Helping Writers to Rise and Thrive


Writers’ Studio Gift Certificate

Looking for a special gift for the writer or budding writer near and dear to you (or inside you)? How about a gift certificate to the Fairfield County Writers’ Studio? We have an extraordinary faculty capable of helping to bring a story from the heart and mind to the page or the screen. Buy a

Read More »

FCWS Co-Founder Carol Dannhauser Wins Entrepreneur Award

Hats off to Carol Leonetti Dannhauser, co-founder of the Fairfield County Writers’ Studio, for winning second place in the 2020 Connecticut Entrepreneur Awards, Entrepreneur of the Year/Main Street category. “I am honored and grateful. I didn’t even know that we were nominated,” said Dannhauser, a journalist and author who seamlessly led the Studio’s migration to digital

Read More »

Poet Elizabeth Onusko Joins The Studio’s Faculty

We are thrilled to announce that Elizabeth Onusko, an extraordiary poet and teacher, has joined the faculty at the Fairfield County Writers’ Studio. She will teach Poetry Writing Workshop, Level Two, which is for experienced poets who have published or are preparing work for publication, and are hoping to gain insight into their poems and

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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. 

Read More »

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

Read More »

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’

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

On Memoir

Despite reports to the contrary, memoir is alive and well.

The memoir “Trying to Float: Coming of Age in the Chelsea Hotel,” leads the Sunday Styles page in the New York Times this week. Another, “Wear and Tear/The Threads of My Life,” graces page 7. About a month ago I finished reading the bestseller “When Breath Becomes Air” (Westport’s own Sybil Steinberg, the former book review section editor for Publishers Weekly, recommended it during her annual must-read talk at the library recently), and I’m still marveling at its mastery.

Each book, I think, carries different but important lessons about memoir:

Read More »

Accolades pour in for “nine, ten: a September 11 story”

“Every word was perfect, necessary, and profound.” This, from teacher, reviewer and book lover Patrick Andrus, in his review of Nora Raleigh Baskin’s new book “nine, ten: a September 11 story.” What a treat it was to attend Nora’s launch on Facebook on Sunday evening. I’ve been to lots of launches, but this was my first

Read More »

Songwriting Camp for Teens

Note: This is for teenaged participants.

Whether you’re in a band or just have a song in your head or your heart, 13-time Emmy-Award-winning songwriter Andy “A.J.” Gundell can help you get your own song on the page. In this four-day workshop, A.J. takes students new to songwriting step-by-step through the process of writing a modern pop song. It doesn’t matter whether lyrics or chord progressions are your strength – A.J. meets you where you are and, during the week, helps you write a hook, verses for your chorus and a bridge.

Read More »

Setting and Achieving Goals: A Writer’s Schedule

If your writing class has finished and you’re wondering whether you’ll be able to stick to your goals without the structure of weekly assignments, here are some tips for staying on track. Setting Achievable Writing Goals How do we define what is achievable? How many words or pages are an appropriate goal? The answer depends

Read More »

So You Want to Write a Mystery Saturday 4/16

Do you love mysteries and want to write one, but you don’t know a “cozy” from a “caper” or a “professional sleuth” from a “police procedural”? Never fear, award-winning mystery-author and teacher Edith Maxwell is on the scene to help unravel the secrets of thrillers and whodunits in this Saturday morning workshop here at the

Read More »

Top Agent Talks Queries

A bookstore’s worth of thanks to top agent Marilyn Allen for hosting our query letter master class at the Fairfield County Writers’ Studio on Saturday, January 30.

In this hands-on workshop, Marilyn, author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Book Proposals and Query Letters,” and the co-founder of Allen O’Shea Literary Agency, showed participants how to craft a successful query letter for their fiction and non-fiction books.

Read More »

BookGirlTV Interviews Westport’s Jane Green

FC Writers’ Studio’s own Tessa Smith McGovern sat down recently with best-selling author Jane Green of Westport to learn what it takes to write flawed, sympathetic characters. Tessa incorporates these and other techniques in her Writing to Prompts (Fiction) classes each week at the Fairfield County Writers’ Studio. New sessions start next week! Sign up

Read More »

Healing Words: The Positive Power of Writing

A unique three-session workshop for adults who want to explore feelings of loss and grief through writing. Writing can create moments of insight, and this workshop is designed to help writers access and explore some of those healing shifts in perspective in a safe and supportive atmosphere. Class will include writing prompts and optional sharing.

Read More »