Westport Writers’ Rendezvous – January edition

I wasn’t able to be at the Writers’ Rendezvous on Wednesday, but Alex McNab ably took the reins and gave me great notes for this update. It seems that January re-energizes writers – perhaps here in Fairfield County, cold weather keeps us stuck indoors and offers more time to write. In any case, there are a number of events going on, and several publications/organizations looking for submissions. Here they are, in deadline order:

Tomorrow, Saturday, January 20, the Fairfield County Writers’ Studio is inviting writers to Reach Your Writing Goals in 2018 from 1-2:30 pm. Register for this event, which includes the chance to chat to faculty members. Free to former students, $15 to others.

grafixAlso tomorrow, January 20, the Westport Library’s WestportWRITES is holding an off-campus mini-conference – Write Your Graphic Novelfrom 1-5 pm at Aw Yeah Comics store in Harrison, N.Y. For more information and directions, check the link above.

Community partners Westport Arts Advisory, Westport Arts Center and Westport Library will host an evening of poetry and art at the Westport Arts Center on Thursday, February 1, at 7pm.The book chosen for this year’s Westport Reads is Pat Barker’s novel Regeneration, centering on Siegfried Sassoon, noted poet and decorated war hero. In honor of this legacy, the program invites modern poets to respond to our times and the challenges we all face. Poets interested in participating should submit poetry for consideration by Sunday, January 21 via email: waac@westportct.gov. Selected poets will be notified by Friday, January 26 and will be invited to read their poem at the February 1 program, which is free and open to the public

Enter the Connecticut Press Club’s popular Communications Contest by January 23 to take advantage of their early bird discount. The regular deadline is February 6. (After January 23, a one-time late fee of $25 will be added, whether you have one entry or many). If in 2017 you published a book, started a blog, wrote a news article or op-ed piece article, created a social media campaign, or snapped a photograph you’re particularly proud of, you’re eligible to enter your work in a wide range of categories. They include: online and print news articles and columns, social media campaigns, nonfiction, fiction, poetry, YA and children’s books, podcasts and blogs and many others. Here is where you download instructions on how to enter your work in the contest. If you have questions, email CTPressClub@gmail.com.

The online magazine (also available in print) Mused, is seeking submissions for its Spring Equinox edition.  Deadline is February 4.

FRankThe Westport Library is seeking submissions of short stories inspired by the story of Frankenstein – this year marks the 200th anniversary of the book’s publication. Examples of plots based on Frankenstein include Pinocchio, The Stepford Wives, Blade Runner and even Dolly the sheep, so you can see the options are many. Here’s an article to get you thinking about possible scenarios.  Limit 5,000 words. Deadline January 31 at midnight. Send stories to WestportWrites@gmail.com

BookTrib, a website for writers,  is launching its inaugural memoir writing contest where emerging writers and those who want to write, can compete for a position as a BookTrib contributor for 2018. They are looking for narratives which connect recollections of life events to a specific book that invokes a memory. Up to 2,500 words written as memoir only.  Submissions may be from a larger work, but must be unpublished. Deadline January 31.

On February 2-3, the Fairfield County Writers Studio will be holding its annual 2-day submitting extravaganza featuring agent Marilyn Allen. On Friday, learn how to write a query letter that grabs an agent’s or publisher’s attention ($75). This year’s Pitch Party and Contest session is for non-fiction work only, and takes place on Saturday, 10am-12:30pm. $30 to read your letter $ 15 to watch and listen. A fiction event is planned for March.

Westport Library’s WestportWRITES will be holding its next mini-conference – Write Your Play – on February 11, from 1-5pm. Even if you’re not a playwright, learning some new techniques can be helpful for writing dialogue in other genres.

The Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference is accepting applications for its August 2-4, 2018 Master Class,The Art of Fiction. Taught by National Book Award nominee Elizabeth McKenzie, this three-morning, juried-in workshop is restricted to just twelve participants. Applications are accepted January 1 to February 15. Conference participants will also enjoy afternoon seminars, pitch panels, one-on-one consultations, open mics, and evenings full of camaraderie.

Bestselling crime novelist Laura Lippman will be at the Wilton Library February 21 at 7pm to talk about her new novel, Sunburn. But the real reason to go hear this author is her famous advice to us aspiring novelists—“Finish the Damn Book.” Alex McNab interviewed her for the Fairfield Writer’s Blog a while back.

Member Ed Ahern recommends an article by George Saunders (Lincoln in the Bardo) – What writers really do when they write. And it’s not just drinking coffee.

Somewhere new to publicize your book by offering a special deal on it, in addition to BookBub and Goodreads: BookDoggy. Check it out.

In the meantime, write on!

 

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