Writers’ Rendezvous – August update Part 1

Our second hybrid meeting introduced us to some new members, which produced some interesting topics of conversation. The attack on author Salman Rushdie was one such.

In response to the attack, PEN America, the New York Public Library, and Penguin Random House are organizing a demonstration on the steps of the NYPL to support free expression and show their support for Salman Rushdie. It’s happening on Friday, August 19 at 11 am. Join Rushdie’s friends, fellow members of the literary community, and readers to share selected texts from his body of work. Those offering readings include Paul Auster, Tina Brown, Amanda Foreman, Siri Hustvedt, Colum McCann, Gay Talese, and more.

Among the topics we talked about was the vexing question of how to get yourself writing consistently. One method I’ve recommended is that people find write-ins to join. Generally, these are scheduled regularly and provide a time to sit and write without interruption. There’s something about putting them on your calendar that makes one more likely to do it! I run one on Zoom for the Pequot Library on Monday mornings from 10-11:45. If you’d like to join, contact me via the contact form on this website for the link. Tessa Smith McGovern runs three per week, also on Zoom, for WestportWrites, a program of the Westport Library. Hers differ from mine in that in two of these (Tuesdays and Wednesdays), she provides writing prompts, and help with submitting your work. The third one, on Friday mornings, is a 45-minute silent writing session. Get the details here.

Gotham Writers offers two 75-minute Zoom write-ins on Fridays at 2pm and 6pm. If these don’t work for you, try Googling write-ins in your area, or start your own. And if you’re writing women’s fiction, the Women’s Fiction Writers’ Association offers 90-minute write-ins every day – often several in a day. The membership fee is worth it for this benefit alone.

On Thursday, August 25, from 6-8pm, join a Creative Happy Hour at the Norwalk Arts Center, an award-winning creative space in a repurposed church. The creative evening will be hosted by Iyaba Ibo Mandingo and will feature poets from the surrounding area. Other creative groups, including Charter Oak portrait painters and TNAS animation, drawing and writing groups, will also meet and create together. All are welcome to participate and/or watch, while enjoying fabulous food and drinks from the excellent Art Space Cafe.

If you have an unpublished novel, consider submitting it to the BookLife contest, which is for both published and unpublished books. The deadline is August 31. There is a fee to enter, but each entry gets a critique/review which one can use to promote the book to agents or readers. Details here. Here’s the link:

Tupelo Press will hold open submissions for book-length poetry collections (48-90 pages) and chapbook-length poetry collections (28-47 pages). Selected manuscripts will receive publication by Tupelo Press, a $1,000 advance, a book launch, and national distribution with energetic publicity and promotion. Please read the complete guidelines before submitting your manuscript. Deadline August 31.

The Westport Writers’ Workshop is hosting a Fall Open House and Art Opening  on Wednesday, September 7 from 6:30 – 8:30pm. Meet their team of writing instructors to find out more about their workshops. Artist William Papaleo’s work will be on display. Free and open to the public.

The Westport Library is holding its fifth annual literary festival, StoryFest, on September 9-10. An in-person celebration of reading, writing, ideas, and community, the festival offers a chance to hear and meet authors in many genres, and includes panels on crime writing, writing and editing, activism, dark fiction, and the writing community. There will be guest authors, and a chance to buy and have their books signed. Check here for more details.

On September 10, at 10am The Connecticut Romance Writers Association’s monthly Zoom meeting will feature Libby Waterford giving a free presentation on Indie Author Publishing. If you’re thinking of self-publishing but aren’t sure how to go about it, this is for you. Non-members are allowed to attend two meetings of CTRWA for free. After that, a $5 fee will be charged via the PayPal button link on this website. Email connecticutrwa@gmail.com for more information.

I’ll be offering a free two-hour memoir workshop on September 17, from 1:30-3:30 at the Fairfield Public Library. Entitled Start Writing Your Memoir – it’s not just for beginners, but for people who’ve started and want to keep going. Spaces are limited, so sign up soon if you’re interested.

More to come on Monday!

Leave a Comment