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 – Fifth Annual Catskills Literary Festival

Writers in the Mountains invites you to its fifth annual Catskills literary festival. 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. The program includes poetry and fiction readings, a talk by keynote speaker Jan Albert, a panel on news and trends in publishing, illustration, and a few well-kept surprises.

Writers Unbound Flyer

Emmy Award-winning, Jan Albert has worked on documentaries for CBS, NBC, and PBS, produced presentations for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Library of Congress, and interviewed hundreds of creatives including Joan Didion and Stephane Grappelli. Albert currently blogs for PsychologyToday.com.

Featured Poet this year is New York Times best-selling author Beth Lisick. Lisick has appeared in films that have screened at Cannes, Sundance, and the San Francisco International Film Festival.

The program is as follows:

12:30 p.m.—Poetry Reading hosted by Sharon Israel, author of Voice Lesson / Featured Poet Beth Lisick

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

Panelists include Leslie T. Sharpe (author), Sari Botton (editor), Anique Taylor (educator), and Roz Foster (literary agent). Moderated by Simona David.

1:30 p.m.—Keynote Address with Jan Albert

2:30 p.m.—Illustrator’s Moment with cookbook editor Carrie Bradley Neves and illustrator and children’s book author Durga Yael Bernhard

3:00 p.m. —Writing Fiction: Leaping from the Known to Unknown with Ginnah Howard

3:30 p.m. — Catskill Fish Stories / Angler Tall Tales: The Ones That Didn’t Get Away, reading moderated by Dr. Bil Birns (readers include Stephen Sautner, Leslie T. Sharpe, Anique Taylor, and Sharon Israel)

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.

Come by to shop for books directly from their authors, hear readings and peer-to-peer discussions (always with a Q and A element), join in an enticing raffle (books are the prize, of course), and vote in the Best Book Cover contest. Union Grove’s hand-crafted vodka drinks as well as beer and soft drinks will be on sale. (Note, there is no food sold at Union Grove, but the Arkville Bread & Breakfast Diner is right next door.)

For more information, visit writersinthemountains.org

WRITERS IN THE MOUNTAINS (WIM) PRESENTS AT THE CATSKILL INTERPRETIVE CENTER’S BOOK FAIR, SATURDAY, JUNE 24, 2017

Writers in the Mountains (WIM), a literary nonprofit organization serving the Catskills and the Hudson Valley area since 1992, offers a variety of creative writing workshops year round, and hosts numerous literary events to promote the written word throughout our region and beyond.
On Saturday, June 24, 2017, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Writers in the Mountains will present at the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center’s Book Fair in Mount Tremper, and introduce some of its finest writers and poets. Presenters include nature writer Leslie T. Sharpe; art writer Simona David; poets Sharon Israel, Sharon Ruetenik, and Lissa Kiernan; fiction and creative nonfiction writers Anique Taylor and Carrie Bradley Neves; and monologist Bonnie Lykes. There will be readings, short presentations, and illustrative class exercises.
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.
Simona David, president of Writers in the Mountains, is a writer and media consultant. She is the author of Self-Publishing and Book Marketing, A Research Guide (2013), Art in the Catskills (3rd. edition, 2016), and How Art Is Made: In the Catskills (2017). Ms. David will discuss her latest book How Art Is Made: In the Catskills, released earlier this year. The book pays homage to the place where American art was born through a series of conversations with some of the world’s most accomplished artists who live and work in the Catskill Mountains.
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, and serves on WIM’s board of directors. 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 her husband, composer Robert Cucinotta, on works for voice, live instruments, and electronics. Ms. Israel will be reading selected poems from Voice Lesson.
Anique Taylor has co-authored works for HBO, Scholastic, and Simon & Schuster. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The World (St. Mark’s Poetry Project), Rattle, Common Ground Review, Adanna, Earth’s Daughters, Stillwater Review, and e-Bibliotekos’ Pain and Memory. She’s has been a featured writer at New York City readings including St. Mark’s Poetry Project, Dixon Place, the Speakeasy, and Cedar Tavern. Her chapbook Poems is published by Unimproved Editions Inc. Her chapbook Where Space Bends was chosen as a finalist for both Minerva Rising and Blue Light Press’s 2014 Poetry Chapbook Competitions; and her collection Under the Ice Moon was a finalist in Blue Light Press’s 2015 Competition. She holds a Poetry MFA from Drew University, a Drawing MFA from Pratt Institute, and a diplome in French Literature from the Sorbonne. She teaches Creative Nonfiction for Writers in the Mountains.
Sharon Ruetenik is the author of a poetry chapbook, The Wooden Bowl. She is currently working on a manuscript of sevenlings. Her work has appeared in print and online journals, most recently The Green Door. Ruetenik was awarded a poetry fellowship at the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts. As a speaker for the New York Council for the Humanities, she has lectured on short stories, novellas, and poetry. Her day job is working at SUNY Delhi as the coordinator of the Writing Center, the international student advisor, and adjunct instructor in composition and literature. She teaches for Writers in the Mountains The Journey from Theme to Images to Poem.
Lissa Kiernan is the founding director of the Poetry Barn in West Hurley. Her first full-length volume of poetry, Two Faint Lines in the Violet, was a 2014 Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Award finalist, as well as a finalist for the Julie Suk Award for Best Poetry Book by an Independent Press. Her first book of prose, Glass Needles & Goose Quills: Elementary Lessons in Atomic Properties, Nuclear Families & Radical Poetics will be published later this month. Ms. Kiernan holds an MA from the New School and an MFA from the Stonecoast Creative Writing program, and she teaches for Writers in the Mountains It’s Elemental: The Art of Revision in Poetry.
Carrie Bradley Neves is an Upstate New York native who grew up outside Albany and returned to the area a little over a decade ago. She has a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Williams College, where she also studied playwriting and poetry; and a master’s degree in fiction writing from the University of New Hampshire, where she studied fiction writing and poetry. For the last twenty-five years, Carrie has focused many of her writing goals on writing lyrics, making records, performing, and touring as a singer-songwriter and violinist. Other current writing and activities and projects include secretaryship of her college alumni publication, writing for her town newspaper, The Times of Halcott, and new work on a musical play. Her work-for-pay life is as a copy editor, specializing in cookbooks. She serves on WIM’s
Board of Directors.
Bonnie Lykes is a monologist, performance artist, and voice-over artist. Her work has been featured in Crack The Spine Literary Journal in both poetry and creative nonfiction, and is also featured in the subscription podcast “The Strange Recital.’ Ms. Lykes is a founder and president of the nonprofit organization Reservoir Food Pantry in Upstate New York. She is the host of Nonfiction Railroad Hour, an edition of the Writer’s Voice on WIOX 91.3 FM in Roxbury, New York, and serves on WIM’s board of directors.
To learn more about Writers in the Mountains, visit writersinthemountains.org.

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

IMG_1364
Featured Poet: Danniel Schoonebeek
IMG_1379
On the Publishing Panel with Leslie T. Sharpe, Lillian Browne, and Anique Taylor
IMG_1432
Keynote Speaker: Rosie Schaap, author of the “Drink” column for the New York Times Magazine
IMG_1458
With the New York Times bestselling author Sari Botton
IMG_1465
Peg DiBenedetto with Linda Lowen
IMG_1488
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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

 

End of Year in Publishing

Sophie McNeill from Penguin Random House summarized the five key trends in the book market in 2015, which reveal that:

books 2015

  • Print remains the most popular reading format with 63 percent of Americans reporting that they read a print book in the past year compared to 27 percent who reported they read an ebook in the past twelve months (data from the Pew Research Center).
  • Young adults are more likely than their elderly to have read a book in the past twelve months – McNeill points out that the range of successful movies based on young adult books may explain the age gap (which came as a surprise to me). Also, women are more likely to read books than men (the average woman reader reads fourteen books per year compared to nine books read by the average man reader).
  • In the first half of 2015 the trade book market when it comes to adult fiction, children’s and young adult literature, and religious presses was down 1.4% compared to the first half of 2014: $3 billion compared to $3.13. This statistic is from the American Association of Publishers, which only looks at traditional publishers, and does not include self-publishing. Children’s and young adult literature recorded the sharpest decline (12.3%).
  • According to the American Booksellers Association independent bookstores are coming back: according to the ABA the number of independent bookstores increased 20 percent from 2009 to 2014  (from 1,651 in 2009 to 2,094 in 2014).
  • 50 percent of Americans own a tablet or an ereader for reading digital content. It is expected that more and more Americans will shift from tablets to smartphones in the coming years. Read more about these findings here.

Mark Coker from Smashwords released his predictions for 2016, and these include:

  • Independent (in other words self-published) ebook authors will continue to gain market share at the expense of large publishers because indie titles are priced lower, and because indie authors move faster, and are creative when it comes to marketing and distributing their titles, among other reasons. According to Coker, “every year readers are spending more hours reading books from indie authors.” Also, according to Coker “more traditionally published authors will continue to experiment with self-publishing.”
  • Amazon Kindle Unlimited and KDP Select programs have trained readers to expect free ebook downloads, and this will have long-term ramifications not just for the self-published authors, but according to Coker for traditional publishers and traditionally published authors as well, and of course for the Amazon’s retail competitors.
  • According to Coker, the overall market for ebooks will shrink in terms of dollars, but will increase in terms of units.
  • Print won’t go away. Print books represent approximately 70 percent of the market today. Coker says that “for many readers, print is the gateway to digital.” He also writes about the importance of brick-and-mortar bookstores, and about Amazon’s plans to open a brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle.
  • Preorder usage will dramatically increase in 2016, according to Coker. Read full article here.

As mentioned in Coker’s article, Amazon did indeed open its first brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle back in November. The store, called Amazon Books, is located in University Village. Read article here. Amazon Books plans to use its huge database to stock its shelves; it will look at reviews from millions of readers, but also at staff-favorites, among other sources. Thomas De Monchaux wrote about Amazon Books for the New Yorker.

Amazon is not only the world’s largest bookseller, it’s also an important publisher. Launched in 2009, Amazon Publishing owns 14 imprints, and publishes both fiction and non-fiction books. Through AmazonCrossing, launched in 2010, the company publishes translated books. AmazonCrossing committed $10 million over the next five years to works in translation. Read more about Amazon Publishing here. Read more about AmazonCrossing in this article published by Alex Shephard in the New Republic.

Happy New Year, and Happy Publishing!

Simona David

 

Writing Fiction Today: Literary vs. Genre Fiction

DSC_1026Writers in the Mountains (WIM) invites you to Writing Fiction Today – Literary vs. Genre Fiction: Real Distinction or No Difference at All? Sunday, May 3 at 1 p.m. at the Golden Notebook Bookstore, 29 Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY. The event is co-sponsored by Glaring Omissions Writing Group, one of the longest-running critique groups in the Hudson Valley.

What kind of book do you like to read? What form does your writing take? If you’re like most readers or authors or poets or scribes, an answer came to your mind right away. But what happens when we begin to poke at that answer? Is there such a thing as a literary mystery? Or an experimental novel with a secret at its heart? Can a poem mystify? Moderator Jenny Milchman leads a conversation with panelists Elizabeth Brundage, Alison Gaylin, and Peter Golden as they question the foundation that lies beneath bookstore shelving, library categorization, and the ways we define words on a page. If these divisions are arbitrary–or at least miss a great deal of what truly goes on in a work–then perhaps we can come up with something better. A meaning that helps us to identify and create what we all are really after… great writing.

Jenny Milchman’s debut novel, Cover of Snow, earned starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, as well as praise from the New York Times, San Francisco Journal of Books, the AP, and other publications. It was an Indie Next and Target pick, won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for best suspense novel, and was nominated for the Macavity and Barry Awards for best first novel. Her second book Ruin Falls, also an Indie Next Pick, was published in 2014 to starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal, and chosen as a “10 Best of 2014″ by Suspense Magazine. Jenny’s third novel, As Night Falls, will be published on June 30th, 2015.

Elizabeth Brundage holds an MFA from the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she received a James Michener Award. Before attending Iowa, she was a screenwriting fellow at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. Her short fiction has been published in the Greensboro Review, Witness, and New Letters. She is the author of three novels, Somebody Else’s Daughter, The Doctor’s Wife, and A Stranger Like You, all published by Viking. Her new novel, All Things Cease to Appear, is forthcoming from Knopf in 2016.

USA Today and international best-selling author Alison Gaylin received an Edgar nomination for her first bookHide Your Eyes. Her Shamus Award-winning novel, And She Was, was also nominated for the RT award, the Thriller and Anthony awards. In addition to her six published crime fiction novels, she’s published the Young Adult mystery Reality Ends Here (Simon and Schuster/PocketStar). Stay with Me, her eighth book – and the third in the acclaimed Brenna Spector series – was just nominated for an Edgar Award for best paperback.

Peter Golden is an award-winning journalist and the author of six full-length works of non-fiction and fiction. Peter Golden’s first novel, Comeback Love, was published by Simon & Schuster. Some of his work has appeared in the Detroit Free Press Magazine, Albany Times Union, New Jersey Monthly, Microsoft’s eDirections, Beyond Computing, Electronic Business, Midstream, The Forward, and Capital Region Magazine. 

Please come peruse a brand new gallery of books set up by the Golden Notebook, share drinks and light refreshments, and become a part of this very stimulating conversation! The event is free and open to the public. Book buying is encouraged to support our community bookstore.

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.

Glaring Omissions Writers Group hosts a monthly reading series at the Golden Notebook.