Ann Hutton

Author, essayist, journalist, poet

Platform

motorcycle_babe_JMay-4

I took motorcycle riding lessons with Garden State Motorcycle Safety School in New Brunswick, NJ, when I was 52 years old.  I was back in college to finish the Bachelor’s Degree I’d started at the University of California at Irvine in 1967. After parenting five children into their own college years, I was ready to reinvent myself. In that long interim, personal computer technology advanced to the point of being both necessary and affordable for everyone in the family, and I threw myself into mastering its use in my studies.

I enrolled in the low-residency program at Vermont College (now a part of Union Institute and University) to complete the three semesters of work required for my degree. What I discovered there was the well-established genre: creative non-fiction, an area of study I had not come across in my previous years of higher education. It was like coming home. For the next eighteen months, I was immersed in a rich variety memoirs, personal narratives, essays, and narrative journalism. I had found my niche, it seemed.

After graduating, I started to write professionally—learning to craft stories and reports, getting familiar and comfortable with pitching and being edited, settling into a workable schedule to meet deadlines, gaining experience in interviewing people, and embracing the whole process.

At Ulster Publishing in Kingston, New York, I take assignments for The Almanac Weekly, an arts and entertainment insert that goes into UP’s four community weeklies: Kingston Times, Woodstock Times, New Paltz Times, and Saugerties Times. I developed a monthly column called “Bookings” to review books and list author appearances at bookstores and other venues in the Hudson Valley. And I sometimes contribute feature articles to Special Sections for the newspaper. Additionally, I’ve written pieces for publication, both pitched and assigned, for a number of regional magazines: Chronogram, Upstate House, Kaatskill Life Magazine, Hudson Valley Magazine, Green Door Magazine, and Catskill Mountain Region Guide.

When I’m not busy with an assignment or playing with my grandson, I volunteer for local grass-roots non-profit organizations, such as O+ in Kingston, NY, Circle of Friends for the Dying of Ulster County, and Project Hope, a woman to woman mentoring program, also based in Kingston. I also assist the production staff of the Woodstock Writers Festival in Woodstock, NY, and serve as an Elections Inspector for the Ulster County Board of Elections.