Catskill Mountain Story Festival - 2019 Presenters and Panelists

See here for the full schedule and times for these presentations

Pride in the Catskills: A Panel Discussion about LGBTQ Stories and Experiences

Hear about the experiences of LBGTQ people in the Catskills and engage in a conversation about inclusion and acceptance.

Localvore: Writing, Recipes, and Restaurateuring throughout the Catskills Seasons

A cookbook editor and a local chef and cookbook author explore the stories behind our food.
Bryan Calvert
opened James restaurant in 2008 on a residential corner of Prospect Heights Brooklyn, after cooking for years in fine restaurants. His food quickly became synonymous with the new Brooklyn dining scene. Calvert is also cofounder of Cecil & Merl, a national brand of artisanal home and kitchen goods. He is currently the chef and owner of the Binnekill Tavern in Margaretville. His cookbook, Brooklyn Rustic: Simple Food for Sophisticated Palates, was released in 2016.
Carrie Bradley Neves
, vice president of the Writers in the Mountains board of directors, is an Upstate New York native who grew up in Guilderland, outside of Albany, NY, and returned to the area in 2006 after stints in the Berkshires and California. In addition to a BA from Williams College and MA from the University of New Hampshire, where she studied English literature, fiction writing, playwriting, poetry, and music, Carrie has for the last twenty-five years focused many of her writing goals on writing lyrics, making records, performing, and touring as a singer-songwriter and violinist. Other current writing and activities and projects include secretaryship of her college alumni publication, writing for her town newspaper, The Times of Halcott, and new work on a musical play. Her work-for-pay life is as a copy editor, specializing in cookbooks.

Readings from Writers In the Mountains

Writers in the Mountains (WIM), a literary nonprofit organization serving the Catskills and the Hudson Valley area since 1992, offers a variety of creative writing workshops year-round, and hosts numerous literary events to promote the written word throughout our region and beyond. In this session, Writers in the Mountains will introduce some of its finest writers and poets. There will be readings, short presentations, and illustrative class exercises.

Carolyn Bennett has spent a lifetime in publishing, writing and editing. She is the author of a collection of short fiction, A Thing Among Things (Birch Brook Press), and two poetry collections, The Everyday Way (Slow Motion Press) and Looking for Cold Mountain (Outloud Books). She has an MA in Creative Writing from City College of New York where she studied with Joseph Heller, Susan Sontag and Donald Barthelme. Eventually, she found her way into journalism and grant writing. She is currently the Director of the Zadock Pratt Museum.
Carrie Bradley Neves (see bio above)
Simona David, president of Writers in the Mountains, is a writer and media consultant. She is the author of Self-Publishing and Book Marketing, A Research Guide (2013), Art in the Catskills (3rd edition, 2016), and How Art Is Made: In the Catskills (2017). Her website is

The Catskills in 2019: Hidden Stories

Get the behind-the-scenes scoop on the new Natural Resources: 50 Stewards of the Catskills book, a showcase of Catskills residents making a mark on their community. Learn how the book came together and meet some of these change-makers.

Audiobooks: Behind the Scenes 

In this panel discussion, three busy voice actors (who call the Catskills home) will share stories from the studio, what it takes to bring an audiobook to life, and fun tales from “the booth.” Join us for a live narration demo, a Q&A, and a chance to win some audiobooks!
Oliver Wyman is a veteran audiobook narrator and winner of three Audie Awards from the Audio Publisher's Association, fifteen Earphone Awards from AudioFile Magazine, and two Listen Up Awards from Publishers Weekly.
Ellen Parker is a NY theatre actor whose longtime television portrayal of Guiding Light’s Maureen Reardon Bauer earned her a Daytime Emmy Award. She recently narrated Mary Austin’s classic, The Land of Little Rain
Brett Barry is an audiobook narrator and producer, and the owner of Silver Hollow Audio, which publishes audiobooks about the journey and the places where nature, travel and history intersect.