We had another successful meeting on Wednesday, and covered a variety of topics, from classes to contests. I’ll start with upcoming events for writers. If you want more suggestions, or have an event you’d like to add, check the calendar on this page. Part 2 of this update will be appearing on Monday.
First of all, I’ll be facilitating a conversation with author Sonia Antaki about her novel Red Dove: Listen to the Wind at the Westport Playhouse on October 24, at 7pm. Contact me for details if you’d like to attend. Free
On Monday, October 21, Pamela Paul, Editor of the New York Times Book Review, will be at the Darien Library to talk about her latest book How to Raise a Reader. There will be an author signing after the event. For more info, check the link above.
On Tuesday October 22, The Fairfield Library is hosting a talk entitled The Love that Dares not Speak its Name: A History of LGBTQ literature. The speakers are authors Christopher Bram (Gods and Monsters) and Sarah Van Arsdale (Blue: A Novel). If you’re writing gay characters, you should find it particularly helpful. A couple of people in my novel are gay, so I’ll be checking this out. Register here.
Starting October 24, Carol Dannhauser, co-founder of the Fairfield County Writing Studio, will be teaching a 7-week creative writing class called: Mastering Craft. It’s limited to six participants, and I can vouch for Carol’s skill as a teacher—I joined her class long ago, and learned a lot. The class will cover different aspects of creative writing, including developing compelling protagonists, exploring different points of view, experimenting with different writing forms and more. No matter what genre you write in, this class will help improve your writing. $385 Register here
And on November 1, NaNoWriMo begins. For those who don’t know, that stands for National Novel-writing Month, and the aim is to write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days. I did it and finished it in 2011, and I’ve signed up again this year, to write down the bare bones of my second book. The 2011 novel was terrible, but what NaNo did was to banish my inner critic, something you simply don’t have time for. It enables a person to write badly, simply to get the story down, imperfect though it will almost certainly be. And it gives writers a base to work from. Plus they give you a nice sticker for your social media (right). Here’s a newsletter that explains more, including tips for how to get it done. I won’t finish this year, because I have too many other things going on, but it will get me started.
Among the other things I’m doing is participating in the Fairfield Library’s Writers’ Conference which takes place on November 2 from 9-4:30pm. Their Keynote speaker is novelist Ellen LaCorte (The Perfect Fraud), and among the authors speaking are: Monique Faison-Ross (Playing Dead), Debbie Levison (The Crate) and Warren Tuttle. There will be talks on how to find an agent, There are two poetry workshops in the afternoon, or you may choose to attend sessions on Writing and Publishing after 55, with member Zeb Appel, and The A-Z of Publishing Short Writing, featuring yours truly, Ed Ahern and Alison McBain. Independent local publisher Woodhall Press and the fabulous illustrator, Bats Langley (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) will be there too. Space is limited so please register.
Participate in a night of poetry and arts on Friday, November 8 from 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm at the Bijou Theatre in Bridgeport in celebration of Lyrical Voices 16th Anniversary! Shanna Melton of Poetic Soul Arts welcomes poets, singers, musicians, dancers, actors and other disciplines of art. Soundtrack provided by DJ Buddha LuvJonz of LuvJonz Entertainment LLC. $5.00 Arrive early to secure your 5-minute (1000 words) spot on the open mic.
In another Pequot Library special for writers, Oscar-nominated screenwriter Roger Schulman will be talking about creating compelling characters on Saturday, November 16, from 11–1pm. Roger co-wrote the animated feature Shrek and Balto, and wrote Mulan II and The Jungle Book II, as well as many other TV programs. He’s currently working on a pilot for HBO with Tom Hanks. Roger is a faculty member at Sacred Heart University and also consults as The Writer Coach. He’ll help you learn what makes good characters tick, what makes bad characters just sit there. Free.
And finally, I’ll be at the Plumb Library in Shelton on Monday evening, November 18, at 6:30pm as the featured speaker for the monthly meeting of SW CAPA, the SW chapter of the Connecticut Authors & Publishers Association. I’ll be speaking about Overcoming the Obstacles to Getting your Work Published, and attendance is free.
Enough about me. Check out the Writers’ Calendar, and keep writing!