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Exciting and Wonderful News from YELP Rochester!

WOW! What an adventure these past few weeks have been.

Just over two months ago, Yelp Rochester came to us with a huge gift, an enormous opportunity and a tantalizing challenge. We were selected as one of three organizations in Rochester to be considered for a $5,000 grant from #YFGivesLocal. All we needed were votes!

And so we asked for your help.

The response we received was stunning, humbling, and just downright wonderful. You voted, spread the word, refreshed your browsers, and voted again! Thank you! Thank you all so much! We are truly very lucky to belong to a community that is as supportive, creative, and enthusiastic as Rochester.

Today, we’ve received some amazing news!

We are enraptured, elated, euphoric, overjoyed, on cloud nine, in seventh heaven, jumping for joy, delighted, thrilled, exultant, on top of the world, and over the moon to hear from Yelp Rochester that Writers & Books is the recipient of the $5K ‪#‎YFGivesLocal‬ Grant!

WE did it—and I mean “we”! Writers & Books couldn’t have done it without you. Again, both YELP and the community of Rochester have our sincerest thanks.


We’ll be using this grant money to improve our operations & services to the Rochester community! More details to come.


SallyDanChrisTate KathyAlexaJoeSarah

Read up on the Yelp Foundation on their blog here:

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Happy 2016! What’s on your reading list?

Happy 2016, folks!
It’s a special year for us here at Writers & Books. This year, we celebrate our 35th Anniversary, and the retirement of our Executive Director, Joe Flaherty. In the coming months, we’re also hosting Sonja Livingston, author of Queen of the Fall, this year’s pick for “If All of Rochester Reads…” Other exiting goodies we have in store for you are an 80’s themed party, the 35-Word Story Contest, and more! It’s hard to imagine cramming it all in over just 12 months.

When the New Year rolls around, it’s a time of imagining possibilities. We make resolutions, but we also make less tangible goals–sights that we want to see, things we want to do, places we want to explore. Of course, one of the best places to explore is in literature. This year, in honor of our 35th Anniversary, we invite you to join our 35 Book Challenge for 2016!

People who attempt the challenge will read something that satisfies each number on this list—some books may satisfy more than one, and that’s fine too! Not sure if you can read all 35? Try and see how far you get! It’s all in the name of celebration and exploration.

35 Book Challenge for 2016:

1) A biography

2) A book in the science fiction genre

3) A book you’ve read before

4) A book that has been banned

5) A book you started and never finished

6) A book that was published this year

7) A book about travel

8) A book you had recommended to you

9) A book based on a true story

10) A book you were supposed to read in school

11) A book written for children

12) A book with a great cover design

13) A book that’s a sequel

14) A book you can read in a day

15) A book with more than 500 pages

16) A graphic novel

17) A book that features a character who is not heterosexual

18) A book in the fantasy genre

19) A book about food

20) A book about an artist

21) A book published before the year 1900

22) A book about something you’ve never done before

23) A book in the humor genre

24) A book with a non-human main character

25) A play

26) A book on the bestseller list

27) A book that’s a translation

28) A book in the horror or thriller genre

29) A book that’s been sitting on your bookshelf but you’ve never read

30) A book written by a female author

31) A book written by a person of color

32) A book of short stories

33) A book of poetry

34) The 2016 pick for “If All of Rochester Reads…” Queen of the Fall by Sonja Livingston

35) An author’s first book

Enjoying your read? Let us know on twitter with #35BookChallenge and tell us what you think!

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2016 Winter Catalog Now Available

Rochester, NY: Writers & Books is now taking registrations for winter workshops running January 2016 through March 2016. Those interested can register by phone (585.473.2590), online (, or in person. Special events and reoccurring events listings can also be found online and in print. The 2016 Winter catalog includes a detailed list of Rochester Reads author Sonja Livingston’s visits around Rochester from March 15th – 19th as well as School Break Youth Camp information.


Adult Workshops:

Creative Writing Workshops: Creative Writing 101, Your Wild & Precious Life (A yoga and writing workshop), Writing Rochester’s History, Writing About Trauma…For more Creative Writing Workshops:


Fiction Workshops: Fiction Bootcamp, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing: Let’s Get Started, First-Person Fiction…For more Fiction Workshops:


Poetry Workshops: Intermediate/Advanced Poetry, Beginner Poetry Intensive…For more Poetry Workshops:


Stage & Screen Workshops: Comedy Improv, Starting Your Screenplay, Writing the Short Film…For more Stage & Screen Workshops:


Reading Seminars: The Stranger/The Mersault Investigation, Reading Magic Realism, Re-imaging To Kill a Mockingbird, Writings of Sonja Livingston: Reading Ghostbread and Queen of the Fall…For more Reading Seminars:


Online Workshops: Beginning Poetry, Intermediate/Advanced Poetry Workshop, Writing love Stories, Intermediate/Advanced Fiction Workshop…For more Online Workshops:


Business of Writing Workshops: Targeting A Literary Agent, An Introduction to Legal Issues for Self-Publishing Authors, How to Self-Publish eBooks and Paperbacks…For more Business of Writing Workshops:




Youth Workshops:

Writers & Books will once again be offering youth camps during both Winter and Spring school breaks featuring workshops on Magic Tree House, Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, Comedy improv, and learning Spanish. For more information on our Youth programs featured in the 2016 Winter catalog:


Special Events & Reoccurring Events:


Genesee Reading Series (second Tuesday of each month): Featuring Sejal Shah, Monica Gebell, James Whorton, and Sarah Freligh…More information on The Genesee Reading Series:


Reading: Reading & Canned Food Drive, Thursday, January 21s. Fran Morse, former ED of the Dimitri House, reads from her collection of stories, Dimitri House Stories. Also collection of food & clothing for Dimitri House…More information:


Reading & Lecture: Paul Moyer, Thursday, January 28th…More information:


Reading: Jennifer Grotz & Elizabeth Gray, Thursday, February 11th…More information:


80’s Party: Happy Birthday Writers & Books, Saturday, February 20th…More information:


Other reoccurring events, including Open Mic Comedy, The Bertrand Russell Forum, History Reading Salon, and First Friday events can be found here:


Rochester Reads:


Writers & Books has chosen Queen of the Fall by Sonja Livingston as this year’s “If All of Rochester Reads the Same Book” pick. Livingston, a Rochester native, will be touring the area March 15th through the 19th. Her stops will include Penfield Library, Valley Manor Senior Living Home, Finger Lakes Community College, as well as ten other locations. For more information and a list of locations:



Questions regarding any and all of the above information can be sent to Chris Fanning at and will be redirected to the appropriate staff member.