Writers Rendezvous – October update

I always enjoy hosting the Writers Rendezvous, particularly when members have good news to report. This month, member MarLou Newkirk was able to announce that her book of poetry, This and That and an Ice Cream Sundae: Reflections in poems from life at 86  is finally out and available for purchase. Such an amazing and encouraging achievement! And Rendezvous member Bette Bono will be talking about her new book, “Fear Itself,” at the Norwalk Public Library on Saturday, October 23, from 3-4pm ET. Bette is the author of the historical fiction, time travel novels The Better Angels and Fear Itself. Her characters are members of the American Association of Remarkable Persons (“the Other AARP”), a group of senior citizens who use their time travel ability to solve mysteries in the past. To join her, email Cynde Lahey at clahey@norwalkpl.org.

The Connecticut Literary Festival will be open on Saturday, October 23 from 10am to 6pm at Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT.  They’ll be featuring panels, readings, food trucks, music, an immersive typewriter gallery, and a spectacular book fair. Author interviews, including Discussion of Chandra Prasad’s book, Mercury Boysand Crystal Maldonado’s book, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega. are available free. You need proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours, and a mask to attend.

Goodreads expert Alessandra Torre is offering a free webinar, specifically designed for authors, entitled 15 Minutes to Unlock 100 Million Readers: How to quickly sell more books via Goodreads. The virtual event will take place on October 26 at noon or 8pm ET. I’ve taken the class, and found it helpful, with a number of tips on how to promote a book without spending any money. Free. Sign up here.

Craft literary magazine’s 2021 Flash Fiction Contest is open for submissions, and they’re looking for unpublished stories of up to 1000 words. Three winners will each be awarded $1,000, publication in Craft, with an introduction by Robert Lopez, and an author’s note (craft essay) to accompany the story, plus a micro-interview with their flash fiction section editor, Kristin Tenor Learn More here. Deadline: October 31

As most of you know, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) begins November 1. If your considering entering this year, you might want to check out this article by Stephanie Bourbon on Jane Friedman’s website. It’s entitled NaNoWriMo: How to Fly by the Seat of Your Pants—and Win. Her tips are useful for any writer who wants to be more productive.

Another event on the horizon: the Norwalk Public Library is hosting Indie Author Day on November 12, 13 and 15 this year. They will host panels on each of those days. They are still hoping to have a “hybrid” format with some in-person events, some by Zoom. If you are interested in participating and/or attending, email Cynde Lahey at the Library.

The Masters Review is hosting its first Novel Excerpt Contest, and they’re looking for excerpts that show off a sense of style, with a clear grasp on craft: narrative, character, and plot. The excerpt can come from any point in your unpublished novel, but a synopsis should not be required for understanding the excerpt. The winning excerpt will be awarded $3000 and online publication and an hour-long consultation with Halley Parry, an agent at Drift(less) Literary. Deadline: November 30 at Midnight PDT. Full details here.

Reedsy runs weekly short story competitions based on different prompts. This week, for example, the prompt is Permission vs. Forgiveness. This one closes on Friday, and has a relatively low number of submissions as of Thursday, according to the site. This can be helpful when you’re looking to reduce the number of competitors. Submissions must be between 1,000 – 3,000 words and will be approved and published on Reedsy Prompts within 7 days of the contest closing. Read the full terms & conditions or check out the FAQ if you have any questions.

Gotham Writers Workshop of New York is offering free write-ins every Friday evening. The teacher gives an interesting writing prompt. Everyone writes for a while. Then volunteers may read their work aloud. You take a break and socialize over refreshments. Then you go through the process one more time. Then you socialize a little more. No pressure, no critiquing, no angst… They take enrollments for the write-in on Thursdays starting at 1pm ET.

If you’re looking for a publisher to submit to, you’ll want to check them out before you commit. The Alliance of Independent Authors (the association for self-published authors) has a blog called Watchdog Reports, that reports on publishers, and other publishing issues. The blog is available to anyone.

More news on to come on Monday – until then, keep writing!

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