Adele Annesi - Ridgefield Writers Conference
Ridgefield Writers Conference - Visit Our New Site for 2014
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Ridgefield, Connecticut, USA
News: See more online at Ridgefield Is for Writers
"Nothing can be more limiting to the imagination than only writing about what you know." John Gardner
Ridgefield, Conn., historic fountain
Sponsored by Word for Words, LLC
North Hall of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
351 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877
"A unique opportunity for poets and writers to share in their love of the written word, make new connections and expand their literary horizons." Media Coordinator, Rebecca Dimyan
Conference Schedule
8:00 a.m.: Breakfast
8:30 a.m.: Keynote: Dr. Michael White, Author and Professor
9:00 a.m.: Morning Workshops
  • Chris Belden: The Science and Art of Writing Fiction
  • Pete Nelson: Creative Nonfiction and the Writing Life - How to, How Not To
  • Rachel Basch: Writing Matters: Fiction and Creative Nonfiction
  • Steve Otfinoski: Writing for the Young Adult Market
  • Carol Ann Davis: From the Blank Page: Writing and Revising Poetry
11:00 a.m.: Morning Panel on Publishing
  • Panel Moderator: Adele Annesi (Conference Chair)
  • Marilyn Allen (Allen O'Shea Literary Agency)
  • David Legere (Globe Pequot Press)
  • Tessa Smith McGovern (eChook Digital Publishing)
  • Georgia Monaghan (The Newtowner Arts & Literary Magazine)
Noon: Lunch at area restaurants
2:00 p.m.: Afternoon Workshops
  • Chris Belden: The Science and Art of Writing Fiction
  • Pete Nelson: Creative Nonfiction and the Writing Life - How to, How Not To
  • Rachel Basch: Writing Matters: Fiction and Creative Nonfiction
  • Steve Otfinoski: Writing for the Young Adult Market
  • Carol Ann Davis: From the Blank Page: Writing and Revising Poetry
4:00 p.m.: Afternoon Panel on Media
  • Panel Moderator: Adele Annesi (Conference Chair)
  • Gina Panettieri (Talcott Notch Literary Services)
  • Noah Ballard (Emma Sweeney Agency)
  • Prill Boyle (Defying Gravity)
  • Cortney Davis (Alimentum: the Literature of Food)
  • Patricia D'Ascoli (Connecticut Muse)
5:00 p.m.: Dinner at area restaurants
7:00 p.m.: An Evening With the Authors
  • Linda Merlino
  • Chris Belden
  • Nalini Jones
  • Pete Nelson
Conference Guide
General Information
Historic Main Street, Ridgefield, Conn.Conference registration includes continental breakfast, keynote address, morning and afternoon workshop sessions, morning and afternoon publishing and media panels, agent consideration, post-conference networking and evening readings.
Chris Belden: The Science and Art of Writing Fiction: This comprehensive workshop is for novelists and short story writers stymied by the nuances and fundamentals of craft. The workshop will address key fiction components, such as plot, character, point of view, mood and tone, and the role of each. Come prepared to discuss your project and to jumpstart your creativity with tailored writing exercises.
Pete Nelson: Creative Nonfiction and the Writing Life - How to and How Not To
In this workshop, we will look at how to have your stories published - and be paid for them - as books and in foremost magazines. We'll explore how to develop story ideas for book-length manuscripts and specific magazines, as well how to get your work to the appropriate editor and keep it top of mind. We'll also discuss the changing marketplace, and writing for the New Media.
New: Rachel Basch: Writing Matters: Fiction and Creative Nonfiction: Open to writers of fiction and creative nonfiction, this workshop addresses the elements of craft essential to shaping meaningful writing. We will examine how to tap into one's own source for story. and how to structure and sustain a narrative that possesses what Argentine writer Julio Cortazar called "the mysterious property of illuminating something beyond itself."
Steve Otfinoski: Writing for the Young Adult (YA) Market: Do you have a good story that youth would like? Do you like writing about history, sports or other favorite topics with kid appeal? YA is an often overlooked but profitable market for writers, and a great place to start your career as an author. This workshop will look at YA fiction and nonfiction, and where to use your ideas and creative energy.
Carol Ann Davis: From the Blank Page: Writing and Revising Poetry: This workshop will explore how to begin and revise a poem. Bring your early drafts or advanced work, and we will deepen your poetic process in a workshop setting. Tailored prompts will provide new directions for your creative efforts.
Historic Main Street, Ridgefield, Conn.The conference is geared to dedicated emerging aspiring and established writers. Applicants must provide a one-page sample of their best work in the chosen genre. Acceptance is based on the order in which the application is received, the quality of the writing sample, and the fit of the submission with the workshop level and content.
Agent Queries
Literary agents are part of the morning and afternoon publishing and media panels. Agents will consider a one-paragraph synopsis of the participant's submission (which should include an email address), accompanied by a self-addressed envelope from the submitter. The conference organizers will provide the synopses and envelopes to the agents after the conference.
Payment is due on acceptance. The cost is $125.00 for early bird registration (extended to July 1) and $150.00 for regular registration (due September 15). Refunds for valid reasons are 70% up to August 15.
Conference Keynote, Faculty and Panelists
Michael White, author Keynote Michael White is the author of six novels. Soul Catcher was a finalist for the Connecticut Book Award. A Brother's Blood was a New York Times Book Review Notable Book, and The Blind Side of the Heart was an Alternate Book-of-the-Month Club selection. A Dream of Wolves received starred reviews from Booklist and Publisher's Weekly, The Garden of Martyrs was a Connecticut Book Award finalist, and Beautiful Assassin won the 2011 Connecticut Book Award. White has published over 45 short stories, and is founding editor of the American Fiction anthology and Dogwood literary journal. White also founded and is the director of Fairfield University's low-residency MFA Creative Writing Program.
Conference Faculty
Chris Belden, author Chris Belden is the author of the novel Carry-on, and the forthcoming
Shriver. His stories have appeared in numerous literary magazines, including American Fiction, SNReview and Skidrow Penthouse. A teacher and workshop leader, Belden received an artist fellowship grant from the Connecticut Office of Culture and Tourism, and received his MFA from Fairfield University.
Pete Nelson, authorPete Nelson received his MFA from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. His WWII history, Left For Dead, won the Christopher Award, and was named to the American Library Association's top 10 list. Other nonfiction titles include That Others May Live and A More Unbending Battle: The Harlem Hellfighters' Struggle for Democracy in WWI and Equality at Home. His novels are I Thought You Were Dead and The Christmas List. He wrote, with former U.S. army counterintelligence agent Dave DeBatto, military thrillers that include CI: Team Red, CI: Dark Target, CI: Mission Liberty and CI: Homeland Threat. Also a widely published magazine writer and columnist, Nelson lives with his wife and son in Westchester, New York.
Rachel Basch, acclaimed authorRachel Basch was a 2011 MacDowell Colony Fellow, and received the William Van Wert fiction prize for an excerpt from her new novel, The Listener. Her novel The Passion of Reverend Nash was named among The Christian Science Monitor's five best of 2003, and Degrees of Love was a Hartford Courant Book Club selection. Basch teaches at Fairfield University's MFA program in creative writing, and liberal studies at Wesleyan University.
Steve Otfinoski, young adult authorSteve Otfinoski has published more than 150 fiction and nonfiction young adult books for Scholastic, Franklin Watts, Capstone Press, Children's Press and Marshall Cavendish. Three of his books were named Books for the Teen Age by the New York Public Library, and two short stories were anthologized in Short Circuits: Thirteen Shocking Stories by Outstanding Writers for Young Adults and Within Reach: Ten Stories. Otfinoski teaches at Fairfield University and Housatonic Community College.
Carol Ann Davis, poetCarol Ann Davis is the author of two poetry collections: Atlas Hour and Psalm. Her work has appeared in Agni, The American Poetry Review, Denver Quarterly, The Threepenny Review and Volt, and in PBS NewsHour's Art Beat. A recipient of an NEA fellowship in poetry and former editor of Crazyhorse literary magazine, Davis teaches creative writing at Fairfield University.
Morning Publishing Panel (11 a.m. to Noon)
Adele Annesi, award-winning writer, editorAdele Annesi (Conference Chair, Moderator) is an award-winning editor and writer. Formerly a development editor for Scholastic, Annesi writes for newspapers, magazines, blogs and literary journals, including Southern Literary Review, where she was managing editor. Her short fiction appeared in an anthology for Fairfield University, where she is studying for an MFA in creative writing. Her "After the Sunflowers" essay on gaining Italian citizenship is part of the 2011 Clarion Award winning Press Pause Moments: Essays About Life Transitions by Women Writers, and her flash fiction has been adapted for the stage. Annesi teaches writing and editing, and is currently writing a novel set in Italy.
Marilyn Allen, literary agentMarilyn Allen (Allen O'Shea Literary Agency) is a founder and partner in Allen O'Shea Literary Agency, which focuses on writers of practical nonfiction. Allen has held senior sales and marketing positions for Penguin Books, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins. She taught publishing at New York University and Gotham Publishing. Allen and agent partner Coleen O'Shea co-authored The Complete Idiot's Guide to Book Proposals and Query Letters. The agency seeks practical nonfiction and pop culture, especially health, cooking, business, parenting, narrative nonfiction, science and blog-based books.
David Legere, associate project editor David Legere (Globe Pequot Press) is an acquisitions editor at Globe Pequot Press for the FalconGuides series imprint, acquiring and developing outdoor recreation titles. Legere is a graduate of the University of Connecticut.
Tessa Smith McGovern, eChook Digital PublishingTessa Smith McGovern is an award-winning short story writer and an educator at Sarah Lawrence College. McGovern is founder and editor of eChook Digital Publishing, and is the host and executive producer of BookGirl.TV, a platform empowering women readers and writers.
Georgia Monaghan, editor-in-chief, The NewtownerGeorgia Monaghan (The Newtowner Arts & Literary Magazine) is publisher and editor-in-chief of The Newtowner literary magazine. A widely published feature writer, Monaghan attended the University of Sydney, and has taught English literature, creative writing and media studies. She currently facilitates the C. H. Booth Creative Writing Workshop, is an instructor with the Community Learning Project and is writing a novel set in her native Australia.
Afternoon Media Panel (4 p.m. to 5 p.m.)
Gina Panettieri, president of Talcott Notch LiteraryGina Panettieri (Talcott Notch Literary Services) is a 23-year publishing veteran and president of Talcott Notch Literary. She represents a full range of fiction and nonfiction and adults and children, with a focus on business, parenting, memoir, health, science and history in adult nonfiction, as well as mystery, suspense and psychological thrillers, fantasy, women's fiction, historical and literary fiction in adult fiction. She currently seeks YA contemporary realistic novels, fantasy and horror, and middle-grade humor, adventure, fantasy and "light" scary stories. She represents experienced writers and debut novelists.
Noah Ballard (Emma Sweeney Agency) is an assistant agent at Emma Sweeney Agency in New York. Ballard received his BA in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and is interested in honest and provocative new writers of fiction and nonfiction.
Prill Boyle, Defying GravityPrill Boyle (Defying Gravity) is the author of Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women. An international speaker, Boyle has addressed the UN and had her blog spotlighted in The New York Times. She also hosted "Ageless," a TV show on attitude over age. Boyle received an M.A. in English from Georgetown University, where she was a Writing Fellow. She is working on a novel about a late bloomer set in Botswana.
Cortney Davis, poetry editor, Alimentum Literary MagazineCortney Davis (Alimentum: the Literature of Food) is poetry editor of Alimentum Literary Magazine, and the author of two poetry collections, of which Leopold's Maneuvers won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry. Her nonfiction I Knew a Woman: the Experience of the Female Body won the Center for the Book Nonfiction Prize, and The Heart's Truth: Essays on the Art of Nursing won the Independent Publisher's Silver Medal in Nonfiction. Davis has received an NEA poetry fellowship and three CT Commission on the Arts Poetry Grants.
Patricia D'Ascoli, award-winning journalist, author of three essay collectionsPatricia D'Ascoli (Connecticut Muse) is an award-winning journalist, and the author of three essay collections. Connecticut Muse has received grants from the Connecticut Office of Culture and Tourism, Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation and Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. D'Ascoli received her MS in English from Southern Connecticut State University, where she received a graduate research fellowship, and teaches at Lincoln College of New England.
Rebecca Dimyan, writer and conference media coordinatorRebecca Dimyan (Conference Media and Publicity Coordinator) has a BA in English from Boston University and an MFA in creative writing from Fairfield University. Dimyan has published short fiction, essays and articles, and her short story "One-Night Strangers" was part of the 2011 eLit Silver Medal-winning anthology. Her work also has appeared in and The Ampersand Review. She currently writes for The Cupboard Magazine.
An Evening With the Authors
Pete Nelson, acclaimed authorPete Nelson has published 19 books of fiction, six nonfiction books, and over 150 short stories and articles. He was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America, and was named to the Esquire Magazine Register for best American writers under 40. His novel I Thought You Were Dead was named the Indie Next No. 1 Choice and reached the NEIBA Bestsellers List.
Nalini Jones, authorNalini Jones is the noted author of the story collection What You Call Winter. Her work has appeared in various magazines, including One Story, Ontario Review, Elle India and Vogue India, and was anthologized in AIDS Sutra and Freud's Blind Spot. Jones is an NEA literature fellow, and a Pushcart Prize winner. She teaches creative writing at Fairfield University's MFA in creative writing program.
Chris Belden, authorChris Belden is the author of the novel Carry-on and the forthcoming Shriver. His stories have appeared in numerous literary magazines, including American Fiction, SNReview and Skidrow Penthouse. A teacher and workshop leader, Belden received an artist fellowship grant from the Connecticut Office of Culture and Tourism, and received his MFA from Fairfield University.
Linda Merlino, noted authorLinda Merlino's debut novel, Belly of the Whale, was voted one of the best fiction novels of 2009 by the Connecticut Press Club, and rereleased as Hudson Catalina in September 2012 by Imajin Books. Her writing has been anthologized, and her next novel, Room of Tears, is pending publication in summer 2013. A member of the Ridgefield Writer’s Guild, Merlino teaches creative writing for adults, and writes a monthly column for More Sugar Publications.
The Ridgefield Writers Conference is sponsored by:
Word for Words, LLC
12 Abbott Avenue, Ridgefield, CT 06877, USA
T. 203.894.1908
For More Information
Continue to check for updates. For general queries, contact Adele Annesi at Word for Words, LLC, or at 203.894.1908. Or sign our guest book.
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