Westport Writers' Rendezvous – August update

I love the fact that members old and new show up each month to get or offer encouragement to other writers. It’s how I finally got my manuscript edited, so I can now look for a publisher. Thanks, everyone! As ever, there’s plenty going on to help you with your writing.
This Saturday, August 18, from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., member Sheryl Kayne will be leading a workshop at the Fairfield Cou8nty Writers’ Studio — What is a Writing Residency? And How Can You Get One? She will be sharing everything you need to know to select, apply for and land a writer’s residency. You’ll learn about the many different types of residencies, locations, requirements and experiences available. $25 Register here.
WMIc 082017On Tuesday, August 21, come and read something you;ve written in front of a friendly audience of your peers. We meet at Panera’s on the Westport/Fairfield line, from 7-8:45pm. Click here for more details.
Patterson fans young, old, and everywhere in between are invited to meet Sue and James Patterson, authors of the forthcoming picture book Cuddly Critters for Little Geniuses. At the Darien Library on Wednesday, August 29, from 3-4 pm. Books will be available for purchase courtesy of Barrett Bookstore, including James’ most recent thrillers, The President is Missing, and Texas Ranger. Get there half an hour before, since seats are on a  first come, first served basis. Can’t make the live event? Check out the video recording at DarienLibrary.tv.
Westport Writers’ Workshop’s fall 2018 creative writing workshops start the week of September 4.  They offer workshops in fiction, poetry, non-fiction, memoir, screenwriting, play-writing, writing for children and college essay writing. Writers at all levels of experience are welcome.
September 7-9 sees the Romance Writers of America‘s Fiction Fest, open to fiction writers of any genre. It takes place at the Norwalk Inn. You’ll have the chance to meet editors and agents, as well as attending great workshops. Cost: CT RWA members $229, non-members, $239, which includes breakfast and lunch Saturday and Sunday.
Award-winning children’s author and Westport resident Susan Hood’s will be launching her new book, “Lifeboat 12,” at the Pequot Library, on September 13 from7-8:30 pm. The little-known story of the sinking of the SS City of Benares, a ship whose mission was to transport British children to Canada during the Blitz of World War II, the book is unusual, being in the form of a long poem. The author will be talking about her process, and signing copies.
The Bridgeport Historical Center’s is continuing its popular monthly Memoir Writing Workshop. It will be led by author and instructor Brian Hoover.  The class will take place at the main branch of the Bridgeport Library on the third Saturday of every month from 10:30-12:00, beginning on September 15.
The New York Pitch Conference and writers workshop will be held in New York on September 27-30, and features house editors from major traditional publishers who are looking for new novels in a variety of genres, as well as narrative non-fiction. The event focuses on the art of the novel pitch as the best method not only for communicating your work, but for having you and your work taken seriously by industry professionals. You can find more information here, and apply here
SundayBest-ECover-1B-683x1024The Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford will be hosting their Writers’ Weekend on September 29 and 30. The two-day event offers workshops, panel discussions, author talks, book signings, and will cover a wide range of topics. Among many others, member Ann Lineberger will be talking about “how to write about your neighbors”, presumably without alienating them all. Ann’s latest book, Sunday Best, will be launched in September. Visiting authors include  Gary Shteyngart and Jodi Picoult. $250 for non-members.
The Boston Writing Workshop, which takes place on September 29 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel from 9:30-5pm, is focused on interactions between agents and writers. Currently, they have signed 15 literary agents and editors, actively looking for books. All of these agents and editors will meet one-on-one with writers for 10-minute pitches. The early bird cost is $169, and query and manuscript critiques are available as part of the workshop for an additional fee. Register here.
The Saugatuck StoryFest weekend on October 12-14 is looking for volunteers to help everything run smoothly. It will be a great opportunity to meet authors and people connected with stories and books. Since I’m sure you’ll be there anyway, if you have an hour or two to spend helping out, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with the organizers. Thanks!
If you’re planning a book signing event, you probably know by now that you have to think about more than the date, time, and place. Sandra Beckwith, of Build Book Buzz, tells you what you need to bring with you to the big event to make the most of it. She also offers online courses on the new Bookselling University site.  Search for Sandra’s name to find them. Good value at $40.
Pitch Wars is a mentoring program where published/agented authors, editors, or industry interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and offer suggestions on how to make the manuscript shine for an agent showcase. The mentor also helps edit their mentee’s pitch for the contest and their query letter for submitting to agents.
The Authors Publish Guide to Manuscript Submissions is a free book from Authors Publish, a free, and very useful site that tells you where you can submit your manuscript if you don’t have an agent.
Querytracker is a free website that helps you find an agent, keep track of your submissions and find out from current users about an agent’s typical response time, reply rate, and more. If you’re in the market for an agent, this is recommended by members Elizabeth Chatsworth and Alison McBain.

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