Hilda Banks Shapiro reading her winning essay at The Mount, 2013

This year’s Berkshire Festival of Women Writers’ writing contest, curated by Michelle Gillett and Nina Ryan, will feature personal essays, nonfiction, fiction and poetry on the subject of “weather,” keeping in mind the special focus of this year’s Festival, “Writing the Self, Righting the World: New Visions of Personal and Planetary Health.”

Feel free to interpret the topic in any way you like. For example: weather of the heart, weathering the storm, being under the weather, internal weather, climate change, how weather extremes are affecting us personally, politically, socially, culturally, environmentally.

The contest will culminate in a reading and panel discussion of four to six pieces chosen by the organizers and panelists.  We will be looking for pieces that use the subject of “weather” to provoke, examine, and spark new perspectives on the links between personal and planetary wellness, particularly within our own lives and community.

Please limit your submission to three pages or less (double-spaced—750 words). Include a stamped, self-addressed envelope and a short bio, and indicate the genre and title of your piece on your cover page. Mail hard copy to: Nina Ryan, PO 1134, Stockbridge, MA 01262.

Deadline: Jan 31, 2014.