One way to jump-start your writing is to join a regular write-in, like the virtual one I run for the Pequot Library every Monday morning at 10am ET. It’s designed for you to work on whatever writing project will help you move forward. (Adding words, editing, revisions, research, outlining – it all counts.) If you’re interested in joining, email me via the contact page for the link. There are other write-ins too. Some may ask you to join an organization in order to join, like the WFWA (Women’s Fiction Writers Association) which runs daily write-ins. Paragraph, writers’ space in NYC has free write-ins every Monday and Friday at noon on ParagraphWriters Slack in #write-ins. Gotham Writers of New York offers two Zoom write-ins on Fridays from 2-3:15pm and 6:30-7:45pm ET. ($20 each or $45 for three). Gotham Writers offer many other writing courses, of course – some in person, and thirty-four classes for those outside NYC, via Zoom. (See photo at right.) Class sizes are limited to 14, and you can find a full listing here. They include scriptwriting, video game writing, children’s books, playwriting, romance, mystery, sci-fi, and more.
FanStory is a website that runs regular free contests for writers. Enter contests for free. Over $5,000 in cash prizes will be awarded this year. That includes the Two Line Poem deadline July 29. And the 5-7-5 Poetry Contest – deadline July 30. Don’t miss the Dialogue Only Writing Contest – deadline August 10. View the full listing.
The Horror Writers Association now has a Connecticut chapter, so if that’s your genre, this is for you. Monthly meetings will be virtual for now and they plan to send Chapter updates to the monthly HWA newsletter You can follow the group on Facebook and Twitter. For more information on how to join, email Kristi Peterson Schoonover or David Griffiths. BTW, I’m pretty pathetic where horror is concerned – I hid behind the sofa when the Cybermen arrived on Dr. Who – so the cat photo is the most horrific thing I felt comfortable adding to my blog post…
The Library of Congress National Book Festival is taking place virtually over 10 days September 17-26, where you can create your own festival experience from a variety of programs and formats. Engage with your favorite authors through virtual live events and on-demand videos, and watch a national television special produced with PBS Books. The Authors page lists participating speakers this year, including Michael J. Fox, Tana French, Roxane Gay, Kazuo Ishiguro, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Christopher Paolini. Sign up on the National Book Festival blog to receive updates.
Ray Hamey, author Mastering the Craft of Compelling Storytelling and editor, critiques prologues and first chapters online. Send your prologue/first chapter to Flogging the Quill for a public critique. Email as an attachment. In your email, include your name, permission to use the first page, and, if it’s okay, permission to post the rest of the prologue/chapter. Along with many critiques he’s done (followed by a reader poll each time) Hamey offers authors a First-page Checklist – useful for anyone seeking to get published. Here are his first suggestions: Engage the reader with the character, and have the character take action. This does NOT include musing about whatever. Something I have to remember, since I tend to provide almost too much inner voice in my writing. 🙂
Nutmegger (someone from Connecticut) Wayne Barber has a weekly radio show focused on authors. It’s live-streamed worldwide etc WNRI in Rhode Island. You can listen to recent shows here, and contact the host via email to arrange an interview. Although he’s based in RI, he interviews Connecticut authors too.
Hope this gives you enough to encourage your writing. See you next month…