Writers’ Rendezvous July update – Part 2

If you need a “room of your own” in which to write, Fairfield County Writers’ Studio in Westport is offering a chance to use their Story Lab, with Open Studio Days planned through August. You can write in their space on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at a minimal cost. If you’ve taken a paid, multi-week workshop with them in 2020, you can write all day for $20. If you haven’t, you can buy a four-hour pass for $25. For specific hours and to register click here. Spots are limited, reserved, and socially distanced.
Inside Writing is a Zoom talk show organized by Gotham Writers Workshop every Wednesday afternoon—where the host, an agent, and a writer discuss the inside scoop on publishing and writing. The next show, on Wednesday, July 22 from 1-2pm, is Inside Graphic Novels. It will feature agent Charlie Olsen and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, cartoonist/illustrator (Steven Universe and Gotham Academy). An additional benefit is that after each show, if you have a book project in the week’s genre, you can pitch it on Twitter, with the hashtag #PitGotham (pitching tips). They will choose their favorites and pass them on to the week’s agent for feedback, which will also be posted on Twitter. You can watch previous episodes on Gotham’s YouTube channel – last week’s was a talk on Mysteries & Thrillers.
The 2020 Gotham Writers Conference will now take place on Zoom from October 16-18, 2020. It connects writers with agents and gives a close-up look at how to get a book published. Days 1 and 2 ($145) consist of panels and presentations. Day 3 ($395) features pitching roundtables. Each “table” will have two agents and a group of pre-selected writers with book projects. You spend four and a half hours with your “table”—pitching, reading pages, and discussing your work. There will be “tables” specializing in: mainstream/literary novels, middle-grade/young adult novels, mystery/thriller/horror novels, picture books, science fiction/fantasy novels, and nonfiction books. Anyone can attend Day 1 & 2, but you must apply and be selected to participate in Day 3. Enroll here. “Manuscript-to-Market” Fellowship, includes free admission to the Conference and is available to all people of color.
The Writer’s Digest Annual Conference, November 5-7, is also going virtual this year. The pre-conference workshop day will be Thursday, November 5 (workshops are available at an additional fee) followed by two days of the main conference (November 6 & 7). The Basic Conference fee is $349, for which you can attend 40 Regular Sessions, ask questions live, and interact with the speaker. It also includes networking with speakers, exhibitors, and other attendees. Among the Pre-Conference Workshops (11/5) are Building A Sustainable Writing Career: Priorities, Platforms, and Getting Paid with Jane Friedman, and  The Compass of Character: Creating Complex Motivations for Compelling Characters with David Corbett. Register here. SCHEDULE
In addition, ongoing Writer’s Digest University classes are for every skill level of writer, with professional instructors are dedicated to helping you achieve your writing goals. They cover fiction, freelance writing, non-fiction, marketing, and more. From $199.
Author David Henry Sterry and literary agent Arielle Eckstut, better known as The Book Doctors, are well-known for their event, Pitchapalooza, where writers can pitch their book in one minute, and get feedback on the pitch. In addition, they run workshops and have a series of videos with advice for writers. This week’s video gives you step-by-step instructions to ID a “publisher” as legitimate or a scam. They explain how to spot red flags as well as how to research any publishing (or “publishing”) company before you’re parted from your money and possibly your book. Spend eight minutes to watch the video and be forewarned.
Along the same lines, Query Tracker has a list of publishers that it has checked out to make sure they are legitimate. Many of them accept un-agented submissions. Query Tracker lists what fiction genres and non-fiction types of writing each publisher accepts. It also lists agents and lists what kinds of fiction and nonfiction each agent takes. You can use the website for free or pay a $25 yearly fee to get additional services.
You can also look for agents and publishers through Manuscript Wish List. To find publishers, search for editors rather than agents.
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). Submitting to journals with fast response times helps keep you motivated. 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.
Hope to see you at our WritersMic open mic on Tuesday, July 21 at 7pm EST. Contact me for a link if you’d like to attend.
And keep writing!

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