We had another great meeting on Wednesday, where we discussed, for the first time in ages, some live events for writers. There are still plenty of virtual events, and I suspect many will remain so, because they enable people to access events far from where they live, without the time and expense involved in travel.
The Ferguson Library in Stamford has been hosting CrimeCONN this year over three Thursday evenings at 7pm. The last event is scheduled for June 17 at 7pm, and will feature a session called We Gotta Get Out of this Place. Panelists include Cara Black (Murder in Bel-Air) Timothy Hallinan (Street Music), and publisher Johnny Temple, who will be discussing what we can learn from writing about places – or time periods – in which we don’t live. Find out how learning about crime in Paris, or Stockholm, can inform your story set in, for example, a small New England town. Register here
Several of us will be reading live at the Norwalk Arts Festival in Matthews Park, Norwalk, CT. The Festival takes place over the June 26/27 weekend, and includes all kinds of arts, musical entertainment, and food trucks, of course. On Saturday, Alison McBain – poet, novelist, and publisher – will be reading at the 2:30pm session. Elizabeth Chatsworth and I will be reading on Sunday at the noon session. Come and say hello!
The Chicago Writers Association is holding its first-ever Summer Flash Contest this year. Submit up to 500 words in any genre. There is no restriction on style or theme. Deadline June 30. We will award cash prizes of: $250 for 1st place, $125 for 2nd place, $75 for 3rd place, and the three winners will be published in Write City Magazine. You have to be a member to enter, but memberships are open to anyone and you can join CWA here. By the way, you can also submit independently t Write City Magazine. They pay on publication.
On July 10 at 3PM ET, join Poets & Writers Magazine contributing editor Michael Bourne for a 90 minute class designed for writers who are ready to approach agents for representation. In this session we’ll drill deep on how literary agencies work, how to get on gatekeepers’ radar, how to craft a query, and how to find an agent who is right for you, with plenty of time to field questions. $20 Reserve a spot. Ten fee waivers for BIPOC writers seeking representation are also available on a first come, first served basis.
Publisher Woodhall Press, based in Norwalk, Connecticut, will be holding its first virtual writers conference on Saturday, August 21. The conference will feature small workshops, interactive keynotes, panel discussions, & more. Keynote Gina Barreca (Fast Funny Fiction) will speak on Renewal and Rewriting. Bring your best writing sample and participate in one of several small workshops that are available. Conference faculty includes authors Darien Gee, Tom Hazuka, Eugenia Kim, Allison Williams, poet and teacher Charles Rafferty, scriptwriter Shelley Evans, and author Alena Dillon. The morning panel The Future of Writing features an all-star lineup including writing and publishing guru Jane Freidman, Ashleigh Renard, Jeff Palicki and others. $175 Purchase tickets here.
If you’d like to expand your publishing reach, UK-based Fiction on the Web publishes a new story every Monday and Friday is currently accepting short story (1000-10,000 words) submissions in the following genres: Humor, creepy stories, fantasy, science fiction, crime and what they call real-life stories. Not sure whether that’s creative non-fiction, or contemporay fiction. Send your story (preferably as a single-spaced .doc attachment) to firstname.lastname@example.org, after checking here for submission guidelines.
Poets & Writers magazine offers a lot of useful information for writers. It’s worth the $20 subscription to get access to its many searchable databases. (Even better – their Summer special offers 2 years for $17.95.) One of their most popular is the one with writing contests, grants and awards you can enter. You can search by whether you have to pay an entry fee, genre, deadline etc. Check it out here. Another is 160+ Literary agents to check out. You can search by genre, and each entry lists what the agent is looking for and how to contact them.
If you missed the interview I did with Elizabeth Chatsworth, you can catch up with it here.
There’s more to come on Monday – until then, keep writing!