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Stone Valley Arts Literary Festival

August 12, 2023 at 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

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Stone Valley Arts Literary Festival — A Celebration of the Written Word!

August 12,13 at 145 East Main Street, Poultney VT (Old Stone Church across from Poultney High School). RSVP by clicking on the RSVP button under the image.

Time to reclaim your creativity! SVA Lit Fest writing workshops (Poetry, Fiction, Playwriting) are carefully crafted by professional facilitators to benefit writers in all genres and with all levels of experience. If you write, or have the desire to write, now is the time to explore the possibility! These generative workshops in several genres are suitable for writers of all levels. We encourage writers to cross genres and participate in all workshops because the basic concepts of description, narration, dialogue, character, plot, exposition, inspiration, elaboration, revision, and so much more are the basic tools and common challenges for all
types of writing from journals to novels.

“The powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.” Walt Whitman .

Saturday, August 12, 10AM – Noon, Poetry Writing with James Crews. “The Wonder of Small Things: Mindful Description in Poetry” In this workshop, we’ll discuss how certain poems help us access the wonder & awe present in otherwise ordinary moments through mindful description. We will also work from writing prompts based on the poems we discuss, practicing the art of description in the moment.

Saturday, August 12, 2 PM – 4 PM, Fiction Writing with Herb Childress “Write from What the World Provides” The town plow driver being harangued at a meeting. The flustered elder who can’t find her Price Chopper card while she’s at the checkout. The pastor’s wife who’s just come to town following her husband’s fourth placement in seven years. If we pay attention to the people around us—really watch, really listen—the world is filled with stories. This session will give us some practice at turning careful observation into inventive, creative stories. There’s no end of research to do, no end of discoveries we’ll make along the way, but with practice, we’ll discover that stories are like dandelions, with seeds aloft everywhere.

Sunday, August 13, 10AM – Noon, Poetry Writing with Bianca Amira Zanella “Quieting the Inner Critic” Learn how to trust your poetic intuition and practice pausing self-judgment with a series of quick generative healing exercises. Then, we’ll slow down and let go of predetermining how the poem or story evolves and easily find our flow. This workshop will be like stepping in a cold river on a 90 degree day.

Sunday, August 13, 1:00 PM – 3 PM, Playwriting with Burnham Holmes “FROM PAGE TO STAGE” Join us for a two-hour session of playwriting. How to get started, how to check if it’s working, and how to finish. By the end of the workshop, the goal is for you to be well on your way to completing a one-act play.

Closing Circle at 3:30 to briefly share thoughts, feelings, takeaways…

Pre-Registration is recommended so that presenters have a rough count for materials. Online preregistration is $40 per day, $70.00 for both days, $18.00 for students 12-18 years of age per day and $36.00 for students for two days.

Preregister by clicking this link:

Registration after Aug 8 is : $45 for either Saturday or Sunday, and $80 for both days – all four workshops! Students age 12 -18, $20 per day. Scholarships available – email [email protected]

Register by clicking this link:

Or RSVP by mail to Stone Valley Arts, P.O. Box 47, Poultney, VT 05764


James Crews is the author of the forthcoming essay collection, Kindness Will Save the World, and editor of several bestselling poetry anthologies: Healing the Divide, The Path to Kindness, and How to Love the World. He has been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, People Magazine, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post. He is the author of four prize-winning books of poetry: The Book of What Stays, Telling My Father, Bluebird, and Every Waking Moment, and his poems have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Ploughshares, The New Republic, and Prairie Schooner. James lives with his husband on forty rocky acres in the woods of Southern Vermont.
For more information, visit:

Herb Childress believes in the practice of spirit writing—the faith that if he sits down quietly and patiently, someone will surely appear and demand to have their story told. His work is most successful when he gets out of the way and does their bidding. He and his wife Nora, and their family Emily and Elton, live in Middletown Springs.

Bianca Amira Zanella (she/they) is an award-winning queer spoken word poet and poetic medicine healer. Practicing as The Paper Poet, her aim is to decrease hardship while increasing heartship. Bianca’s poems have appeared in Writing By Heart (coming soon), PoemCity Anthology, The Artful Mind, The Rutland Herald, The Mountain Troubadour, and The Reverie. Zanella’s poem films, sculptural poems, and poem paintings have also been on exhibit with PoemCity Montpelier, Merwin Gallery, Stone Valley Arts, SPACE, and Surdam. For more information, visit:

Burnham Holmes will have three one acts (along with Karen Klami’s three one acts) at Stone Valley Arts on September 15, 16, 17. Later in the fall, he will have a filmed version based on a one act at Stone Valley Arts, along with films from Ken Holmes and Karen Klami—all from their Zoom Shorts series on YouTube. In April 2022, Trumpilton, the musical parody by Klami and Holmes, appeared Off-Broadway at the Actors Temple Theatre.


Stone Valley Arts
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Creative Zone
Addison/Rutland Zone


Stone Valley Arts
145 E. Main Strett
POULTNEY, VT 05764 United States
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