Wine & Write-In

  • Tuesdays, 5-7 p.m., Starts Sept. 25, 2018
  • Stephanie Lehmann
  • Six weeks, $245 (includes wine and cheese)

If you need writing inspiration but don’t want the hassle of homework or the curtain of critique, our new Tuesday evening Wine & Write-In might be the perfect thing for you. Swing by after work or before dinner for inspiring and motivating writing prompts served up with wine and cheese in an ultra-relaxed atmosphere. This is your…

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Transforming Memories into Memoir (FULL)

  • Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Starts Sept. 5, 2018 (Does not meet on Sept. 19)
  • Patty Dann
  • 7 weeks, $385, Maximum 6 students (FULL)

Whether you are a published writer or you last wrote in your childhood diary, this workshop will help you write your personal story, whether it’s an essay or a longer form of memoir. Instructor Patty Dann, who is a bestselling writer and the author of THE BUTTERFLY HOURS: Transforming Memories into Memoir, will guide you…

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How to Think and Write Funny

  • Tuesdays, Noon-2 p.m., Starts September 25, 2018
  • Stephanie Lehmann
  • Seven weeks, $350

Humor is a skill that can come in handy — especially since we’re all gonna die. Whether you’re trying to craft essays, become an amusing public speaker, write that memoir, find success as a stand-up comedian so you can have an excuse to drink all the time (or sleep around), or publish the next (and…

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Writing to Prompts (Non-Fiction)

  • Mondays, 10 a.m. to noon (Open); 12:30-2:30 p.m. (FULL); Begins September 24, 2018
  • Carol Leonetti Dannhauser
  • Seven weeks, $335. Does not meet Oct. 8 or Oct. 15

You should write your story. Everybody tells you so. Or maybe it’s just that voice in your head, telling you what you already know: You have a meaningful story to tell and it’s high time you got it on the page. But with a lifetime of memories, including those important events, how do you corral…

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I Want to Write. Now What?

  • Mondays, 10 a.m. to noon, beginning Sept. 24; or Sundays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., beginning Sept. 23
  • Jacqueline Burt Cote
  • Seven weeks, $325

Do you have a story you want – or need – to tell? Do ideas for poems or short stories or other works of fiction or non-fiction dance in your head? Have you started stories you’d like to bring to fruition? Do you like the idea of writing but you don’t know where to start?…

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The Art and Craft of Novel Writing

  • Tuesdays, 2:30-4:30, Starts September 25, 2018
  • Stephanie Lehmann
  • Seven weeks, $385, Limited to 6 students.

Writing a novel involves creating a world populated by compelling characters while making sure every moment brings the story to its fullest potential. We’ll discuss developing the skills to make that happen. Approaches to plotting will receive special attention. Other topics include voice, point of view, dialogue and challenges presented by the comma. Each student will have a…

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Writing for Children and Teens, Level Two (FULL)

  • Thursdays, 10 a.m. to noon; Begins Sept. 20, 2018 (FULL)
  • Victoria Sherrow
  • Seven weeks, $385 (Limited to six students)

Are you a writer for children and/or teens who would like to move forward with your work? This workshop is for experienced writers who have learned the basics and want to sharpen their skills and polish their work. We’ll discuss higher-level techniques for plotting, characterization, description, scene and  chapter development, theme development, and writing style, while nurturing…

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Writing for Children and Teens, Level One

  • Fridays, 10 a.m. to Noon; Beginning Sept. 14, 2018
  • Victoria Sherrow
  • Seven weeks, $325

Do you want to write for children and/or teens? Maybe you have ideas you’d like to develop, or you have already written a book, short story or article–but you aren’t sure what to do next? Writing for young readers offers special rewards. An author’s words can bring joy and comfort and inspire a child’s creativity, curiosity and imagination. And, of course, the writing must entertain and…

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The Ultimate Writers’ Workshop

  • Thursdays, 12:30-2:30, Begins September 27, 2018 (Does not meet Oct. 11 or Oct. 18)
  • Carol Dannhauser
  • Seven weeks, $385, Limited to Six Participants

Whether you’re experimenting with new material, looking for guidance and inspiration in your work, blocked, unsure, or simply tired of looking at your same old pieces languishing in the drawer, this workshop is for you. Each week, we experiment with different genres and writing forms. You receive an assignment designed to elicit a piece of…

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How to Land a Writing Residency

  • Saturday, August 18
  • Sheryl Kayne
  • 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., $25 (public), $20 (FC Writers Studio Students)

What IS a Writing Residency? How Can You Get One?

Our residency pro shares everything you need to know to select, apply for and land a writer’s residency

Are you toiling over a novel or a book proposal or another writing project, only to be interrupted every minute or hour or day by the pulls of everyday life? If so, a writing residency—a retreat to achieve your writing goals—might be exactly what you need.

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The Secret Life of Successful Mysteries

  • Saturday, May 19, 2018
  • Chris Knopf
  • 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or thereabouts, $25 (public), $20 (FC Writers Studio Students, and Sisters in Crime)

Are you writing (or do you want to write) a thriller, a cozy, a caper, suspense, or any other type of mystery? Don’t know your puzzles from your police procedurals? Need some help with craft, structure, composition and more?

And do you want to sell your book?

Best-selling author and publisher Chris Knopf can help, whatever stage you are in in your pursuit of publication. There are pragmatic things to know that will help you get there. And once there, how to earn the best reviews, sales and acclaim your book can achieve.

This workshop is focused on those aspects of style and sensibility that will have the most impact on helping your book move on to the next level. The first rule is there are no rules, Knopf says, though there are guidelines on how to improve your chances.

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Write a Query Letter that Grabs an Agent’s or Publisher’s Attention

  • June 8, 2018
  • Marilyn Allen
  • Cost: $75 (Plus optional $15 for box lunch, if desired. Lunch must be paid for at the time of registration)

Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, you only get one chance to impress an agent with your query letter. In this master class, top literary agent Marilyn Allen provides you with insiders’ tips and techniques to accomplish just that. Marilyn is the author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Book Proposals and Query Letters” (Penguin), and…

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How to Publish Your Personal Stories

  • Three Thursdays: March 8, 15, 22. Noon to 2 p.m.
  • Lilly Dancyger
  • Three weeks, $150

Do you write memoir, personal essays, blogs, pieces of journalism, or other non-fiction stories about your life? Would you like to learn how and where to package, publish and get paid for your stories, including in and beyond the list of usual suspects? If so, this mini-workshop is for you!

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Memoir Writing (Intermediate and Advanced)

  • Thursdays, 2-4 p.m., March 8
  • Lilly Dancyger
  • Seven weeks, $385 (Limited to six students. Instructor's approval required.)

This workshop is for writers who want guidance in completing their book-length first-person work. We’ll mine your personal stories for the universal truths you have to share with readers. We’ll tackle the challenges every memoirist faces, like how to tell your version of the truth while dealing with friends and family who may remember things differently and…

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Writing the Personal Essay

  • Thursdays, Noon-2, Begins March 22
  • Lilly Dancyger
  • Seven weeks, $350

Learn how to tell your life stories in a way that engages readers and illustrates universal truths. In this workshop we’ll cover the basic tenets of personal essay writing, read some of the best first-person writing being published today, and produce polished essays that are ready to publish. No navel-gazing hyper-confessional fluff, we’ll dig deeper to find…

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Pitch Party and Contest

  • Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018
  • Marilyn Allen
  • 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or thereabouts, $30 to pitch, $15 to watch

Back by popular demand: Pitch Party 2018!

Get ready to Join us at The Studio for mimosas, coffee and bagels on Saturday, February 3, to pitch your non-fiction work! (Fiction pitch party coming in March.) Pitch your book, or simply listen and learn as others pitch theirs out loud to top non-fiction literary agent Marilyn Allen. Your book can be finished, unfinished, or simply in the concept stage.

At the contest, you will read your query letter aloud or, if your query isn’t quite there yet, read your keynote/elevator pitch to Marilyn and audience members. Marilyn will offer gentle (yet effective!) feedback. Three winning pitches will be chosen and sent (when ready) to acquiring editors who have agreed to consider publication. If the winning pitches aren’t yet strong enough to submit they will receive one free editing session.

Entry (for those who wish to pitch) costs $30.

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Writing & Motherhood: Finding Your Voice

  • Mondays, 9:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., Begins January 29, 2018
  • Jacqueline Burt Cote
  • Seven weeks, $335

Motherhood can be one of the most creatively inspiring times in a woman’s life, as well as one of the most transformative (not to mention challenging!). Whether you’re an experienced writer or just getting started, this workshop will help you identify and strengthen your unique voice as a mother. We’ll use your experiences as a catalyst…

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Poetry Writing Workshop, Level One

  • Saturdays, 10 a.m. to noon. Begins January 20, 2018
  • Elizabeth Onusko
  • Six Weeks, $285

Have you been writing poems for a while, or have you wanted to try? Are you ready to take yourself seriously as a poet? This workshop has two goals: to offer supportive feedback on students’ poems, and to cultivate a sense of purposeful play. We will experiment with different forms and styles — ranging from…

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Poetry Writing Workshop, Level Two

  • Saturdays, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Begins January 20, 2018
  • Elizabeth Onusko
  • Six weeks, $350. Limited to 6 students.

Anne Sexton once said, “Craft is a trick you make up to let you write the poem.” In this workshop, we will use the elements of craft as lenses to look deeply into our poems. How do lines, stanzas, images, rhythm, figurative language, and voice alchemize on the page? Each week, we will explore a…

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Creative Writing

  • Tuesdays, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Beginning September 26 (no workshop on Election Day)
  • Rachel Basch
  • Seven weeks, $350

Writing is a lonely business. This inspiring and supportive workshop will provide an opportunity to commune with other writers, share work-in-progress, hone craft, jump start new work and sustain ongoing projects. Each week you will be offered writing prompts for at-home work designed to help you mine your own rich material, helping you energize your…

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Writing the College Essay

  • By appointment
  • Varies (see below)
  • $150 per hour, three-hour minimum

Working on a college essay? We can help. Our instructors – all journalists who have written for the New York Times, among other publications – will help you identify and write the story of you. We work one-on-one with students at our Westport studio. WE DO NOT WRITE YOUR ESSAY, you do. We simply help you…

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Summer Writing Retreat

  • August 15 & 16, 2017
  • Studio Staff
  • 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; $65 per day, $100 for two days; (+$15 per day for lunch, optional)

Write In? Right On!

Spend the day at the studio writing without distractions, interruptions or lessons. We supply the space, the bagels, the coffee and the community. You share your writing hopes and intentions for the day, then work on your piece/s as you see fit.

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How to Get Published in the Harvard Review and Other Top Literary Journals

  • Christina Thompson
  • 1 Session, $100

In this master class for writers, Christina Thompson will discuss how writers can best approach becoming published in the Harvard Review and other top journals. Optional: Ms. Thompson will give feedback on a maximum of 3 double spaced manuscript pages from each attendee. Copies of the manuscripts will be shared with the class so everyone can learn from her constructive…

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Podcasting 101

  • Saturday, March 18
  • Ben Bogardus
  • 9:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m., $75. Register soon as attendance is limited.

Podcasting is one of the fastest-growing methods of storytelling. Whether you want to share your creative writing, publish your works of journalism, or just speak to a world-wide audience on a subject you’re passionate about, we’ll show you how to put together a podcast from start to finish. All you need to make one is…

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Explore Publishing Options

  • Saturday, February 25, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Kimberly Caldwell
  • One Session, $45

You’ve written a book. Now what? In this morning workshop, we’ll discuss the main paths to publication–self-publishing, traditional publishing and independent presses. We’ll explain what you need to know regardless of the path you choose. What is your book’s category and genre? Is the book really finished? What is an “elevator speech”? We’ll discuss how…

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Authors’ Workshop

  • Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to Noon, Begins Feb. 28; or Saturdays, 10 a.m. to Noon, Begins March 4
  • Kim Caldwell
  • Six weeks, $265

Do you have a novel or memoir in the works but don’t know how to flesh it out? Perhaps you’ve run out of steam? If so, this workshop is for you. In this small-group workshop, we will brainstorm plot arcs and subplot arcs for your work, and construct a frame on which to hang your…

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Intermediate/Advanced Memoir Writing

  • Stay Tuned!
  • Carol Leonetti Dannhauser
  • Six weeks, $350 (Limited to six students)

Explore, execute and refine the elements of your memoir in this workshop. Using examples from bestselling memoirs as teaching points, you will determine how to present, revise and strengthen your story. We will address “truth,” voice, point-of-view and narrative elements such as character arcs and writing “place” to make your story sing. This is a…

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Free Roundtable: Reach Your Writing Goals in 2018

  • Saturday, January 20, 2018
  • Faculty
  • 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., *free to FCWS STUDENTS, $15 drop-in fee for the public

Most faculty members at the Fairfield County Writers’ Studio are working writers in addition to being awesome teachers. How do they manage to meet their deadlines, write their books and stories, teach classes and follow their own creative paths? They’ll share  tips, strategies and techniques for reaching myriad writing and publishing goals at this fun…

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Writing for Magazines

  • Wednesdays, 10-11:30 a.m.
  • Beth Levine
  • Seven weeks, $295

Anyone who tells you that magazines are dead doesn’t know what veteran magazine writer Beth Levine knows: Hundreds and hundreds of general interest and niche publications exist and they rely on freelance writers to supply them with content. In this workshop, Beth will help you learn how to find salable ideas, and how to craft…

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Writing for Middle Graders and Young Adults

  • Fridays, Noon - 2 p.m.; Dec. 2, 9, (not 16), 30; Jan. 6, 13, 20, 27
  • Nora Raleigh Baskin
  • Seven weeks, $325

Writing for middle graders and young adults is not very different from any other fiction writing. However, there are certain perimeters and considerations that are specific to these genres. If you are serious about writing for these audiences, this course will provide that information, and give you the opportunity present your work and get professional feedback. We…

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