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Members learn about Yaddo

SRWA Members learn more about Yaddo Artist Community


Retired Vice President John Nelson for Yaddo House was the guest speaker at the June meeting of the Saratoga Romance Writers of America.

Founded in 1900, Yaddo is an artists' community in Saratoga Springs and offers residencies to professional creative artists working in media, choreography, film, literature, musical composition, painting, performance art, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and video.

"Yaddo offers a secure place to create and live," Nelson told members at the meeting. "It provides the care and feeding of creative people so they can create."

As a results, while the gardens on the Yaddo grounds are open to the public, the rest of the estate is private. Visitors only get a glimpse of the mansion and outbuildings during open houses. He then reported that for the first time since 2003, tours of the estate would be offered to the public on Sept. 14 at 8:30 and 11 a.m. and 1 and 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 and can be ordered at

Sharing his knowledge of the history of Yaddo and its founders Katrina and Spencer Trask, Nelson said artists must apply and be approved by the selection committee to receive an invitation to stay at the community. Applications are accept in January and June. According to Nelson, the committee receives over 1,200 applications a year, but only 200 a year are accepted.

Part of the Yaddo experience is mixing solitude artists need to work with gathering together in the evening to socialize and learn from other artists. Writers who have stayed at Yaddo include John Cheever, Truma Capote, Patrician High Smith, Katherine Anne Porter, Wallace Stegner, Eudora Welty, Saul Bellow, Alice Walker and Philip Roth.

Sign up for the Summer Sizzler

srwa summer sizzler

The Summer Sizzler is underway. The brainchild of SRWA Past President Susan Sherber's, the Sizzler is not a contest and no one keeps score, but a push to encourage participants to keep writing during the months of where participants will be judged or rated and no one is keeping score. It is simply a summer push to keep writing during the months of June, July and August, Susan says. Participants must be committed to a few rules and set at least one goal they will reach by Aug. 31. If a participant reaches her goal before the deadline she may choose another. Every goal met deserves a reward, and Susan has asked participants to state ofthree ways they will reward themselves for goals accomplished.

Summer Sizzler participants this summer are Dorice Nelson, Lisette Belisle, Sandra Brands, Yvette Fitzgerald and Rosemarie Sheperd. Rosemarie reports that she is half way to her Summer Sizzler goal! She has written 68 pages of the 95 page goal she set for herself and says, " I know where I'm going and what needs to happen. I am working on how I need to develop things so as to maximize the way they will shake out."

To learn more about the Summer Sizzler, contact Past President Susan Sherber

Just Jessie, the first of Lisette Belisle's novels published, was originally released in 1997. Harlequin recently made the novel available on Kindle. Check it out. Earlier this summer, Lisette was a judge for The Orange Rose Contest, sponsored by the Orange County, California, RWA earlier this summer. Currently, she's working on a trilogy of contemporary romances tentatively titled Jericho about three men dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

ludima burton

Ludima Burton's novel Drew Gets it Right, the sequel to her novel Never a Cougar, is available online. Recently, she was featured on the front page of the Amsterdam Recorder and was the Grand Marshal at the Northville Fourth of July parade.

Election letters have gone out inviting members to consider running for the office of President, Vice President, Treasurer or Secretary. For more information, or to put your name on the ballot, contact Rosemarie Shepherd, Lisette Belisle or Edie Merkle.