Westport Writers' Rendezvous: June update – Part 2

Here, as promised, is Part 2 of the June update. Lots of author events, contests, and places to submit your work:
The Norwalk Public Library is offering two creative writing series: An ongoing poetry workshop on the first Monday evening of each month, and creative writing each Monday, from 10:30-12pm, beginning July 8. Free. Details here.
A quick reminder that I’ll be interviewing Amy Oestreicher about her extraordinary memoir, My Beautiful Detour,  on July 11 at Barnes and Noble in Westport at 6:30pm. She’ll be reading, and signing her book. And there’ll be refreshments and a literary door prize gift basket. Free. More details here.
41s4hagsvmL._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_On Tuesday, July 16, at 6pm, book blogger Suzy Leopold, of Suzy Approved.com, will be interviewing Emily Liebert about her new novel, Pretty Revenge, at Book Club Bookstore and More in South Windsor, CT.
51a2My+6uGL._SY346_Ryan Stradal, author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest? comes to Westport on July 28 at 3pm with The Lager Queen of Minnesota, his new novel on family, Midwestern values, hard work, fate and the secrets of making a world-class beer. A sampling from a local microbrewery will be part of the event. Registration is encouraged.
The inaugural CRAFT First Chapters Contest awards $2800, manuscript critique, and agency review to the top three first chapters of unpublished book-length fiction projects. The contest is open from June 1 to July 31, and first chapters must be excerpted from unpublished novels or novellas, which can be complete or works in progress. There’s a 6,000 word count maximum for entries, and they review literary fiction, but are open to a variety of genres and styles. There’s a $20 reading fee per excerpt/entry and all submissions must be made via Submittable.
514Pp9fOd5L._SY346_Westport book blogger Jennifer Gans Blankfein will be interviewing Candace Bushnell at the Westport Libray on August 5 at 7pm about her new collection of essays, entitled Is there Still Sex in the City? Bushnell is best known for her TV series Sex and the City, and the evening promises to be enlightening!
Connecticut’s own Comic Con, TerrifiCon, will take place from August 9-11 at the Mohegan Sun Convention Center. It’s perfect for fans of; comics and their creators, actors from superhero, sci-fi, horror shows and films! Plus the best shopping for comic books, artwork, pop-culture memorabilia and gaming goods. Finally, TerrifiCon has the State’s coolest cosplayers. You know who you are!
On August 10, from 2-4pm the Storyteller’s Cottage in Simsbury is offering a workshop about submitting work for publication. The workshop includes how to identify which publications are best suited to specific genres of interest, contacts for those genres as well as mainstream magazine publication tips. Includes query writing and potential pitfalls. $60. Register here.
The Brooklyn Book Festival takes place Sept 16-23, and they’re looking for volunteers. Check out the requirements here, and save some money on entrance fees.
The British journal Mslexia is running its Mslexia women’s fiction competition is now open for submissions from women writers. There are three categories: full-length novels, short stories and flash fiction. There are cash prizes (£5000 for a novel), and a writing retreat, pitching workshop, personal introductions to agents and editors – plus publication in Mslexia magazine. The short story prize is £3000 (up to 3000 words) and they’re offering £500 (flash fiction up to 300 words). Entry fees range from £5-25, payable via Paypal. Deadline 23:59 (UK time – so 6.59pm EST) September 30.
Here are a couple of ways to improve your writing: Scribophile is famous for the detailed and helpful critiques exchanged by its members. The critiques you get provide actionable ways to improve your writing. You critique others too. Members say that learning how to write great critiques dramatically improved their own writing.
The Spun Yarn offers a chance to have Beta readers look at your book and give you honest feedback. Your manuscript is matched with three trusted readers from the Spun Yarn network, each selected based upon your needs. Based upon this reader feedback, an editor curates a comprehensive report providing 30+ pages of insight on all of the most important aspects of your manuscript, in 30 days or less. $299. I tried it, and found it really helpful – well worth the money.
And here’s a new free guide to writing and publishing for new authors from a series of writers: 25 things authors wished they knew before publishing.
Dave Chesson has a website and newsletter: Kindlepreneur, which gives you a free step-by-step guide to self-publishing. If you have any intention of doing so, it’s a great resource.
See you next month!

Recent Comments

  • The Overage Otaku
    June 25, 2019 - 8:40 am · Reply

    There’s also the annual ConnectiCon anime/sci-fi/cosplay show in Hartford on July 11-14. They have guest writers come and present panels and a number of other activities, including a short story workshop Friday morning and a panel on pitching novels Friday evening. Past literary guests have included Brandon Sanderson, Jody Lynn Nye, David Farland, and Kevin J. Anderson, although none is announced yet for this year.

    • Gabi Coatsworth
      June 25, 2019 - 8:59 am · Reply

      And you’re going to be teaching a short story workshop at 9:30 on Friday morning. Sounds good!
      And Elizabeth Chatsworth will be teaching how to pitch a novel on Friday at 7pm and Steampunk on Saturday afternoon.

      • Elizabeth Chatsworth
        June 25, 2019 - 9:45 pm · Reply

        Hi Gabi,
        Thank you for the shoutout. My two events at http://connecticon.org/ are as follows:
        Writing Workshop – Practical Pitchcraft, ConnectiCon XVII
        Friday, July 12th, 7.00 PM – 8.00 PM, Cityside 1 (MR 21-22)
        I’ll be presenting my writing workshop “Practical Pitchcraft.” This is a hands-on workshop designed to help new novelists create their first query letter, logline, tagline, elevator pitch, back cover copy, and a marketing one-pager. The workshop is part of ConnectiCon XVII in Hartford, CT.
        Author Panel – How To Steampunk, ConnectiCon XVII
        Saturday, July 13th, 4.30 PM – 5.30 PM, Cityside 4 (MR 26)
        I’ll be on the panel “How To Steampunk” at ConnectiCon XVII in Hartford, CT.
        I hope to see you there!

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