Monday, May 6, 2019

Ridgefield Writers Conference 2019

Due to the success of the 2018 Ridgefield Writers Conference and the growing interest in its breakout session format, this year's event will take place Friday, September 20, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Ridgefield Library, with the same general format.

For more information, subscribe to our email blasts or contact Word for Words. To view our prior events and conferences, see the other listings below. We look forward to having you with us this year.

The theme of this year's Ridgefield Writers Conference is the enduring art and craft of storytelling and its essential place in works of poetry, fiction and nonfiction. Stories are nearly infinite in number and individual in nature, but how do writers tell them with insight, originality and mastery? Come to this year's Ridgefield Writers Conference and learn more.

Friday, September 20
From 6:15 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Ridgefield Library
472 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT 06877

This year's event is on a first-come, first-served basis through the Ridgefield Library and does not require an application or a writing sample. The cost for the evening is $25. To register, click on Ridgefield Writers Conference.

On the evening of the event, attendees can enter the Ridgefield Library via the lobby entrances on the Main Level and Lower Level. Check-in occurs in the Lower Level lobby.

To download the conference brochure, click on 2019 Ridgefield Writers Conference Brochure.

Main Program Room - Lower Level
6:15 p.m.: Arrival and Check-in
6:30 p.m.: Introduction by the Ridgefield Library
6:40 p.m.: Keynote address and reading
7:15 p.m.: Wine and cheese reception and networking
7:30 p.m.: Q&A panel with keynote, editor/publisher and agent
8:00 p.m.: Breakout session forums

For the location of the breakout session forums, see the descriptions below.
Also visit our book and resource table.

Charles Rafferty
Keynote Speaker & Panelist
Charles Rafferty's most recent poetry collections are The Smoke of Horses (BOA Editions, 2017) and Something an Atheist Might Bring Up at a Cocktail Party (Mayapple Press, 2018). His poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, O the Oprah Magazine, Prairie Schooner and Ploughshares. His stories have appeared in The Southern Review and New World Writing, and his story collection is Saturday Night at Magellan's (Fomite Press, 2013). Rafferty's accolades include grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, and the 2016 NANO Fiction Prize. Rafferty currently directs the MFA Creative Writing Program at Albertus Magnus College and teaches at the Westport Writers' Workshop.

Jim Childs
Editor and Publisher -- Panelist
Jim Childs has served in top editing and publishing roles for some of the most prestigious publishing houses, including Globe Pequot Press, Rowman & Littlefield, Inc., Time Inc. Books/Time-Warner, The Taunton Press, John Wiley & Sons, Oliver Wight Publications, HarperCollins and Dow Jones-Irwin/Wall Street Journal Books. He also served marketing management for Prentice-Hall.

Gina Maccoby
Gina Maccoby Literary Agency -- Panelist
New York-based literary agent Gina Maccoby, of Gina Maccoby Literary Agency, represents authors of literary and upmarket fiction and narrative fiction for adults and children, including bestselling and award-winning titles. Maccoby is most captivated by an engaging, compelling voice and strong storytelling with a fresh perspective. In fiction, Maccoby seeks upmarket novels, mysteries and thrillers, middle grade and young adult. In nonfiction, she seeks history, biography, current events and popular science. For more on Gina, visit her page on Publisher's Marketplace.

Charles Rafferty: Strategies for Storytelling - FILLED
Main Program Room -- Lower Level
Keynote speaker Charles Rafferty will bring his wide-ranging experience in varied writing forms to this breakout forum. Geared toward the fiction writer and poet, the forum will include examples of poems, flash fiction and short fiction to highlight the importance of precision and voice to the telling of stories, from a practitioner's perspective. Writers can bring their projects (for reference only), plans and questions, especially in connection with narrative and story.

Jim Childs: Steering Your Experience - FILLED
Randolph Boardroom -- Upper Level
Panelist and experienced editor, publisher and marketer Jim Childs will bring his extensive background in the field of nonfiction to this breakout forum. The forum will cover the role, purpose and benefits of using storytelling in current nonfiction, from an editor's/publisher's perspective, including the need for original concepts, a unique take on familiar subjects and a clear connection between a writer's experiences and his or her topic. Writers can bring their projects (for reference only), plans and questions, especially in connection with narrative and story.

Gina Maccoby: Create to Compel - FILLED
Dayton Program Room -- Lower Level
Expert literary agent Gina Maccoby will bring her experience and savvy to this breakout forum on the importance and benefits of creating compelling stories in fiction and nonfiction. In the forum, Maccoby will focus on the importance of voice and strong storytelling in both genres, from an agent's viewpoint. She also offers tips on querying and how to capture an agent's attention in a positive way, as well as how to avoid common pitfalls. Writers can bring their projects (for reference only), plans and questions, especially in connection with narrative and story.

This year's breakout session forums feature seasoned professionals in the field of writing, editing and publishing, in both fiction and nonfiction.

The forums give writers a chance to bring their projects and questions for stimulating Q&A discussions to spark creativity and help break through roadblocks. With a focus on storytelling in both fiction and nonfiction, the forums will focus on key elements of craft and publishing, including audience, beginnings and endings, character development, genre, market, narrative, platform, plot, prose, publishing, revision, structure, style.

To make the most of the forums, writers can bring their projects (for reference only), plans any questions, including what they see as their primary obstacle to completing their story.

Woodhall Press
Come meet Woodhall Press, an independent publisher for independent authors. Based in Norwalk, CT, Woodhall Press is committed to publishing diverse voices. For more, visit, Woodhall Press.

Representing Woodhall Press is David LeGere, whose twelve years of U.S. publishing experience include serving as an acquisitions editor for Globe Pequot and Rowman & Littlefield and a specialty in the trade nonfiction, gift and outdoor markets. His titles range from Discovering the John Muir Trail, winner of the 2018 National Outdoor Book Award, to Alice's Adventures in #Wonderland. A graduate of Fairfield University's MFA program, LeGere is also a dedicated English professor and writer.

Jessica Noyes McEntee
An Amherst College graduate, Jessica Noyes McEntee worked as an editor with John Wiley & Sons and taught at St. Ann's School in Brooklyn Heights. She currently teaches fiction at the Westport Writers' Workshop, and her work has appeared in Ragazine. Her poetry chapbook, Jackie O. Suffers Two Husbands and Other Poems, will be published in June 2019 by Fishing Line Press. McEntee won an honorable mention in the 2019 Third Wednesday poetry contest, judged by Robert Fanning.

Rebecca Dimyan
A writer, professor and food journalist, Rebecca Dimyan has an BA in English from Boston University and an MFA in creative writing from Fairfield University. Her award-winning work has appeared in national and international print and online publications, such as 34th Parallel, The Ampersand Review, Gastronomica, HelloGiggles, Town Crier, Under the Sun, Vox First Person and xoJane. An excerpt of Dimyan's novel, Waiting for Beirut, was a semifinalist for the 2017 Baltic Writing Residency. A founder of the Ridgefield Writers Conference, Dimyan teaches writing at Fairfield University, Southern Connecticut State University and Quinnipiac University.

Adele Annesi
An award-winning writer, editor and teacher, Adele Annesi is co-author of Now What? The Creative Writer's Guide to Success After the MFA. A founder of the Ridgefield Writers Conference, a freelance book editor and a former development editor for Scholastic, Annesi has published a variety of works, including with 34th Parallel, Connecticut Muse, Epiphany, The Fairfield Review, Fringe Blog, Hamline University's Lit Link, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, the Washington Independent Review of Books, and Southern Literary Review, where she served as managing editor. Her work has been anthologized for Chatter House Press and Fairfield University, where she received her MFA in creative writing. Her essay on Italian citizenship is part of the Clarion Award-winning Essays About Life Transitions by Women Writers, and her sudden fiction has been adapted for the stage. Annesi teaches English and writing at Naugatuck Valley Community college and advanced fiction at the Westport Writers' Workshop.

For questions, email Word for Words, or call 203.894.1908.

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