Presenters at the In Words Out Words In Women's Own Words 2013 Festival event at the Deb Koffman Gallery

Were you inspired and energized by the Festival events you attended last month?  Are you looking to extend that collaborative spirit throughout the year? Then this new series of monthly gatherings for women writers is for you!

The Berkshire Festival of Women Writers is pleased to announce a free new monthly event series, designed to encourage local women writers of all ages to “lean in” and collaborate to inspire and strengthen each other’s development as writers.

The first meeting will be held on Sunday, April 28, at 3 p.m. at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, MA, hosted by Dr. Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez, the founding director of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, and Lesley Ann Beck, director of communications at Berkshire Museum.

The idea for a monthly gathering was generated during the March 3 Festival panel discussion, Berkshire Magazine Presents Women Writers and the Role of the Editor, a lively presentation at the Triplex in Great Barrington, hosted by Berkshire Magazine editor Anastasia Stanmeyer.

The panel discussed issues such as the changes that the Internet is bringing to the careers of writers and editors, the various ways women writers deal with the somewhat isolating nature of their work, and the challenges of the business side of writing.

It was clear that there are many more important topics to be considered than could be covered in a single conversation, and audience members responded with great enthusiasm to the suggestion of a monthly convocation.

The initial meeting on April 28 will be an exploration of the many possible directions the group could take, from creating a list of potential discussion topics and inspiring guest speakers to planning the year-long schedule of regular meetings as well as some workshops. Suggestions and ideas from attendees are welcome!

The Berkshire Museum is located at 39 South St., Pittsfield. The meeting is free and open to all women writers from the Berkshires and environs; it does not include Museum admission.  Your RSVP to would be appreciated.