Tag Archives: Write Yourself Free

Archiving Dad’s Photos

Westporters know Tish Fried as director of the Write Yourself Free writing workshop. But she’s also the daughter of Lawrence Fried.

The award-winning photojournalist covered political, social and cultural events for publications like the New York Times, NewsweekSaturday Evening PostVogue, Collier’s and Parade.

A collection of Lawrence Fried Newsweek covers.

A collection of Lawrence Fried Newsweek covers.

Tish and her sister, Lauren Wendle, are moving their father’s long career of work to Connecticut. Here, they’ll begin the long process of preserving and archiving over 200 boxes of negatives, slides and original prints.

There’s another Westport connection. Fried shot several stories in Westport — including geese on the Saugatuck River, to illustrate a piece on a local writer.

Well, sort of. The day of the assignment, they weren’t there. So Fried photographed geese on a pond in Tarrytown, where he lived. The subject of the story noticed the difference (and was not pleased).

On his way to the airport, Fried often stopped in Westport to pick up journalist Ed Kiester. They traveled together to the world’s hot spots.

“This is a historic collection,” Tish Fried says. “It includes presidents from Eisenhower to Nixon, and all the Kennedys.”

A small section of the vast archives.

A small section of the vast archives.

After a guard smashed Fried’s camera at the Moscow airport, he was offered an official apology. He refused it — and instead asked permission for a rare trans-Siberian trip.

In 1960 he received an Overseas Press Club Photography Award for his 50,000-mile exploration of life in that isolated territory.

Fried made 3 trips to Viet Nam. He turned against the war when a marine offered to take a particular hill, because it would make a good picture.

RFK book cover by Lawrence FriedFried was on the campaign trail with Bobby Kennedy for 2 weeks. One image became a Newsweek cover — and the one Kennedy chose for his book, “To Seek A Newer World.” Fried’s photo of the RFK funeral is in the Smithsonian’s permanent collection.

Fried also photographed Chiang Kai-shek, Willem de Kooning, Marlon Brando,  James Dean, Bette Midler, Stevie Wonder and Meryl Streep.

For years, Tish and her sister have fielded requests for images. Locating the proper ones is tough.

“Having an archivist help us organize the material is a dream come true,” Tish says. Westport Arts Center board member Michael Loeb helped fund the research.

The early part of the process is going well. Tish and Lauren constantly find amazing images. One is an Andy Warhol selfie: The artist took Fried’s camera and shot pictures of himself.

The sisters recently discovered a 2-week shoot of Louis Armstrong on tour, and a photo of Bob Dylan posing with Zsa Zsa Gabor — at Mick Jagger’s birthday party.

More discoveries await. Tish Fried is a writer — but it’s almost like she’s in her father’s darkroom, waiting for the next exciting new image to appear.

(To learn more about Lawrence Fried’s archives, email patriciafried57@gmail.com)

Conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth, by Lawrence Fried.

Conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth, by Lawrence Fried.

Westport Welcomes New Writers’ Studio

Westporters love words. We argue, read — and write.

This town is already home to 2 thriving writers’ centers: Westport Writers’ Workshop and Write Yourself Free.

We’ll soon welcome a 3rd. Fairfield County Writers’ Studio opens in January at 21 Charles Street, near the train station.

Classes will be held by best-selling authors, well-known editors, top literary agents, television pros and publishing experts. Aspiring and established fiction and non-fiction writers can enroll in master classes and workshops.

Westporter Jane Green and Linda Fairstein head the list of instructors.

Hard at work at the Fairfield County Writers' Studio.

Hard at work at the Fairfield County Writers’ Studio.

Fairfield County Writers’ studio was founded by Tessa Smith McGovern and Carol Leonetti Dannhauser. McGovern is a top-selling Amazon author, and teaches at Sarah Lawrence’s Writing Institute. When her children were in Westport schools, she taught workshops for their classmates. She helped her son Phil and his baseball teammates publish an app of their sportswriting.

Dannhauser has written for the New York Times, Business Week and Good Housekeeping. She teaches journalism at Quinnipiac University.

“Our chief aim is to create a nurturing community where writers and artists can come together in our creative space, and find the instruction and support they need to have fun, write and publish — wherever they are in their careers,” McGovern says.

Write on!

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.