Writerly Happenings: March Is Packed With Writerly Things To Do! New Writers Circle, Book Clubs and More


Nicole from the hit Netflix show “Nailed It.”

By Phoebe Zinman

“Hellooo again!!”

Ideally, I’d like you to have heard that “Helloooo” in the voice of Nicole from “Nailed It,” but since that’s not likely we will move on immediately to…

“What Are You Reading?” The Co-Worker Edition

At my new full-time job, I surveyed women I work with, who are surviving working with me, in order to bring you these highly skilled and marketable reading recommendations. To keep their persons anonymous, I have revealed them only by nicknames.

The HBIC sent an email marked with High Importance and instructions not to delete her cosigning of Karen Moning’s “Highlander” series (this co-worker is indeed a fan of all things magic and supernatural and Irish).

writerly happenings caleb carr.jpg

The Chorus Line duo is all about jazz hands. One is reading “The Alienist” by Caleb Carr, which combines suspense, historical fiction and justice (what more does one really need?), while the other is feeling the women’s empowerment of “We” by Gillian Anderson and Jennifer Nadel.

The Little Bird is making sure her glam new highlights didn’t fry any brain cells by staying up all night reading “Neverwhere” by sometime Hudson Valley resident Neil Gaiman and feeling very dreamy about it.

And the Silver Fox is multitasking as usual, with “Purity” by Jonathan Franzen and “All About Love” by bell hooks (also on my list).

As for myself, I just started “The Ticking is the Bomb” by Nick Flynn and am withholding comment until later because I’m cold-hearted like that. 

“What’s Going On? I’m Losing My Mind In This Weather!”

So what’s going on in the writerly corners of the Hudson Valley that you can get out to, since we are all about to lose our minds in the weather soup that is March?


A new game in town (at least to me) is the Writer’s Circle at the Garrison Institute on Wednesday, March 20, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, looking super lovely and free of charge. Bonus round: It includes time for meditation, reflection, writing, and sharing.


Binnacle Books in Beacon is doing its boozy book club at Denning’s Point Distillery on Wednesday, March 13, and you want to be there. “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah (of The Daily Show) is what’s on the menu. Get 10% off the book at the store, and $5 cocktails to sip whilst you tilt your head thoughtfully. 

P.S. EDITOR’S NOTE: Thank you Binnacle Books for becoming a regular sponsor of A Little Beacon Blog’s Shopping Guide! It’s quite an honor to have an independent bookstore show their appreciation and value with a sponsorship!

Hudson Valley Writer’s Workshop has their monthly meeting on Wednesday, March 6, and a Facebook page full of other things to investigate.

Split Rock Books in Cold Spring is on winter vacation until Monday, March 4, with limited hours until then. I’m personally pleased as punch for any small business owners who take a little time to recharge. And they are going to need it for March, because whatever your book club preference may be (History, Fiction, Graphic Novels, Kids Club) they have you covered this month. Also on tap in March: a drawing night, fermentation workshop, and readings by locals and beyond.

John Blesso is hosting the second Adult Stories reading series at Oak Vino on Friday, March 8, with a great lineup of writers telling “true stories of an offbeat, edgy, or emotionally-challenging nature told without notes or pages.” $5 and please arrive on time at 7 pm so as not to interrupt. (I’m side-eyeing myself here, if that’s anatomically possible.)


Get Lit on Sunday, March 10, features two speakers about award-winning children’s literature power couple James Ransome (illustrator) and Lesa Cline-Ransome (author). In addition to their collaborations on books about Serena and Venus Williams, Harriet Tubman, Louis Armstrong and Alvin Ailey, James is also the artist behind the beautiful mural at the Adriance Library in Poughkeepsie.

Lucky us! Get Lit founder Julie Chibbaro is doing a an ongoing writing workshop for teens called “Write Your Own Adventure” for ages 12-15 on four Thursdays (March 7-28), and an adult writing intensive on Saturday, March 30, at the Howland Library in Beacon. Also free! See here for details.


Stop in to Quinn’s on Tuesday, March 12, and stay a while as readers from Ruth Danon’s Live Writing workshop take to the stage at 7 pm. I am not reading this time, but I will be eating some pickled plum and clapping like mad for them.


Meanwhile, The Artichoke Storytelling Series at the Howland Cultural Center, hosted by Drew Prochaska, is SOLD OUT! It features storytellers from The Moth, Risk! and Story Collider, as well as Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening. If you were considering moving to Beacon, Fishkill, or Wappingers (anywhere close to the Howland Cultural Center), this new series is a pretty compelling reason!

On Tuesday, March 26, you can start your National Poetry Month festivities early (move over, St. Paddy’s Day) up in Tivoli with this brilliant mashup of poetry and philosophy at Murray’s Coffeeshop (the coffee is super good there) from Bard College and the Poetry Foundation. “The Words We Live By: Poetry and Philosophy in Conversation” features poet Fred Moten and author Robert Gooding-Williams, and looks to be a deep well. It’s introduced by this quote by Hannah Arendt: “The storehouse of memory is kept and watched over by the poets, whose business it is to find and make the words we live by.”

Phew! That was a lot of must-dos for this month. If you hear of any throughout the year, email me at phoebe@alittlebeaconblog.com.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Surprise! An Editor’s Note, because we couldn’t just stop writing in the Writerly Happenings section! If you love this Writerly Happening series as much as we do, and if you love helping promote writers and illustrators and books, then consider becoming a regular Supporting Sponsor! You can get your logo published bright and shiny at the top of this article, and each article we publish a month. Or, if you are a regular person with no business but really want to be a Sponsoring Individual, you can! Please see our Media Kit page for details, and other opportunities for sponsorship. All of our sponsoring advertisers help us get the word out, pay our writers, and grow this publication as a self-sustaining, family-friendly business. Thank you!