It’s National Poetry Month, and on Sunday, April 23, Shakespeare’s birthday, The Poet’s Salon organized a celebration at the Fairfield Library. In addition to members Alison McBain and Ed Ahern, who organized the event, panelists included Laurel K. Peterson, William P. Hayden, and Janet Krauss. The open mic was excellent, as was the wonderful Jonathan C. Hopkins, who joined this event on Zoom, as he has in our WritersMic evenings, who read his poem “Supreme Justice: A Spoken Word Poem for Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.” If you’d like to hear more of his work, check out his YouTube channel or find his poetry collection on Amazon: Golden Dreams on Copper Wings: Life’s Flight Through Poetry.
One of Connecticut’s most fun events for writers and readers, is the annual CrimeCONN, hosted on June 4, (from 8:30-4pm EST) as an in-person and a virtual event, by the Ferguson Library in Stamford. Whether you write crime fiction – or just love to read it – here’s a chance to meet some of your favorite authors, including Hank Phillippi Ryan, Chandra Prasad, Shari Randall, David Handler, Wendy Walker and Tess Gerritsen. You’ll also be able to ask questions about forensics and crime in general from a team of crime-fighting experts (which I always find fascinating, if occasionally a little gruesome!). Early bird registration (before May 6) is $40, which includes a light lunch at the in-person event. After that date, the cost is $45, in person, $25 on Zoom.
The world’s bestselling author, James Patterson, comes to the Westport Library to discuss his highly anticipated memoir, James Patterson by James Patterson. He’ll be there on Tuesday, June 7 at 7pm. Attendance is free, or you can preorder a book to be picked up at the event for $29. Tickets here.
The BookLife Prize is given in two annual writing contests (one for fiction, one for non-fiction) that seek to support independent authors and discover great books. The Fiction Contest is open for submissions through August 31, in five categories: Romance/Erotica; Mystery/Thriller; Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror; General Fiction; YA/Middle Grade. The Nonfiction Contest will open on October 1, 2022, through January 31, 2023, in four categories: Memoir/Autobiography; Self-Help; Inspirational/Spiritual; and Business/Personal Finance. Both Contests of the Prize are judged by Publishers Weekly reviewers, editors, acclaimed authors, and publishing veterans. The grand prize winner for both the Fiction and Nonfiction Contest of the BookLife Prize will receive $5,000 as well as an author profile in Publishers Weekly. All finalists receive a blurb from a bestselling/award-winning author or professional editor serving as a guest judge for the contest, as well as a mention in Publishers Weekly. Plus they each receive $1,000 worth of BookBaby’s Facebook + Instagram for Authors. All entrants receive a Critic’s Report, which includes a score as well as a brief written critical assessment of their book by a Publishers Weekly reviewer. (Click here to see examples of Critic’s Reports.)
If you’re not ready to enter your book in a contest, it may be time to apply for a writing residency. Here’s a Tweet chain from Emi Nietfeld, one of the judges for residency applications, with helpful tips about how to apply. One that stood out for me was “Don’t send in a 40-page sample! (Unless the application demands it.) I’d heard that the first sentence/paragraph/page is crucial, but I did not believe it until I was staring down at a pile of reading.” Good advice that probably applies to submitting work anywhere. And here are four Connecticut writing residencies to apply for.
Authors Publish has produced another great list of 40 magazines that publish in print. These literary magazines/anthologies/outlets publish fiction, nonfiction, and poetry in print format. Most also publish online. Some have limited print runs, and a few are themed. Many are paying markets. Most, not all, of these are open for submissions now. Sign up for their newsletter to stay ahead of the game.
If you write a blog, or need photos for any other use, you’ll be aware that copyright can be an issue. Here’s an article with suggestions for Forty sites that can provide you with free photos.
Have a great writing month!