Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Ridgefield Writers Conference Thanks Local and Global Literary Community

The Ridgefield Writers Conference is honored to have enjoyed eight consecutive years as part of the local and global literary and arts communities.

Since 2020 marked our last year, we wish to thank all the writers, panelists, instructors, coordinators, businesses, bookstores and guests that made the conference part of Ridgefield's long and storied literary history.

Our very special thanks also goes to the Ridgefield Library for hosting the conference almost since the beginning and for helping us create the sense of community, craft and pedagogy that marked the Ridgefield Writers Conference as one of the best small conferences for writers. We couldn't have done it without you!

And to our writers - we wish you all the best in your writing goals. For more on other available writers' conference and events, see Poets & Writers Conferences and Residencies Database and NewPages Big List of Writing Conferences and Events.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

2020 Virtual Ridgefield Writers Conference: Writing Into the New Year Open Forum

The 2020 Ridgefield Writers Conference presents an informative evening of motivation and inspiration on how to plan for your 2021 writing goals.

Tuesday, December 29 From 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Ridgefield Library online Zoom platform

If you're like most of us, you're looking forward to seeing a close to 2020. But what's next for 2021? How can writers juggle their busy lives and their writing plans for the coming year in a way that's both motivating and inspiring? Join us for an hour of discussion and tips on how to create a writing plan with attainable goals that you can customize to start the New Year off right. Included with the program is a writable Word document with ideas, tips, references and examples to help you make the most of the coming year. Also bring your questions for our Q&A portion of the forum.

Adele Annesi is an award-winning writer, editor and teacher, and co-author of Now What? The Creative Writer's Guide to Success After the MFA. A founder of the Ridgefield Writers Conference and Muse & Music, a book editor for Word for Words, LLC, and a former development editor for Scholastic, Adele writes for 34th Parallel, Authors Publish Magazine, Fresh Ink, Fringe Blog, Hamline University’s Lit Link, Hersam Acorn Media, Midway Journal, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, Washington Independent Review of Books and Southern Literary Review, where she served as managing editor. Adele’s work has been anthologized for Chatter House Press and Fairfield University, where she received an MFA in creative writing. Her essay on Italian citizenship is among the Clarion Award-winning Essays About Life Transitions by Women Writers, and her sudden fiction has been adapted for the stage. Adele also lectures and leads creative writing workshops for the Westport Writers’ Workshop.

Sponsored by Word for Words, LLC, and hosted by the Ridgefield Library, this year’s virtual conference takes place via the library’s Zoom platform and is free, on a first-come, first-served basis. The capacity is 50, and prior registration is required. To register, click on Ridgefield Writers Conference Open Forum. For more information, email Word for Words for call 203.894.1908.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Ridgefield Writers Conference Tells the Writing Story

The seventh annual Ridgefield Writers Conference wishes to thank the writers, panelists, keynote, and coordinators who helped tell this year's story of the writing life and the importance of storytelling in today's world.

We also want to thank the Ridgefield Library for hosting the conference and for providing a real and constant sense of community for writers and artists of all levels and backgrounds.

A further thanks goes to Woodhall Press, of Norwalk, CT, for their participation and for publishing an increasingly diverse set of voices.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Ridgefield Writers Conference 2019 - Now Filled

Thanks to widespread interest from writers statewide and beyond, the 2019 Ridgefield Writers Conference is now filled, and there is a waiting list. More information on the event is available below. To receive information on future events, please contact conference presenter Word for Words.

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.

Monday, September 17, 2018

2018 Ridgefield Writers Conference a Success!

Thank you to the Ridgefield Library and to our keynote, authors, editors, panelists, coordinators and you, our writers, for a wonderful evening of inspiration to spark your imagination. If you were unable to attend this year's conference but reached out to us, we have your email address for future events, including next year's two-day conference. For questions and comments, contact Word for Words. We look forward to seeing you!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Ridgefield Writers Conference 2018

Inspiration and Imagination 2018
Due to the overwhelming success of the 2017 Ridgefield Writers Conference, we are expanding the off-year open house to become an inspirational single-evening event on Friday, September 21, with a similar format to the two-day conference.

Amid today's challenging publishing climate and the pressures of writers' professional and personal lives, what is the writer's source of inspiration? How can the writer remain inspired and rekindle inspiration when it wanes? We'll explore responses to these and other questions through the author-editor relationship and our 2018 conference theme of Inspiration and Imagination. To make the most of this year's event and the author/editor seminar workshops, bring your writing project and questions.
Ridgefield Library, Main Street Entrance

Date, Time & Location
Friday, September 21
From 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Ridgefield Library
472 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877

Arrival & Check-In
Lobby Entrances - Main and Lower Levels
6:15 p.m. - Attendees can arrive via the Main and Lower Level lobby entrances
6:20 p.m. - Check-in occurs in the Lower Level lobby area

Conference Schedule
Main Program Room - Lower Level
6:30 p.m. - Introduction by Ridgefield Library
6:35 p.m. - Welcome by Ridgefield Writers Conference
6:40 p.m. - Keynote address and reading by acclaimed author Rachel Basch
7:00 p.m. - Readings by guest authors Pete Nelson, Sonya Huber and Chris Belden
7:15 p.m. - Wine and cheese reception with writer attendees, authors and guest publisher
7:30 p.m. - Q&A panel with agent, authors and guest editors
8:00 p.m. - Author/editor breakout seminar workshops

For the location of each of the workshops, see the Author/Editor Seminar Workshops section below.

Keynote & Reading
Photo Credit: Phil Keane
Rachel Basch is the author of three novels: The Listener, a finalist for the 2016 CLMP Firecracker Award; The Passion of Reverend Nash, among The Christian Science Monitor's five best novels of 2003; and Degrees of Love. Basch was a 2011 MacDowell Colony Fellow, and her nonfiction has appeared in n+1, Salon, the Huffington Post, The Millions, and Parenting. Basch received the William Van Wert prize for an excerpt from The Listener and currently teaches in Fairfield University's MFA Program and Wesleyan University' Graduate Liberal Studies Program.

Jim Childs
Marilyn Allen

Agent & Editor Panelists
- Jim Childs (Publisher, Editor Globe Pequot, Rowan &
  Littlefield, Time, Inc., Books, The Tauton Press, John
  Wiley & Sons, HarperBusiness, Prentice Hall)
- Marilyn Allen (Allen O'Shea Literary Agency)
- Tamar Mays (Senior Editor, HarperCollins)
- Collin Hosten (Editor, Disney Publications)
- Adele Annesi (Moderator and Editor, WordforWords)

Author/Editor Seminar Workshops
Inspiring the Imagination for Nonfiction and Fiction for Young Readers: FILLED
Pete Nelson and Tamar Mays
Location: Randolph Board Room - Upper Level
Pete Nelson is the author of the acclaimed novel I Thought You Were Dead; his WWII history, Left for Dead, won the Christopher Award. He received his MFA from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. Tamar Mays is a senior editor with Harper Collins and has worked with Scholastic Book Clubs and Penguin Group.

Inspiring the Imagination for Nonfiction, Creative Nonfiction and Memoir: FILLED
Sonya Huber and Colin Hosten
Location: Dayton Program Room - Lower Level
Sonya Huber is the author of Opa Nobody, Cover Me and Pain Woman Takes Your Keys. She teaches at Fairfield University. Colin Hostin is co-founder of Woodhall Press, an editor for Disney Publications, and a lecturer at Fairfield University.

Inspiring the Imagination for Short and Long Fiction: FILLED
Chris Belden and Adele Annesi
Location: Main Program Room - Lower Level
Chris Belden is the author of Shriver and Carry-on, and the award-winning short story collection The Floating Lady of Lake Tawaba. He teaches at the Westport Writers' Workshop. Adele Annesi is an award-winning editor, writer, and teacher. She has worked as a development editor for Scholastic and WordforWords. She also teaches at the Westport Writers' Workshop.

How the Seminar Workshops Work
At the heart of each Ridgefield Writers Conference, among the most instructive small venues for writers, is pedagogy. This year's instructional focus takes the form of seminar workshops with seasoned authors and editors, with whom writers can share their fiction, nonfiction and hybrid projects for stimulating discussions to help break through roadblocks and spark creativity.

Through the workshops, writers will have the opportunity to see in real time how authors and editors collaborate and sometimes spar to resolve challenges relating to such elements as audience, beginnings and endings, character development, genre, market, narrative pull, plot, prose, reader engagement, structure, style, theme, viewpoint, voice, and that ongoing challenge, revision.

To make the most of the workshops, writers should bring their projects, plans, questions and concerns, especially what they believe is their biggest writing challenge, as it relates to their project. Sometimes we believe one element to be the obstacle when the underlying issue is something else.

Application, Format & Fee
This year's event is on a first-come, first-served basis, and registration is now closed, as all workshop spaces have been filled. The $25 registration fee includes the evening's keynote, readings, reception, panel, and one author/editor breakout seminar workshop.

Conference Brochure for 2018
To access and download the conference brochure, click Ridgefield Writers Conference 2018 Brochure. Or click the web page for Conference Brochure 2018.

General Information
More about the conference background and methodology is available at on the About Us page of the website.
For questions or more information:
Email Word for Words
Call 203.894.1908