Writers' Rendezvous: April update – Part 1

Zoom. That’s the way I’ve been getting together with my friends, my writing groups, French conversation groups and, of course, The Writers’ Rendezvous people. And the great advantage of Zoom, is that it’s allowed me to host people who usually can’t make it to the actual meeting. I held two meetings on Wednesday, to accommodate everyone, and one of our members checked in from Nigeria, where she’s currently stranded. She was one of our many winners in the Connecticut Press Club Awards contest, and I’ll be doing a separate post on that, to honor everyone, shortly! In the meantime, let’s Zoom along – there are plenty of places to meet and mingle online.
But first: this is the last call for 2020 Connecticut Book Awards Submissions. They’ll be accepted until 5pm on April 17. The actual books must arrive by May 15, to allow for delays in fulfillment. Some members have complained that Amazon has been slow to deliver books, due to other priorities.
elsa kurtThis Saturday’s Connecticut Authors and Publishers Assn, CAPA-Avon meeting will be virtual – via Zoom. It will be live at 10:30 am on April 18 and you’ll get the link on Friday, so long as you contact Brian Jud to request one.   Speaker Elsa Kurt–self- and traditionally published author of more than a dozen books—will be talking about: You Wrote it — Now What? Promoting Your Book & Yourself.
54423195_2023862067711973_2694011510497214464_nThere’s masses for writers to take part in online right now. The Fairfield County Story Lab is offering several free events for writers on Zoom until the end of the month. You’ll need to register on the site (link above) so they can send you the link. They start tonight, Thursday, April 16. From 7-9pm., with their regular Literary Game Night. Host, writer and Lab member Evan Pagano, who’ll present a rousing evening of trivia, charades and more — all centered around books and authors and all things books, from classics to contemporary.
Join other writers for the Lab’s  Fourth-Friday Happy Hour, this month on April 24, from 5-6pm. Mix your favorite beverage and meet other writers to chat and compare notes. Every week on Tuesdays, from 2-3pm, join Carol Dannhauser for Writing to Prompts/Fiction. Get a prompt. Write like mad for 15 minutes. And then do it again. The Lab also runs Weekly Write-Ins on Wednesdays, from 9-10:30am, and Sundays, from 3-4:30 p.m. Introduce yourself and state your writing goal in one sentence without a lot of punctuation, and then write. I’ve tried this, and it worked to get me out of a writing slump. Finally, for freelance writers, there’s Freelancer Fridays (8-9am). You’ll be able to swap contacts, complain about your editors, share best strategies and more.
The Westport Writers Workshop has also moved online and is offering all its classes that way, until the beginning of June, including a series of mini-workshops. Among them are: An Introduction to Scrivener – S214s20 with Chris Friden  April 18, Finding Inspiration in Times of Trouble – S208s20 Allison Dickens April 18 Learn to Outline (How to Write a Novel and Not Lose Your Mind) – S210s20 Jessica Speart   April 25. Check out the full list of classes, which include writing a journal, poetry, dialogue in memoir and more. For details and to sign up for the link, go here.
jtjNational Poetry Month is not forgotten, either. Jerry T. Johnson is hosting a free online poetry reading and open mic on Sunday, April 19, from 4-5:30pm on Zoom. Here’s the link: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/341817039   Featured poets include Karen Neuberg, Francine Witte, and Matthew Hupert. First 15 to purchase a FREE Slot via Eventbrite will go on the Poetry Open Mic list.
And in Norwalk, the Seventh Annual Norwalk LitCrawl, will take place virtually, via Zoom, on Thursday, April 30, at 6:30pm. Read a favorite poem on Zoom, or watch the event live-streamed by the Wall Street Theater, on their Facebook page.  If you’d like to read a poem, email Christine Bradley, with the title of the poem you’ve selected no later than April 27.  Select a reading of about 3-5 minutes or less, including a short introduction, telling why you chose it. Space is limited to 100 readers and the Zoom link will be emailed to readers before the event.
Winning Writers,  one of the “101 Best Websites for Writers” (Writer’s Digest), along with Duotrope, are sponsoring the Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest, which will award $3,000 for the best story and $3,000 for the best essay. The top winners will receive prominent exposure on the Winning Writers home page. For this contest, a story is any short (limit 6000 words) work of fiction, and an essay (limit 6000 words) is any short work of nonfiction. Enter by April 30. All 12 winning entries published on our website. Entry fee: $20 per entry.
I’ve covered all the events with deadlines here, and Part Two, with more resources for writers, will follow at the weekend. Write a little bit, if you can! Otherwise, read, watch tv, or visit a 5000-year-old Egyptian tomb. Now’s your chance, while the tourists are gone…

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