Writers’ Rendezvous: August update – Part 2

Image courtesy Pequot Library

Here’s more information you may find of interest. Among other things, I will be running the Monday morning write-ins from 10-11:30ish indefinitely. So if you’ve had trouble concentrating, or sitting down to write, do not despair. Contact me for the link!
The Connecticut Press Club is looking for new members and their new website is live. They’d like to enroll 50 new members by Labor Day. Between now and then, they will select one new member to receive a $50 gift certificate to Artisan Restaurant in Southport. They welcome all types of writers, editors, bloggers, authors, educators, and students. Click here to apply or renew your professional membership. Among the benefits are a reduced entry fee for the Annual Connecticut Press Club Awards, and access to meetings of interest to writers.
Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers has joined forces with Northern Colorado Writers and Pikes Peak Writers to create a month-long virtual conference free for everyone to attend on YouTube from September 1-30. Check out free video presentations from agents, editors, and authors on the craft, business, and life of writing as well as current hot topics all writers should pay attention to. Presenters include NYT bestselling authors like Rachel Howzell Hall, John Gilstrap, and Bob Mayer; editors like Tiffany Yates Martin, Anita Mumm, and more.

Sonali Dev

Members are also planning to attend the Emerald City Writers Conference, taking place from October 16-18. It’s run by the Greater Seattle chapter of the Romance Writers of America, and features Sherry Thomas, Sonali Dev, and LaQuette. A number of writers of color are participating, so this will provide a good opportunity to find out more about writing more inclusively. $125.
Member Heather pitched at a recent conference over Zoom and received a request. Congratulations! She offers this tip for virtual pitching – practice with a friend over Zoom in advance, and get a cool literary-themed virtual background.
If you’d like someone to mentor you while you write your novel, take a look at PitchWars. It’s a mentoring program where published/agented authors, editors, or industry interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and offer suggestions on how to make the manuscript shine for an agent showcase. The mentor also helps edit their mentee’s pitch for the contest and their query letter for submitting to agents.
Submitting to journals with fast response times helps keep you motivated. My old favorite, Authors Publish, recently published a list of literary journals with a one-month turnaround time. If you’re just starting to submit, try one of these (or more). Not all the journals are currently open to submissions, but the majority are. All of these journals respond to submissions within a month. The response time data is based on information from Duotrope and The (Submission) Grinder.
NY Winterfest 2021 is a theater play/musical competition that also has a Summer version. Plays may range in length from 5-90 minutes, and winning plays get cash prizes and will be performed in New York. They take rolling submissions, and currently, there are only spots available for performances next March, 2021. Playwrights must live no farther than 30 miles from Manhattan. Submit here.
The Alliance of Independent Authors vets and rates all the companies that handle self-publishing and its various components, including editing and design. If you’re thinking of self-publishing but don’t want to handle the hassle, check out the list before subcontracting publication to anyone.  The Best Self-Publishing Services and the Worst. Among highly rated companies are PublishDrive and IngramSpark.
I’ve read a number of useful articles on writing and publishing recently. Here are a few:
Writer Unboxed publishes many articles for writers. Among them is one by editor Dave King: Fiction in the Time of Plague, on whether to include references to the pandemic in fiction you’re writing, which may not be published until later.
And here’s one about using body language in your writing by Sharla Rae
For those of you wondering how many words should be in particular genres of novel, here’s an article from Dave Chesson at Kindlepreneur.
Here’s a link to an article from Poets & Writers, which lists a number of small presses accepting direct submissions.
The Storytellers’ Cottage is offering a series of video courses for writers. Whether you’ve been dreaming about writing a novel or screenplay, or you have a project underway that could use polishing, choose the course that’s right for you.  $35-$37 each. Among them are Self-Editing: Making Your Writing the Best It Can Be, led by mystery writer Penny Goetjen, author of five award-winning novels, and Writing the Short Story, with award-winning mystery author Steve Liskow for a fascinating inside look at how to write a publishable short story.
Audible has a submissions process for un-agented, unpublished manuscripts. They are currently accepting pitches in the following categories: single and multi-narrator stories, scripted multi-cast work, and audio documentary.
See you next month!

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