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.
First things first: Several of our members will be at the Westport Library’s Makers’ Faire tomorrow, April 21, with their books. Among them are: Kristen Ball, Sheryl Kayne, Ann Lineberger, and yours truly. Come and talk to us, and check out the books. There’s no obligation to buy (though we always love that!).
To honor National Poetry Month, I’m starting with poets. Member Alison McBain has put together a list of poetry workshops and readings, open to everyone. She and member Ed Ahern have started the Poets Salon Meetup, which takes place once a month, and where you can take your poetry for critique. Sign up for monthly reminders of meetings, and to connect with fellow poets. Ed also offers helpful suggestions on where to submit, etc, on the Meetup site.
The Writer’s Group meets on the first and second Saturday of the month from 2-4pm in Bridgeport.
And on April 26, Alison McBain will be reading her work at 7:30pm at the Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn. The event marks the launch of the book: Aftermath: Explorations of Love and Grief, Check the happening out here.
The Westport Writers’ Workshop, which runs writing classes, is now offering a series of one-day classes, beginning this Saturday, April 21. They include Icing the Cake,The Power of ‘What If,’ Writing Through Motherhood, and Navigating the Publishing World. For a full list, see here.
The Nonfiction Writers Online Conference takes place from May 2-4 from 12pm-6pm. It looks as though it’s designed largely for those who’ve self -published, since a great deal of the focus is on how to market your book. The keynote speaker is Gretchen Rubin, talking about Habits, Happiness and Productivity for writers, and sessions include Effective Hybrid Publishing, Reach Millions with an Audiobook Presentation and Create Your Own Book Tour. You can check out the agenda online, and if you book by April 28, Sandra Beckwith of Build Book Buzz is offering a 35% discount off the fee of $125. Use her exclusive coupon code – BBB35
If you have a manuscript and you’re ready to take it to the next level, member Veronique Klemow suggests The Manuscript Academy. This online site offers various srvices for authors, ranging from a ten-minute phone meeting, with one page (your query or first page) read during the meeting, for $49, to critiques of your first 50/100 pages for $240/$480 respectively. They’ll critique your synopsis and proposal, too. Veronique felt the money was well spent.
Those of you looking for editors might want to take a look at Joanna Penn’s blog post on The Creative Penn. She lists a number of online resources from Winning Edits, to The Book Butchers. ‘We slaughter your writing, so it can rise in glory from the ashes.‘ There has to be someone on that list who’s right for you
A useful and free resource for finding places to submit is the weekly email from Submittable. They list different types of publications and tell you whether they pay or not.
And finally, a quote via Alex McNab: You expect far too much of a first sentence. Think of it as analogous to a good country breakfast: what we want is something simple, but nourishing to the imagination. Hold the philosophy, hold the adjectives, just give us a plain subject and verb and perhaps a wholesome, nonfattening adverb or two.—LARRY McMURTRY