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Writers in the Mountains

The Catskills - Upstate New York
Imagination Unbound 
Est. 1992

Imagination Unbound

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est. 1992

Writers in the Mountains (WIM) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the literary arts in the Catskill Mountains (Upstate New York) 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
POSTPONED - New Dates to Be Announced for 2023

WiM Spotlight Logo - Copy.jpeg

WIM Spotlight on Student Writing is an online literary journal published by Writers in the Mountains. Launched in August 2022 to mark the organization's 30th anniversary, WIM Spotlight showcases excellent student work in a range of genres from poetry to fiction to creative nonfiction and micro-memoir. Our mission is to share superlative examples of previously unpublished writing that has emerged from one of our classes or workshops. WIM Spotlight does not accept direct submissions at this time. Each piece published has been hand-selected by a WIM instructor, pending student consent, then submitted to WIM’s Publications Committee for final consideration. WIM Spotlight holds first publication rights for all submissions chosen for publication. Upon publication, the rights revert to the author. We reserve the right to reprint, both in print and digital forms, in the future. Payment will be two copies of any printed form of the author’s work and a course credit of $25 towards a future WIM class.

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



Kaatscast is produced by Silver Hollow Audio and promotes the culture of the Catskills  

Hear more in this WIM episode from Kaatscast,

a Catskills podcast from Silver Hollow Audio.

Our Story.

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

Take a class.

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.


Modern Love II with Elizabeth Koster

June 13 - July 25, 2023

(skipping July 4)


(six sessions)

4 - 6 pm ET


Modern Love II is open to students who have taken a Modern Love course. In this class, participants will continue to study published essays and work weekly on sculpting and refining work to submit to The New York Times Modern Love column, and other publications. Students who have taken this class in the past have found the instructor’s gentle feedback and encouragement tremendously helpful in their work.


From Stacy DeBritz: "Elizabeth Koster’s Modern Love course was chock-full of inspiration, workshops, and nuts and bolts help. We read examples and discussed what to do, as well as what not to do, in submitting an essay to the New York Times column. Peer and instructor reviews were so beneficial! I’ve developed a network of writing/accountability partners with fellow students in this WIM course. The instruction, students, and feedback far exceeded my expectations."

Class Fee: $100 | REGISTER HERE

Micro: The Divine Detail 
Editing Class with Elizabeth Koster

June 29 - August 3, 2023


(six sessions)

4 - 6 pm ET


Vladimir Nabokov told his students: “Caress the detail, the divine detail." In this class, through a combination of workshop and generative exercises, you will learn self-editing techniques to improve the musicality, specificity, and power of your (short) prose. Learn how to shape your stories, elevate your language, punctuate for emphasis, pare down sentences, and kill those darlings. Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, you will come away with polished work and a greater sense of how to trust yourself and make your words sing. 

Class limited to ten students. 

Class Fee: $125 | REGISTER HERE

with Thad Rutkowski

Weekend Intensive

Saturday and Sunday, July 22 - 23, 2023

1  - 4 pm ET


Everyone has a story to tell. Your story may be true or it may be fictional, but you can tell it in a compelling way. You can make your story come alive by using dramatic elements of the writer’s craft. Whether you’re a journeyman polishing a piece or a beginner learning the craft, this workshop has something for you. We will focus on elements of prose writing—plot, character, setting, voice, and beginnings and endings—through prompts and detailed critiques. Exercises and works in progress will be reviewed in class, in a friendly supportive atmosphere. Each writer will receive one-to-one attention. The class is open to everyone. No manuscript submission is required.

Class limited to ten students. 

Class Fee: $100 | REGISTER HERE


July 19 - August 23, 2023


(six sessions)

10 am - 12 pm ET


Do you have some old diaries sitting in the attic longing to be made into a novel? Or maybe you have read about a person or event from the past that you thought would make a good story. You never know what will spark the imagination and become a historical novel. In this workshop we will unleash the stories that are waiting to be told, by you, the author. We will discuss the methods of historical research, where to find inspiration, and how to hone the facts into relatable fiction. Bring your ideas, your outlines, and plan on starting the process of un-raveling the past to bring it to a present-day audience. By the end you should have a decent idea of what your novel would be about and the beginning stages of a novel.


Class limited to ten students. 

Class Fee: $125 | REGISTER HERE

with Lynn Domina 

August 14 - September 25, 2023 (skipping Sept. 4)


(six sessions)

6 - 8 ET


In this class, we’ll write about good and evil, the saints and the sinners in our lives. We’ll mix up history with personal experience. Students will have the opportunity to imagine the lives of others—real or fictional—as well as to describe moments and people from their own lives. We’ll also explore the possibility that most of us are a big mishmash of contradiction, good and evil living side by side within us.

Through it all, we’ll discuss many elements of poetic craft. We’ll focus on the appeal of precise concrete detail and explore the effects of metaphor. The instructor will provide optional prompts and many sample poems. We’ll devote the majority of class time discussing student work.

Class Fee: $125 | REGISTER HERE


MODERN LOVE with Elizabeth Koster
MODERN LOVE II with Elizabeth Koster
MICRO: THE DIVINE DETAIL with Elizabeth Koster 
MICRO-MEMOIR with Linda Lowen
AMPLIFY AND MAGNIFY - BRAIDED ESSAY with Melissa Holbrook Pierson
THE ZEN OF REVISION with Melissa Holbrook Pierson 
PUBLICATION NUTS AND BOLTS with Melissa Holbrook Pierson
FICTION WRITING with Thaddeus Rutkowski
CREATIVE NONFICTION with Anique Sara Taylor
POETRY with Lynn Domina 
POETRY FORMS with William Duke
WHEN SPACE SPEAKS with Sarah Blakley-Cartwright 
JAZZ-POETRY AND PICTURE POEMS with Stephanie Nikolopoulos 
EKPHRASTIC POETRY with Sharon Ruetenik 
Write to us.


For WIM Instructors and Students: 

If you have a new book release, a new article published, a reading or a literary event you'd like to share, please contact us and we will do our best to spread the word. 

Write To Us

Thanks for Writing!

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