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Westport Column

Last year I wrote about the writer’s retreat that Mary Beth Coudal led at Skenewood, the beautiful and historic Jones family property on Dudley Road. For those interested in Mary Beth’s connection to Westport, she is married to the actor John Christopher Jones, which makes her a sister-in-law of Shami Jones McCormick, the artistic director of the Depot Theatre. You and your kids may know Mary Beth from her past role in running the Depot Theatre Apprentice Program.

If so, then you’re aware of her strong creative energy and focus. Her main interest is writing, and in addition to writing articles that have run in The New York Times, Salon.com, and Self magazine, she now owns and operates Writer’s Boot Camp East, where she works on helping other writers sharpen their craft. The retreat she led last year was the first at Skenewood—you can see videos at YouTube (just search for Skenewood writers).

Mary Beth will be back at Skenewood for another three day writer’s retreat May 16-19. She’s advertising this in the city, but for local writers who wish to commute there’s also an option to attend during the day, with a reduced rate that includes meals. By the end of the weekend, you’ll have a publishable work, great memories, and new friends who share your love of writing. For information, call Mary Beth at 646-678-0832 or visit her web site, bootcamp4writers.com, where you can also register for the retreat or send Mary Beth an email.

Did you see the news stories about how Champlain Area Trails (CATS) has recently purchased 87 acres in Westport from Sandy Lewis? The beautiful tract of land (the former Evens farm) sits between the Lakeshore Road and Angier Hill Road, and this means it will be preserved as a vital connection for wildlife between the Split Rock Wild Forest and the Coon Mountain Nature Preserve.

And the Boquet River Association (BRASS) has announced that Westport resident Daphne Hallowell has joined their board. Congratulations to BRASS—they’re lucky to have her. I was very happy to see an email from them in the inbox for the column. If you have something you’d like to see here, please do likewise.

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