Writers Rendezvous June update – Part 2

In addition to the events and resources I mentioned last week, members of the Writers Rendezvous had a number of useful things to share.

Janet Luongo (Rebellion 1967) mentioned The Bay Area Book Festival, based in San Francisco, whose last featured event is an interesting talk on memoir on June 24, from 7-8pm. Entitled What Happens When a Woman Tells Her Whole Truth: The Freedom and Fallout of Memoir it features Brooke Warner, of She Writes Press, in conversation with Gina Frangello, author of Blow Your House Down. Register here. $15.

If you’re looking for something unusual (and live!) to do, the Stupid Covid Socially Distanced Steampunk Ball, taking place on June 26 in Simsbury, Connecticut, might be just the ticket. The organizers say that this is a socially distanced soiree that puts the play in plague, which should give you some idea of their oddball sense of humor. More of a festival, it will include many events and stalls to visit. Musicians Frenchy and the Punk headline the ball in the evening, and before that, at 5pm, Elizabeth Chatsworth will be featured on a live panel of steampunk authors. Get your ticket here.

Libby Waterford told us about the next meeting of CTRWA, whose next (virtual) meeting is on July 10 at 10am, and will feature Elizabeth Cullen, author, and Lindsay Guzzardo, Literary Manager – Adult Fiction at Martin Literary Management. They will present One Story’s Journey from First Draft to Finished Manuscript detailing the process of working with a developmental editor. This kind of information is invaluable for writers in every genre, and non-members may attend at no charge by emailing connecticutrwa@gmail.com

Libby also recommended the Contemporary Romance Writers’ great online conference, coming up on July 10-11. Craft and marketing workshops include How to use Plottr, the software for plotting your novel. Plottr offers a free 30-day trial and several templates to get you started. Other topics include Crushing your Query Letter, Instagram for Authors, Building Better Scenes, and Developing Characters Through Revision. Check out the full list at the link above, and register here. Excellent value for writers in any genre at $40.

Lauren Busser, queen of social media, told us about the Social Media Examiner, which keeps a finger on the pulse of any changes to social media advertising policy. Social Media Examiner® helps people to discover how to best use social media to connect with customers, drive traffic, generate awareness, and increase sales. Their site includes comprehensive articles, expert interviews, original research, and news to help you improve your social media marketing.

Alison McBain had a source for finding book reviewers that will review indie books. The Indie View is especially useful for people publishing in genres like magical realism, dystopian, and speculative fiction. The site indicates which genres each reviewer will consider.

Talking of speculative fiction, Lauren Busser‘s short story, A History of Earth in Snapple Caps,  came first in the NFPW’s national awards this year. You can read it on the Cotton Xenomorph website.

Lauren takes online fiction classes with Catapult, publisher of books and an online journal, and told us about the six-week Interactive Fiction Class that she’s currently taking: Interactive fiction is the craft of writing for games. Whether you want to write beautiful, evocative video games like Night in the Woods, the tabletop joy of Dungeons & Dragons, or even choose-your-own-adventure novels, there’s an art to building worlds, creating characters, and crafting story arcs that accommodate choice, creativity, and freedom for your players. Catapult has many less esoteric classes too. Check them out here.

We discussed writing-to-prompts workshops available in the area. Members have found them useful for generating new writing in all genres. Kate Mayer talked about the free daily virtual workshops offered by the New York Writers Coalition.  You don’t have to pay, but can contribute something if you wish.

Here in Connecticut, The Westport Library offers two virtual writing sessions per week, hosted by Tessa Smith McGovern, author and teacher. They take place on Tuesdays at 12 noon, and at 7pm ET on Wednesday evenings. The 90-minute sessions include 50 minutes of writing, plus additional time for help with submissions and other writing questions. Sign up here.

Also local: Kate mentioned that Judith Marks-White runs a prompt-writing workshop under the auspices of  Byrds Books in Bethel. Check here for their next event.

Lastly, Zeb Appel had this information for self-published or indie-published authors. The Independent Book Publishers Association offers a 3-month free trial membership that allows you to try its many member benefits. One of them is the ability to upload your book for free to Ingram for distribution. Check out the complete list of benefits here.

See you in July!

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