Westport Writers' Rendezvous: August update – Part 1

51tDpVmnPWL._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_Twenty writers attended out meeting yesterday – and they had a lot to share. Mary Grace Dembeck’s children’s book, I’m Mad at the Moon, was published this month, Richard Seltzer has a publishing contract, and member V.P. Morris is launching her first weekly podcast series on August 27. The Dead Letters Podcast is a suspenseful audio drama in 25-minute episodes, focusing on the lives of five women who, over history, have received mysterious letters that warn of death and destruction if they don’t do exactly as the sender says. Find it on all the main podcast platforms: PodBean, iTunes, Google Play Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher
Gotham Writers in NYC offers writing courses in a wide variety of genres, and for all levels of expertise.  To encourage you to take a look, they are offering a free course to the winner of their 27-word Story-in-a-Bottle contest. Imagine finding a bottle washed up on the shore, with a message inside it. What does it say? The person who creates the most compelling “story in a bottle” wins a free Gotham class of his or her choosing. Deadline September 2.
The Fairfield County Story Lab is hosting a special event on September 8, from 11-1pm. Dancer, healer and memoirist JoJo Keane leads this Movement to Memoir workshop. Through meditative movement and prompts, participants will access their cache of memories, helping to connect the dots of their story. FREE to Story Lab members. $20 for guests. Guests are invited to stay and write at the Lab until 3 p.m. Spots are limited.
The Pequot Library is hosting a new series of free programs for writers, Writers at Pequot. Guest writers will give informal talks on the craft of writing. Bring your lunch and your questions. Saturday, September 14 from 11-12:30pm, instructors from the Westport Writers Workshop Storytellers will be addressing issues including: getting the most out of a writing workshop; transforming your ideas into stories & essays; submitting your writing – the how & where; and moving from prompts to polished pieces.
750 hopmeadow lightAnd the Storytellers Cottage in Simsbury has some workshops and classes for writers coming up. Their Get Published Writing Retreat takes place on Saturday September 7 from 9:00-4:00 pm. Four successful local authors will teach you the secrets of getting published. Instructors include Steve Liskow, C. Flanagan Flynn, Lisa Acerbo and Tracy McKee. Cost: $125. Write Your Memoir or Novel (Fall I Session) starts Thursday September 12 from 6-8 pm, and runs for six weeks. Cost: $250 for 6 week course. Writing Historical Fiction also begins on September 12 from 6:30-7:30 pm. COST: $120 for six weeks. To register, visit www.StorytellersCottage.com/book-online
Beginning September 9, the Norwalk Public Library will be hosting a number of authors, as part of their program, AuthorSpeak. I’ve listed them on the WRITERS’ CALENDAR page, and all the events are free. I’ve included links to the registration page for each one, or you can contact Cynde Bloom Lahey at (203) 899-2780 ext. 15133, or clahey@norwalkpl.org.
4258-Aladdin.0_archiveThe Norwalk Public Library is also running a new six-week creative writing program, beginning Monday September 16, from 11:30-1pm led by author and writing teacher Kim Kovach. Inspiration for this series will be the gorgeous murals and paintings created by Connecticut artists as part of the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) program in the 1920s. The one above  is of Aladdin. Sign-up today for this fun, creative writing experience. To register, please email Cynde Bloom Lahey,
On September 19, at 7pm, the Pequot Library is hosting member MarLou Newkirk and her daughter, who’ll be sharing strategies on mending the mother/daughter relationship. MarLou and Laurie now write articles together, and have had several published in local magazines. Topics include handling criticism, advice giving, boundaries, humor, and finding forgiveness. Also where to go curling round here. Just saying.
Registration is now open for this year’s Ridgefield Writers Conference, which takes place Fri., September 20, from 6:30-9p.m. at the Ridgefield Library. The theme is The Enduring Art and Craft of Storytelling, with acclaimed writer, teacher and New Yorker poet Charles Rafferty as keynote. Our agent, editor, publisher panel features Rafferty, publisher and editor Jim Childs, and Gina Maccoby, literary agent. The conference includes a choice of one of three breakout sessions: Charles Rafferty on Strategies for Storytelling, Jim Childs on Steering Your Experience, and Gina Maccoby on Create to Compel. Register here.
As sometimes happens, there’s so much to tell you that I’ve split this into two. Part 2 to follow on Monday. Meanwhile, don’t frget to check out the Writers’ Calendar page, and keep writing!

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