By Vanessa Willoughby
Want to learn how to get published, find your writer’s voice, or get some constructive criticism? Joining a writing group or workshop is one of the best ways to get the creative juices flowing and meet fellow writers. Check out these great writing groups, and let the words flow.
Westport Writers’ Workshop
3 Sylvan Road South
Westport, CT 06880
Fees: Check website for specific class
Complete with a friendly, supportive environment and highly interactive workshops, Westport Writers’ Workshop favor an approach that makes assignments optional and personal work the main priority. Workshops are kept to a small size- 8 or fewer participants in each group in order to maximize personal attention and the chance for thorough feedback. Workshop leaders are credible and knowledge, including professionals such as Jessica Bram, Suzanne Hoover, David Wiltse, and Matt Debenham.
Pencils! Virtual Writing Workshop
Carol McManus, Moderator
Although Pencils! no longer has meet-ups, this acclaimed writers group is a resource for writers of multiple genres, whether it be for freelance writers, novelists, poets, and/or authors of children’s books. In 2005, Pencils! Press debuted with its collection of poems and short stories with Every Other Tuesday: Collected Eclectic Writings. The collection featured work from 18 of the original members of Pencils! and showcased a diverse array of unconventional writings and subject matters.
Approved by the Connecticut Commissioner of Higher Education, Long Ridge Writers Group has been teaching aspiring authors how to find their niche for over 20 years. The Long Ridge Writers Group pairs students with a nationally published author or professional editor, who will then provide one-on-one mentorship. Instructors include: Carole Bellacera, Nancy Varian Berberick, Tiffany Cannon, and Douglas W. Clark.
Just for Writers
Fairfield Public Library
1080 Old Post Road
Sometimes, the easiest place to look for a writing group is your local library. The Fairfield Public Library has launched a series of ongoing meetings of small groups of committed writers, (no more than eight people in each group), who are seeking support and motivation. Each group contains a designated facilitator who organizes meetings and ensures that the group’s daily agenda is fulfilled.
Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association
Sycamore Hills Park Community Center
635 West Avon Road
Founded in 1994, the Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association seeks to help authors and aspiring authors to improve their writing and marketing skills, in addition to increasing the sales of their books, columns, and articles. Members include authors, journalists, freelance writers, poets, playwrights, editors, agents, and publishers. The CAPA holds monthly meetings featuring a range of subjects and various speakers.
Vanessa Willoughby lives in Waterford. A recent graduate of The New School’s MFA program, she also blogs for the entertainment and music website, 411mania.com.