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Writers In The Mountains 
Literary Retreat 

Nov. 3 - 5, 2023
506 Main Street
        Andes, New York 

This project is partly funded by
The A. Lindsay and Olive B. O’Connor Foundation.


Friday, November 3, 2023

Saturday, November 4, 2023

02:00 pm - 04:00 pm Check-in to Rooms and Refreshments

04:00 pm - 6:15 pm The Amherst Method Workshop with Sharon Israel

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm DINNER

7:30 pm - 8:30 pm The Journal Room with Anique Sara Taylor

(to be offered throughout the day Saturday and Sunday as well)

8:30 pm - 9:30 pm Welcome & Teacher Reading

08:00 am - 9:00 am Breakfast

09:30 Am - 11:45 am Tell It Your Way: All-Genre Workshop with Thaddeus Rutkowski

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm LUNCH

1:15 pm - 3:30 pm Creating a Sense of Place and Time with Sheila Myers

3:45 pm - 6:00 pm Modern Love with Elizabeth Koster

6:30 pm - 9:00 pm Dinner Buffet & Open Mic

Sunday, November 5, 2023

08:00 am - 9:00 am Breakfast

09:30 Am - 11:45 am Poetry Forms with William Duke

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm LUNCH

1:15 pm - 2:45 pm Student Celebratory Reading 

2:45 pm - 3:00 pm Thank You & Plans for Future Classes

Course Description

The Amherst Method

Never written before? Want to write but haven’t yet been able to put words to paper and reach your creative core? Are you already a writer but need to further access your authentic voice and develop your style? This generative workshop will help poets and writers dive deep through compelling prompts and effective, positive feedback. Be in the moment, find the space between thought and feeling and access what may be just below the surface.

The Journal Room

The Journal Room will be open during the retreat. Drop in to enjoy memoir writing or learn new ways to brainstorm. Anique Sara Taylor will be on call throughout the weekend. There will be safe/supportive Journal Prompts to explore techniques that can: mine new writing material, imagery, help gain clarity of thought, translate dreams, deepen creativity, identify patterns. Gather material to help you access the past or chart your future.

Tell It Your Way: All Genres

Whether you’re a journeyman polishing a piece or a beginner learning the craft, this workshop has something for you. Working from prompts that are open to interpretation, we will generate work on the spot. You may write in prose (fiction or nonfiction) or poetry. The finished exercises will be shared and reviewed in class, in a friendly supportive atmosphere. Each writer will receive one-to-one attention.

Creating a Sense of Place and Time

How can you let readers know where and when your story is taking place without directly stating it? In this workshop we will learn some techniques and try out some activities to assist. The instructor will also provide some valuable tools an author can use to find information, maps, and ephemeral material to use when writing about settings or time periods of the past.

Modern Love

In this workshop, we will analyze The New York Times Modern Love column (including Tiny Love Stories), generate and share writing with supportive feedback, and start to develop the story that you need to tell and the world needs to read.

Poetry Forms

This workshop presents the major forms of poetry; it 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 a collaborative writing exercise where the group writes its own villanelle.

Instructors' Bios

Sharon Israel

Sharon Israel hosts the bi-weekly radio show, Planet Poet-Words in Space, on WIOX Community Radio in the Catskills and on podcast. Her debut chapbook, Voice Lesson, was published in 2017 by Post Traumatic Press. Sharon was an early recipient of Brooklyn College’s Leonard B. Hecht Poetry Explication Award. She is certified in the Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA) method.

Anique Sara Taylor

Civil Twilight is Blue Light Prize Winner 2022 (Amazon). Where Space Bends published by Finishing Line. Books chosen Finalist: 2023 When Black Opalescent Birds Still Circled the Globe (Harbor Review). 2015 Where Space Bends (Blue Light Press) & (Minerva Rising). 2014 Under the Ice Moon (Blue Light Press). 2019 “The Train” Charter Oak Award / Best Historical Poem. She holds MFAs from Pratt (Art), Drew (Poetry), a Masters of Divinity and a Diplôme (Sorbonne.)

Thaddeus Rutkowski

Thaddeus Rutkowski is a graduate of Cornell University and the Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of seven books, most recently Tricks of Light, a poetry collection. His novel Haywire won the Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s members’ choice award, and his memoir Guess and Check won an Electronic Literature award for multicultural fiction. He teaches at Medgar Evers College and received a fiction writing fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Sheila Myers

Sheila Myers is an award-winning author and college professor in Upstate New York. Her Durant Family Saga trilogy is set in the Adirondack Mountains during the Gilded Age period of Great Camps. Her last novel in the trilogy, The Night is Done, received the 2017 Best Book of Fiction award from the Adirondack Center for Writing and a Kirkus starred review. Her latest, The Truth of Who You Are, published by Black Rose Writing in April 2022, is set during the Great Depression and chronicles the development of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Elizabeth Koster 

Elizabeth Koster’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Fourth Genre, Split Lip, River Teeth, Hobart, Lost Balloon, Five Minutes, and The New York Times Modern Love column. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Columbia University and and has taught creative writing in public schools, nonprofits, and a program for incarcerated women on Rikers Island.

William Duke

William Duke is a poet, painter and yoga instructor, and host Spiritual Solutions on WIOX Radio. He is a co-founder of the Andes Academy of Art. William has been a featured reader at Word Thursdays at the Bright Hill Literary Press and Center of the Catskills as well as at Catskill Cabaradio at the Pine Hill Community Center and Live on WIOX Radio.

Register by August 31 to benefit from the early registration fee. 



 Full Price     Early Bird     

Meal Plan* (vegetarian and vegan options)                      $225          $195 

Workshops Fee*                                                               $100           $85

Private Room                                                                    $575         $490

Shared Room                                                                    $375         $320

*All participants are required to purchase the meal and workshops plan.

Refund Policy: 75% by Sept. 1, and 50% by Oct. 1.

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