Company/Organization Profiles | Local Industry

Literary Endeavor

1 Jul , 2005  

Written by Andrea Maxwell | Posted by:

A profile of the organization in support of literary careers, the New Hampshire Writers' Project.

Writers often crave isolation. They need complete silence while they work and cannot be swayed from their vision. But what happens after the piece is written? Where does the new writer go with his or her pristine 300-page manuscript? New Hampshire’s answer to this is the New Hampshire Writers’ Project. One of the most comprehensive organizations in support of literary careers, the NHWP serves every aspect of the writing profession, from publication to book sales, to education, and reading. Working on every side, NHWP develops new writers, new readers, and new sellers. New Hampshire Writers’ Project takes many forms, all stemming from the idea of either workshop or publication.

Their workshops are offered in both the spring and the fall. Topics range from finding the intention of a poem, to the step by step process behind short stories, to choosing whether to self-publish, or plotting successful fiction and non-fiction.

Workshops at NHWP come in two forms: the first is individual lectures and the second is ongoing meetings. Included in the July workshops is NHWP’s own Director of Programs LewEllyn Hallett on creative writing. Always willing to expand their horizons, NHWP presents a number of readings and workshops in collaboration with others. July will see NHWP at Borders Books in Concord, NH, the Weeks Public Library, and Bayswater Book Company where Katherine Towler will sing copies of her new novel Evening Ferry. Our partners have included the New Hampshire Humanities Council, Celebrate New Hampshire, the John Hay Estate, the School of Liberal Arts at Southern New Hampshire University, Keene State College, The Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire, The Governor Wentworth Arts Council, the New Hampshire Institute of Art, and Manchester’s Yo Gallery.

Among their ongoing workshops are a series of featured writers who read their work and then open the floor to open mikes. Though mainly in support of New Hampshire writers, every writer benefits from as many influences as possible, and therefore NHWP also hosts readings featuring out-of-state writers. Some past events have paired New Hampshire writers with out-of-state writers.

Children are not excluded from NHWP, as on Sundays at the Nashua Public Library different regions of the world are featured with stories from their cultures, followed by a puppet show. Trips on the New Hampshire Writers’ Trail are also a benefit of the organization.

No strangers to publication themselves, the NHWP offers a bimonthly newsletter entitled "Ex Libris." In addition to interviews with New Hampshire Writers and Publishers, "Ex Libris" includes publishing opportunities and information on possible fellowships and awards. It also includes a literary calendar which lists readings, book signings, and other events across the state.

The Writers’ Handbook, also published by NHWP, offers specific information on topics of interest to New Hampshire writers, including conferences, retreats, publishing, agents, copyright law, and writers’ resources. Membership can be gained at a variety of levels. Members of NHWP are well taken care of. They are privy to online book reviews including current members’ recent publications. Their list of benefits include: a year’s subscription to "Ex Libris," advanced notice of NHWP program offerings, discounts on workshops, the New Hampshire Writers’ Handbook, and of course, life-long connections with fellow writers, publishers, and readers. The annual "Book Sampler," a catalog of new books by members of NHWP, includes fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and children’s books. Accompanying the annual publication is a BookSampler Celebration, which honors members who have recently published work. The celebration is held with either the New Hampshire Literary Awards or a public reading, as part of a special night of recognition.

The other annual celebration sponsored by New Hampshire Writers’ Project is the Writers’ Day conference, a one day celebration featuring workshops, a keynote speaker, book sales, discussion, and more networking. New Hampshire Writers’ Project’s third special event is presented every other year: the New Hampshire Literary Awards, which honor outstanding literary achievements and recognize emerging New Hampshire writers. The awards promote public interest in New Hampshire writers. The awards categories include: Outstanding Work of Fiction, Outstanding Work of Nonfiction, Outstanding Work of Children’s Literature, The Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book of Poetry, and the Lifetime Achievement award. The New Hampshire Writers’ Project is supported by its members, individuals, and generous contributions from the NH State Council on the Arts, Jefferson Pilot Financial and Fidelity Investments. For more information visit their website at