Graduate Steven Baltsas Receives Literary Award

NEWBURGH – Safe Harbors of the Hudson is proud to announce Steven Baltsas as the first annual recipient of the Newburgh Literary Festival Student Writing Award for his piece, The Tower, which appeared in the 2019 edition of Colonnade, the Newburgh Free Academy’s literary arts magazine. The award, sponsored by Hudson Valley Cancer Genetics, includes a spot in a six-week memoir writing workshop with best-selling author, Danielle Trussoni.

Steven Baltsas is a 2019 graduate of Newburgh Free Academy with high honors. Mr. Baltsas will be attending SUNY New Paltz in the Fall and plans to major in English with a minor in History. He is a 2018 recipient of the National Scholastic Art and Writing Award silver medal in recognition of his personal essay An Agora of Memory. Most recently, Steven contributed to the writing of The Newburgh Project, which made its debut at Safe Harbors Lobby at the Ritz during the Newburgh Illuminated Festival this past June.

Steven lives with his family who have resided in the Newburgh area for the past 60 years. He started reading at a very young age and was inspired to write with the encouragement of his 4thgrade teacher, Mrs. Sartori. “In that classroom, I was born a writer”, (The Tower, Colonnade, 2019). Steven kept most of his work private, but began to take his writing more seriously when his 8thGrade teacher, Mr. Maher, introduced him to the Hudson Valley Writing Project.

Steven is so appreciative of his advisors, Ginny McCurdy and NFA teacher Ryan Walz, and his sponsor, Safe Harbors of the Hudson Board member Dr. Hannah Brooks. He looks forward to the opportunity to work alongside a professional author, Danielle Trussoni, in her upcoming workshop, “How to Tell The Story of Your Life,” at the Hudson Valley Writer’s Center this Summer.

This award launches Safe Harbors Newburgh Literary Festival scheduled to take place Saturday, October 19. The festival is produced in collaboration with Thornwillow Press and Ms. Trussoni, and will feature eight nationally-recognized authors. It promises to be a lively program filled with readings, interviews, podcasts, film clips, Q&A and will culminate in a meet-and-greet cocktail reception and a local authors book fair.

“This is going to be a wonderful weekend destination for literature and leaf-peeping!” says Executive Director, Lisa Silverstone. “The festival will be bookended on Friday by the Spring Street Reading Series at Atlas Industries, and on Sunday by writing workshops by poet Ruth Danon and Danielle Trussoni.”

Ms. Trussoni, who helped spearhead the Newburgh Literary Festival with Safe Harbors of the Hudson, is the author of New York Times Best-Selling thrillers Angelology and Angelopolis and three memoirs. She is a popular columnist for the New York Times Book Review. Her forthcoming novel, The Ancestor, is set in the Hudson Valley and will be published by William Morrow in February 2020.

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