Welcome to Part 2 of the Writers’ Rendezvous update. I’m enjoying the last relatively free weekend before the holidays are upon us and thinking about all the writing events and contests I can still submit to. Here’s the first:
The Connecticut Press Club’s Annual Communications Contest is ready for your submissions. If you live or work in Connecticut, and have published anything at all in 2019 (there’s still time, folks!), you’re eligible. To enter, follow the directions on the contest site. There are sixty-one different categories, so there’s sure to be one for you. Email CTcontestDir@charter.net with questions about the contest. And they’re looking for judges, so if you’re willing to volunteer, please email email@example.com to let them know. The fee for CT Press Club members is $25 for the first entry and $15 for each additional entry. The non-member fee is $30 for the first entry and $20 for each additional entry. The early deadline to submit entries — and avoid a one-time additional fee of $25 — is January 28. The final deadline for books is February 4 and the final deadline for all other entries is February 11.
In addition to the Connecticut Press Club, The Connecticut Center for the Book will open on January 1 for the submission of books published in 2019 for consideration in the prestigious Connecticut Book Awards. If you’d like an email reminder of the submission date, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions must be made by 5:00 p.m. on April 17. Finalists will be announced in September 2020, and winners in October.
The Westport Writers Workshop is registering people now for classes beginning January 6. They have a great selection and members of the Rendezvous who’ve studied there speak highly of them. If you can’t commit to a series of classes, they frequently run one-day workshops you can take. member Libby Waterford is teaching an Introduction to Romance Writing course. If you actually want to make money from writing, romance is one way to do it!
CTRWA (Connecticut Romance Writers of America is running an online (email) workshop with author LaQuette, called The Critical Lens. Beginning January 6, 2020, for four weeks, the class offers workshops and homework (if you want it) covering all aspects of writing from the point of view of someone different from yourself. If you want to include characters in your fiction who fall into different ethnic groups or religious beliefs from you, this will help you avoid the pitfalls. $50 for members; $60 non-members. Check the CTRWA website for details of this and other courses.
Member RJ Grand told us about a Screenwriting Meetup in New Haven, where she’s working on a script which will be made into a short film soon. Those of you writing in that genre might be interested in joining.
I’ve used and recommended The Spun Yarn, an online beta-reading service, but there are others available. One is the Quiethouse Editing Beta Reader Network. Each beta reader returns an extensive questionnaire and also comments on the Word document itself. It costs $1.50 per 1,000 words, per reader, rounded to the nearest thousand, which is competitive with the Spun Yarn, but the benefit may be that if you need more or fewer than three readers, you have the flexibility to choose. (Spun Yarn has a fixed rate for three readers.)
Those of you who’d like a way to outline your novel could do worse than try Libbie Hawker’s book, Take off Your Pants. Pantsers are people who write by the seat of their pants. Plotters are those who outline first. I’m a mixture of the two, but found this book extremely helpful in making sure that I include everything that’s needed in a novel and nothing that isn’t. And it’s only 99 cents on Kindle right now.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!