetry reading led by poet Sharon Israel. Featured Poet: Danniel Schoonebeek.

Danniel Schoonebeek’s first book of poems, American Barricade, was published by YesYes Books in 2014. It was named one of the year’s ten standout debuts by Poets & Writers and called “a groundbreaking first book that stands to influence its author’s generation” by Boston Review. In 2015, he was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry fellowship from the Poetry Foundation and his second book of poems, Trébuchet, was selected as a winner of the 2015 National Poetry Series and will be published by University of Georgia Press. Recent work appears in The New Yorker, PoetryKenyon Review, Tin House, and elsewhere. A recipient of awards and honors from Poets House, the Millay Colony for the Arts, and Oregon State University, he hosts the Hatchet Job reading series in Brooklyn and edits the PEN Poetry Series. His latest book, a travelogue called C’est la guerre, is forthcoming later this year.

1:30—Group discussion on the latest news and trends in publishing. Leslie T. Sharpe, who taught writing at Columbia University and was an editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and now teaches for Writers in the Mountains, will talk about traditional publishing; writer and consultant Simona David will touch on independent publishing; poet, painter and educator Anique Taylor will address getting published in literary journals; and Lillian Browne, editor-in-chief of The Reporter and editor of the Catskill Country Magazine, will share thoughts about her experience with the news media and travel magazine publishing.

2 p.m.—Rosie Schaap, author of the celebrated memoir Drinking with Men as well as the “Drink” column for The New York Times magazine, will deliver the keynote address. Rosie Schaap has been a bartender, a fortuneteller, a librarian at a paranormal society, an English teacher, an editor, a preacher, a community organizer, and a manager of homeless shelters.

2:30—Carrie Bradley Neves, writer, musician, and editor (with a specialization in cookbooks) will talk about new ingredients in the cookbook scene during the “foodie” era. Other illustrated book authors will be in the spotlight.

3:30—The Bounty of Books raffle, with a prize of ten selected book titles, will be awarded (come early, tickets are limited!), and the winner of the Best Cover contest will be announced.

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Throughout the day, participating authors will read from their works and share their stories with the audience. Admission is free. For more information, visit writersinthemountains.org, or e-mail writersinthemountains@gmail.com.

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.

 

Impressions from the Woodstock Writers Festival

Woodstock Writers Festival just concluded its seventh season earlier this month: the festival took place between April 7 – 10 at various locations throughout town, and brought in writers of the highest caliber, as it does every year. This year the festival was co-sponsored by The New School, which also ran a Twitter contest throughout the duration of the festival, and asked participants to tweet their best Six Word Memoir, using the hashtag #6wordmemoir. Winners were offered the opportunity to be published on The New School’s Creative Writing program blog. Luis Jaramillo, the program’s director and author of The Doctor’s Wife, published in 2012, spoke at the festival. Jaramillo, who attended the festival for the first time this year, talked about The New School’s mission to “educate the educated.”

Read full article at Upstater.com.

Fiction Panel "What If?" moderated by Ann Hood
Fiction Panel “What If?” moderated by Ann Hood

© 2016 Simona David

 

Meet the Authors – Second Annual Catskills Book Festival

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WIM Book Fair 2015 (1)

WIM Book Fair 2015 (2)

Writers in the Mountains’ Meet the Authors – Second Annual Catskills Book Festival

Roxbury Arts Center

April 12, 2015

Woodstock Writers Festival’s Sixth Anniversary

The Woodstock Writers Festival celebrated its sixth anniversary this past weekend, March 19 – 22, with a variety of workshops, panel discussions, a story slam competition, as well as a couple of parties, after dinner conversations, and a Sunday morning literary brunch.

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I attended the publishing panel on Saturday morning. Panelists included: Gail Godwin, a three-time National Book Award finalist, and the bestselling author of twelve novels, including Publishing: A Writer’s Memoir, published by Bloomsbury Publishing; Jenny Milchman, author of three acclaimed novels published by Ballantine, an imprint of Penguin Random House; Sara Carder, editorial director of Jeremy P. Tarcher, an imprint of Penguin Random House; Mary Cummings, vice president and editorial director of Diversion Books, a digitally focused publisher in New York City; and Ned Leavitt, a literary agent. The panel was moderated by Nan Gatewood Satter, a fiction and non-fiction editor with close to thirty years of experience.

What I took out:

  • Gail Godwin emphasized the importance of having a good editorial team, and an established long-term commitment among publishing partners. She also talked about the authors’ ability to negotiate their rights, and secure some benefits even when they don’t quite get the exact terms they were looking for. She warned authors of doing too much pro-bono writing.
  • By contrast, Mary Cummings talked about pro-bono writing such as submitting articles to newspapers and magazines as an investment in the author’s brand and long-term sales. Cummings talked about the importance of crunching data and fine-tuning the marketing strategy for each title on a monthly basis. No title is ever abandoned. In addition, she emphasized the role of social media in connecting authors with readers, and also the role social media plays in enhancing an author’s brand. Cummings was fond of search engine optimization techniques; she said she puts a lot of effort into creating “foundable books.”
  • Sara Carder confessed that this was a “frightening” time for the publishing industry. She talked about the creative process, and the effort each editor puts into each new book project. She said she relied on her intuition when deciding whether to move forward with a book project or not. Carder also feared that search engine optimization techniques would hurt “poetic titles” and other creative ways of differentiating a book. She did however agree that newspaper and magazine articles can help a writer’s brand, and wasn’t too worried about pro-bono writing.
  • Ned Leavitt talked about the excitement of good writing. He was worried about Amazon’s publishing model. He also confessed that intuition plays quite a role in his work.
  • Jenny Milchman talked about her journey to publishing; it took her eleven years to get published, but in the end she got the deal that she wanted to get. Since 2013 she’s been publishing a new novel each year. Milchman was keen of social media, and enjoyed connecting with readers. Each year she does a long book tour, visiting hundreds of bookstores all over the country.

Jenny Milchman will be at the Writers in the Mountains’ book festival on April 12; she’ll be talking about publishing. She’ll also be delivering the keynote address.