Who We Are

The Hudson Valley Writers Center provides a supportive and constructive environment for a diverse community of readers and writers. We bring language to life through workshops, readings, publications and outreach.

 

That’s our Mission. Here’s how we put it in action:

WORKSHOPS

We host writing workshops year-round, weekdays, evenings and weekends. Workshops typically run in four to six week sessions or as one-day intensives. Our instructors are highly-credentialed experienced teachers and published authors.

 

→ You needn’t be a member to take our classes, but you save money if you do become one.

PUBLICATIONS

Slapering Hol Press, named after the Dutch for Sleepy Hollow, is our small press imprint committed to publishing small poetry books called chapbooks. The press has operated under the HVWC  umbrella through the efforts of its editors and volunteers. We’ve published 40 chapbook titles since 1990, which you can buy in our Bookstore. Many of these titles are winners of the Annual Chapbook Contest.

 

→ Browse our bookstore here.

EVENTS

The Center hosts annually over 40 readings by poets, fiction and non-fiction authors, and playwrights. Our roster of incredible readers who have graced this space is so extensive, we’re working on a Wikipedia entry. Our Open Mic attracts such a good crowd of regulars and newcomers, we expanded to have Bill Buschel host one more each month. Other new recurring events building community are Open Write and Submission Sundays. We collaborate with other local arts organizations to bring you special events (sometime off-site like the annual Westchester Poetry Festival at the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry) and some on-site like our regular partnership with Pros(e) of Pie storytelling.  And of course our biggest “special” event of the year is our annual fundraising gala, upcoming on Nov. 2 at Tappan Hill Mansion in Tarrytown.

 

→ Keep abreast of our constantly updated calendar by subscribing to our newsletter.

COMMUNITY

Our literary outreach has always been essential to our mission. Our instructors teach free creative writing classes to youth and seniors at a number of community centers throughout the region. We also have special projects to share with you, such as a partnership with the Village of Sleepy Hollow producing Poetry in the Pavement (stamped on sidewalks just north of the Center!), and a puppet/playwriting course recently offered at Washington Irving Elementary School. Finally, we couldn’t do any of this without you — our community partners of students, members, audience, readers, donors and sponsors. Thank you!

 

→ Please consider donating to further our mission. 

HVWC History: a Timeline

1982

Margo Taft Stever launches the Sleepy Hollow Poetry Series (SHPS) at the Warner Library in Tarrytown.

1988

Margo Taft Stever broadens the programmatic scope of the SHPS by founding the Hudson Valley Writers Center. On June 28th, HVWC becomes incorporated. The original Board of Directors consists of Margo Taft Stever, her husband Donald Stever, Nicholas Robinson, and Patricia Farewell.

1990

Margo Taft Stever founds Slapering Hol Press (SHP) which publishes its first chapbook, Voices from the River.

1991

The Philipse Manor Railroad Station in Sleepy Hollow is placed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. Slapering Hol Press publishes Dina Ben-Lev’s Note for a Missing Friend, the winning entry of its first annual chapbook competition.

1993

HVWC receives Westchester Arts Council Arts Award for Best Arts Organization.

 

 

1995

Reconstruction of the Railroad Station begins. HVWC establishes a literacy project at the Coachman Family Center for homeless youth and families in White Plains.

1996

HVWC celebrates the opening of its new railroad station home with a reading by Billy Collins.

2000

HVWC launches its new website, www.writerscenter.org and enters a new century of creating community.

 

 

2005

HVWC receives the Excellence in Historic Preservation Award from the Preservation League of New York State for its station restoration.

2008

SHP launches its Conversation Series, Poems in Conversation and a Conversation, by Elizabeth Alexander and Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon. HVWC receives three honors within three months: The Westchester Arts Council 2008 Arts Organization of the Year; the 2008 Junior League of Westchester-on-Hudson’s President’s Award for Community Work; Westchester Magazine’s 2008 Best of Westchester Editors’ Pick for “Source for Literary Inspiration.

2009

HVWC celebrates the quadricentennial of Hudson River exploration by publishing Hudson River Haiku by Helen Barolini.

 

2010

Slapering Hol Press celebrates 20 years of publishing.

 

 

2013

Slapering Hol Press is featured at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Annual Conference and Bookfair in Boston.

2014

SHP launches the the inaugural chapbook box set for the African Poetry Chapbook Series in association with the African Poetry Book Fund/Prairie Schooner, and University of Nebraska with support from The Poetry Foundation. HVWC and SHP are featured at multiple AWP panels in Seattle. 

2018

30-years strong, HVWC revises its mission, launches a new website and releases a new logo, all leading up to a special anniversary gala featuring Pulitzer Prize winning author Michael Cunningham. The Foundation for the Future begins with an amazing documentary by high school filmmaker Oscar Pak.