Women writers of all ages and from many different walks of life will be featured in the Third Annual Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, taking place throughout the month of March -Women’s History Month- at venues all over Berkshire County.

The Festival, sponsored by Bard College at Simon’s Rock with the collaboration of many other organizations, includes the participation of more than 150 women writers at 55 separate events.

Festival director Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez, a professor of comparative literature and gender studies at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, founded the event to give more women the opportunity to share their writing with local audiences.

“The ethos of this Festival is supportive and inclusive—we’re not so much about big names as about opening up multiple platforms for talented girls and women to share their writing and gain confidence in their own abilities.”

The 2013 Festival does feature a few women of national renown, such as the writing guru Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way and many other books, who will be speaking at Kripalu on March 7, and First Lady of Massachusetts Diane Patrick, who will be speaking about women’s empowerment at Bard College at Simon’s Rock on March 16.

There will also be spaces opened for student writers, older writers, and immigrant writers, many of whom will be sharing their work in public for the first time.

Most events are free and open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis, though tickets are available for advance purchase at the events at Kripalu and the Berkshire Theater Group. A complete 2013 festival program is available for download.

Click here for a complete event listing, and here to read the full press release with special event details at berkshirewomenwriters.org.