Who We Are
Building on the success of the past thirty years, The Hudson Valley Writers Center brings writers and readers together to celebrate the essential art of the written and spoken word. The Center fosters a vibrant and diverse literary arts community that supports and empowers writers and readers of diverse ages, talents and backgrounds at every stage of their creative development.
That’s our Mission. Here’s how we put it in action:
We host writing workshops year-round, weekdays, evenings and weekends. Workshops typically run in four to
→ You needn’t be a member to take our classes, but you save money if you do become one.
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.
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, held each fall to celebrate and raise support for our programming.
→ Keep abreast of our constantly updated calendar by subscribing to our newsletter.
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
→ Please consider donating to further our mission.
HVWC History: a Timeline
Margo Taft Stever launches the Sleepy Hollow Poetry Series (SHPS) at the Warner Library in Tarrytown.
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.
Margo Taft Stever founds Slapering Hol Press (SHP) which publishes its first chapbook, Voices from the River.
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.
HVWC receives Westchester Arts Council Arts Award for Best Arts Organization.
Reconstruction of the Railroad Station begins. HVWC establishes a literacy project at the Coachman Family Center for homeless youth and families in White Plains.
HVWC celebrates the opening of its new railroad station home with a reading by Billy Collins.
HVWC launches its new website, www.writerscenter.org and enters a new century of creating community.
HVWC receives the Excellence in Historic Preservation Award from the Preservation League of New York State for its station restoration.
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.
HVWC celebrates the quadricentennial of Hudson River exploration by publishing Hudson River Haiku by Helen Barolini.
Slapering Hol Press celebrates 20 years of publishing.
Slapering Hol Press is featured at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Annual Conference and Bookfair in Boston.
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.
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.
Hudson Valley Writers Center moves its programming online to Zoom due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Literary community members from around the world come together to enjoy writing workshops, a robust online reading series, and monthly gatherings online.
Hybrid programming is offered for the first time at Hudson Valley Writers Center in September 2021 with the installation of new A/V technology funded in part by a special LitTap grant.
HVWC presents a full calendar of programming in three different formats: virtual, in person, and hybrid, as it also begins construction on its Foundation for the Future capital projects.