Westport Writers Rendezvous: May update – Part 2

Here, as promised, is part 2 of this month’s news. Be sure to check out the writers’ Calendar page for all the events I’ve come across that might be of interest to writers. And keep writing!41iWg5vRZGL.SR160,240_BG243,243,243
Jane Friedman, book marketing guru, will be in New York for BookExpo next week, and on May 29 she’ll be teaching a 3-hour evening workshop (in partnership with Catapult) on how to build a sustainable business model for your writing career. Click here to learn more and register.
On May 30, at 5pm, the Writers’ Workshop of WCSA is hosting a reading of micro-memoir written by their memoirs, at 21 Imperial Avenue in Westport. Free.elissa g
On June 1, from 3-7pm, Elissa Grodin will be hosting a book signing party at Fairfield County Antique and Design, for her latest Edwina Goodman Mystery, A Handful of Worldliness.
Greenwich PEN Women, an organization for Artists, Writers, and Composers, is hosting three open mic nights this year. The first is on Wednesday, June 26, at Cos Cob Library, at 7pm. Sign up to read five minutes-worth of your work in any genre. Two more open mic events will follow on July 13 and October 2. Contact Diane Morello at dkmorello@gmail.com for more details
imagesThose of you wanting to pitch your book to an agent could consider attending The Gotham Writers Conference on October 25-26. They promise genuinely to connect writers with agents and give a close-up look at how to get a book published.  Day 1 includes five panels and presentations. Day 2 is for pitching roundtables. Each table will have two agents and a group of pre-selected writers with book projects. You spend the day with your table—pitching, reading pages, and discussing your work. There will be tables specializing in: mainstream/literary novels, genre novels, middle grade/YA novels, and nonfiction books. Anyone can attend Day 1, but you must be selected to participate in Day 2. Be aware that space is limited.
I recently came across Coursera, which provides free online courses in many subjects. Since it was started at Stanford University, there are a lot of science courses, of course, but there are 287 (not a typo!) courses in writing alone.  Many of the creative writing ones are from Wesleyan University, which has a renowned School of Writing. Worth a look if you can’t afford, or can’t get to, face-to-face classes.
Dave Chesson has a website: 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.
A recent article in the New York Times, Farhad Manjoo talked (sorry about the pun) about using phone apps to write. The first is Descript, which bills itself as a “word processor for audio.” Frist record your brilliant prose, or notes, or story ideas, or, I suppose, shopping lists, on your phone using RecUp (iOs), a cloud-connected voice-recording app, or Voice Recorder for Android. Then Descript will quickly (and cheaply) transcribe the text, truncate the silences and render speech editable and searchable. I haven’t tried it yet, but I plan to.
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.
MWA NYThe New York Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America is offering two Burstein scholarships worth $1000 each this year to aspiring mystery writers. The purpose of the scholarship is to offer financial support to writers who want to take a specific class, attend a conference, or do specific research as demonstrably necessary to a mystery work they are creating. It was named for Leon B. Burstein, an avid mystery fan, that more work in his favorite genre might be created. You don’t have to be a member of the MWA-NY Chapter, and the submissions period doesn’t end until October 9, 2019. Check the link above for how to submit.
Those of you looking for a small press to submit your book to, could do worse than check out the list of over 400 small presses on the Poets & Writers website. The database is sortable by genre, and includes information on reading periods etc.

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