Rebecca Martin’s funny and wonderful essay in today’s New York Times seems like a good time to send a shout-out to all of our writers, many (if not most) of whom came to us as beginners, took their writing seriously, worked hard on their craft, and submitted their work for publication.
Our writers’ publishing success speaks directly what we are about here at the Westport Writers’ Workshop. Our mission and our purpose is simply this: to teach craft to people who take their writing seriously. Our writers are willing to work hard to obtain the skills that are required for a writer to be published.
That’s right, published. In respected publications like the New York Times. In literary magazines like The Atlantic and Threepenny Review and Brain, Child. In well read magazines and online publications. In respected blogs like the Huffington Post. They want to see their novels reviewed by book reviewers and on the shelves of bookstores like R.J. Julia and Barnes & Noble. They want to be interviewed on NPR to talk about their published memoirs.
What are our workshops NOT about? Getting your feelings out on paper. Having an ax to grind in a local publication. Writing a self-involved blog with a readership of maybe three, including your mother. That’s why you’ll never find yourself speedwriting or stream-of-consciousness journaling in any of our workshops. We don’t waste valuable (and expensive) workshop time on in-class writing. Professionals write alone.
Our workshops are here to teach craft. Our workshops are here to help writers get published.
Because in the end, what the Westport Writers’ Workshop is about is just this: the reader. Because our writers write to be read, they are willing to do the hard work that it takes to serve the reader.
Here is an incomplete list of work written in our workshops that our writers have had published:
Christine Pakkala had her Last But Not Least Lola Going Green, the first of her three-volume (so far) middle-grade fiction LAST BUT NOT LEAST LOLA series, published by Boyd’s Mill Press in spring 2013.
Brian Mattimore’s book, Idea Stormers: How to Lead and Inspire Creative Breakthroughs was published by Jossey-Bass, an imprint of Wiley Press.
Jonathan Katz’s essay “A Bad Hop” appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Parenthood published March, 2013.
Marcelle Soviero’s essay “Popular” appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Parenthood published March, 2013.
Carol Boas’s short story “Under The Table” was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: I Can’t Believe My Dog Did That series.
Randi Olin’s essay “The Toy Man” was published in the Fall, 2012 issue of Weston Magazine.
Randi Olin’s essay “How to Know When It’s Time to Get Rid of the Swingset” appeared in Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers.
Rebecca Martin’s article “Dr. Dude” appeared in the September, 2012 issue of Literary Mama.
Penny Pearlman published her twice award-winning Pretty Smart: Lessons from our Miss Americas, which is now being used as a textbook in several university curricula.
Valerie Seiling Jacobs‘ article, “The Appealing Earnestness of ‘Say Yes to the Dress'” appeared in the July, 2012 issue of The Atlantic.
Susan Ross won the Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award for her middle grade children’s book In Search of Lottie.
Ed Massey’s short story “Daughter of the Pioneers” was published in the March, 2012 issue of Frontier Tales Magazine. Ed Massey also had his short story, “The Silver Freight,” published by Rope and Wire.
Marcelle Soviero published her essay collection An Iridescent Life: Essays on Motherhood and Stepmotherhood in 2012, the same year she became owner and editor-in-chief of the literary magazine Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers.
Matt Debenham‘s short story “The Advocate” was named a finalist in Narrative Magazine‘s Fall 2011 Story Contest.
Bob Robustellii published his debut novel Teamwork.
Doreen Birdsell published her memoir Without Faith: A Motherless Child Redeemed by a Determined Spirit.
Rebecca Martin’s essay “A Gift to Remember: One Stepdaughter’s Mission to Pay Forward a Kindness From Her Past,” was published in StepMom Magazine.
Randye Kaye’s memoir Ben Behind His Voices: One Family’s Journey from the Chaos of Schizophrenia to Hope was published in 2011 by Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
We could go on. But let’s just say we are very proud.