Introducing…drum roll please…The Fairfield County Writers’ Studio (FCWS)!

Tessa Smith McGovern (BookGirlTV) and Carol Dannhauser (Writers’ Workshop of Fairfield, now in its 13th year) have joined forces to create The Fairfield County Writers’ Studio (FCWS).

Located next to the train station at 4th floor, 21 Charles Street, Westport, CT.


Write Your Story to Prompts (FCWS, Westport CT)
Fridays 12 – 2pm
8 week class starts Jan 15 2016 $295
Located next to the train station, FCWS, 4th floor, 21 Charles St Westport CT
Teacher: Tessa Smith McGovern

“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
– E. L. Doctorow

In January, have fun writing (or re-writing) a solid first draft of your story in response to prompts with me, Tessa Smith McGovern, at the Fairfield County Writers’ Studio’s new location by the Westport, CT train station. (Class starts 1/21 or 1/22, details below.)
In each class, we’ll use prompts tailored to each writer’s story to write the first draft of 5 new, key scenes. At the end of each class, we will each read aloud one new scene for (supportive!) group and instructor feedback.
The spine of every satisfying story has the same elements: memorable characters, an intriguing premise, theme, a good hook, catalyst, rising conflict, plot reversal, climax, and resolution. To stimulate our creativity, we’ll use examples of these from each writer’s genre, and have fun creating (or strengthening) the skeleton of your story.
Works studied or referenced will include: Still Life With Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen, Devil’s Bridge by Linda Fairstein, After You by JoJo Moyes, My House in Umbria by William Trevor, and All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Also Story by Robert McKee and The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller by John Truby.
This class includes comprehensive weekly hand outs on the art and craft of story writing – learn how to write a great story by studying the masters!

Appropriate for genre and literary writing, and all levels of experience are welcome.

This class is available on Thursdays at 9.30 a.m. (begins Jan 21) or Fridays at 12 noon (begins Jan 22). The cost for 7 weeks is $295.

I look forward to hearing from you!


Or, FOR MORE INFORMATION: please email editor @ or call 203 226 6971.

The Art and Craft of Novel Writing (FCWS, Westport, CT)
Wednesdays, 12 – 2pm
8 week class starts Jan 13 2016 $295
Located next to the train station, FCWS, 4th Floor, 21 Charles Street, Westport, CT.
Teacher: Tessa Smith McGovern

Each week, in a supportive yet effective environment, students will read aloud from their work-in-progress for group and instructor feedback. We will review the week’s writing progress, celebrate successes, discuss strategies for overcoming obstacles, and set goals for the coming week.

Topics of instruction (with examples from today’s top authors) include: creating complex, memorable characters using the character diamond, premise, theme, hooks, catalysts (including the screenwriter’s ‘double bump’), narrative pacing, dialogue, heightened conflict, plot reversals, climax and resolution.

The instructor will respond to an additional 5 pages per students weekly, and provide optional prompts for at-home assignments. Students will meet one-on-one with the instructor for one hour during the 5 week course for personalized goal achievement.

Discussions will include where each novel fits in today’s publishing world, and manuscripts will be prepared for publication.Come and join a supportive writing community that welcomes writers of all levels!

Works studied or referenced will include: Still Life With Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen, Devil’s Bridge by Linda Fairstein, After You by JoJo Moyes, My House in Umbria by William Trevor and All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

Appropriate for all genres, all levels of experience welcome.


OR, FOR MORE INFORMATION: please email editor @ or call 203 226 6971.

Non-fiction and Memoir Classes with Carol Dannhauser Begin Jan 2016
The Fairfield County Writers’ Studio (FCWS)
21 Charles St., Westport CT.
(Other classes coming soon*)

Writing to Prompts (non-fiction)
Mondays noon to 2 pm

Crafting Your Memoir
Mondays 2:30-4:30 p.m.

* Coming 2016 to FCWS in 2016 (dates tbc):
Write and Perfect Your Pitch Workshop January 2016
Pitch it! with literary agent Marilyn Allen January 2016 (3 winners’ pitches will be sent to an editor at Sourcebooks and an editor at Penguin Random House)
Writing Children’s Books
Writing the Personal Essay
Screenwriting: Give Your Published Story a Second Life
Crafting the Book Proposal (4 weeks with a finished proposal at the end)
Tackling “Writers Market”
Self-Publishing eBooks
How to Set Up and Begin Your Blog
Boost Your Blog Numbers
Scrivener 101
Advanced Scrivener
Develop Your Online Platform
Saturday writing retreats with Pat Dunn, Director, Writing Institute, Sarah Lawrence College
Master Classes with best-selling authors Jane Green and Linda Fairstein

FCWS co-founder Tessa Smith McGovern is an award-winning writer whose many publication credits include the Connecticut Review and the English Arts Council at the Southbank Centre, London. Her linked short story collection, LONDON ROAD: LINKED STORIES, is an Amazon best-seller and gold medal winner in the 2012 eLit Awards. Her non-fiction book, COCKTAILS FOR BOOK LOVERS (Sourcebooks), is also an Amazon best-seller. She is founder and editor of eChook Digital Publishing, publisher of short-story collections and memoirs on iPhone, iPad, Android, Nook and Kindle. eChook won a silver medal in the 2012 eLit Awards and its stories have been read by thousands of readers in 100+ countries.

Tessa is also host, writer and producer of BookGirlTV, an award-winning digital channel that promotes books and reading on all digital platforms and smart TVs. BookGirlTV has over 6 million minutes viewed on YouTube, 600 subscribers, and is partnered with Disney’s MakerGen Studios. An app called ‘BookGirlTV BUZZ’ is available on Android and iOS. eChook and BookGirlTV have 166 million impressions on Facebook, 10,000-plus Facebook likes and 2,000-plus Twitter followers.

FCWS co-founder Carol Leonetti Dannhauser is a journalist (Columbia University) and editor whose work appears in print, online and on television. She has written for the New York Times, produced documentaries for PBS and was recognized by the White House for her work online. She is the author of four non-fiction books, has been nominated for three Emmys, and has a closet full of awards for her magazine, television and newspaper work. She was selected as a Master Teaching Artist in Writing by the Connecticut Commission on the Arts and founded the Writers’ Workshop of Fairfield in 2001.

Please email editor @ or call 203 226 6971 for further information.

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