Westport Writers' Rendezvous – December update

Our final meeting of the year was surprisingly well attended, considering how close it was to Christmas. Maybe people were taking a break from the seasonal rush. In any event, we covered a lot of ground, with authors asking each other for practical advice (what constitutes plagiarism?), fact-checking their WIP (where do women officers carry their guns?) and celebrating successes around the table.
Pic-of-me-by-JessThis evening, December 20, from 5-7PMSally Allen, member of the Westport Writers Rendezvous and award-winning author of Unlocking Worlds: A Reading Companion for Book Lovers, will be speaking on “The Health Benefits of Reading,” at Athleta on Main Street in Westport. Allen’s talk, will address a variety of ways reading can positively affect your physical and emotional well-being. The discussion will be followed by a Q & A, book signing and door prize drawing. Free.
A new Meetup has been launched at the Trumbull Library– Wednesday Writers. A writing critique group, members bring a variety of genres, including poetry, short stories, and chapters-in-progress. Their next meeting will take place on Wednesday, January 2, 2019, from 6:30 – 8:00 PM, and then will meet on the first and third Wednesday of the month except during the summer. Sign up via Meetup at the link above.
On January 3, 2019, marketing guru Jane Friedman is offering her annual online seminar on how to land a book deal. Her intensive 2-hour live, online class (in partnership with Writer’s Digest) will help you avoid frustration and educate you on how the industry works. Learn more and register ($99).
Students and alumni of the Westport Writers’ Workshop will be reading from the books at the Music Theatre of CT on January 15, from 7- 9 pm. Among the authors are: Mike Belanger (The History of Jane Doe), Heather Frimmer (Bedside Manners), Diane Lowman (Nothing But Blue) and Jacque Masumian (Nobody Home). $10 at the door includes one beverage of your choice.
logo_landingGlimmer Train, the highly respected literary journal, will cease publishing at the end of 2019, but will be accepting submissions through May 15, 2019 so there’s still time to submit. Click here for details.  Among the contests they’re planning are: Short Story Award for New Writers (1st place – $2,500) Very Short Fiction (1st place – $2,000), Fiction Open (1st place – $3,000), and Family Matters (1st place – $2,500). Family matters calls for stories about families of all configurations and has a deadline of January 2, 2019
The Connecticut Press Club contest is open for submissions in many genres, and I’ve been assured that the entry process has been simplified. This is nothing but good news, as previous entrants will attest. January 9 is the regular contest deadline. After this date, a $25 late fee will be charged for the first entry you submit. The final deadline is midnight EST on January 22. The final book deadline is January 15. To enter the 2019 contest, visit the contest site and follow the directions. This year, some categories (like personal essay) have been added, some have been removed, and some requirements have changed. Check here for a complete list.
The Missouri Review’s Miller Audio Prize Contest will open January 15, with a deadline of March 15. There is an entry fee: $30, $24, $16, or $10. You choose what you pay. Entries must be 15 minutes or shorter, in the genre of documentary, poetry, prose or humor. You can find submission guidelines here.
If you’re planning to enter you might find this software useful.  Descript enables you to transcribe your audio file and then edit the transcript, which automatically edits your audio file. Sounds good to me. (Get it?)
And while we’re on the subject of audio, First Draft Podcast is accepting submissions of flash fiction, short stories, novel chapters, and creative non-fiction for the next podcast. Submit via their Facebook page. Submission Guidelines here.
And finally, here are three articles you might find of interest if you’re looking to submit your work for publication.. Authors Publish, who also offer a free guide to children’s publishing, has an article on using Scrivener to keep tabs on your submissions. The literary journal, Southeast Review, has a round-table discussion with four editors about submission strategies, and Jane Friedman, mentioned above has a guest post by Jenn Scheck-Kahn about resources for people looking to submit to literary magazines.
Enjoy the Christmas break – and happy writing in the New Year!

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