Refuge for Book Lovers

If you love reading and writing, you’re likely to crave the peace and solitude necessary to immerse yourself in them. Unfortunately, our modern lives and their many distractions don’t usually pair well with these quiet pursuits. Perhaps that’s the reason why the rural landscape of our corner of the Catskills has attracted a surprising number of reading and writing enthusiasts; the serene atmosphere, slower pace of life, and surrounding natural beauty are, in a word, inspiring.

Here are our tips and some local resources for planning your ideal reading/writing retreat in the Great Western Catskills.

Going Solo

For those looking for a solo refuge, it is as simple as booking a stay in a remote cabin or retreat center. You won't be hassled, so type away, or bring that thick novel you wanted to finish years ago. You can literally open your window to perfect peace, and invite in fresh air and relaxation. Though we know it's tempting to stay in a cocoon for days, make sure to stretch out and take breaks. Go for a hike, enjoy museums and art exhibits, bookstores, and local food.

Getting Connected

If you’re more about connecting with other people and sharing your passion, you'll enjoy meeting with like-minded folks at various reading and writing -centered events and groups. Bright Hill Press in Treadwell, NY, is an active literary community, and hosts writing workshops, exhibits, and regular events like Word Thursdays where you can listen to guests poets and writers, and grab the open mic to share your own talent. Writers in the Mountain offers workshops and classes in various genres for all experience levels, as well as an annual literary festival. The arts and culture programming at West Kortright Center in East Meredith, NY, includes writing workshops, and Roxbury Arts Group hosts writers' evenings at Stamford Library where local writers present and discuss their works in progress. Franklin Stage Company has rehearsed readings in their scheduling. 

Hobart Book Village is a great resource for any book lover. A number of unique book stores along Main Street in the picturesque village of Hobart, NY, form a wonderful destination for those looking for exciting book discoveries, either old or new. Readings, workshops, sales, and special events take place frequently, and the annual Festival of Women Writers (September 8-10 this year) is a celebration of women writers with readings and workshops.


Bright Hill Press and Literary Center
94 Church Street
Treadwell, NY
Bright Hill is dedicated to increasing audiences' appreciation of the writing arts and oral traditions that comprise American literature, and to encouraging and furthering the tradition of oral poetry and writing in the Catskills and beyond. Bright Hill Press offers writing workshops, book publishing, art exhibits and auctions, Word Thursdays, children and youth programs (book club, summer literary workshops) and a community library.

Festival of Women Writers
Hobart Book Village
600-698 Main Street
Hobart, NY
An annual 3-day celebration of women writers with readings and workshops, open to all lovers of language. September 8-10, 2017.

Hobart Book Village
600-698 Main Street
Hobart, NY
An eclectic collection of shops for people who love books, all within easy walking distance along Main Street.
Offered: tri-annual sales, readings, events, festivals.

Writers in the Mountains
Roxbury, NY
Writers in the Mountains is is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide a nurturing environment for the practice, appreciation and sharing of creative writing.
Offered; workshops, classes, annual literary festival


Blue Deer Center
1155 County Route 6
Margaretville, NY

Harmony Hill Lodging and Retreat Center
694 McKee Hill Road
East Meredith, NY

Turquoise Barn
8052 County Highway 18
Bloomville, NY