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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Berkshire Festival of Women Writers Opens with a Full Week of Events

Name of Event(s): Berkshire Festival of Women Writers

Date/Time: Thursday, March 1 to Wednesday, March 7

Place: See details below

Contact: For more information about Festival events:
For further press information: Judy Nardacci, 413-243-2382;

Description of Events:
The Berkshire Festival of Women Writers opens with a full week of offerings at various county venues. Many generous donors and collaborators, along with the sponsorship of Bard College at Simon’s Rock, have combined to provide a full month of events, all open to the public and most free of charge. Cultural Council grants from Alford-Egremont, Dalton, Great Barrington, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Marlborough, Pittsfield, Richmond, Stockbridge, Washington and West Stockbridge, provided by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, also support the Festival. A comprehensive listing of events and donors is available at the website:

The first week’s events include:
Thursday, March 1  Story-Truth: How Writing Keeps You Honest, hosted by Nichole Dupont at the Dubois Center, South Main Street, Great Barrington, from 7-9 p.m. The fee is $10 for the use of the W.E.B. DuBois Center. The workshop is for novice writers, or people (men and women) who have thought about writing but have never had the opportunity. Students under 16 are discouraged from attending because of the personal nature of the workshop.

Friday, March 2  Out of the Mouths of Babes: An Evening of Mothers Reading Their Own Writing, hosted by Suzi Banks Baum and Matthew Tannenbaum at Blodgett House, Bard College of Simon’s Rock, Great Barrington, MA 7-9:30 pm. The fee is $5, free to the Simon’s Rock community. Readings by Baum, Alana Chernila, Michelle Gillett, Janet Reich, Elsbach, Gina Hyams, and Jenny Laird. Ranging from young mothers to mothers of adults, these writers open their journals and hearts to share the bounty that resides behind each apron, computer screen, or flannel nightgown. Facilitated discussion will follow the readings.

Saturday, March 3  Women Writers of a Certain Age: A Reading, hosted by Sonia Pilcher with Sondra Zeidenstein, Beth Sack, Joan Embree and Victoria Sullivan at the Mason Library, Great Barrington, 12-2 pm. These women, who grew up in the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, are continuing to write their lives and also navigating through e-books and internet ‘zines and facing challenges to publishing print books. They will reach out to younger writers and exchange what they have learned.

Saturday, March 3  Elephant Tree House Press Poetry Reading at The Bookstore in Lenox. This small press publisher of contemporary poetry will introduce itself and the three authors of its first publications: Nan Becker, Susan Hartung, and Rosemary Starace, reading selections from their work. All three began their creative lives in the visual arts.

Sunday, March 4  Happiness: Writing as a Path to Positive Transformation at Blodgett House, Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Great Barrington, 2-4 pm. Presented by Maria Sirois, participants will write and discuss practices that allow them to leave the past behind and fashion a live that thrives. No prior experience is necessary- just a pad, a pen, an open heart, a sense of humor, and the tiniest bit of courage.

Tuesday, March 6  “Death in Shorts”: Women Writing the Mystery Short Story, hosted by Leslie Wheeler, with Barbara Ross and Katherine Fast at the Bushnell-Sage Library, Sheffield, 7-9 pm. This workshop explores how writers plot, construct, and populate the mystery short story from lighthearted to noir, and examine the difference between writing short stories and novels. Participants will have an opportunity to write their own opening lines and paragraphs for possible short stories. A discussion of short story markets and contests will end the session.

Wednesday, March 7  “Nuts and Bolts of Book Production” hosted by Marie Gauthier with the staff and authors of Tupelo Press, MCLA Gallery 51, North Adams, 7 pm. This will include a presentation of book production, book sales, and distribution from marketing, editorial and creative perspectives. Tupelo is a nonprofit literary press now entering its twelfth year. The panel includes Rose Carlson, Cassandra Cleghorn and Ellen Doré Watson.

Wednesday, March 7  An Evening of Poetry Hosted by Dawn Barbieri, this event features local poets, both established and emerging, including Barbieri, Tammis Coffin, Susan Melot, Jan Hutchinson, Christine Ward and Claudette Webster.