Writers Rendezvous – November update part 2

Hi again – here’s the second set of updates for November –

The Westport Writers Workshop is hosting a Holiday Fundraiser to support their Outreach & Scholarship Programs, which provide free or sponsored workshops to underserved communities (veterans, literacy programs, etc.). Join them in person at the workshop on Thursday, December 15 from 7-9pm. Click the link or image below to learn more and register.

While you’re at it, consider signing up for one of their two-hour Saturday workshops. This one on Self-publishing Basics is led by member Libby Waterford. You may discover that you have what it takes (patience, ability to learn new skills) to publish your own book, and if not, you’ll know what to expect from publishers you submit to. February 11, at 10am ET, and it’s available in person or on Zoom. Register here. $65

Memoir publishers that don’t require an agent to submit are few and far between. However, there are still options out there. Some are old and respected, others are new and still figuring things out. Authors Publish has come up with an up-to-date list of 25 memoir publishers that accept direct submissions. Not all the publishers on this list are currently open to submissions, but most are. Check it out and sign up for the Authors Publish newsletters to stay updated on publishing possibilities.

If you decide to go with a hybrid publisher, rather than self-publishing on your own, read my Publishers Weekly article, Seven Questions to Ask Hybrid Publishers, to find out what questions to ask before you sign up with anyone.

The Pequot Library hosts my free weekly write-ins on Monday mornings via Zoom at 10-11:45am ET. (Contact me if you’d like to join me, and I’ll send you the Zoom link). But they’re even better known for their book sales. The summer one is the largest in New England, and attracts people from all over. The winter sale is smaller, but easier to navigate, and takes place this year on Black Friday/Saturday – November 25-26 from 9-5pm, at the Library in Southport, CT. The proceeds support Pequot Library’s annual programs for adults and children, serving roughly 30,000 participants a year.

I don’t want to overload you just before Thanksgiving, but I thought you might enjoy this. Gotham Writers in New York offer a range of classes in person, online, and via Zoom. They also have a great page of writing tips from great writers, including this list from Kurt Vonnegut.

  1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
  2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
  3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
  4. Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action.
  5. Start as close to the end as possible.
  6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
  7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
  8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

He added: The greatest American short story writer of my generation was Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964). She broke practically every one of my rules but the first. Great writers tend to do that.

Have a good Thanksgiving!




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