Give Me My Ham by Lauren Marie Schmidt

On my first day of service at the Haven House, a transitional housing program for homeless women and children, the social worker put her hand on my shoulder and said, “They’re tough girls, but I think you can handle yourself. Don’t let them scare you away. They might actually like this.” And by “this,” she Read More


Originally published in Fired Up! Green Fire Writers   When the picketing started at Glen Echo Amusement Park, I was 14 and my mother wouldn’t let me go. “It’s too dangerous,” she said. “Besides, you have a job.” My family had moved to the suburban Maryland neighborhood called Bannockburn two years earlier. I had my Read More

The Generosity of Literary Citizens by Ellen Meeropol

May 1 was the last Valley Gives Day — at least in this incarnation of the regional online nonprofit extravaganza — and Straw Dog Writers Guild participated, for the third year. Our fundraising goal was $5000. We asked for your support on our website, in our newsletter, at events, and on social media. You really Read More

2018 March Medley Writing Workshops by Carla M. Cooke

I enjoyed participating in all four of the Straw Dog Writers Guild’s 2018 March Medley Workshops.  The collaboration between SDWG and the Northampton Center for the Arts allowed me to affordably experience four excellent local workshop leaders’ offerings—voice-finding, collaging, playwriting, and songwriting. I jumped at the chance to participate in Dori Ostermiller’s workshop on March Read More

Blessings to Certain Spaces

When I was an undergrad in Athens, GA, the 40-Watt Club was the magnet that drew musicians and poets together. It was our shared space, our common ground, named after the bare bulb that lit the stage. It was where we came to listen and be listened to — where REM, Guadalcanal Diary, Love Tractor, Read More

Meet Our New Intern: Jamie Haines

  I am a senior at Westfield State University studying English with a concentration in writing. My dream for after graduation in May is to work in publishing by day and work on my novels by night. I did not realize my love for writing until I was in fourth grade when my teacher told me Read More

Abel Meeropol Social Justice Writing Award Event

Patricia Smith awarded the Abel Meeropol Social Justice Writing Award by SDWG Board President Ellen Meeropol & Robert Meeropol Patricia Smith Robert Meeropol SDWG Board President Ellen Meeropol and Advisory Board member Bill NewmanPhotos by Doug Anderson  It is rare and wonderful when several important elements of a life come together and make joy. That’s Read More

High School Scholarship Recipient 2017

  Emily Dean is a first-year student at Greenfield Community College studying liberal arts. Emily loves reading, writing, and taking pictures with her friends. She is very grateful to have been a recipient of the 2017 Straw Dog Scholarship.   When did you first begin to care about writing? My father was an English major, Read More