A Monthly Newsletter from the Westport Writers' Workshop
with news of the WWW Community,
writing wisdom, prompts,
announcements of upcoming events  






Read your work aloud, or just come and listen:


Open Mic Night

April 22

Only $5 









where you will also find special offers and advance invitations.

The Demise of Adjectives (Except One)


I've never been much of a fan of adjectives.  Although to employ them as descriptors comes nowhere near the sin of using adverbs ("The road to hell is paved with adverbs": Stephen King On Writing), adjectives are weak, at best, when it comes to describing Long Island Sound at early dawn (misty?) or a culinary experience so transporting that it must be savored with eyes closed (delicious?) 


And as any writer soon discovers, to rely upon an adjective to describe personality is hopeless. Why describe a character as "warm," when instead you can show him throwing an arm over the shoulders of everyone who walks into his restaurant?


Yes, we must always be grateful for the mighty verb.


My dismissal of adjectives doesn't mean, however, that I was ready to say good-bye to them for good ... READ MORE 



JB Signature 




Westport Writers' Workshop 



The WWW Blog Has Launched!
Our blog is now live!  Check it out and subscribe to receive articles, prompts, and tips on writing, keep abreast of your fellow workshop participants and writers, learn about writing contests, new workshops and events, and much more. 
Subscribers will  be entered in a drawing for a free workshop series - value $495.  Subscribe now.



News of Our Writers


Congrats to Judy Mandel whose moving memoir Replacement Child, published by Seal Press in March, has just been reviewed in Publishers Weekly.  Here is an excerp
Judy joined us at the Westport Writers' Workshop in October to speak about being a "replacement child," writing her memoir ("the story that had to be told") and her path to publication.


"In this well-researched tribute to her parents, journalist Mandel explores how a freak accident altered the fate of her family in 1952...  
By cleverly shifting between recent years and the day of the crash, Mandel weaves together chapters of real and imagined scenes building to the inevitable...  [and] grapples with the random forces that shape modern life."
Although we miss her, we are delighted for former Examined Life writer Alison Donohue who has relocated to Hawaii.  She is about to complete her first semester as a writing instructor at the University of Hawaii-Maui College, teaching the basics to kids and according to Alison, "loving it."
Marcelle headshot
Marcel Soviero will be part of a Mother's Day themed luncheon for Ridgefield's Bernard's Author Luncheon series on Thursday, April 25 from noon to 2 p.m.  More in this Daily Voice article.  
Keep the good news coming.  If you've been published or have a success to report, please let us know.  


Upcoming Writing Competitions
Entering writing competitions sends a message to the Universe that you are serious about your writing. So enter!  Here are two serious writing contests you should know about:
Writers of short fiction are encouraged to enter the  2013 Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition.


1st place prize: $1,500 and publication of the winning story in Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts; $500 each for 2nd and 3rd place winners.  Deadline May 1; entry fee $15.  More information.
New Letters: An International Magazine of Writing and Artone of the oldest literary magazines in the US, will award $4,500 in prizes:
  • $1,500 for a winning short story
  • $1, 500 for an essay
  • $1,500 for 3-6 poems.  

Deadline May 18. More information.


Feel like a social media rookie?

Have you committed a Facebook faux pas?  Still wondering how Twitter can help you sell more copies of your book?  Do you still need to ask your teenager what's private and what's public on Facebook?

Then don't miss this special evening speaker event with WWW's very own Generation Y member, Cindy Zhao!
                    SAVE THE DATE:


Social Media 101 
Wednesday, May 22
7 to 9 pm 
Only $25 or FREE for WWW Members
Join us Wed. evening, May 22 at 7 pm for an interactive workshop with Cindy Zhao, WWW's social media guru, who will show you how to get a better grasp of Facebook and Twitter. REGISTER HERE


April Featured Workshops:

Four New Workshops
For Absolute Beginners 



Announcing four new workshops for absolute beginners! If you've felt intimidated about joining a craft-oriented workshop due to lack of experience, we've made it easier for you to take the gentle plunge. 


See individual links for complete descriptions and to register.



F103 INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING with Valerie Ann Leff; 6 Tuesdays, 10 am to 12:30 pm. Begins April 23.



M420 Introduction to Memoir/Personal Essay with Jessica Bram;
8 Thursdays, 7 to 9 pm. Begins April 25.




S123  WRITING FOR CHILDREN for the Absolute Beginner with Christine Pakkala; Saturday April 27, 9 am to 12 noon.


S123  MYSTERY WRITING 101  with Jessica Speart; Saturday, 

July 13, 9 a.m. to 12 noon.



For more information or to register see  
individual links above or go to

or call (203)227-3250.



Please attend our next 

 April 22, 2013

  7:30 - 9 pm

Please sign up to share your work with us at our next fun, relaxed, and inspirtational Open Mic Night. All genres are welcome, including fiction, memoir, and poetry.

Read a selection of your work to an audience of your peers and other interested listeners. Or just come to listen and be inspired. 


The cost is $5 per person or free for WWW members. Come enjoy free coffee or tea, cookies, and fellowship. Friends and family members are welcome.
Just let us know you're coming. To register or for more information call us at (203)227-3250 or email

Well Said

"I love deadlines.  I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by." 

Westport Writers' Workshop

3 Sylvan Road South 

Westport, CT 06880


Please feel free to forward this newsletter WORD-for-WORDS to your friends and fellow writers. Visit our website to sign up for newsletters. You can also read past archived issues here.  
For questions or more information about our workshops, events, or Westport Writers' Workshop membership go to  or call (203) 227-3250 or