Thank you to the members who persevered to get into the meeting when I had a Zoom fail this month. On the plus side, we were a select group, which gave us a chance to talk things over. Feeling overwhelmed by the current situation seemed to be a theme, so it was nice to have something to celebrate.
I’m delighted to tell you that Rendezvous member Elizabeth Chatsworth‘s debut novel was featured on the cover of Publisher’s Weekly on August 31. Please support her by marking it as want-to-read on your Goodreads page, or better yet, pre-ordering. (It takes a village, folks!) It’s called The Brass Queen and is a great read. Check out the details including an excerpt at the link.
Fairfield County Writers’ Studio is beginning its virtual fall classes this week. Each class lasts six or seven weeks and is limited to six students, so everyone gets personal attention. They include a class on food writing, taught by Rebecca Dimyan, A creative writing craft class taught by member Carol Dannhauser, two classes on writing for children and teens (Victoria Sherrow), and a class on writing Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror (Nina Kiriki Hoffman). More information here. Register here.
Speaking of Sci-Fi etc, this year’s virtual StoryFest has a number of events on that theme. From September 15-29, The Westport Library is offering 13 live and pre-recorded events that feature top authors and creators in genre fiction, comics, young adult fiction, and middle-grade fiction. In cross-genre panels, they will explore the big ideas at the heart of telling stories in today’s world. Everything is free but requires registration. Click here for details.
Here are just a few of the events: a romance panel, Displays of Affection: How Love Stories Reflect the World (September 17) featuring Sarah MacLean, Adriana Herrera, Nikki Woolfolk, Kennedy Ryan, Alexis Daria, and Joanna Shupe; How the Story Tells Itself (September 21) with Kate Racculia, Clay McLeod Chapman, and Abby Collette; The World in the Mirror: How Genre Imagines the Present. (September 23) Speakers: Charlie Jane Anders, Sarah Gailey, Stephen Graham Jones, Tochi Onyebuchi, and Paul Tremblay; and Valuing the Spectrum of Identities in YA Fiction (September 29) with Jenny Lee, Tobly McSmith, Mintie Das, Leah Johnson, and Natasha Diaz and Coco Ma
The Bridgeport Library’s monthly Memoir Writing Workshop with Brian Hoover resumes virtually on September 19, from 10:30-noon. Further classes are scheduled for October 17 and November 21. Register for classes here. Or call the History Center to register for this popular class: 203-576-7400, #7. Free
The Cos Cob Library and Greenwich Pen Women are sponsoring a virtual class on self-publishing with Dr. Jan Yager on Saturday, September 19 from 1-2:30pm. The presentation is based on Yager’s book: How to Self Publish Your Book. Register here. Free.
Gotham Writers Workshop is allowing prospective or returning students to try some sample classes before signing up. Join them on Tuesday, September 22, and Wednesday, September 23, and find out at their Zoom Open House. Over the course of two days, they’re offering 22 free one-hour classes in everything from Creative Writing 101 to TV Writing, from Songwriting to Memoir. You’ll meet the instructors, do a little writing, and, see how Zoom works, firsthand. Register here:
The Westport Writers Workshop’s fall classes begin soon, and they are continuing their highly successful Saturday workshops. Among them are: Learn to Outline: How to Write a Novel and Not Lose Your Mind with Jessica Speart on September 26 from 10am-1pm, and NaNoWriMo Prep for Success with member Libby Waterford on October 17 at 7pm.
The Connecticut Press Club’s Awards Ceremony will be held on Wednesday, September 30 at 6:30pm via Zoom. The event is free, and several of our members were winners this year, so join the event to support them.
CRAFT Literary journal is holding its annual flash fiction contest for unpublished stories up to 1,000 words between now and November 1. Guest judge Leesa Cross-Smith will select three winning stories and each winning writer will be awarded $1,000, publication, a bundle of the Rose Metal Press Field Guides, and more. We have an editors’ choice round, too! $20 reading fee for up to two stories.
Here’s another, more quirky flash fiction enterprise, is the 42 stories anthology, from BAMWrites. Submissions should be exactly 42 words long, excluding the title, which should have 42 characters, the author bio must consist of exactly 42 words, and so on. The editor has extremely specific demands for submissions, but it could be a fun way to get into print. There is no deadline. The anthology will happen when there are enough entries.
Just in case you don’t know Jane Friedman’s writers’ newsletter, here’s a tip she included the other day: Every Sunday, you can receive a free newsletter that alerts you to free and paid online events for readers and writers. They include some impressive and free classes for writers here! It’s put together by author Sarah Nicolas and just started last month.
You can now officially announce your project for National Novel Writing Month 2020! Even if you just title it, “I’m going to write a book in November, I’ll figure out what it’s about later”, announcing your novel can help you make a promise to yourself that you’ll do it. Starting this week, the organization is offering Nano Prep courses – one a week, on topics like Develop a Story Idea, Create Complex Characters, etc.
Hoping everyone is feeling just a little more motivated – Keep writing!