I hope you found part one of this update useful. Here’s part two, with more places to submit, and contests to enter.
First, though, member Libby Waterford is teaching a couple of useful virtual classes in April. The first is Writing Dynamic Fictionwhich will cover the following aspects of craft: dialogue, active voice, backstory, point of view, and show not tell. If you have an in-progress manuscript or are at the beginning of a new project, this class will help you come away writing more dynamic fiction. Begins April 9. The second is a two-hour workshop on April 24, from 10-12 noon. – Writing Faster. Libby writes first drafts in 40-90 days on average, so she should know. She’ll discuss mindset, tools and techniques, and how to set yourself up for successful writing sessions.
The 2021 Connecticut Literary Festival’s Anthology is accepting submissions for their second volume writing by Connecticut writers. (Defined as residing in Connecticut by January 1, 2021.) They are looking for fiction and creative nonfiction (3,500 words max), and poetry (2 poems max). Submission details here. Deadline: April 15.
Welcome back! Here’s part two of the monthly update, with a couple of ideas for those doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), contests, and places to submit, among others.
Kelly Notaras, who runs an agency offering editing and coaching services for writers, is offering a free download of her book, Three Classic Book Outlines. If you’re planning on attempting NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), in November, it will probably help to be prepared, and this might help.
Need a virtual writing assistant? Jane Friedman drew my attention to a software program called Shortly. After setting up an account (free), you can input a sentence or two, click a button, and the AI will continue writing your story. Perhaps an alternative to staring at the wall or out the window when you experience writer’s block? Or when you’ve run out of NaNo steam…
Chat And Spin Radio is an Internet Radio Station based in the UK, broadcasting to half a million UK & International Listeners per week 24/7. They are looking for book authors, writers, etc, to carry out 10-minute live interviews for their Evening & Late Show. Email Ian Johnson at email@example.com for more information. Caveat: They may ask you for a donation after the interview, but one is not required.
Christopher Fielden (How to Write a Short Story) maintains a list of writing contests with links to them here. This particular link is for book and novel competitions, but he covers everything from short stories to flash fiction and more. They’re mainly British, which means that if you win, you can be an internationally award-winning writer. 🙂
Members looking for feedback on their writing can get it via Scribophile, where you’ll find thousands of other writers ready to critique work in your genre. You do the same for them.
Feedback is also available at FanStory. This is a paid subscription site, but it does offer helpful critiques for everything you write, and a lot of contests with cash prizes. Some upcoming ones include Halloween flash fiction and poetry (deadline October 31), and dribble flash fiction (50 words), which closes November 4. You can try their one-week “worry-free” money-back guarantee to see if you like it.
Vellum is a beautiful book-formatting software program recommended by member Libby Waterford. Currently available for Mac only, and it costs around $250. Worth it if you’re planning to self-publish a number of books.
Libby also recommended BookSweeps, which is a particularly useful giveaway site if you’re trying to build your email list. She netted 600 new subscribers last time she did it. There’s a small fee to submit your giveaway, but since you’re giving away eBooks, it doesn’t cost you anything on the production end.
Creative Nonfiction is currently seeking submissions of new nonfiction work by older (60+) writers. They’re looking for personal essays/memoir, experimental work, science writing, profiles, historical nonfiction, lyric essays … any kind of lively fact-based writing. Your work need not address issues related to age/aging. Up to 4000 words, with a deadline of February 22. $3 convenience fee for online submissions. Submit your work here.
And finally, do you know the difference between literary fiction, upmarket fiction, and commercial fiction? I thought my novel was commercial fiction, but it might be upmarket. Either way, I found this infographic from literary agent Carly Watters useful.
Here’s more information you may find of interest. Among other things, I will be running the Monday morning write-ins from 10-11:30ish indefinitely. So if you’ve had trouble concentrating, or sitting down to write, do not despair. Contact me for the … Continue reading →
If you need a “room of your own” in which to write, Fairfield County Writers’ Studio in Westport is offering a chance to use their Story Lab, with Open Studio Days planned through August. You can write in their space … Continue reading →
This post covers perennial topics for writers. This business changes so rapidly that keeping up can be hard. I hope this helps. (LB: info provided by Lauren Busser) EDITING I’m always encouraging people to edit their work before submitting it … Continue reading →
Only three courageous souls braved the icy weather to read their work at the WritersMic this month, but today’s Rendezvous had 14 attendees. Yay! It was held at the Fairfield County Story Lab, where we were hosted by the owner, Carol Dannhauser. Members admired the shared writing spaces available, as we sat around drinking coffee and eating festive cakes and cookies. A person could get used to this! Here’s some of what we discussed:
Photo: Catherine Sebastian
Join extraordinary memoirist Joyce Maynard at the Fairfield County Writers’ Studio for a one-day Master Class on personal storytelling on Tuesday, January 7, from 10-2:30 pm. ($125) /10-4 pm. ($175). The numbers are limited to 20, and you should register immediately if you’re interested, since places are going fast. Writers who wish to attend must submit, in advance of the class, the first 750 words of a work of first-person Continue reading →
Here’s the second half of the September update, with lots of events, places to submit, and a couple of useful websites for authors, including one that helps you generate your plot, if you’re stuck.
It’s never too soon to begin preparing for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November, so Roman Godzich, author of No Higher Ground, is offering a NaNoWriMo Plotting Workshop at the Storytellers Cottage in Simsbury on October 19 from 1-2:30pm. This workshop will help you develop an outline of a plot for your NaNo novel. You’ll learn how to lay out the three acts of your story and how to define your protagonists and antagonists and their goals, plus you will walk away with a full outline for your novel. COST: $30. Pre-registration required.
If you’re writing flash fiction, here’s your chance to submit to CRAFT’s first flash fiction contest for unpublished stories up to 1,000 words. Three winning stories will each receive: $1,000 and publication in CRAFT. Deadline October 31.
The annual Dorothy and Wedel Nilsen Literary Prize for a First Novel is to identify and publish completed fiction manuscripts (novels, novellas, and linked collections) of high literary quality by authors who have not previously published such a work. (This includes self-publishing.) Prize: $2,000 and publication. Deadline November 1. Details at the link above.
Bateau Press is accepting manuscripts for the annual Boom Poetry Chapbook Contest.
The winning chapbook is a handmade, hand-sewn, letter pressed work of art. Winner gets $250 plus 25 copies. Print run of 400 chaps. $14 entry fee includes a copy of the winning chapbook (or any chap in their catalogue). Deadline: November 1.
Hold the Date: The Fairfield Library’s second annual Writers’ conference is scheduled for Saturday, November 2, from 9:15-4:30pm. I’ll be one of the speakers there, and I’ll let you have more details as I have them. You might want to sign up now, though, since spaces will be limited to a hundred, and some have already gone. Free.
Crime Bake, which takes place from November 8-10, in Woburn, Massachusetts, is the premier conference for crime-fiction writers and readers in New England. It offers numerous opportunities to meet and network with agents, editors, and authors in a small, friendly environment. Updates will tell you if it’s sold out yet. This year’s guest of Honor is British writer Ann Cleeves, author of the Shetland crime novels, and those featuring Vera Stanhope.
Andrea Penrose returns to the Pequot Library on Saturday, November 9, from 11-1pm for a craft talk on A Writer’s Life. She will be talking about: inspiration, historical fiction, publication journey, critique groups, and what a regular writing day entails. Attend with your questions and get ready to be inspired.
Authors Publish has produced a list of publications currently open to reprints, so if you have published work you’d like to see published again, now’s your chance. Sign up for their newsletter to be updated regularly.
We had a great meeting on Wednesday, with lots of ideas for writers on how and where to submit, editing techniques, and congratulations to members recently or about-to-be published. To keep this month’s update down to one post, I’m forging ahead.
On every third Thursday of the month, The Darien Library hosts a free Writer’s Workshop for writers of any genre and level of writing ability. Next meeting: Thursday, July 18, from 7-8:30 pm. They critique up to ten pages of written work in a friendly, constructive atmosphere. The meeting is directed by Laura Cavers, MFA. If you’re interested in joining the Writer’s Workshop for the first time, email Laura to get started.
Pequot Library’s 59th Annual Summer Book Sale takes place from Friday, July 26 – Monday, July 29, from 9-6pm. Prices vary day to day, from most expensive to begin with to almost free by the end. They often have over 60,000 books for sale, so there’s definitely something there for you.
The Storyteller’s Cottage in Simsbury is also offering a class on Saturday, July 27, from 1-2:30pm, titled: Get Published: from Ideas to Instagram. Topics include: Opportunities on websites such as Submittable, preparing manuscripts, and deciding between a traditional publisher, and indie publisher or self-publishing. What to expect from publishing companies and editors. Revising and editing. And some of the most popular ways authors market their books from traditional bookstore signings to blogs, to Instagram. Good value at $30.
Norwalk Public Library is hosting two authors in August. Ivy Keating will be appearing on August 7 from 12-1:30 to talk about her book Camouflage, and on August 9, also from 12-1:30pm, Scott Kimmich will be discussing his trilogy of fantasy novels, Ordeal by Fire.
The Masters Review is now accepting submissions for their Summer Short Story Award for new writers. The winning story will be awarded $3000 and publication online. Second and third place stories will be awarded publication and $300 and $200 respectively. All winners and honorable mentions will receive agency review. Deadline August 31.
Registration for the 2019 Ridgefield Writers Conference is now open! The conference takes place Friday, September 20, from 6:30-9pm at the Ridgefield Library. This year’s theme is storytelling, and the keynote is acclaimed writer, teacher and New Yorker poet Charles Rafferty. They also offer an agent, editor and publisher panel with Q&A, and three breakout sessions, for poetry, fiction writers and nonfiction. For details, visit Ridgefield Writers Conference. To register, click on Ridgefield Library Events. $25.
The 2019 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize awards $5000 each to winners in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Winners are published in the spring issue of the Missouri Review and honored at a reading and reception in Columbia, Missouri, in late spring. Deadline October 1. All contest entries are considered for publication in the magazine. Entry fee: $25-30. Submit here,
The New York Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America is offering two Burstein scholarships worth $1000 each this year to aspiring mystery writers. The purpose of the scholarship is to offer financial support to writers who want to take a specific class, attend a conference, or do specific research as demonstrably necessary to a mystery work they are creating. You don’t have to be a member of the MWA-NY Chapter, and submissions are open until October 9. Check the link above for how to submit.
If you want to pitch your book to an agent you could consider attending The Gotham Writers Conference on October 25-26. They promise genuinely to connect writers with agents and give a close-up look at how to get a book published. Day 1 includes five panels and presentations. Day 2 is for pitching roundtables. Anyone can attend Day 1, but you must be selected to participate in Day 2. Space is limited.
Those of us with complete manuscripts have to decide how and where to publish. If that’s you, take a look at this informational chart from Jane Friedman, writing and marketing guru, about the key book-publishing paths. It is available as a PDF download—ideal for photocopying and distributing for workshops and classrooms—and the full text is also shown at the link.
Once you’ve decided, check out WriterBeware, which has an excellent newsletter that does what it says on the label. Each issue reviews publishers that have caused problems for authors or that misrepresent themselves. These are often self-described as hybrid publishers, co-publishers or partner publishers. What this means, essentially, is that you pay them to publish. This may be worthwhile in some cases, but it’s helpful to know which of these companies are on the level. Worth signing up for.
Some of you will have attended Dreyer’s evening at the Westport Library on July17, where he discussed his book, Dreyer’s English. If you’re interested in getting your work edited, it might be helpful to know what kind of editing you need. Member Alex McNab has a blog post to enlighten you, describing the Five Stages of Editing.
Don’t forget to check out the Writers’ Calendar for more events for writers, and – keep writing!
Some twenty of us gathered this month at the Westport Barnes & Noble—almost a record! There was lots to talk about, so this post covers Part 1 of this month’s update. First, and most important, the Westport Library is reopening … Continue reading →