March is Women’s History month and one of the only places in the country that celebrates it every single day of the month is right here in Berkshire County. With over fifty empowering events (most of them free) scheduled throughout the county, the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers does an amazing job of honoring women and bringing significant events to the community. This year is the fifth anniversary of the festival and it’s shaping up to be its best year ever. There are workshops, readings, performances, among other events organized at venues across the Berkshires and judging from past years, these events will be extremely well received.
I spoke recently with the Founding Director of the festival, Jennifer Browdy and she was eager to relate to me that the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers has become so successful, that there are new opportunities arising out of it, such as Writing Fire Anthology, a publishing opportunity for women writers in the area. There is also a year round program planned in conjunction with the Girls Leadership Institute and day long and weekend writing retreats are also being developed.
On the first day of the Festival, I attended From Zero to One: First Books and What We Wish We’d Known, a panel discussion on getting your first book published and what to expect afterwards. I found it very interesting and plan on attending several of the festival’s other events. Some events that I think are especially appealing are a lecture by Roselle Chartock on The Extraordinary Women of Windsor Mountain School on March 7. Also, on March 8 the 14th Annual International Women’s Day observance is a film by Pamela Yates, illuminating the struggle in Latin America over the inequality that women there face. On March 29, at the end of the festival, there will be a Book Expo at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in Pittsfield, with books for sale, readings, raffles and more. Over all, this year’s Berkshire Festival of Women Writers appears to be very exciting and fortunately for us in the Berkshires, it is readily available to all.