Writers Rendezvous – April update Part 2

Here’s the second half of my monthly update for writers, with information about pitch parties, a mystery writers’ conference, and several other events for writers. Some are in-person, some are virtual, so check the details if you’re interested.

Bloom Writers’ Studio, run by Tessa Smith McGovern, is holding a virtual Pitch Party with two top NYC literary agents on Zoom on Friday, April 28 at 11 AM ET. The fiction agent is Cynthia Manson, agent to best-selling authors such as Naomi Novik, Robert Masello, and more. Non-fiction is covered by Marilyn Allen, agent to New York Times bestsellers Carol Cash Large, Blake Shelton, and many others. There are still four ways to participate in the Pitch Party: 1. Sign up to listen to other fiction pitches and submit your query via email to get written feedback. 2. Come to the event, listen to other nonfiction pitches, and submit your query via email to get written feedback 3. Watch only. Come and be a fly on the wall and learn how fiction pitches are done – prepare yourself for our next pitch event on 10/22/23.  4. Come and be a fly on the wall. Watch and learn how nonfiction/self-help/memoir pitches are done – prepare yourself for our next pitch event on 10/22/23 (Zoom and in-person).

The Mystery Writers of America/NY chapter is holding its annual CrimeCONN Mystery Lovers’ Conference on Saturday, May 6 from 8:30-4pm At the Ferguson Library Stamford, CT. The theme is: The Shape of Things to Come – The Future of Crime Writing, and lovers of whodunnits can explore the dark and twisty craft of mystery writing. Moderators and panelists include real-life crime fighters, bestselling authors, experts in the craft of mystery writing, publishers, and much more. The keynote speaker is New York Times bestselling thriller writer Joseph Finder. Join us to investigate the shape of things to come. CrimeCONN 2023 is a hybrid event with in-person and Zoom ticket options available. Register here Tickets are $60 per person and $45 for MWA and Friends members, seniors and students. Livestream registration $25. In-person tickets include coffee and lunch.

On May 13, the day before Mother’s Day, I’ll be at the brand-new Barnes & Noble in Danbury Fair Mall (CT) from 12-3pm, for a meet and greet with readers. The new store covers two stories and has a cafe, and promises to focus more on books and authors than they used to. Since it’s the day before Mother’s Day, I’m hoping to sell some books – it would make a great gift for one’s mother!

Join members Maria Zobel and Gina Ryan on May 15 from 7-8:30pm at the Westport Library to celebrate the book launch of Covid Chronicles, the compiled diaries of the Westport Library Advanced Writing class coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. The book was designed and published by member Alison McBain, a prize winner for her novel, her poetry, and as a publisher, in the Connecticut Press Club Awards this year. There will be readings from participating authors and insight from the book’s editors, Mary-Lou Weisman and Gina Ryan. Refreshments will be served. Please register here

Tickets are now available for the May 20 Pitch and Publish Conference at Westport Library. Libby Waterford, bestselling author, will be appearing on a panel about paths to publication. Courtney Maum, author of Year of The Horses, Before and After the Book Deal, and Touch, among others, is the keynote speaker. The conference will include three panels, “Ask The Agent, “The Road To Publication,” and “Level Up Your Writing Game,” moderated by Liz Matthews, Kate Schneider, and Leigh Stein, respectively. Attendees who purchase Conference with Pitches tickets will have the rare opportunity to pitch their books to two agents and/or small presses during one-on-one pitch sessions. Other highlights of the daylong event include an interactive writing experience, books for sale, goodie bags, refreshments, the Friday night welcome party, a light breakfast Saturday morning, and a Saturday evening wrap party. For more information, visit the FAQ page

On May 23 at 6:30 pm, internationally bestselling author Liv Constantine will be launching their latest novel The Senator’s Wife at the Westport Playhouse in Westport CT. The event will benefit The Hole In The Wall Gang, the not-for-profit started by Paul Newman, which is dedicated to providing “a different kind of healing” to seriously ill children and their families, free of charge. Tickets are $55 and include a personalized copy of The Senator’s Wife and a custom bookmark, a glass of wine, light bites, and soft drinks. There will be a cash bar, and of course, a lively and entertaining conversation with authors Lynne and Valerie followed by Q&A and book signing. Register here.

The 2023 Guide to Manuscript Publishers, fully updated for this year, is available as a free download for a limited time from Authors Publish. It includes detailed reviews of 274 traditional publishers that accept submissions directly from writers. If you want to get published, this free book is for you.

Jane Friedman recommends this article on the Four Pillars of Book Marketing, by Matt Holmes, and his credentials – successfully marketing his wife’s books – are impressive. He suggests that the key assets of your book product page you should focus on are: the book cover, book description, pricing, reviews and ratings, and the look inside feature on Amazon

She has also updated her popular Paths to Publishing chart and you can download it here. It lays out the various routes you can take, from the Big Five and other traditional publishers, who pay advances, through indie publishing, and even publishing on various social media sites. If you’re looking to publish, you’ll find some great options here.

Until next month, keep writing!

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