On Retreating (Straw Dog Writers Residency)

On Retreating retreat noun re· treat |  ri-?tr?t   1 : an act or process of withdrawing  2: a place of privacy or safety  3: a period of withdrawal for prayer, meditation, study, or instruction For five days, I woke not to the alarm on my phone, but to sun pouring into my room at dawn accompanied by the musical conversation of birds in a gingko tree Read More

Straw Dog Writers Guild Board News!

December blog for SDWG newsletter Every few years, we change up the leadership of Straw Dog Writers Guild. It’s healthy for the organization, bringing new ideas and approaches. It also offers an opportunity to reflect on what we’ve accomplished, and where we want to go next. We’re at such a crossroads now, with two new Read More

Membership updates & opportunities

Hello Straw Dog Writers Guild Members, We are so grateful to all of you for your loyalty and continued support as Straw Dog Writers grows and develops as an organization. Without you, we would not have Straw Dog Writers, and all the offerings and opportunities we provide to the literary community of Western MA. Thank Read More

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