Writers Rendezvous – April update Part 1

I love seeing my writing friends at the Writers’ Rendezvous meeting. Yesterday’s was no exception. It’s good to hear how people are doing, whether they’ve started writing again, sent out their first or hundredth submission, or are looking for suggestions for solving a writing or publishing problem. I always feel energized afterward. Here are some of the things we talked about.

The Pequot Library, which hosts my weekly Monday morning write-ins, is hosting a Spring Fling book sale under a tent in front of their building. Their summer book sale is renowned statewide and even further afield, and they usually have an excellent selection. If you live near Southport, Connecticut, and would like to browse the books, you need to reserve a time slot. (Or you can buy online.) The book sale is open to the public from Wednesday, April 21 through Monday, April 26, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Click here to book your appointment.

Independent Bookstore Day is a one-day national party that takes place at indie bookstores across the country on April 24.  Every store is unique and independent, and every party is different. In addition to authors, live music, cupcakes, scavenger hunts, kids events, readings, barbecues, and other fun stuff, there are exclusive books and literary items that you can only get on that day. For example, here’s what’s going on at Byrd’s Books in Bethel, CT. To find your nearest one, check this comprehensive list of indie bookstores in Connecticut—if you’re planning to visit, call first in case they have restrictions.

The Westport Library’s WestportWRITES! program is currently offering two virtual weekly writing-to-prompts sessions. with award-winning author and teacher Tessa Smith McGovern. This is like a write-in but with extras…it’s writing time followed by a 30-minute Q & A where you can ask Tessa anything about writing, publishing, or marketing your stories. They’re scheduled every Tuesday from 12-1.30pm ET and every Wednesday evening from 7-8.30pm ET, so you can try one soon.  Register here for one session or more.

Meet the Author, Melissa Bernstein on May 4 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm. The Pequot Library is hosting the mother of six and the co-founder and chief creative officer of the toy company Melissa & Doug to talk about her book. Behind this outward success is a truth Melissa has rarely divulged — she has suffered her entire life with existential anxiety and depression. Her new book, LifeLines, is her journey about how she has found purpose, peace, and meaning. Register here

Endicott House (part of MIT) is holding a virtual writing retreat/workshop this spring, on May 7-8. USA Today bestselling author Hank Phillippi Ryan, top-notch literary agent and mystery author Paula Munier, Writer’s Digest editor-at-large and bestselling novelist Jessica Strawser, publishing veteran and independent editor Dana Isaacson, and US Navy veteran and bestselling thriller author Brian Andrews, form the faculty. The cost is $219, but space is limited, so book fast.

Matt Knight is the author of speculative and women’s fiction, and The Writer’s Legal GPS. He also hosts a blog about legal issues for writers called Sidebar Saturdays. His most recent post is for anyone looking at ways of publishing their book, and gives you a checklist of questions to ask when evaluating a publisher. For over a decade, the ever-evolving publishing industry has blossomed with publishing paths for writers (see Jane Friedman’s chart for an in-depth analysis of the publication pathways). Now, in addition to traditional publishers who typically pay advances, there are small presses who tend to avoid advances, assisted and hybrid publishers where authors pay to publish, and Indie/Self-publishers who manage every part of the publication and distribution processes. This article will give you tools to help you choose.

As ever, there’s more to come on Monday. In the meantime, keep writing!

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