Helping Writers to Rise and Thrive

Poetry Writing Workshop, Level Two

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

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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Happy Father’s Day!

Is there a dad in your life who loves to write? How about giving him a gift that’s personal, meaningful and everlasting: a writer’s workshop at the Fairfield County Writers’ Studio! If you’re not sure what workshop is right for him (or for you, Dad), simply buy a gift certificate on our registration page and

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Gift Certificates

We have the perfect gift for the writer in your family: a gift certificate to the Fairfield County Writers’ Studio! We can customize the occasion, the names, the amount and the service, and we are happy to help you or the recipient figure out what might best serve their need. One-on-one writing advice with a

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Buy a Gift Certificate for Your Favorite Writer

We have the perfect gift for the writer in your family: a gift certificate to the Fairfield County Writers’ Studio! We can customize the names, the amount, the occasion and the service, and we are happy to help you or the recipient figure out what might best serve their need. One-on-one writing advice with a

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Meet Your Writing Goals in 2022

NOTE: Live on Zoom. In-person for the MASKED + FULLY VACCINATED (vax card and mask required for entrance). Where do you want to go as a writer, and what are your goals for 2022? Instructor Victoria Sherrow believes that writers’ goals often fall into these categories: productivity, skills development, publication, marketing/sales and personal satisfaction. With

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Plot Not Working? Think Conflict.


How do we make sure readers will worry about our characters and root for them to resolve problems and reach their goals? First, the problem or goal should be meaningful–something needs to be at stake. But even with a strong plot problem and appealing main character, a story can fall flat.

Conflict might be the missing ingredient. A conflict can involve person-vs-person, person-vs.-society, and/or person-vs.-nature. 

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Wine & Write-In

If you’d like 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)

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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I Want to Write. Now What?

Do you have a story you want – or need – to tell? Do ideas for 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? If so, sign

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How to Land a Writing Residency

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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Extraordinary Launch Party for Karlin Gray

Come join the fun on Thursday, May 10, from noon to 1:30 p.m. as Karlin reads from her new book, “An Extraordinary Ordinary Moth,” which was born and nurtured at our studio! Afterward, learn a few things as Karlin and her instructor, master children’s book writer Victoria Sherrow, explore tips, techniques, craft and secrets of writing for children

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Pitch Party and Contest

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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November is National Novel Writing Month

“National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing.”  So say the organizers of this non-profit organization geared to helping you turn out 50,000 words in the month of November. We can help. Whether you’re working on a novel, a memoir, or another lengthy and creative work, the Fairfield County Writers’

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Writing the College Essay

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 at The Studio

Except for special programs and events, The Studio is closed for the summer. Feel free to call us at (203) 374-8343 if you need/want to reach us, or to email us at We are always looking to offer intriguing and helpful workshops. Let us know if you have one in mind that you’d love to

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Vanishing Point Launch Party!

Greetings, Friends of The Studio. Come join in the fun at our launch party for Vanishing Point, by The Studio’s own E.V. Legters. We’re opening our doors to a Sunday afternoon affair, June 4, 2017, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The party is free, but you need to let us know in advance that

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

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

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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Does Your Scene Come Alive?


As children’s writers, we hope to pull our readers into a story and keep their interest from start to finish. One important tool for achieving that goal is called “show; don’t tell.” By showing what characters experience moment-to-moment, we help readers feel like they are THERE with the characters, sharing the experience. “Show; don’t tell” helps us write lively scenes rather than just giving readers a bland list of facts or background information about characters, settings, and events.

Here’s an example based on one of the writing exercises I use in my workshops. The first is a series of fact statements that lack “show; don’t tell”:

Inside the Traynor home, 11-year-old Jason was working on his school science project. The project was due the next day. Jason had not planned ahead and didn’t have the materials he needed to finish. He was worried.

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The Studio’s Holiday Gift Guide for Writers

Looking for something this holiday season for the special writer in your life? We’ve assembled a couple of dozen gifts that might do the job!

Do Not Disturb. Writer at Work
Durable plastic door hangar. $6.99

The Sympathizer
By Viet Thanh Nguyen. Carol’s favorite novel of 2016. $7.39

Best American Short Stories
As selected by Junot Diaz. $8.90

Cocktails for Book Lovers
By the most awesome Tessa Smith McGovern. From Jane Austen’s little-known fondness for wine to Hemingway’s beloved mojitos, literature and libations go hand in hand. Perfect for the season! $9.22

Pilot Precise V5 Stick Rolling Ball Pens
Blue ink. Extra-fine point. Pack of six. Carol’s favorite pens! $11

Writing Down the Bones Freeing the Writer Within
This best-selling guide for writers turns 30 this year. Anniversary edition filled with great tips and insight. $11.28

When Breath Becomes Air
By Paul Kalanithi. Carol’s favorite memoir of 2016. $15

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Writing for Middle Graders and Young Adults

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!

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)

(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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