Rensselaerville Library

The Festival of Writers is coming up in August and here is information on how you can get involved in this great annual tradition in Rensselaerville.

The annual Festival of Writers, held in the historic hamlet of Rensselaerville, New York has drawn dozens of writers and hundreds of guests since its inception in 2009. The event features a variety of readings, workshops, entertainment, and panel discussions. Prominent writers featured at past festivals include William Kennedy, Nick Flynn, Galway Kinnell, Jean Craighead George, Francine Prose, Bill Logan, Verlyn Klinkenborg, Andy Rooney, and Lizz Winstead. This year’s festival will also host an exciting roster of established writers, and will once again showcase the work of local writers adept at capturing the heart of an audience. We seek unpublished work by regional writers reflecting the particular experiences, insights, and observations of upstate New Yorkers.

Showcase Event on Sunday afternoon, August 17 at 2PM – “This Upstate Life: Local Writers Read”

For this event, we seek poetry, fiction, personal essay, or cross-genre and experimental work specifically rooted in the upstate New York region. On this program, writers will read their own work in a venue in Rensselaerville to be determined.

Eligibility & Submission Requirements

  • Entrants must be upstate New Yorkers.
  • Submissions must be postmarked by June 10, 2014
  • Poets may submit up to three pages of poetry (single-spaced, max. 30 lines/page). Prose writers may submit one piece (double-spaced, max.1000 words). Please put word count (prose) or line count (poetry) directly on the first page of your manuscript.
  • No identification should appear on the manuscript.
  • Cover sheet should include: a 3 sentence bio. plus: author’s name, address, telephone number, email address, title of submission, genre (poetry, fiction, personal essay, etc.), and line count (each poem/page) or word count (prose).
  • Manuscripts must be typed, double-spaced (prose), single-spaced (poetry), 12-point type, no fancy fonts.
  • Send three hard copies by mail (no electronic submissions) and a $5.00 check (reading fee) made out to the Rensselaerville Library to: The Rensselaerville Library, Festival of Writers, Local Writers Submission, P.O. Box 188, Rensselaerville, NY 12147.
  • Submissions that do not comply with the above requirements will be automatically disqualified.
  • Submissions will be juried by an independent selection committee.


Manuscripts will not be returned. Results will be posted on the Festival of Writers website by July 15, 2014. Authors of selected works will be contacted individually.

For more information, please email: or call the Rensselaerville Library at 518 797-3949.  (In the subject line of the email, please enter “FOW Local Writers”.)