Business Writing Workshop

Business Writing

Writers in the Mountains (WIM) introduces a six week long Business Writing workshop with Dara Lurie, running from August 11 to September 15, 2016. The class will be held Thursdays from 4 to 6 pm 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 twelve 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.
To register, call Jean Stone at (607) 326-4802, or e-mail her at jtstone@catskill.net. To register online, visit writersinthemountains.org. Class fee is $100, if you register and pay by July 21, and $125 after that.
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. Online 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.

 

Creative Writing Workshops in the Catskills

Brochures 2015Writers in the Mountains has announced its 2016 creative writing workshops. In addition to established poetry, playwriting, fiction and creative non-fiction classes, in 2016 the organization will introduce three new offerings:

  • Durga Yael Bernhard will be teaching an Illustration workshop at the Phoenicia Library from June 4 to July 9, 2016. This workshop will be covering style development, visual research, and design. The business aspects of professional illustration will also be covered, including freelancing, contracts, self-promotion, and more.
  • Also at the Phoenicia Library, Dara Lurie will be teaching a Business Writing workshop tailored to small business owners who wish to create catchy marketing copy. The class will incorporate one-to-one content development sessions. It will be held from August 11 to September 15, 2016.
  • New York Times best-selling author Sari Botton will be teaching a memoir workshop called “First-Person Singular” at a location to be determined in the city of Kingston. All levels are welcome in this class, which will be covering anything from short stories and essays to long form narratives.

For more information, and to sign up visit writersinthemountains.org.

Writers in the Mountains at the Andes Roundtable

WIM Self-Publishing Class
WIM’s Self-Publishing Class

Writers in the Mountains (WIM) invites you to the Andes Roundtable, Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 7 pm. The event is held at the Hunting Tavern, on Main Street in Andes, NY. Attendees will learn about WIM’s mission and programs, hear some of the region’s best writers, and have a conversation about the role of arts and letters in the Catskill region.

Writers in the Mountains (WIM) is a literary organization founded twenty-three years ago in Roxbury. Over the past two decades the organization has grown to include more than three hundred writers from all backgrounds, all ages and levels of experience, writing in all genres and styles. WIM offers a variety of creative writing workshops year round throughout the entire Catskill region: fiction, poetry, memoir, playwriting, publishing, business writing, illustration, and more.

In addition to a broad range of workshops and seminars, in 2012 WIM launched an essay contest for middle and high school students in Delaware County. The essay contest encourages young writers to pursue their passion and dare to write – WIM’s motto. This year’s topic is What is your favorite music, and how does it move you?   

Additionally, in 2014 WIM ventured into yet another arena: in April 2014 WIM started a book festival for authors, publishers and booksellers in the Catskills and Hudson Valley area. In 2015 the keynote speaker was award-winning author Jenny Milchman, published by Ballantine / Penguin Random House.

Writers in the Mountains hosts The Writer’s Voice, a weekly radio program on WIOX, broadcast Tuesdays at 1 pm, and produced by poet Sharon Israel.

WIM Board of Directors includes professionals with a wide range of skills and expertise: Simona David (consultant), Sharon Israel (poet), Geoff Rogers (writer), Peg DiBenedetto (publisher), Leslie T. Sharpe (professor, author and consultant), Lillian Browne (journalist), Carrie Bradley Neves (editor), Elizabeth Sherr (professor) – all professionals with a strong vision for what the organization is and can be.

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.  

Nonfiction Book Proposal Workshop

nonfiction book proposalWriters in the Mountains (WIM) announces Selling Your Nonfiction Book: The Art of Proposal Writing, a Sunday seminar with Leslie T. Sharpe, June 7, 1 to 4 pm, at the Andes Public Library.  In three information-packed hours, Leslie will effectively detail what it takes to write a winning nonfiction book proposal, illustrated with several handouts. In the second half of the seminar, she will invite writers to present their projects for evaluation and input in order to best shape their own top-notch “winning” proposal.

In addition to its diversity of forms, nonfiction also offers writers (which literary fiction does not) the possibility of having an incomplete manuscript accepted by an agent or editor— accompanied by a strong proposal. The proposal—including elements such as an Overview of the book, Annotated Table of Contents, Author’s Platform and Market Analysis—is usually submitted with two or three chapters of text and is, first and foremost, a writing sample as well as a sales tool. What agents/editors look for in a proposal is strong writing with a clear and cogent presentation of the book’s subject and/or narrative arc, depending on the form, and a persuasive rationale forwhy the book should be published, and why the author is the best possible person to write it.

Leslie, author, editor and educator, was a regular contributor to New York Newsday’s “Urban ‘I’” column.  Her essays and articles have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, International Herald Tribune, Newsday, New York Times, Psychology Today, and The Village Voice, among many othersLeslie recently finished her memoir, Our Fractured, Perfect Selves, and is currently at work on The Quarry Fox and Other Tales of a Catskill Summer. Wearing her editor hat, Leslie wrote Editing Fact and Fiction: A Concise Guide to Book Editing (Cambridge University Press, 1994), a “modern editing classic”and “On Writing Smart: Tips and Tidbits,” featured in The Business of Writing (Allworth, 2012).  Now an editorial consultant, Leslie specializes in literary nonfiction and fiction and poetry. At Columbia University, Leslie was Adjunct Assoc. Professor of Writing and taught in the MFA writing programs.  She taught in City College’s Publishing Certificate Program, and in NYU’s Certificate Program in Book Publishing. Now, Leslie teaches online courses for the cutting-edge all-media website, mediabistro.com—The Nonfiction Book and Nonfiction Writing Master Class.

To register, call Jean Stone at (607) 326-4802, or e-mail her at jtstone@catskill.net. To register online, visit writersinthemountains.org, go to Register Online page, and fill in the registration form.Class fee is $35.

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.

Literary vs. Genre Fiction

This past Sunday Writers in the Mountains in partnership with Glaring Omissions Writing Group co-hosted a panel discussion Writing Fiction Today – Literary vs. Genre Fiction: Real Distinction or No Difference at All? at the Golden Notebook bookstore in Woodstock.

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The panel discussion was moderated by Jenny Milchman. Jenny’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.

Before I summarize the panelists’ remarks, allow me to make a few general considerations. Right before the panel discussion started, I googled literary vs. genre fiction. And the fastest answers I got were:

  • Literary is about explaining the world;
  • Genre is about escaping the world.

Also:

  • Literary fiction takes the awards (there are exceptions to this rule, as we shall see!);
  • Genre fiction makes the bestseller lists – it gets the money!

And:

  • Literary fiction is more about advancing the intellectual discourse;
  • Whereas genre fiction is more about playing with emotions.

Last November Joshua Rothman from The New Yorker wrote A Better Way to Think About the Genre Debate (you can find full article here). Rothman pointed out that contrary to the general belief that genre fiction doesn’t get nominated or receive literary awards, Station Eleven, a dystopian novel by Emily St. John Mandel, made it in fact among the fiction finalists for the National Book Awards last year. Rothman also pointed out that novels such as Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment are both literary and genre fiction.

Now going back to last Sunday’s panel, here is what the panelists had to say.

Alison Gaylin

“I just like to write a good story. Booksellers find the distinction helpful to know where to shelve a book. And also publishers find it helpful to know how to market the book. There are many genres: romance, thriller, sci-fi, etc.”

Gaylin, a USA Today and international best-selling author, received an Edgar nomination for her first book Hide 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.

Elizabeth Brundage

“I agree with Alison that bookstore owners need to know where to put the book, but it could backfire in a way. I like to call my books literary thrillers. Because I put a lot of effort in every sentence that I write. I think it’s mostly the way the books are marketed that had created this distinction. My last book Stranger Like You was marketed as a thriller, as opposed to my first two which were marketed more like general literary fiction. Stranger Like You sort of got lost, and people couldn’t find it. The distinction is not what motivates me to write; I just want to tell a good story. And I think what people like is some sort of driving narrative focus. The effort you put into character development is what makes a novel more literary – the voice of the characters and things like that.

Write a book that conveys your vision of the world.”

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.

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Peter Golden

“I think this distinction became a problem for bookstores after WWII. It’s a post-war problem. Writers wrote for markets. But in the 1950s, early 1960s writers began to go to universities, and write for tenure. That was a different novel than writing for the markets. They needed different reviewers saying good things about their books. And then what happened was that people in the academia became very resentful of people in the marketplace, and vice versa. Hemingway wrote The Sun Also Rises because he wanted to become a commercial writer; he didn’t think he could make it by just writing short stories.”

Golden is an award-winning journalist and the author of six full-length works of non-fiction and fiction. His 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. 

Going back to Jenny Milchman, a couple of days prior to this panel discussion, she started a Facebook thread, and engaged with fellow writers in a passionate, well-argued debate. One commenter remarked that good writing is good writing, and bad writing is just that – bad writing. Another one said that he thought at literary fiction more in terms of general fiction, whereas genre fiction is a clearly recognizable genre (or maybe even a niche genre, I would add). Yet another one added that it’s become fashionable to label almost anything outside of the genre fiction as literary, and that makes the label meaningless. One commenter discussed the dichotomy ideas vs. emotions: ideas as pursued in literary fiction by those intellectually oriented, and emotions as explored in genre fiction for readers looking to have an emotional experience. Someone else summed up that this is an overrated question, and that readers don’t understand or care about.

What are your thoughts about literary vs. genre fiction?

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.

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

“Meet the Authors” Book Festival Coming Up April 12

Meet the Authors Book FestivalWriters in the Mountains (WIM) invites you to Meet the Authors, the Second Annual Catskills Book Festival,on Sunday, April 12, 2015 from 12 noon to 4 p.m. at the Roxbury Arts Center, 5025 Vega Mountain Road, Roxbury, NY. Participants include award-winning writers Mermer Blakeslee, author of When You Live by a River, and Breena Clarke, author of River, Cross My Heart; Stand the Storm; and Angels Make Their Hope Here.

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 a range of successful and fascinating writers, illustrators, editors, educators, booksellers, and publishers from Cooperstown to New York City and points between and beyond. The venue is an intimate setting that allows for one-on-one introductions, focused dialogue, and a sharing of the love of literature, all in the spirit of local energy, inspiration, and support. 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.

The program includes a poetry reading at 12:30 featuring Sharon Israel, Mermer Blakeslee, Peg DiBenedetto, and Geoff Rogers. At 1:30 there will be a group discussion on the latest news and trends in publishing headed by author Jenny Milchman (see below), editor Robert Wyatt, and consultant Simona David.

At 2 p.m., Jenny Milchman (Ballantine / Penguin Random House) will deliver the keynote address, Two Roads Diverged: Publishing a Book in 2015 & Beyond. 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 List and Target pick, won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for best suspense novel, and was nominated for both the Macavity and Barry Awards for best first novel. Her second book Ruin Falls, also an Indie Next List 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 in June 2015.

At 2:30, illustrators Alix Travis and AnnDuBois will discuss the ins and outs of designing picture books, and cookbook editor Carrie Bradley Neves will talk about new ingredients in the cookbook scene during the “foodie” era.

At 3:30, a raffle with the 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, all participating authors will read from their works and share their stories with the audience. Admission is free. Parking is available on Main Street and in the municipal parking lot. For more information visit writersinthemountains.org, or email writersinthemountains@gmail.com.

FOR FULL PROGRAM AND AUTHORS’ BIOS, GO TO http://writersinthemountains.org/book-festival/