Writers Rendezvous July update – Part 1

We spent quite a bit of Wednesday’s meeting talking about the various paths to publication, starting with the importance of editing. Here’s a link to Jane Friedman’s chart of the various ways to publish, but if you’re new to this, remember that a professional edit by someone who doesn’t know you is essential if you want an agent or a small publisher to consider your work. In the meantime, check out some of this month’s opportunities for writers.

If you think doing it yourself is too much of a hassle, member Richard Seltzer recommends Booklocker as a hybrid publisher. Here’s what he says, “If you’re confident that your book is finished and well-edited, one option is to go to a hybrid publisher. I have had good experiences with Booklocker. They charge about $1200, do some minimal marketing, and do a great production job.” And he’s had books published with them in less than two months.

Here are some other upcoming events:

The editors at Writers Read are seeking stories for September’s live storytelling event at The Loft at City Winery. NYC at 2PM Sunday, September 10. Whether hiking, going to school, dressing for the prom, the grocery store, the theater, a funeral, a baseball game, or a wedding, the clothing we choose to hide our nakedness sets us apart from everyone else. They’re looking for your story—in 650 words—about the awful, hilarious, or joyful experience of dressing up – or dressing down. Deadline August 1. Submit here.

The Lockwood-Matthews Mansion in Norwalk CT is holding its annual Old-Fashioned Flea Market on August 27 from 10-4. In addition to all the arts and crafts, there will be an area sponsored by the Norwalk Public Library, where authors can display and sell their books. I’ll be there with members Bette Bono and Libby Waterford, and friends Laurel Peterson and Van Hartman. Stop by and say hello!

The Desert Rat Residency Program is running a poetry contest with a first prize of a nine-day stay at their lovely retreat. To enter, submit before August 31. Details on how to submit can be found here. $20 per submission. The judging process is anonymous, and the Final Judge for 2023 is Jeannine Hall-Gailey whose most recent collection is Flare, Corona (BOA, 2023). Winner’s announced October 1 via their Facebook site.

Three masters of storytelling will be appearing in New York City on October 20-21 at Story Expo. Two days of advanced story theory and practical, professional techniques, featuring the legendary Robert McKee (author of Story) John Truby, (The Anatomy of Story), and the influential author of The Writer’s Journey, Christopher Vogler. McKee, Truby & Vogler have developed new talks especially for Story Expo: The Masters of Story, each teaching their own high-level, advanced story theories and techniques. More information and registration here.

The sixth edition of StoryFest, The Westport Library’s annual celebration of reading, writing, ideas, and community, will be held October 20-22. Neil Gaiman, the prolific and admired author whose work includes American Gods, Coraline, and the graphic novel series The Sandman, will be this year’s keynote speaker and although tickets for that event sold out within the hour, a live stream will be available. You’ll be able to buy a limited number of Neil Gaiman-signed books during StoryFest. The festival will also include panel discussions and additional events on Saturday, October 21, and Sunday, October 22, with scheduled authors in many genres, including Angie Kim (Happiness Falls), Gabino Iglesias (The Devil Takes You Home), Stephen Graham Jones (Night of the Mannequins), Caroline Kepnes (For You and Only You), Eric LaRocca (Things Have Gotten Worse Since we Last Spoke), Josh Malerman (Malorie), and many more. There is no charge to attend the events.

Our old friends at Authors Publish recently published a list of independent publishers that are currently open to submissions. I mention AP so frequently because their email newsletter is so useful. You might consider signing up for it if you’re looking to get published. Here are a few from the list:

Feminist Press: Open to literary fiction, activist nonfiction, hybrid memoirs, and anthologies until July 31.

Sarabande Books: Accepting submissions for literary nonfiction, manuscripts from Kentucky-affiliated writers, and proposals for works in translation through July 31.

Tupelo Press: Open for poetry manuscript (48-90 pages) and chapbook manuscript submissions (28-47 pages) until July 31.

Split Lip Press: Accepting submissions for novellas and novels until September 1.

Alice James BooksA prize of $5,000 and publication by Alice James Books is given annually for a poetry collection by a poet residing in the United States. Submit a manuscript of 48 to 100 poems by October 16. All submissions are considered for publication.

That’s all for today – more to come on Monday

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