Writers Rendezvous -March update

We had a great get-together on Wednesday, and members raised several topics of interest to writers at all stages of their career. Here are some of the highlights.

Carol Dannhauser, founder of the Fairfield County Writers Studio, runs ongoing classes in writing to prompts and creative writing. New online classes are starting soon with Victoria Sherrow, Writing for Children (from March 16), Stephanie Lehmann, The Art and Craft of Novel Writing (starts March 29), and Jacque Burt Cote, Writing Your Memoir (begins March 25). Find out more and register here.

In addition to the many writing classes they offer, the Westport Writing Workshop is planning several one-day workshops from March 19 -May 14. Topics include Mindful writing, Sketch comedy, Dialogue for film, theatre, and prose, and self-publishing basics. The latter is hosted on March 26 at 10am by member Libby Waterford, who publishes 3-4 books a year herself, and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the publishing and advertising process.  $75 each. They’re also offering a one-day writers’ retreat at their Sylvan road campus, with author Patricia Dunn (Last Stop on the 6), on April 9-10. ($325) More info and registration here.

Jane Friedman has a number of online classes coming up with excellent teachers – they’re one-time webinars lasting 60-90 minutes, cost $25, and cover a range of subjects. They include a Q&A session with the presenter. They include How to Pitch Your Book to Scholarly Publishers (March 25), Maybe it’s not your Plot (April 14), Build Better Critique Groups (April 02), and a Query Letter Master Class, taught by Jane herself (June 29). The latter costs $129, but I imagine would be well worth your time if you’re planning to submit your book to agents or publishers, or to resubmit it if you didn’t get any traction the first time. This class includes a critique of your letter, but out of 100 spots, only 40 are left, so sign up soon if you’re interested.

On March 31, from 6:30-7:30pm, The Fairfield Library is offering a free in-person class on how to use Canva, which is a software that enables you to make well-designed graphics using your photos and their layouts, among other things. Here’s an example of what my assistant Kiana produced for me on Canva. Sign up for the class here. And enter the Giveaway here!

In co-operation with the Westport Library, the Westport Writers Workshop is holding its first annual Pitch and Publish Your Book Conference on Saturday, April 2, between 8am-6pm EST at the Westport Library and online. They plan to have exciting interactive panel discussions with prominent New York City literary agents, major publishing house editors, and public relations professionals, as well as a Promote Your Book & Self panel moderated by Tessa Smith McGovern, with Meryl Moss of Meryl Moss Media Group and marketing expert, Mindy Stockfield. A highlight of the day will be the guest agent and author talk with Q&A, followed by the rare opportunity to pitch your book in a one-to-one session with agents. The event will be recorded and available to attendees after the conference as well.$675. Register here.

The 3rd annual 100-word Microfiction Challenge kicking off on April 22 is a competition that challenges writers around the world to create very short stories based on genre, action, and word assignments in 24 hours. Feedback from the judges is provided for every submission, writers keep all the rights to the stories they create, and there are thousands in cash prizes for the winners. Learn more about the competition, register, and read previous winning stories at the link below.  Good luck writers! https://www.nycmidnight.com/100

April is Poetry Month, and the Fairfield Public Library is hosting a Poetry Month Celebration (in-person and virtual) on Shakespeare’s birthday, Saturday, April 23 from 2-4:30pm. Led by Fairfield writers (and members of the Rendezvous) Edward Ahern and Alison McBain, the day will feature poets Ralph Nazareth, Laurel K. Peterson, William P. Hayden, and Janet Krauss, who will read some of their latest poems and answer questions about the process of writing and publishing poetry. There will also be an open mic and special giveaways. Space is limited, so register here.

Our friends at Authors Publish have just published a list of 28 publishers who accept sci-fi and/or fantasy novels. Most accept submissions directly from authors (rather than via an agent). Some are small companies, others are imprints of major publishing houses.

Authors Publish have also provided a list of 49 Literary journals that pay. If you’re looking for places to submit, sign up for their newsletter with weekly suggestions.

Have a great month, and keep writing!

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