Friday, February 11, 2011

Westport Writers Workshop - upcoming events

Fortunately, all those snow cancellations left us with plenty of quiet time to get more writing done. Right?

If you're like most of us, your answer is Wrong! Because the simple truth is, most of us need a deadline - a workshop, an editor, a book contract - to get us writing. Not to mention all those school cancellations that practically forced many of us to take up home schooling.

So if you're berating yourself for getting not much done, go easy on yourself. Here's a great quote by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love:

"As for discipline - it's important, but sort of over-rated. The more important virtue for a writer, I believe, is self-forgiveness. Because your writing will always disappoint you. Your laziness will always disappoint you. You will make vows: 'I'm going to write for an hour every day,' and then you won't do it. You will think: 'I suck, I'm such a failure. I'm washed-up.' Continuing to write after that heartache of disappointment doesn't take only discipline, but also self-forgiveness."

If you would like more encouragement - or a boost to to get your writing engine re-started - we invite you to  the following:

"Blocked? How To Get Unstuck"
March 5, 9 a.m. to noon in Westport

Registration is limited at both to make sure that there is time for focus on each writer's issues and writing goals.

For more information call (203) 227-3250 or email us at



Please sign up to share your work with us at our rescheduled Open Mic Nights. Read a selection of your work to an audience of your peers and other interested listeners. Or just come to listen and be inspired.

Fiction/Nonfiction Open Mic Night:
Thursday, March 10, 7:30 to 9:30 pm

Poetry Open Mic Night:
Thursday, March 24, 7:30 to 9:30 pm

Each reader will be allotted a maximum of 10 minutes. Please sign-up in advance by calling (203) 227-3250 to receive a time slot. Priority will be given to those who registered for our January Open Mic nights that were canceled due to weather. But we must hear from you to re-reserve your spot.

Admission is $10, or free for Westport Writers' Workshop members or those currently registered in an 8-week or 6-week workshop. Or if you register and pay to read your work, bring your friends and supporters at no charge.

This will be a relaxed and social evening. Coffee/tea, cookies and camaraderie are on the house.


This month, a contribution from WWW Founder/Director Jessica Bram:

I can't tell you how tired I am of hearing that 'all the good memoirs have been written.' Memoirs by celebrities, or tabloid-style writing about dramatic events: Maybe so. But there is always something deliciously new and intimate about being invited into even the most ordinary person's life in a well-written memoir.

I have recently been enjoying J.R. Moehringer's The Tender Bar (Hyperion, 2005), the story of how a fatherless boy found guidance and solace, along with the much-desired company of men, in a corner tavern.

Writers will be particularly interested in this bit of wisdom Moehringer receives from a priest he meets on a train:

"Can I tell you something?" the priest asked. "Do you know why God invented writers? Because He loves a good story. And He doesn't give a damn about words. Words are the curtain we've hung between Him and our true selves. Try not to think about the words. Don't strain for the perfect sentence. There's no such thing. Writing is guesswork. Every sentence is an educated guess, the reader's as much as yours. Think about that the next time you curl a piece of paper into your typewriter."

Do you have a book rave or writing wisdom to share? Send it to:


Writers' Retreat 2011

Registrations will soon begin for our retreat scheduled for May 12-16, 2011 at a gorgeous oceanside location in Watch Hill, RI, when seven writers will gather with retreat leaders Suzanne Hoover and Jessica Bram for four luxurious days of quiet writing and evening workshops

Call (203) 227-3250 to let us know if you would like to be added to a list for priority registration. Or stand by for announcement.

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