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

ADMISSION TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC IS FREE. 

Read about our 2020 Literary Festival here.

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

Collage-768x617.jpg

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.

Poetry Forms: Why and How Workshop with William Duke

December 5

Saturday

1 – 4 pm 

 

ONLINE

This workshop is an opportunity to learn about and review the major forms of poetry and includes a discussion of how forms came into being and why they continue to hold an important place in contemporary poetry. Syllabic forms: haiku, tanka, and cinquains are shown as well as the major metric forms: sonnets, villanelles and sestinas. Concrete poems and free verse are also discussed.  The end of the workshop is collaborative writing exercise where the group writes its own villanelle. 

Class Fee: $35 | REGISTER HERE

MICRO MEMOIR with Linda Lowen

January 8 -

February 12

Fridays

(six sessions)
10 am – 12 noon 

 

ONLINE

Memoir doesn't have to cover decades to tell a story. Sometimes a single moment, vividly depicted, illuminates a life. If you’ve wanted to write memoir but are overwhelmed at the immensity of the task—or you’re already writing but need a fresh approach—consider micro memoir. The smaller format can be freeing, allowing you to focus on an event that serves as a microcosm of the larger experience. In this workshop you’ll write short 200-word pieces and discover less is more. Weeks 5 and 6 we’ll focus on Tiny Love Stories, relationship tales of 100 words or less, and you’ll come away with one piece suitable to submit to the New York Times column of the same name.

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

MINI-ESSAYS AND SHORT STORIES with Jane Seitel 

January 25 -

March 1

Mondays

(six sessions)
10 am – 12 noon

ONLINE 
 

Mini, micro, flash, personal essays and short shorts may be small, but they’re mighty! Whether you choose to write fiction or nonfiction, the way you express yourself can be crafted into a literary jewel you can pass down to preserve family history, or hone for publication. In class we’ll consider possible enhancements to your pieces, how to make the words sparkle. We’ll read and discuss stellar examples which show the craft. We’ll work on mini warm-up exercises in class that you can use to start your piece at home. We’ll share our new efforts in a nurturing place. We’ll offer appreciations and insights. We’ll suggest possibilities to enhance your essays and stories. By the end of our time together, you’ll have polished work that will delight you.

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

CREATIVE NON-FICTION SPRING

with Anique Sara Taylor

February 4, 11, 18, 25

March 4, 11, 18, 25

April 8, 15, 22, 29

May 6, 13

Thursdays

(fourteen sessions)
9 - 11 am 

ONLINE 
 

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

Amplify and Magnify: Using Braided Form to Make Your Work Bigger with Melissa Holbrook Pierson

February 25 -

April 1

Thursdays

(six sessions)
6 - 8 pm 

ONLINE 
 

Yes, sometimes less is more. But in writing, more is often much more: weaving two or three subject threads together can yield an explosion of meaning and effect far beyond the capability of a single narrative. Braiding, as it’s known, can be a powerful technique to deepen the emotional and intellectual power of any work, be it poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. It can work magic on a story, whether your goal is autobiography or essay or novel. Broadening the scope of your subject fosters a paradoxical effect of sharply focusing readers’ attention. It causes them to instinctively and subconsciously look for the connective meaning of the threads you choose: Hmm, I wonder why this is here? We will practice reflective techniques for finding additional themes to amplify any writing. As in a hall of mirrors, braided work returns an image that appears endlessly deep. A piece of writing formed of several disparate parts can come together in a whole that is far greater than its parts.

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

Confessionals, Spontaneous Prose, Cut-ups, Jazz–Poetry, and Picture Poems: Writing under the Influence of the Beat Generation with Stephanie Nikolopoulos

March 1 -

April 5

Mondays

(six sessions)
6 - 8 pm 

ONLINE 
 

Have the rules of writing stifled your creativity? Taught by an editor who understands the perils of perfectionism, this hands-on workshop will help free you from constraints and put the joy back into writing.

 

We’ll experiment with Beat Generation techniques to blaze our own writing paths—whatever your genre. Along the way, we’ll explore Neal Cassady’s and Diane di Prima’s confessional writing; Jack Kerouac’s spontaneous prose and jazz-poetry style; William S. Burroughs’ cut-ups; and Gregory Corso’s picture poetry. Pour yourself a cup of coffee, and come prepared to release your most expressive flow state.  

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

No Business Like Show Business –

Poetry Workshop with Lynn Domina

April 5 - May 10

Mondays

(six sessions)
6 - 8 pm 

ONLINE 

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

HOW TO SELL YOUR NONFICTION BOOK PROPOSAL

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

THE BUSINESS AND ART OF ILLUSTRATION

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

DATES TBA

Wednesdays

(twelve sessions)

3 - 5 pm

 

ONLINE 

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 | 

Fall Poetry Workshop with Lynn Domina

DATES TBA


Tuesdays

(six sessions)

6 - 8 pm

 

ONLINE 

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

CREATIVE NON-FICTION FALL

with Anique Sara Taylor

DATES TBA

Thursdays

(fourteen sessions)

9 - 11 am

ONLINE 

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

Write To Us

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black RSS Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
 

© 2020 Writers In The Mountains. All Rights Reserved.