About the Festival

Maria Sirois, Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez and Lydia Littlefield lean in at the September 12 "Writing from the Heart" event, a smashing success, with more than 70 people in attendance despite the thunderstorms.  Also reading their heartfelt writing: Suzi Banks Baum, Hannah Fries, Jan Hutchinson and Anni Maliki.

Maria Sirois, Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez and Lydia Littlefield leaning in at the September 2013 “Writing from the Heart” Festival event held at the Mount. Also reading their heartfelt writing: Suzi Banks Baum, Hannah Fries, Jan Hutchinson and Anni Maliki.

The annual Berkshire Festival of Women Writers is a collaborative, multi-venue event sponsored by Bard College at Simon’s Rock with many local partners, celebrated county-wide in the month of March, Women’s History Month.

In 2014, the Fourth Annual Festival featured more than 150 women of all ages and from many backgrounds, sharing their talents through readings, lectures, workshops, performances and screenings held at 36 Berkshire County venues from Sheffield to Williamstown.  All 58 Festival events were open to the public and most were free, thanks to the generosity of our participants, venues, donors and collaborators.

Sixteen events addressed the special focus within the Festival, “Writing the Self, Righting the World: New Visions of Personal and Planetary Health and Healing.”

The special focus provided the inspiration for the annual Festival Writing Contest, open to all women from the Berkshire region. Curated by Michelle Gillett and Nina Ryan and judged this year by Orion magazine editor Jennifer Sahn, the writing contest asked contributors to explore the links between personal and planetary health through the metaphor of the weather.

Festival collaborators include the Mount, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Shakespeare & Company, the Women’s Interfaith Institute in the Berkshires, Berkshire Magazine, Orion Magazine, the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, MCLA Gallery 51, the Berkshire Human Rights Speaker Series,and many of the public libraries of Berkshire County.

The 2014 Berkshire Festival of Women Writers Organizing Committee:

Dr. Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez (Founding Director), Jan Hutchinson (Program Coordinator), Lorrin Krouss (Festival Coordinator), Iris Bass, Joanne Cooney, Pauline Dongala, Carolyn Fabricant, Maureen Hickey, Johanna Janssen, Vera Kalm, Betsy McTiernan, Heather Meehan, Alice Myers, Anna Myers, Judith Nardacci, Beth Sack, Kuukua Yomekpe.

Major funding for the 2013 Berkshire Festival of Women Writers is provided by the John A. Sellon Charitable Trust, the Wyomissing Foundation, Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Sally-Jane Heit, Quality Printing, and the Local Cultural Councils of the Massachusetts Council on the Arts, including Northern Berkshire and the towns of Alford-Egremont, Dalton, Great Barrington, Lenox, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Marlborough, Otis, Pittsfield, Sandisfield, Stockbridge, Washington and West Stockbridge, along with many organizations, individual donors and businesses.

Thanks to our 2014 corporate sponsors, Berkshire Gas, upstreet magazine and Anonymous, and our media sponsor Berkshire Magazine, as well as our many Program advertisers.

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