Calendar

Mar
22
Thu
Story Slam: How Could I Resist?
Mar 22 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Our infamous Story Slam will once again open the Festival, on Thursday night, March 22, 2018.

This event is always the talk of the weekend. It’s a classic Woodstock evening, celebrating the joy of words.

The 2018 Story Slam theme is inspired by the power of resistance – in all its forms – in our lives. We want to hear and share your stories.

 

To that end, each story must contain the phrase,  “How Could I Resist?”

Each story must be under 3½ minutes— and there will be a timer and a gong. This makes for a rollicking good time. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more supportive and interactive audience than this one.

 

Check out some videos of last year’s event.

 

The winner goes home with a Woodstock Bookfest goody bag, overflowing with prizes from our sponsors.

 

Host for the event is Ida Hakkila, whose voice you’ll recognize from her weekly Saturday night gig as host of WDST’s “Heavy Light Show.”

 

Come cheer on the storytellers!

 

Get your tickets now, as this is always a standing room only event.

 

Don’t want to miss out on any of the action?
Our Full Festival Pass includes all keynotes, panels, and parties!

 

OR treat yourself to The Whole Shebang! which includes all of the above PLUS the One Day Intensive of your choice for just $450. A savings of $50.

 

Mar
23
Fri
Bar Scott | Working with Words (When Words are Scary)
Mar 23 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Have you wanted to write memoir? Fiction? Poetry? Lyrics? Have you stopped yourself because it’s scary or you think you’re not good enough or interesting enough or because someone in your life might not like hearing what you have to say? These feelings are common for writers at every stage of their writing life. Bar Scott offers a safe and inspiring place for attendees to dip their toes into the writing they long to do. The focus of our morning together will be to explore the challenges inherent in writing what is most important, and to find the courage to do it anyway. Writers at all stages of their work are welcome—whether writing is new or you’ve written for decades. Come with pen and paper and a hopeful heart.

 

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A HALF-DAY CLASS, A MINI-INTENSIVE

 

“Bar’s workshop was magical. She was so generous with all of us, which made for the lovliest setting. I loved our day together.”

— Doreen DeCarolis, after a 2017 Woodstock Book Fest workshop

 

One-on-one sessions with Bar are available following the workshop. For more information, contact Bar at barscott1026@gmail.com

 

bar-scott-woodstock-bookfestBar Scott is best known for her song writing. She was an ASCAP special-award winner for thirteen consecutive years. In 2011, her memoir The Present Giver was published. Since then she has been the producer and facilitator at the Wet Mountain Valley Writers’ Workshops in Colorado and New York. Her stories have been published by Bacopa Literary Review, The Raven’s Perch, The Sun magazine, Timber Press, She Writes Press, as well as others. She is working on her second memoir about songwriting now.

Beverly Donofrio + Kaylie Jones | Writing Your Life
Mar 23 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

This memoir workshop is for anyone who has the urge to write about his or her life. We will write in class from long-tested prompts that will spark your creative energy. The work will be read aloud and discussed in class, and we will give you a virtual toolbox of literary techniques to take home with you as you plunge more deeply into your writing. We will help you start your story in the right place; discuss the use of transitions, including how to summarize effectively (how to gallop through time); how to shift, when necessary, to someone else’s point of view (when you weren’t there but the stories are so familiar you are an expert and can therefore tell them); and how to use dialog in memoir, and many other crucial elements of craft.

 

beverly-donofrio-woodstock-bookfest-2016fBeverly Donofrio, called a Master Memoirist by The Daily Beast, has published three memoirs, her first, the bestselling Riding in Cars with Boys, was made into a popular movie, her second, Looking for Mary, was a Barnes and Noble “Discover” pick, and her latest, the critically acclaimed, Astonished, is still collecting accolades. She has published three children’s books, her latest, Where’s Mommy was named by The New York Times a best picture book of 2014, and her essays have appeared in many anthologies and periodicals, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Mademoiselle, Marie Claire, More, Allure, Spirituality and Health, The Village Voice, The Huffington Post and Slate. Her award-winning NPR documentaries can be heard through Sound Portraits. She gives workshops around the country and is currently on the faculty of the low-residency MFA program at Wilkes University. She is working on a collection of essays and life stories.

 

Kaylie-Jones-Woodstock-Bookfest-2018Kaylie Jones is a novelist, memoirist, creative nonfiction writer, and editor. Her memoir, Lies My Mother Never Told Me, was released by Harper Collins in 2009.

 

Her third novel, A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries (Bantam, 1990) was adapted as a Merchant Ivory Film in 1998. Celeste Ascending was published by Harper Collins in 2000 and her novel, Speak Now, was released by Akashic Books in 2003. Her novels have been translated into many languages including French, Dutch, German, and Japanese. Kaylie taught fiction at The Writer’s Voice from 1988 to 1996, before helping to create the MFA Program in Writing of LIU’s Southampton campus, now the SUNY Stony Brook MFA Program in Writing, where she still teaches. Currently, she chairs the James Jones First Novel Fellowship, which awards $10,000 annually to an unpublished first novel. Many of the winners have gone on to publish to critical acclaim. Kaylie is also the proud editor of the Long Island Noir anthology, published by Akashic Books in spring 2012. Kaylie’s newest endeavor is her imprint, Kaylie Jones Books, which has published seven books to date. Kaylie’s novel, The Anger Meridian, was published by Akashic Books in July 2015 to glowing reviews. She is presently working on a memoir about motherhood, entitled No Grit, No Pearl.

 

Just $250 per participant, your day includes a delicious lunch delivered to your workshop, Friday night’s Little Bites and Big Libations (appetizers, spirits and desserts) at a social evening with other participants, our instructors and panelists. Your day will also include admission to Friday night’s keynote event.

 

Or treat yourself to The Whole Shebang for $450. Here’s what you’ll get:

 

Take in the Story Slam on Thursday night. Join the One Day Intensive of your choosing on Friday, in one of Woodstock’s beautiful private homes, complete with a fabulous lunch. Then sail into the weekend: attending all the wonderful panels, breakfast, both Little Bites and Big Libations Cocktail Parties, and both evening events. And share the bounty from our always-stuffed goody bag.

Kitty Sheehan | Revise and Edit Your Writing
Mar 23 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

When it comes to writing, who needs to revise?

 

You do. We all do. But where do you start? What are you looking for? How do you decide what to rewrite, what to cut, what to add?

 

In this one-day workshop, editor and writer Kitty Sheehan will walk you through the revision process, a step at a time.

 

Revision and editing are the final polishing steps before you submit a manuscript.

 

If both are done well, your work will have a much better chance to rise above the rest, when it hits the agent’s desk.

 

Here are a few skills you’ll gain after your day with Sheehan:

 

• New confidence in your writing voice
• Quick recognition of the “junk” words in your writing
• Knowing how and when to add details
• Using dialogue to move your story forward
• Making your dialogue match your characters
• Narrowing down your themes and writing to them
• Moving your content around to tell a better story

 

Sheehan will also explain the different kinds of editing your work might undergo, even after you’ve done all the revising you can.

 

You still may need line editing, copy editing, or developmental editing.

 

None of these are the same as proofreading. It’s crucial to know the difference.

 

Come join us and learn how to make your writing instantly better, with some simple revision. Then learn how the proper editing will make it infinitely better.

 

When you cut out the noise, what will you find?
Your voice.

 

kitty-sheehan-woodstock-bookfestWriter, editor and photographer Kitty Sheehan is a former teacher, corporate trainer, consignment store owner, and graphic designer. Kitty is the founder and director of the annual Dartbrook Writers Retreat in Keene, NY. A freelance copywriter, she is also a social media editor and consultant for several brands. She’s been part of several panel discussions on social media trends. Kitty is a frequent contributor to Hudson Valley Magazine, and like almost everyone she knows, is working on a book. Visit her blog at kittysheehan.com and find her on Twitter at @KittyASheehan.

 

Just $250 per participant, your day includes a delicious lunch delivered to your workshop, Friday night’s Little Bites and Big Libations (appetizers, spirits and desserts) at a social evening with other participants, our instructors and panelists. Your day will also include admission to Friday night’s keynote event.

 

Or treat yourself to The Whole Shebang for $450. Here’s what you’ll get:Or treat yourself to The Whole Shebang for $450. Here’s what you’ll get:

 

Take in the Story Slam on Thursday night. Join the One Day Intensive of your choosing on Friday, in one of Woodstock’s beautiful private homes, complete with a fabulous lunch. Then sail into the weekend: attending all the wonderful panels, breakfast, both Little Bites and Big Libations Cocktail Parties, and both evening events. And share the bounty from our always-stuffed goody bag.

Lynn Johnston | So, You Want to Get Published?
Mar 23 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

It’s a myth that only established authors or people with with big platforms get book deals. In fact, “regular” people get published every day because they understand how publishing works and how to maximize their chances. This interactive workshop led by New York City literary agent Lynn Johnston will help you crack the code on publishing. You will learn what publishers look for and how decisions are made, what to write and say to prospective agents and editors to get their attention, how to avoid the reject pile and finally how to get to yes. Each participant will leave with an individual plan based on group exercises and a one-on-one session where you will receive professional critique and advice.

 

lynn-johnston-woodstock-bookfestLynn Johnston is a literary agent in New York City where she has represented since 2001 notable authors in nonfiction and a small selection of fiction. In addition to Pulitzer-winning journalists, television personalities and international stylemakers, her clients include stay-at-home moms, school teachers and even a kazoo musician (whose book became a bestseller). Her list, which is short by design and long on reputation, features bestsellers (The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week and others) and award winners, among them the International Culinary Professionals Cookbook Award, Books for a Better Life Award and the Washington Post’s 2006 finalist for Best Nonfiction Book of the Year. She has an MBA and BA in Philosophy.

 

Just $250 per participant, your day includes a delicious lunch delivered to your workshop, Friday night’s Little Bites and Big Libations (appetizers, spirits and desserts) at a social evening with other participants, our instructors and panelists. Your day will also include admission to Friday night’s keynote event.

 

Or treat yourself to The Whole Shebang for $450. Here’s what you’ll get:

 

Take in the Story Slam on Thursday night. Join the One Day Intensive of your choosing on Friday, in one of Woodstock’s beautiful private homes, complete with a fabulous lunch. Then sail into the weekend: attending all the wonderful panels, breakfast, both Little Bites and Big Libations Cocktail Parties, and both evening events. And share the bounty from our always-stuffed goody bag.

SOLD OUT: Abigail Thomas | Just Get Some Work Done
Mar 23 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT

It is hard, especially when writing memoir, to approach difficult subjects through the front door.

 

In thirty years of giving workshops, I’ve found exercises that often give writers a side door into their material.

 

This workshop will focus on giving writers a larder of material to take home and work with. The assignments will be given in class, read aloud to each other, discussed. We will also talk about the reasons for choosing fiction or memoir to tell our stories.

 

The first assignment, which should be brought to class, is to write two pages about any ten years of your life, and every sentence has to be three words long.

 

We’ll have a good time, and I hope you’ll leave the workshop excited to write.

 

abigail-thomas-woodstock-bookfestAbigail Thomas’s memoir style has revolutionized the genre, and her books are not only cherished by her fans, they’re used in classrooms around the world. Her most recent memoir What Comes Next and How to Like It was published in 2015 and her memoir, A Three Dog Life, was named one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post.

 

Most recently, Abigail Thomas has been working with writers in an Oncology Support Program Memoir Group in Kingston, NY. Her other titles include Safekeeping, a memoir, and Thinking About Memoir. Of Abigail’s book, Thinking About Memoir, Anne Lamott said, “It is beautiful, charming, funny, painful, and will be of indescribable value and inspiration to anyone who wants to write anything.”

 

She lives in Woodstock, NY with her dogs. More about Abby and her books can be found at abigailthomas.net.

 

Just $250 per participant, your day includes a delicious lunch delivered to your workshop, Friday night’s Little Bites and Big Libations (appetizers, spirits and desserts) at a social evening with other participants, our instructors and panelists.

 

Or treat yourself to The Whole Shebang for $450. Here’s what you’ll get:

 

Take in the Story Slam on Thursday night. Join the One Day Intensive of your choosing on Friday, in one of Woodstock’s beautiful private homes, complete with a fabulous lunch. Then sail into the weekend: attending all the wonderful panels, breakfast, both Little Bites and Big Libations Cocktail Parties, and both evening events. And share the bounty from our always-stuffed goody bag.

Journal Making Workshop using Japanese Bookbinding Techniques with Tracy Leavitt
Mar 23 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

LOCATION TBA

 

Take your journals and sketchbooks to another level, by designing and binding them yourself in this mini-workshop. Students will learn an adapted version of stick and knot binding based on Japanese Folk Art.

 

Each participant will be supplied with all the necessary materials and tools to use and will create your own unique book which can be used as a writing or sketching journal. You also will gain the knowledge to self-produce your own hand-bound chapbook. No experience required.

 

Tracy Leavitt holds a BFA degree from the Maine College of Art, with majors in painting and sculpture. She was a professional storyteller for 15 years, telling folk tales and original stories in schools, colleges and festivals around the world. Her original visual art training led her to become the arts coordinator at High Meadow School in Stone Ridge, NY. In combining her love of story and of making things – this workshop was born! Outside of teaching, she pursues her own art practice in encaustic & mixed media painting and sculpture – telling stories in pictures and form.

 

The Haiku Moment with Sharon Rousseau
Mar 23 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

What would it take to create a daily artistic practice? How much time, what kind of commitment, what kind of space would you need? Sharon Rousseau has found haiku to be both poem and practice, a written snapshot of a moment, a form to document life as it moves quickly.

 

Haiku offers a way to pause right where we are, within the busyness of our daily lives, to connect with ourselves, the world around us—and just write.

 

In this workshop, we’ll explore the path of traditional haiku, three lines composed of seven syllables, as artistic practice. Through reading and writing haiku, we will find freedom within structure, while leaving judgment and self-criticism at the door.

 

Engaging with nature and works of art, we will discuss ways that haiku can guide and revitalize the practice of writers, visual artists, songwriters and anyone on the creative path. Join us and write into the moment with haiku.

 

Participants need to bring a notebook and pen.

 

Sharon-Rousseau-Woodstock-Peony-photograph-haiku-contest-Woodstock-BookfestSharon Rousseau is a writer, photographer and poet living in NYC and the Hudson Valley. She partnered with Woodstock Bookfest for the Summer’s End Haiku Contest, and was interviewed on Woodstock Booktalk by Martha Frankel. Sharon’s haiku have been published in The New York Times and in Rizzoli’s NEW YORK CITY HAIKU. Sharon graduated from UNC-CH with a degree in journalism, studied photography at ICP and has taught writing workshops in NYC. She also wrote a haiku every day for one year with journalists and writers as participants in The Haiku Room. Haiku is a cherished part of her artistic practice, influencing both her writing and photography.

 

Friday Night Little Bites + Big Libations #1
Mar 23 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Details TBA

Mar
24
Sat
Woodstock’s Landscape: Its Effect on the Soul, and on Writing and Painting
Mar 24 @ 9:30 am – 11:00 am
SPIRITUALITY
PANEL
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Gail-Straub-Woodstock-Bookfest-2018
Gail Straub
The Ashokan Way
Kate-McGloughlin-Spirituality-Woodstock-Bookfest-2018
Kate McGloughlin
Requiem for Ashokan

 

Woodstock’s Landscape: Its Effect on the Soul, and on Writing and Painting

A Conversation Between Gail Straub and Kate McGloughlin  

 

What is it about this mountain valley that magnetizes writers, painters, musicians, philosophers, and mavericks of every stripe? Why is the enchantment of this place still so strong, long after John Burroughs wrote about it, and Thomas Cole and Frederick Church memorialized it through the Hudson River Valley School of Painting?

 

Writer Gail Straub and artist Kate McGloughlin share how they fell under the spell of this valley, and how it affects not only their craft, but also their spiritual lives. They reflect on their connection to this land as many different things—muse, strength, prayer, and humanity. They contemplate how this ongoing exchange between the landscape and its artists sustains not just individual artists’ souls, but the very soul of this valley.

 

Gail discusses her new book The Ashokan Way: Landscape’s Path into Consciousness, and Kate explores her journey creating the multimedia exhibition Requiem For the Ashokan: The Story Told in Landscape.

 

Join us for what promises to be a thought-provoking and radically hopeful conversation.

 

Gail Straub is the author of six books, including the best-selling Empowerment, which has been translated into over fourteen languages; and the award-winning feminist memoir, Returning to My Mother’s House. Her new book is The Ashokan Way: Landscape’s Path into Consciousness, a love letter to Woodstock its mountain valley.  A passionate activist and pioneer in the field of empowerment, she co-directs the Empowerment Institute, a school for transformative social change where over the last three decades she has offered her work to tens of thousands of people worldwide.

 

Kate McGloughlin is a celebrated painter and printmaker who lives and maintains a successful studio in Olivebridge, NY. Included in over seventy exhibitions, she is the winner of more than a dozen notable awards for achievement, and her work is included in permanent collections in four museums. She is President of The Woodstock School of Art, where she also teaches Landscape Painting and Printmaking. Requiem for Ashokan, her multi media exhibition of paintings, prints, text and spoken word, premiered at The Woodstock Artists Association & Museum in June 2017, and is the subject of her book, Requiem for Ashokan, The Story told in Landscape.

Poetry Panel: Shadow Selves: Writing the Persona Poem
Mar 24 @ 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
POETRY PANEL
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lissa-kiernan-woodstock-bookfest-2018
Lissa Kiernan
Moderator
cornelius-eady-woodstock-bookfest-2018
Cornelius Eady
Brutal Imagination
marie-howe-woodstock-bookfest-2018
Marie Howe
Magdalene

 

Poetry Panel: Shadow Selves: Writing the Persona Poem

 

Persona, from the Latin for “mask,” is a character the poet becomes in order to speak in a poem.

 

Join us for a conversation between two poets who have mastered this technique.

 

In Cornelius Eady’s Brutal Imagination, a finalist for the National Book Award, poems issue from the throat of an imaginary African American man invented by a real woman (Susan Smith), who claimed he had kidnapped her children, when in fact she had drowned them.

 

And in Marie Howe’s latest collection Magdalene, poems emanate from a contemporary, composite Mary Magdalene, who herself takes on the roles of mother, lover, wife, and daughter.

 

What circumstances lead poets to choose to write in the voice(s) of others? What permissions must poets grant themselves in order to believe they can speak accurately to another person’s truth, and/or be the voice of someone or thing who represents a collective consciousness or belief system? How much overlap is there between the poet’s identity and the speaker’s? Where does empathy end and appropriation begin?

 

Hear these two major contemporary poets respond to these questions and read selected works from their collections.

 

Lissa Kiernan, moderator.

 

Autism Panel: Personal Drumbeats
Mar 24 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
AUTISM
PANEL
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jamey-wolff-autism-woodstock-bookfest-2018
Jamey Wolff
Moderator
ann-martin-woodstock-bookfest
Ann M. Martin
Rain Reign
carolyn-parkhurst-woodstock-bookfest-2018
Carolyn Parkhurst
Harmony
John-Elder-Robison-Woodstock-Bookfest-2018
John Elder Robison
Look Me in the Eye

 

Autism Panel: Personal Drumbeats

 

Please join us as Jamey Wolff, co-founder and Program Director of Center for Spectrum Services, Kingston, NY, moderates a conversation with writers Ann Martin, Carolyn Parkhurst and John Elder Robison, as they discuss living with and writing about autism and Asperger Syndrome.

 

Ann M. Martin is the New York Times-bestselling author of Rain Reign and many other award-winning novels and series, including the much-loved Baby-Sitters Club.

 

Rain Reign is a New York Times–bestselling middle grade novel about Rose, her dog, and the trials of growing up in a complicated and often scary world. Rose Howard is obsessed with homonyms. She purposely gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special. Not everyone understands Rose’s obsessions, her rules, and the other things that make her different – not her teachers, not other kids, and not her single father. Hearts will break and spirits will soar for this powerful story, brilliantly told from Rose’s point of view.

 

After living in New York City for many years, Ann moved to the Hudson Valley in upstate New York, where she now lives with her cats, Gussie, Pippin, and Simon. Her hobbies are reading, sewing, and needlework. Her favorite thing to do is to make clothes for children.

 

Carolyn Parkhurst is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels The Dogs of Babel, Lost and Found, and The Nobodies Album.

 

Her newest book, Harmony, hooks readers from page one, as the Hammond family is tested against both the daily frustrations of raising a special needs child and the trauma of surviving the unthinkable. Told from the alternating perspectives of Alexandra and her daughter Iris, Harmony is both a sensitive portrait of a mother trying to do her best and an edge-of-your-seat compulsively readable drama.

 

Carolyn lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and two children.

 

John Elder Robison is an autistic adult who grew up undiagnosed and wild in a world of machines. John is the author of Look Me in the Eye, Be Different, Raising Cubby, and Switched On.

 

At 16, he was lord and master of a small tractor and a CDC3600 computer. At 21, he was the engineer for KISS, where he designed their signature special effects guitars. In search of greater challenges, John went on to design systems for underground nuclear tests, which led him to establish a business restoring fine motorcars. John has appeared on a number of radio and television shows. He is currently the Neurodiversity Scholar at The College of William & Mary, a Visiting Professor of Practice at Bay Path University, and an advisor to the neurodiversity initiative at Landmark College in Putney, Vermont.

 

He lives in Western Massachusetts, with his wife Maripat and an Imperial Chinese War Pug.

 

Saturday Night Little Bites + Big Libations #2
Mar 24 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Join your hosts Ann Hood and Michael Ruhlman. Details TBA.

Mar
25
Sun
Breakfast with Abigail Thomas + Bar Scott
Mar 25 @ 9:30 am – 11:00 am

abigail-thomas-bar-scott-breakfast-woodstock-bookfest

 

You’re invited to join two friends for Sunday breakfast during the festival.

 

Beloved memoirist and longtime Woodstock resident Abigail Thomas and writer/singer Bar Scott will break bread at one of Woodstock’s favorite restaurants, while entertaining you with their stories of friendship, writing and life.

 

Abigail Thomas’s memoir style has revolutionized the genre, and her books are not only cherished by her fans, they’re used in classrooms around the world.

 

Her most recent memoir What Comes Next and How to Like It was published in 2015, and recently released in paperback. An earlier memoir, A Three Dog Life, was named one of the best books of 2006, by the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post.

 

Bar Scott is best known for her singing, songwriting, and lyrics. She’s produced thirteen albums, and over 60 published songs.

 

She has also written a memoir, The Present Giver, (2011, ALM Books) and is working on her second book, Live a Life, Write a Song.

 

Her stories have been published in several anthologies. She leads writing workshops in Colorado and Woodstock, under the name, Wet Mountain Writers.

 

Join these two for a Sunday morning repast at the always-scrumptious Joshua’s Café, a Woodstock institution.

 

Memoir A Go-Go!
Mar 25 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

The signature panel and closing event of the festival is Memoir A Go-Go, led by its moderator, memoirist and executive director of the festival, Martha Frankel. She’s a master interviewer who asks unexpected questions, often with even more unexpected answers. This is an event you don’t want to miss.

 

Martha Frankel is the author of the memoir Hats and Eyeglasses, about her family’s love affair with gambling, and the co-author of the lifestyle book Brazilian Sexy: Secrets to Living a Gorgeous and Confident Life.

 

Martha is host of the weekly radio show, Woodstock Booktalk Radio, and is co-founder and director of StorySlams.com. She’s also besotted by knitting. She wants you to ask her about it.

 

For the latest from the book world, subscribe to Martha’s radio show here.