WestportWRITES Mini-Conference: Writing Short Stories and Getting Them Published

Sunday, Feb 17, 2019 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

This month, WestportWRITES welcomes the Fairfield Scribes for a panel conversation and workshop focused on the craft of writing short stories and getting those short stories published.

Six writers from the Fairfield Scribes (Edward Ahern, Gabi Coatsworth, Elizabeth Chatsworth, Alison McBain, Robert Tomaino and Peter Keeler) will open the day with a panel conversation about the craft of writing short stories. Then, after a break, the writers will lead an interactive workshop focused on how to submit your existing short stories for publication.

The Fairfield Scribes are a group of writers and editors based in Fairfield County. Their time-travelling anthology, “When To Now,” was one of the books featured at the 2018 Saugatuck StoryFest.

WestportWRITES is a robust, year-long series designed to take your writing to the next level. Designed to create a support structure along the path to publication, the monthly mini-conferences and workshop-based programming will culminate with a writers’ conference.

Edward Ahern sometimes detours into literary fiction and poetry, but he’s best known as an innovative genre writer. He’s tucked away several awards and honorable mentions for seventy-seven short stories and three books. The stories have appeared in ten countries and, counting reprints, a hundred fifty-nine publications. His stories can be listened to through Audible and the New York Public Library. And he started writing fiction at sixty-seven.
 
His editorial skills are based on a degree in journalism from the University of Illinois and extensive experience at the Providence Journal. Ed’s been honing the skills for several years at Bewildering Stories, where he serves on the review board and as review editor with a staff of five. (Bewildering Stories is widely known for the author-friendly quality of its critiques.)
 
Ed also serves as the newsletter editor for the Connecticut River Salmon Association. He’s a member of several writing groups, including the Fairfield Scribes, where he’s known for his tough-love comments.
 
He has his original wife, but advises that after fifty years together they are both out of warranty. Two children and five grandchildren serve as affection focus and money drain.
 
His work career after university has been an enjoyably demented hopscotch game. U.S. Navy officer (diver and bomb disarmer); reporter for the Providence Journal; intelligence officer living in Germany and Japan; international sales and marketing executive at a Canadian paper company (twenty- three years, seventy four countries visited, MBA from NYU); same job for the company that also owns the New England Patriots; and retirement into writing like hell to make up for lost time.

My name is Gabi Coatsworth, and I’m an award-winning writer who loves to support my fellow writers and storytellers. My work has been published in a new anthology: Then to Now, A Time Travel Anthology, in Tangerine Tango: Women Writers Share Slices of Lifeand in many print and online journals.

I’m currently looking to publish my memoir, and writing a novel in the women’s fiction genre.

I run two Meetups for writers in Connecticut, WritersMic, an open mic evening, and the Westport Writers’ Rendezvous, a monthly get-together.

The Write Connexionis dedicated to anything useful I find for writers, some of it local, and some of it of more general interest. I interview writers, give you useful links for writers’ info around the web, and generally help you connect with anything which will help you write more, better or at all!

Elizabeth Chatsworth is a British author and actor (SAG-AFTRA) based in Connecticut. She creates voice-overs for commercials, videos, and computer games. If there's an elf, a witch, or an aristocrat in a video game, it might be her!
 
Writing is Elizabeth’s passion. Her award-winning alternate history novel THE BRASS QUEEN became a 2018 RWA® Golden Heart® finalist in the Mainstream Fiction category. Elizabeth is represented by Natalie Grazian of Martin Literary Management. A Pitch Wars alumna, she’s a member of the RWA (PRO), the Women’s National Book Association, and the Authors Guild.

Elizabeth’s hobbies include archery, kung fu, horseback riding, cosplay, video games, and baking. She possesses the world’s best scone recipe. Contact her, and she may just send it to you!

For more information, and to be the first to receive exclusive news and giveaways, please visit www.elizabethchatsworth.com.

Born in the far-off days of the Second Millennium, P.C. Keeler spends his days writing detailed instructions for very dim but precise silicon brains to follow and finds it a relaxing change of pace to write more conversationally for charming, handsome, intellectual readers like you. He enjoys past, present, and future, preferably all at once. Steampunk and Ren Faires work well for this.

Currently residing in the wilds of Fairfield County, Connecticut, he grew up in New Hampshire and as such has never quite gotten used to sales tax. His first published work was a short poem printed by a local newspaper at the tender age of six. Him, that is. The newspaper was considerably more well-established. He has continued writing since, most recently appearing in Diabolical Plots with "Do Not Question The University."

When not writing code at the day job, writing fiction after hours, or visiting Ren Faires in a vacuum-tube-bedecked top hat, P.C. can be found trying frantically to catch up on sleep. He is pondering a trip into Mad Science simply so as to be able to build a device to slow the rotation of the planet and create the 28-hour day for this purpose. Donations welcome.

Diversity is one of Alison McBain's passions. With dual Canadian-U.S. citizenship, a Japanese-American mother and a B.A. in African history and classical literature, she has an eclectic background and a wide range of experience. She grew up in California and moved to the East Coast in her mid-twenties, finally settling in Connecticut to raise her three daughters.
 
She started her writing career at age four with a "self-published" horror story about the monster in the closet. The story was highly lauded by her closest family members. Since then, she's received a number of writing awards and accolades from people not even vaguely related to her, but she still has a soft spot for that first short story.
 
Her interest in diversity also extends to fiction. With nearly a hundred short publications to her name, her stories and poems range in tone from serious to silly. They cover nearly every genre, including literary, romance, horror, science fiction, fantasy, history and adventure. Her debut fantasy novel The Rose Queen, a YA retelling of beauty and the beast, was published in July 2018. She was also the lead editor of When to Now: A Time Travel Anthology, published in October 2018.
 
When not writing fiction, she follows her own personal mantra of, "Do something creative every day." She serves as the Book Reviews Editor at the magazine Bewildering Stories, and conducts author and artist interviews on her website, www.alisonmcbain.com/. She pens a weekly web comic about parenting called "Toddler Times." And when life gets a little too hectic, she does origami meditation or draws all over the walls of her house with the enthusiastic help of her kids.

Robert Tomaino is writer, editor and consultant. For more than seventeen years, he has provided editorial support, guidance and strategic consultation to medical nonprofits, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Robert has extensive experience writing about rare disorders for both patients and physicians. At one time, Robert oversaw the development and expansion of the National Organization for Rare Disorder’s Rare Disease Database. Robert also understands the unique needs of patients in the rare disease community and works to foster better communication and understanding between these diverse groups and the industry representatives who work with them. Robert has served as a Managing Editor for the National Organization for Rare Disorders and RareShare.org.
 
He was an assistant editor for the textbook, The Complete Directory for People with Rare Disorders, 1998-1999, published by Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. Robert has edited news stories, feature news stories, physician reports, patient narratives, medical reports, brochures, pamphlets, presentations, medication inserts and more. He has provided developmental critiques for several fiction novels and numerous medical reports, brochures and textbooks that have gone on to be published.
 
When he breaks away from deciphering medical jargon, Robert writes fiction, from the fantastical to the urbane. The occasional poem may worm its way onto a blank canvas as well. Robert is also a fully ordained online minister who has officiated three weddings, including one in Zimbabwe. He spends time regaling his niece and nephew with stories of his youth before pumping them full of ice cream and shipping them back to their parents. 

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