Writers in the Mountains

est. 1992

Imagination Unbound

Writers in the Mountains (WIM) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the literary arts in the Catskill Mountains and beyond. The organization serves a diverse community of writers and readers, from native-born residents to the summer visitors who migrate to the region from all over the world. In addition to offering a variety of creative writing workshops, WIM hosts numerous literary events and partners with other organizations in the community for the enjoyment of the written word.  

2020 Literary Festival


Read about our 2020 Literary Festival here.

POSTPONED - Leave your email to be notified of new dates.


Our News

Our Story

Writers in the Mountains (WIM) is a (501) (c) (3) non-profit organization whose mission is to provide a nurturing environment for the practice, appreciation and sharing of creative writing.


Founded in 1992 by Shelley A. Barre, the organization serves the entire Catskill region and Hudson Valley area, and offers a variety of creative writing workshops and other events year-round. The quality of our workshops and their affordability attract a wide range of participants from native-born residents to the summer visitors who migrate to the Catskills from all over the world. Our writers come from all backgrounds and levels of experience, and write in various genres and styles. Some are New York Times bestselling authors, and others have never written before.

In 2014 WIM ventured into yet another arena: it launched an annual literary festival for authors and publishers in the Catskills and Hudson Valley area called Writers Unbound (formerly known as “Meet the Authors”). The festival takes place every year in April at Union Grove Distillery in Arkville, New York, and features poetry readings, a publishing panel, an illustrators’ moment, a segment dedicated to fiction writing, and a new release. The keynote speaker in 2020 is Beth Lisick. She is a writer, actor, and the author of five books, including the New York Times bestseller Everybody Into the Pool. Her work has been published in various magazines and journals, including Best American Poetry. She co-founded San Francisco’s Porchlight storytelling series, traveled the country with the Sister Spit performance tours, and received a Creative Work Fund grant for a chapbook series with Creativity Explored, a San Francisco studio for artists with developmental disabilities. Beth has appeared in films that have screened at Cannes, Sundance, and the San Francisco International Film Festival. Her first novel Edie on the Green Screen was just published by 7.13 Books. She is a resident of Brooklyn and West Hurley. Her website is bethlisick.com.


What People Are Saying

Creative Nonfiction Workshop with Anique Taylor

“I’m excited to take this course. Anique provides interesting reading assignments, meditations, writing exercises, and examples that can be applied to your work in progress. The class also offers an opportunity to share your writings and gain valuable feedback from Anique and fellow classmates. It’s a warm and supportive environment. I highly recommend this course.”


- Heather Marsten, Woodstock


Melisse Seleck, Phoenicia

Take A Class

Our workshops are geared toward all styles, genres, and experience. All that is required is a love of language and the desire to tell a story. Those who take our workshops are assured a supportive environment, providing a better understanding of the pleasure of creative writing process. All of us are capable of intellectual and imaginative things, and WIM offers a variety of programs to help you to express your creativity.


In addition to creative writing workshops, WIM hosts the popular Writers Unbound Annual Literary Festival, and the informal Random Context Quarterly Literary Salon, which offers writers in every genre the opportunity to read their work to a welcoming audience in a cozy setting, and network with fellow publishing professionals.

THE MUSE IS ALL AROUND US with Sharon Ruetenik 

Postponed - New dates to be determined.


(six sessions)
6 pm – 8 pm

Andes Public Library

Andes, NY

An often asked question of writers and artists is where do you get your ideas. This class, suitable for beginners and experienced participants, will explore the many external sources of inspiration available to us. We will use as springboards advertisements, posters, photographs, paintings, music, film, and scraps of conversation. Each week the instructor will provide examples from such poets as Gerald Stern, Natasha Trethewey, Adrienne Rich, William Carlos Williams and cultural images. We will realize that the task of the poet is to notice everything and claim it for his/her own. And we will heed the path to self-knowledge through the words of Fanny Howe, To have the height of view/myself as I view others/with lenience & love.

Class Fee: Early Registration $70 | Standard Registration: $85 | REGISTER HERE

FICTION with Ginnah Howard 

June 9 - July 14


(six sessions)
1 pm – 3 pm



Do you have a short story or novel that you’re ready to have critiqued by a workshop group? Or do you have ideas for a story that you want to begin? This class is for new and more practiced fiction writers. If you’re working on memoir pieces, those will fit in as well since that form uses so many fiction devices. Most of each of the six sessions will be spent listening to members read their works-in-progress out loud on a “when ready” basis, with time given to talking about each piece in a supportive way that will help the writer decide on what revision may be needed. In the critique process we’ll always be talking about craft: voice, point of view, showing vs. telling, using significant details, etc. We’ll share sections of favorite published stories and novels that class members bring in that are good examples of “what works.”

Class Fee: Early Registration $70 | Standard Registration: $85 | REGISTER HERE


with Leslie T. Sharpe



Dates TBA 

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 usually 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 for why the book should be published, and why the author is the best possible person to write it.

Class Fee: $35 | REGISTER HERE


with Durga Yael Bernhard

Dates TBA 

This class will be useful for artists who want to apply their talent to commercial use or for
anyone who wants to learn the art of visual communication. Style development, visual research,
and the crucial importance of design will be discussed along with weekly hands-on exercises and
group critiques. Business aspects of professional illustration will be covered, including
freelancing, self-promotion, contracts, reproduction rights, computer skills, and more. Special
attention will be given to children’s book illustration if desired by the class. This is not a course
in computer graphics or digital illustration.

Work on pencil sketches for three illustrations to be completed at home: a children's book
character; a picture book cover design; and a scene from a story. A class critique will follow each
assignment, along with discussion of principles and concepts of children's book illustration,
including how to augment text; how to show transitions; how to age a character; how to choose a
moment of action to illustrate; and how to pick a perspective from which to draw. Please bring a
pad of tracing paper, a pencil, and an eraser.

Class Fee: $65 | REGISTER HERE

IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO BEGIN AGAIN: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond 

with Gail Lennstrom

August 26 - November 11


Introductory Session: August 12


(twelve sessions)

3 - 5 pm



Are you a retired or soon-to-be retired person seeking a post-work pastime, an artistic pursuit, or a path to self-discovery and deeper levels of purpose and higher creativity? Have you been reflecting on your life and perhaps thinking it would be fun to write your memoir? Many retirees and other midlifers considering such things often find themselves also wishing for help with a structured approach or with getting past their reluctance or the intimidation of the creative process. Author Julia Cameron, creator of best-selling The Artist’s Way, the iconic workbook on discovering one’s creativity that has inspired millions since its publication in 1992, has released a new workbook for exploring these questions that is designed specifically for people in the midlife chapter of their lives who are looking to define, redefine, or re-create themselves—or just the impetus to write! The workbook is divided into twelve chapters filled with guidelines, stories, and questions to reignite the heart, mind, and senses: Wonder, Freedom, Connection, Purpose, Honesty, Humility, Resilience, Joy, Motion, Vitality, Adventure, and Faith.

As workshop facilitator, Gail Lennstrom will reinforce the use of the Daily Morning Pages and Weekly Artist Date tools from the original workbook while guiding an exploration of the tools and questions Cameron has added to her new book to serve as catalysts for unearthing memories and inspirational materials to be incorporated into memoir writing. The class is designed for new writers, with an emphasis on the voluntary sharing of self-discoveries and insights more than critique. More experienced writers are welcomed, as well; for those, the exercises can serve as a map into avenues of detailed material for their works.

Class Fee: $150 | THIS  CLASS  IS  FULL

No Business Like Show Business –

Poetry Workshop with Lynn Domina

September 8 – October 13


(six sessions)

6 - 8 pm



Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph’s Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Shakespeare’s MacBeth. A German movie called Kästner und kleine Dienstag. What do these three things have in common? Lynn Domina has watched them all during this pandemic, partly because she couldn’t go anywhere, and partly because organizations have made performances available virtually that they wouldn’t have otherwise.

In this workshop, participants will write poems responding to movies, plays, concerts, and other types of performance. Participants can choose to explore one performance from multiple angles throughout the class, or they can respond to many different performances. The instructor will provide prompts each week which will vary wildly in technique, so everyone is sure to find something to enjoy. She will also provide links to example poems.

Class Fee: Early Registration $100 | Standard Registration: $125 | REGISTER HERE


with Anique Taylor

September: 17, 24

October: 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

November: 5, 12, 19

December: 3, 10

January: 7, 14


(fourteen sessions)

9 - 11 am


Bring the compelling and dramatic to your personal stories, essays, memoirs with the study of craft techniques of poetry, fiction and playwriting. Join us in a journey into mood, metaphor, viewpoint, dialogue and tone. Explore memory, risk, danger, dreams, your own version of reality or the perceived truth of the real world around you. We’ll combine free-writing, class exercises, short assignments, supportive class feedback and the study of non-fiction work by famous authors to hone and deepen the art of your Creative Nonfiction.

Class Fee: $220 | REGISTER HERE

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