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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You Want to Write. Now What?

  • Mondays, 10 a.m. to noon, beginning Nov. 12; or Sundays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., beginning Nov. 11
  • 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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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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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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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 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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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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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 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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Open Mic Reading — With a Difference!

  • January 2017, weekday evening, date and time TBC
  • Linda Legters
  • Free to all, but you must register to read

Introducing: Open Mic Nights PLUS opportunities to work with professionals on polishing your performance, be featured on BookGirlTV and have a video of your reading. There are two options: 1.) Sign up to share 3 – 5 minutes of your work – no critique required or given. No filming. 2.) Sign up to be an…

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Songwriting (Intermediate to Advanced)

  • Saturdays, 2-4 p.m., Oct. 29-Dec. 3 (No workshop on 11/26)
  • Andy "A.J." Gundell
  • 6 weeks, $325. Limited to Six Students

(This workshop presumes a fundamental knowledge of music and lyric songwriting. New students will be accepted via permission from the instructor.)

In this workshop, students are encouraged to move beyond their comfort zone, including creating songs around a central lyrical or musical idea, exploring genres/styles of music they might not have attempted before, and grasping advanced music concepts. In-class, on-the-spot writing to prompts may inspire and lead to a song; writing from different points of view beyond the autobiographical will be explored. Students may opt to write and/or complete multiple songs for review and critique.

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Working Title: Write a Winning Song

  • Wednesday evenings, 7-9 p.m., beginning Oct. 19
  • Andy "A.J." Gundell
  • 6 weeks, $325. Limited to Six Students

In this workshop, 13-time Emmy Award-Winning songwriter Andy “A.J.” Gundell takes students new to songwriting step-by-step through the process of writing and selling a modern pop song. It doesn’t matter whether lyrics or chord progressions are your strength – A.J. meets you where you are and, over the weeks, helps you write a hook, verses…

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Introduction to Scrivener

  • 2 sessions, October 5 and 19
  • Chris Friden
  • 2 sessions, Wednesdays, 6.:30-8:30p.m. $95

You’ve heard the raves about Scrivener, maybe even tapped a few keystrokes within the application, but you’re reluctant to depart from your trusty word processor. This workshop will help you to understand why you want to switch to Scrivener and how to get started––how you will unlock a more robust and intuitive way of writing on your computer by using software…

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Writing as Meditation – Enhance Your Writing Skills and Develop Your Writer’s Voice

  • 12:15 - 12:45 p.m. Starts Wednesday Sept 14
  • Luisa Tanno
  • 7 weeks, $75

Writing can be a form of meditation. Writing your thoughts, feelings, and ideas is a powerful way to get to know yourself and find – or develop – your writer’s voice. Meditation offers clarity, insight and a sense of peace. It can ground you in the present moment, a valuable tool for reducing stress and connecting you…

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In the Garden of Memory: Art of the Essay

  • Wednesdays, 9:30-11:30 a.m., Beginning Sept. 14
  • Sophfronia Scott
  • Seven weeks, $295

You’ve managed to write a stack of pages about an event or interesting experience from your life. What do you do now to refine it into a viable essay? And what will make people want to read it? Successful nonfiction writers are able to draw in an audience by making certain connections in their narratives…

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Nanowrimo Boot Camp

  • Saturdays, 9:30-11:30, Begins Oct date tbc
  • Seven weeks, $295

Whether you’re gearing up for National Novel Writers Month in November or simply hoping to map out your novel, this seven-week workshop is for you. Nationally known editor Kimberly A. Caldwell helps you nail down your premise, work out the plot and subplots, discover your themes and compile a list of scenes that will carry…

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Full Day Writing Retreat with Sarah Lawrence College faculty: Pat Dunn & Alexandra Soiseth – AKA NaNoWriMo Catch Up Day!

  • November 19
  • Pat Dunn and Alexandra Soiseth
  • One day: Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. $195

There are two things most writers need and crave: time and space. In this class, we give ourselves the gift of time. In the nurturing space of the workshop, we find and begin to write the stories we live every day. Using our histories, our memories, and our senses as launching pads, we will begin…

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Creative Writing for Teens

  • Sundays, 3-5 p.m., begins Sept. 18
  • Linda Legters
  • Seven weeks, $295

Note: This workshop is for teenaged participants.

Discover creative writing techniques that take your ideas from imagination to the page. Learn how professional writers make their stories so compelling. Write your own short stories, novel chapters, novel outlines, fantasy fiction, poetry, memoirs or whatever it is that drives you. Use autobiographical material or create an original world that propels dynamic characters through conflicts, quests or adventures. Share your passion for writing with fellow enthusiasts!

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