Westport Writers' Rendezvous – November update

In spite of this being NaNoWriMo (National Novel-Writing Month) month, sixteen of us showed up to hang out with other writers. A couple of our members were ahead of the game in terms of numbers of words written, some had stalled but were gamely going to keep trying. Either way, well done, I say!
If you’re looking for a quiet place to work (on your novel or any other writing) The Fairfield County Writers’ Studio is having open days on November 17, 18, 20, 21, 27 and 28. Hours vary, so be sure to check their site.If you have taken a paid workshop with them, you can come in and write for free on those days. If you haven’t, you can buy a one-day pass for $25. They’d like to know you’re coming, so either register here, or email them at info@FCWritersStudio.com.
There are a lot of writing events happening around us – here are just a few:
Next Tuesday, November 21,  is WritersMic night at Panera’s in Westport 7-8.45PM. Come and read something for five minutes or so, or come to listen.
November 18, 2:00-3:30 PM Writer and published author Professor Elizabeth Hilts leads a memoir writing workshop at the Bridgeport Library (Main branch). The workshop includes free-form writing exercises, an exploration of the nature of memoirs examining voice and perspective.
61IJKABSYfLNovember 18, 1:00 – 3:00 PM: The Westport Library is holding an Encounter Shakespeare! event for a workshop focused on adaptation. At 1 p.m., Image Comics’ Ron Wemberly will discuss his Romeo & Juliet graphic novel adaptation Prince of Cats and the challenges of adapting a work from one medium to another. Then, at 2 p.m., you can engage in a hands-on workshop in adaptation: adapting a Shakespearean sonnet in your unique writers’ voice.
Also on Saturday, November 18 at 2pm, the C.H. Booth Library in Newtown hosts the Connecticut Authors Reading Series. This month the authors are Heather Webb co-author of (Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War I), Eric Lehman (Shadows of Paris), and Pat Barkman  (Letters from a Lover’s Daughter).
November 19:  4:00 PM – 6:00 PM the thriller writer Robert Ellis will be
at the Pequot Library as part of their Meet the Author series.
Literary Death Match is running a 250-Word Bookmark contest and the deadline for submissions is Monday November 20th. There’s a cost to enter ($15-20) but the first prize is $1,000. The judge is Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snicket.
Sun, December 10, 1-5PM. WestportWRITES is running its December mini-conference exploring writing about yourself, and focusing on writing memoir. Preceding every mini-conference, there is a Writers Survival Camp at noon that focuses on activities to help you survive the writing life. Free, at the Westport Library. The day will feature two keynotes by noted memoirists  Mira Ptacin (Poor Your Soul) and author Dustin Pari. And get a head start on this month’s Flash Fiction Challenge.
December 17th at 3:00PM, novelist Ann Hood will be discussing her new book Morningstar: Growing Up With Books at Byrd’s Books in Bethel.
Michele Turk, President of the Connecticut Press Club, dropped by the meeting to let us know that their annual Communications Contest is live. They’ll be sending out a call for entries next week with instructions how to enter. Work published from January 1 through December 31, 2017 is eligible for the contest. And there are 64 categories, so you should find one for your work. The early bird deadline is January 23, 2018.
And here’s some general info for writers:
If you’re having trouble submitting, take a look at Writers’ Relief. They’ll help you make 25+ targeted, expertly researched submissions to literary magazines or agents/publishers.  Even being on their mailing list will bring you hints and tips to improve your writing life.
If you’ve already published a book and you don’t have an Amazon author page, you should get yourself one. All exposure is good. And it’s not too difficult to Set Up Your Author Central Account. Details at the link.
And if you need help marketing your book, check out Sandra Beckwith’s site, BuildBookBuzz.com. Among her most recent emails was one offering ideas on how to create a book publicity tip sheet for journalists.
Another way to network with like-minded readers and writers, is to use Litsy, an app similar to Instagram, but devoted solely to books. Sounds to me like a photo version of Goodreads, which makes it quick and easy to use. (Haven’t tried it yet, but planning to…)
Author and professor Lee Martin’s latest book is culled from his blog about writing. It’s called Telling Stories, and is recommended by member Sophronia Scott, author of Unforgiveable Love, a retelling of Les Liaisons Dangereuses in 1940s Harlem.
One of our members is enjoying her online classes with Catapult, where the teacher and her fellow students (maximum eight per class, critique her work.  They offer classes from two to eight weeks in length on various writing subjects.

nina b
Nina Bentley’s He Looked Good on Paper

Last but not least – Typewriters. Karin Kessler, a lover of these machines, is opening a shop in Westport soon, to be called Backspace. With people like Tom Hanks among the famous collectors, and Nina Bentley using them for art projects, I think she’ll do well. More details to follow when she actually opens her doors.
See you next month!


Recent Comments

  • Breakstone1
    November 16, 2017 - 9:09 pm · Reply

    Some valuable information here..thanks Gabi.
    I appreciate your including me in the mailing list. i enjoy your writing. I also am grateful for the information and plan to put some of the ideas, notions, urges to use.
    merci ma chere…helene

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