Hudson Valley Writer Fest – Day Long Event for Authors

When a door closes, a window opens, is a phrase I live by. So, when the cozy and quaint and welcoming site where I conducted writing workshops was sold, I was a little letdown, but then elated. Here was my opportunity to arrange a larger writing workshop, in a new space, and put into use all the facets of a successful event. It was like the universe was telling me that I was ready for the big time. Another phrase I live by is “don’t put off joy.”

After a successful writing career that began in high school (circa 1970s), I authored two books, helped a handful of writers get their books completed, and joined the writing staff at Woman Around Town. I began hosting writing workshops in 2008. I had no idea where they would lead me, which is part of the fun. During that time, I met wonderful writers who have great stories to tell; some have completed their books, others are battling the typical struggles of a first-time writer: their own doubts, too many unknowns, negativity from those around them, and on and on. All of this can encourage the writer to put their draft in a drawer, rather than letting it out into the world. I know. I’ve been there. That’s why I am committed to providing inspirational workshops for the new writer, or the established writer who needs a little reinforcement.

The Hudson Valley Writer Fest was born. It’s a daylong writer event (or even for those interested in the writing process, who just love books) with two pros in the industry:  Jacquelyn Mitchard, columnist, and author of numerous fictional books, one of which catapulted her into the limelight and became a much-loved movie with Michelle Pfeiffer: Deep End of the Ocean. Our other special guest is WAT’s own Charlene Giannetti!  She has amassed a truly impressive resume including magazine editing, writer, and publisher, not to mention collecting seven New York Press Club awards. These two talented writers will provide morning keynote addresses. After a lunch break with some networking opportunities, Jacquelyn will host a writer workshop on planning the story’s plot. We break for a snack while the room gets divided into two where two concurrent workshops will be offered: what every writer needs to know, and how to use social media to increase your sales. But, no worries, there will be a report at the conclusion so that everyone knows what went on in the workshop they did not attend.  And, of course, a writer fest isn’t a real fest if you don’t have book signings, and meet and greets.

It’s all taking place on Saturday, April 22, 2017 in historic Goshen, Orange County, in the Hudson Valley, a place that’s just stunning in Spring time. The place?  Another historic spot.  The Harness Racing Museum on Main Street where the racing sport was born and where a delightful collection of artifacts is on display. I’ve been assured that the museum will be open and during any down time, attendees can wander at their leisure. I believe the event itself will be historic as well since there’s a good chance a whole new slew of books may be written because of this day.

So, whether you have a book in you, are a fan of Jacquelyn Mitchard (who also teaches creative writing around the country, when she’s not writing bestsellers), want to hear about the world of publishing with Charlene Giannetti, ask oodles of writing questions, learn about social media, get a book signed, I invite you to check out the event website:, and register before the limited number of tickets are gone.

You’ll be fed, provided with all the water, coffee and tea that you need, and will leave ready to start your own bestseller.  Hope to see you there.

About MJ Hanley-Goff (174 Articles)
MJ Hanley-Goff has been contributing to Woman Around Town since its inception in 2009. She began her career at Newsday in the early 90’s and has continued writing professionally for other New York publications like the Times Herald-Record, Orange Magazine, and Hudson Valley magazine. Former editor of Hudson Valley Parent magazine, she also contributed stories to AAA’s Car & Travel, and Tri-County Woman. After completing her novel and a self-help book, she created MJWRITES, INC. to offer writing workshops and book coaching to first time authors, and also college essay writing help to students. MJ has recently made St. Augustine, Florida her home base, and is thrilled and honored to continue to write for WAT and the amazing adventures it offers. Despite the new zip code, MJ will continue to keep a pulse on New York events, but will continue to focus on the creative thinkers, doers, and artists wherever they are.