I’ve been asking friends what they find most difficult about writing during lockdown, and to my surprise, yet understandably, the most frequent problem seems to be getting started. I’ve been joining free daily write-ins run by the Women’s Fiction Writers’ Association (members only) and also the ones run by the Fairfield County Story Lab (see below).
To encourage people to get going or keep going, I’ll be leading Monday Write-ins at the Pequot, beginning June 29 from 10-11:30 EST, and running through the end of August. Zoom in from anywhere and write. Not much talking, just a chance to write in the virtual company of your friends, old and new. I’m not sure exactly why it works, but it does. Register here, or email me for the link.
Carol Dannhauser, of the Fairfield County Story Lab is running a series of ongoing free events for writers during the lockdown, including two 90-minute write-ins: Wednesdays at 9am and Sundays at 3pm EST. Register here for those, and for other free events for writers, including Writing to Prompts (Tuesdays 2-3pm EST) and several others.
Starting next Tuesday, 23 June, from 12-1pm EST, Tessa McGovern will be leading free weekly Writing Sprints to Prompts on behalf of the Westport Library. Write for 45 minutes, and spend the last 15 mins discussing writing goals and obstacles for the following week. Currently scheduled indefinitely, you’ll find more information at the link above.
This time of social upheaval has brought home to me that I need to learn more about racism and its effects on me and the country I live in. So I’ve been, reading, and signing up for events and classes to help me do just that.
We Rise Storytelling Collective, based in Bridgeport, CT. is planning a Zoom event tonight June 19 at 7pm EST. It’s time for those of us in the majority to listen to the people around us. So join me at When They Hear Us: Voices in Color. Writers you know will be among the Storytellers and the event is free. Show your support for people of color by joining them tomorrow. Zoom link here.
Writing outside of your personal, generational, or cultural experience can be a treacherous road to travel for today’s author. Even with the best intentions, it’s easy to create problematic or harmful content when you’re unaware of what you don’t know. I’ve signed up to learn how to use literary theory and criticism to view my work through an alternative lens. By using literary frameworks, it’s possible to gain insight into alternative perspectives that can help you identify and eliminate problematic and harmful content before you publish. The Beau Monde Chapter of the Romance Writers’ Association is offering a special workshop, Critical Lens, from July 1-31 given by LaQuette, an author who writes bold, provocative love stories featuring multicultural characters. Friends who have taken the class have told me that it has helped immeasurably in helping them successfully include characters of various backgrounds in their writing. The class is open to non-members, and costs $40.
I can always use some help when it comes to starting a book or story off with a bang. Jane Cleland, author of the Josie Prescott mystery series, is offering a free virtual one-hour writing workshop, Openings that Kill It, on June 20 at 1pm EST. She’ll be discussing a three-step process that will help you figure out where to start your stories and the importance of layering narrative questions. Her latest book is Antique Blues.
Next Tuesday looks like it’s a very busy day for writers, with plenty of online activities to choose from. Among them is a free Introduction to Drabble Writing on June 23 at 3 pm EST. Drabbles are short stories of exactly 100 words. This free introductory seminar explores the basics of what makes drabbles appealing and reviews the 10 Key Drabble Writing Tips. Register Here!
Gotham Writers Institute in New York is offering a series of Intensive courses that teach a lot in a little time. In this case, two three-hour sessions on separate days. Brief lectures alternating with writing exercises. Taught in “real time” via Zoom. Cost: $165 per intensive. Courses begin on various dates starting June 19 and include Humor, Character, Children’s Book Writing, Editor’s Eye, Dialogue, Creative Writing 101, Blog Writing, and more.
There’s a lot more for writers to come. Check for Part 2 on Monday. And meanwhile, keep writing…