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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 Our mission is to share superlative examples of previously unpublished writing that has emerged from one of our classes or workshops.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 with Elizabeth Koster 

January 17 -

February 21, 2023 


(six sessions)
12 noon - 2 pm EST



In this class, you will have the opportunity to complete an essay that you can submit for consideration in the New York Times Modern Love column. Through prompts and exercises, supportive feedback, a study of published essays, and discussions on tips and pitfalls, you will be able to sculpt and hone the story that you need to tell and the world needs to read.

Class limited to ten students. 

Class Fee: $125 | REGISTER HERE

with Melissa Holbrook Pierson 

Two-Day Intensive

Saturday, January 21

and January 28, 2023

11 am  - 1 pm EST


You have a great idea - for a story, an essay, a book. Now what?

 It seems daunting at first to imagine an amorphous thought becoming a finished work in front of readers. Everything that’s published, whether fiction or nonfiction or any genre in between, goes through the same essential process. And every step engenders new questions. In this intensive we’ll demystify the process. Among the steps from idea to publication we will explore:

- Narrowing down/identifying the kind of idea that will sell or become your work’s heart;

- Making notes/conducting and corralling research/outlining structure;

- Writing a proposal or pitch letter;

- Looking for an agent, editor, or literary publication to which to submit - and what to expect during this phase of the process. 

Bring your ideas and questions, half-formed plans, and dilemmas. We’ll discuss the two parts of the writing journey: the one between you and the page, and the one between your finished work and the audience you want to reach. No matter where you are - or where you feel stuck - there’s a way to take the next step.

Class Fee: $45 | REGISTER HERE

with Jane Seitel

February 3 -

March 10, 2023


(six sessions)

12 - 2 pm EST


As poets, we have many craft tools and skills available to us. Some of these tools may not come immediately to mind when writing a poem. Each week we will look at some different skills that can be used to enhance our poems. We will look at form, music, composition, rhetoric and style. Your mission will be to study one or two skills from the list—ones you feel drawn to, and use that skill in writing a new poem. Each week, you will receive a letter describing various craft tools. Links to descriptions of the skills and poems demonstrating them will be provided. Students may send the instructor their weekly poem. She will then collect poems into one document to be sent to the participants. We will discuss each poem in class, and you will be able to share your insights. The instructor, in addition will send short observational notes to each student. By being aware and practicing the elements from the toolbox, we explore an array of craft skills that can be used in the future to create dynamic and varied poems.

Class limited to ten students. 

Class Fee: $125 REGISTER HERE

POETRY FORMS with William Duke 

Weekend Intensive

Saturday and Sunday, February 11 - 12, 2023

2  - 4 pm EST


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. Day Two (Sunday) is an opportunity to share any individual poems worked on over night.  

Class Fee: $45 | REGISTER HERE

Modern Love II with Elizabeth Koster 

March 14 - April 18, 2023


(six sessions)

1 - 3 pm EST


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. 

Class limited to ten students. 

Class Fee: $100 | REGISTER HERE

Ekphrastic Poetry: A Jump Start from Other Art Forms and Everyday Objects with Sharon Ruetenik

March 30 - May 4, 2023


(six sessions)

6 - 8 pm EST


An often asked question of poets is where do you get your ideas. Frequently the incentive to write may be found in the the works of others. Here are a few examples. Consider the paintings of Kara Walker, Klimt, or Gauguin. Peruse your family album or enjoy the majesty of Ansel Adam’s photographs. Read the work of other poets from John Donne to Major Jackson. What film left you thinking for several days after its viewing? Explore the personal meaning of a beloved object, such as a coffee mug or Roseville vase, for inspiration. During the first session we will look at samples and discuss how to begin our first piece. We will share our efforts throughout. The last session will be a presentation of our best work and a discussion of what we have learned from our classmates.

Class limited to ten students. 

Class Fee: $125 | REGISTER HERE

Micro: The Divine Detail 
Editing Class with Elizabeth Koster

April 6 - May 11, 2023


(six sessions)

4 - 6 pm EST


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. 


Just Hit Send: Submitting to Literary Journals 
with Sally Simon

April 19 - May 24, 2023


(six sessions)

4 - 6 pm EST


So you’ve written some stories and / or poems and have revised them until you can no longer look at them. What now? How do you get your words into the world? In this six-week workshop, you’ll learn  the ins and outs of submitting your fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction to literary journals for publication. 


We’ll explore:

  • How to know when your work is ready to submit

  • How to research prospective journals

  • How to write a cover letter and bio

  • How to format your submissions

  • What the readers/editors look for (and their biggest pet peeve)

  • How to keep track of your submissions

  • How to handle acceptance and rejection

During each online Zoom session, the instructor will share best practices and answer questions. Assignments will be given over the course of the workshop so that each participant will be ready to submit one story by the end of week 5. The goal of the workshop is to have each participant submit at least one piece of writing to a literary journal, and have the knowledge to submit in the future on their own.


This workshop is open to all writers who wish to begin submitting their work for publication.

Class Fee: $125 | REGISTER HERE

Speechwriting and Storytelling / Speak Your Truth: Use the Tricks of a Speechwriter to Tell Your Story
with Felicity H. Barber

Weekend Intensive

Saturday and Sunday, April 22 - 23, 2023

9:30 am  - 12:30 pm EST


Since the advent of TED, storytelling has become a buzzword. But it's a trick speechwriters have been using for centuries to help speakers connect with audiences and persuade them of their message. In this intensive two-day course you will: learn the basics of speechwriting and how to use it to tell your story; learn how to take your story, structure it into something that works for an audience, and use language to make it more compelling; connect your story to a broader message that moves hearts and minds; practice telling your story to an audience. Join Felicity for this interactive session where you'll learn the tricks of the speechwriting trade, tell some epic stories that share something important about who you are, and have some fun along the way.  

Class Fee: $100 | REGISTER HERE


MODERN LOVE with Elizabeth Koster
MODERN LOVE II 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 
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 
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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