Westport Writers’ Rendezvous – December update

He had another good meeting, with friends old and new, thanks to our hosts, the Fairfield County Writers’ Studio in Westport. Those who weren’t there missed home-baked cookies provided by Kristin Ball. Thanks, Kristin!

I’m starting with the closest deadline this month, and moving on to some of the plethora of writing activities we’re lucky enough to have around here.

So, first, Highly respected literary journal Glimmer Train is at the mid-point of its final Very Short and Family Matters contests of 2017.
The Very Short Fiction Award (1st place wins $2,000 and publication) is open to new stories from 300-3,000 words. (As always, previous online-only publication is fine.) . For Family Matters (1st place wins $2,500 and publication), they welcome new stories about families of all configurations. Most submissions run 1,000 to 5,000 words, but we are open to stories as long as 12,000 words. (Previous online-only publication is fine.) Deadline for both: 1/2/18

The Westport Library is continuing its run of writing events with several new ones in Januarimagesy. Two take place on Friday, January 5: Anyone Can Use…Twitter from 11:00am to 12:00pm. Very useful for writers who are building a presence online. That evening (January 5) they’re hosting the Frankenstein Story Challenge , from 7:00 PM – 11:59 PM. What is it? You might well ask.

To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s science fiction classic, Frankenstein, WestportWRITES is challenging writers to follow in her legendary footsteps. Register online. Participants will recreate the “challenge” laid out by Lord Byron to his guests Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley in the rainy summer of 1816: Let’s “each write a ghost story.” The Library will become the Villa Diodati, and there will be writing challenges, readings and a screening of Frankenstein to keep everyone inspired. If you go, I suggest you reread the original story – there’s plenty of inspiration in it. Arctic, anyone?

They are following this a week later with another Anyone Can Use…the Espresso Book Machine on January 12 WestportWRITES: Write Your Graphic Novel Mini-Conference Saturday, Jan 20, 2018 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM AT AW YEAH COMICS IN HARRISON, NY. A good idea for those of you writing screenplays – maybe a graphic novel is the way to go if you’re having trouble selling it as a film?

Apart from my own two illustrious Meetups (this one and the WritersMic) there are several others for Connecticut writers. A new one is starting in Middetown CT: Connecticut Writers’ Groups: find critique partners and writing groups. They’ll be holding their first meeting at the Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore in Middletown CT on January 14. Follow the link to learn more.

For those interested in Scrivener, and learning how to use it, Gwen Hernandez (Scrivener for Dummies) is offering an online course that I found helpful when I took it. The software has been improved recently, and this will keep you up-to-date.  You can take it at your own speed. This $39 class provides the essential functions and features of Scrivener 3 that you need to get started writing. Valuable for plotters, pantsers/discovery writers, fiction and nonfiction, long or short stories, blogging, or whatever else you’re writing.

Enjoy the holiday season!

These notes came in from Alex McNab: Hi Gabi,

Here are a couple of follow-ups you may want to include in your update:
1) Link to economical writing retreat guide at electriclit.com
2) A few words of wisdom from local mystery/thriller writer Robert Ellis (City of Echoes, The Love Killings) speaking at the Pequot Library of November 19.
—what’s the one thing that has to happen in the chapter you are writing to move the plot forward?
—with each chapter, you should be writing toward an end point that’s going to get the reader to turn the page and begin reading the next chapter;
—what’s the big secret of the story?
—try to make a one-sentence bullet outline of your story chapter by chapter;
—a successful thriller story is driven by the protagonist’s opponent;
—no reading while he’s writing; his writing process is all about momentum [which he hopes will eventually be echoed in the reader’s experience]
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2 thoughts on “Westport Writers’ Rendezvous – December update

  1. thanks..i always find these fascinating …and helpful…have a fabulous holiday, find some time for yourself… and know that i value our friendship and am so lucky you are in my life. MMMMMMMMMM and a kiss too. lainehy

  2. Thanks,Gabi, for the reminder about Glimmer Train. I’ve been meaning to enter one of their contests and totally forgot about their deadlines. I sent off a story to them today. Looking forward to the January meeting in Westport. Happy holidays to everyone!

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