Tag Archives: Tish Fried

Write Yourself Free — For Free!

It’s not just restaurants and small business that fight to survive in Westport.

Write Yourself Free — a local writing workshop — is having a tough time too.

Tucked away in Colonial Green next to Le Farm, it’s a comfy place to hone your craft, hear speakers, meet like-minded folks and feel part of a writing community.

But that doesn’t always pay the bills.

“There’s been a contraction in the economy of the creative arts, as well as of the mom-and-pops who serve the committed community of Westport,” says Tish Fried, the writing workshop’s director.

“And it’s always a fight for recognition without an advertising budget, in an increasingly busy town.”

Write Yourself FreeFried calls her center “a victim of our success. Many students who started out years ago with us have ‘graduated.’ They’re moving their projects into the marketplace.” That’s led to empty spots in seminars — which are limited to 6 students per class. (And at least 1 of those spots is always a scholarship.)

Write Yourself Free hopes to gain some attention with a free “Mini-Workshop Week.” Starting Tuesday (September 15), it’s a chance to meet some of the top teachers, and sample classes in areas like creative writing, memoirs and children’s books.

“We’re on the lookout for our next crop of star pupils,” Fried says. “I’m always trying to convince people to slow down, and give themselves a few creative hours a week.”

Feel creative? Check out the workshops here. For more information, email tishpatrick@gmail.com, or call 203-557-4614.

Robert Levine’s 3rd Party

What are the odds of a 3rd party in America?

Not bad, according to one Westporter — a man who should know.

According to alert “06880” reader Tish Fried — who wrote the following report — over 40 people attended a book launch on that subject last Friday at Write Yourself Free in Colonial Green.

Robert A. Levine (Photo/Dave Matlow)

They discussed Robert A. Levine‘s latest work, Resurrecting Democracy: A Citizen’s Call for a Centrist Third Party.  Levine — a Westporter for 40 years — is fed up with the extreme partisan bickering that’s paralyzed the federal government.

A Vietnam vet who became a medical doctor, Levine has watched the evolution of American politics with increasing alarm.  Energized by his faith in democratic processes, he wrote this book.

“Is democracy dead if it needs resurrecting?” asked Patrick McCord, the event moderator.

“The current form of democracy serves to reinforce sitting Congress and the established parties’ self-interest,” Levine replied.

He proposed “a 3rd party, not bound by a single personality and structured on the principals of transparency, integrity, competency; a party with a commitment to finding pragmatic solutions to our most urgent problems.”

An energetic discussion of the viability of creating a 3rd party ensued.

Levine believes the moment is now.  “This is a great time for this discussion. Congressional approval is at an all time low of 9%, the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street Movements are gaining numbers.  Why not now?”

Audience members shouted out names of possible leaders:  Chuck Hagel.  Michael Bloomberg.  Russ Feingold.  Even Republican presidential nominee Jon Huntsman.

“The talent is out there,” Levine said.  “We need men and women who will become a part of this movement.”

Levine said that he has been a political junkie since his days as a history major at Columbia University.  But many Westporters know him as their doctor.  A neurologist in private practice, he’s been on staff at Norwalk Hospital for over 4 decades.

A 3rd party.  Just what the doctor ordered?

Room To Write

Westport is crawling with writers.

Some write at home.   Others use the library or Starbucks.

Soon, they’ll have an actual writers’ room.  Or, to be grammatically correct:  The Writers’ Room.

Tish Fried and Patrick McCord relax in the Writers' Room.

That’s the name of the brainchild of Tish Fried and Patrick McCord.  Writers themselves — and editors and teachers — they’ve been giving under-the-radar workshops for adults and kids (most recently in Black Rock).

But they always coveted Westport.  Finally they’ve found a spot:  a cozy red clapboard building in Colonial Green.

With wooden beams, walls freshly painted in soothing yellow and green, and plenty of light, it’s the perfect spot for writing.

Add wooden tables, comfy lounge chairs, an espresso machine, wi-fi and trade magazines, and writers may never want to leave.

An added attraction:  Cell phones are prohibited.

A pre-launch party is set for this Friday (June 18, 7 p.m.).  Writers will be welcome gratis for a couple of months; beginning in September, Tish and Patrick will charge a small fee.  (Hey, they’re writers, not billionaires.)

Tish and Patrick envision The Writers’ Room as a place for book signings, poetry readings, story-telling, meetings with agents and editors, parties and other special events.

They’ll offer small-group workshops upstairs — everything from screenwriting and poetry to college essays.

It’s a welcome addition to Westport.  And — if writers ever get tired of writing — the Colonial Green location is perfect.

They can walk to the library or Starbucks.

(For more information, click on www.writeyourselffreenow.com; email tish@theeditingcompany.com, or call 203-557-4614.)