Berkshire Festival of Women Writers announces 2014 essay contest


Berkshire Festival of Women Writers announces a 2014 Writing Contest in nonfiction, fiction and poetry on the subject of weather -- weather of the heart, weathering the storm, how weather extremes are affecting us personally, politically, culturally, environmentally -- keeping in mind the theme of the festival -- "Writing the Self, Righting the World: New Visions of Personal and Planetary Health."

The deadline for entries is Friday, Jan. 31.

Each winner will read at a prize ceremony on March 29 at Miss Hall's School in Pittsfield, followed by a panel discussion moderated by contest judge and Orion Magazine editor Jennifer Sahn.

She will join panelists Barbara Zheutlin, executive director of Berkshire Grown; Alice Maggio of the Schumacher Center for a New Economics; and poet Amy Dryansky, who works for a regional land trust, author of "How I Got So Close to Home" and "Grass Whistle."

With four winning pieces as a starting point, the discussion will focus on ways to examine, explore, and spark new perspectives on the links between personal and planetary wellness, particularly within lives and communities. How can writing inspire change? What stories are being told in our culture and communities on this subject? What stories are not being told?


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