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Syllable Series: June 4th Readers & A New Location!

30 May


Next Syllable Series:

June 4th, 7:00 pm

Little River Restoratives




In his works: “brett a. maddux is a poet living in hartford, connecticut. friends and contemporaries have often described his writing as a mixture of “is he still doing that?” and “well, at least he tried.” his first collection of poems, regent, was released by silk house publishing at the end of 2016.”


Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. His first collection of poems, The Crown Ain’t Worth Much, was released by Button Poetry in 2016. His first collection of essays, They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us, is forthcoming from Two Dollar Radio in winter 2017.

Dennigan author photo
Darcie Dennigan is the author of three poetry books, including PALACE OF SUBATOMIC BLISS. She founded the nonprofit community Frequency Writers (in Providence) and writes for / teaches at lots of places, including at UConn. Currently obsessed with: poems by Nikki Wallschlaeger and plays by Sibyl Kempson.


Andrew Sottile grew up on the Connecticut shore and now lives in West Hartford. He teaches at Manchester Community College, where he also coordinates the Common Read program. He is at work on a novel.


Syllable accepts two community submissions per month: email your piece (up to 7 minutes in reading length) to for consideration.

Syllable Series: May 7th Readers

13 Apr

Next Syllable Series:

May 7th, 7:00 pm

The Republic at the Linden




Ethan Rutherford’s fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, One Story, American Short Fiction, and The Best American Short Stories.  His first book, The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, a finalist for the John Leonard Award, received honorable mention for the PEN/Hemingway Award, was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and was the winner of a Minnesota Book Award.  Born in Seattle, Washington, he received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota and now teaches Creative Writing at Trinity College.  He lives in Hartford, Connecticut with his wife and two sons.

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Dan Pope is the author of the novels “Housebreaking” (Simon & Schuster, 2015) and “In the Cherry Tree” (Picador, 2003).  His short stories have appeared in many journals, including Crazyhorse, Harvard Review, Iowa Review, McSweeney’s, Shenandoah, Gettysburg Review, and others. He is a 2002 graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, where he attended on a Truman Capote Fellowship. He is a winner of the Glenn Schaeffer Award from the International Institute of Modern Letters, and grants in fiction from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts.


Leah Nielsen earned her M.F.A. from the University of Alabama. Her first collection of poems, No Magic, was published by Word Press. Her chapbook, Side Effects May Include, which examines the state of permanent patienthood, was published in 2014 by The Chapbook. Among other places, her poems have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Indiana Review, and Rattle, Southern Indiana Review, and The Timberline Review. She lives Westfield, MA, and teaches at Westfield State University.


Syllable accepts two community submissions per month: email your piece (up to 7 minutes in reading length) to for consideration.

Syllable: The Reading Series Returns on APRIL 2!

22 Mar

Syllable: The Reading Series is back! We have a new team, a new format, a new location, and it’s all very exciting.

Our next event will be:


7:00 PM

THE REPUBLIC AT THE LINDEN (10 Capitol Avenue, Hartford)


OutdoorLaughingLarge.jpgSOPHFRONIA SCOTT hails from Lorain, Ohio, a hometown she shares with the author Toni Morrison. She was a writer and editor at Time and People magazines before publishing her first novel, All I Need to Get By (St. Martin’s Press) in 2004. She holds a BA in English from Harvard and an MFA in writing, fiction and creative nonfiction, from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her short stories and essays have appeared in The Timberline Review, Killens Review of Arts & Letters, Ruminate Magazine, Saranac Review, Numéro Cinq, Barnstorm Literary Journal, Sleet Magazine,, and O, The Oprah Magazine.

Her forthcoming novel, Unforgivable Love, will be published by William Morrow/HarperCollins in September 2017. She also has on the way an essay collection,Love’s Long Line Alone, from Ohio State University Press and a spiritual memoir, A Child of Faith: Raising a Spiritual Being in a Secular World, co-written with her son Tain, from Paraclete Press. Sophfronia teaches creative writing at Regis University’s Mile High MFA,as well as the Fairfield County Writers’ Studio. She lives in Sandy Hook, Connecticut where she continues to fight a losing battle against the weeds in her flowerbeds.

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Yelizaveta P. Renfro is the author of a collection of essays, Xylotheque, winner of the 2014 Sarton Memoir Award and a finalist for the 2015 WILLA Women Writing the West Award, as well as a collection of short stories, A Catalogue of Everything in the World, winner of the St. Lawrence Book Award. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Glimmer Train Stories, North American Review, Creative Nonfiction, Orion, Colorado Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, South Dakota Review, Witness, Reader’s Digest, Blue Mesa Review, Parcel, Adanna, Fourth River, Bayou Magazine, Untamed Ink, So to Speak, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from George Mason University and a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska. Currently a resident of Connecticut, she’s also lived in California, Virginia, and Nebraska. She has taught writing at UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, Westfield State University, George Mason University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the Mark Twain House.

Ciaran Berry Photo

Ciaran Berry is a 2012 Whiting Writers’ Award winner. His full-length collections are The Sphere of Birds (2008), winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition, the Jerwood Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, and the Michael Murphy Memorial Prize, and The Dead Zoo (2013), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. His work has been featured in The Best of Irish Poetry, Best American Poetry, Pushcart Prize XXXIII: Best of the Small Presses, and Best New Poets, as well as in journals such as AGNI, Ecotone, Ploughshares, Poetry, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry London, The Missouri Review, and The Southern Review. He grew up in Connemara and Donegal in the west of Ireland, and currently teaches in the creative writing program at Trinity College.


We will also feature two local/up-and-coming readers! To submit your work for consideration, please email: Work must be 5-10 minutes of reading or less in any literary genre.

See you all at the Republic on April 2!

2016 Themes: “Repeat, Repeat” and “In the City”

10 Feb

Syllable is bouncing into the new year with two great themes:

“Repeat, Repeat” on March 23rd

“In the City” on April 20th


Location: Hartford Prints! on Pratt Street in Hartford, CT.

Due date for submissions: 1 week prior to reading.

Writers: we need your pieces inspired by the word “hidden,” whatever that means to you. Go bananas. Poetry, prose, sketches, skits, short plays, songs– every genre is fair game as long as you do your literary best.

Listeners: just come, listen, laugh at the funny parts.

Syllable takes literary submissions of all kinds. No reading will last longer than 10 minutes (about 4 prose pages), so your submission must stand alone in that time frame. Shorter submissions are very welcome. Submission guidelines:

Songs, diaries, plays, and creative interpretations of literature are welcome!

This event is BYOB and has a suggested donation of $5.

The mission of Syllable: A Reading Series is to provide a space for Connecticut writers of all levels to showcase their work, and to expose the public to a variety of writing styles. Syllable aims to be another brick in the strong arts community in the Greater Hartford area. This event is possible in part by a grant from the City of Hartford.

Announcing Winter, Spring & Summer Syllable Dates & Themes!

24 Dec

This holiday season we’re giving you the gift of planning ahead. This is the year you banish your excuses and submit to Syllable.

Here are all of our dates & themes for Syllable 2015. (The first half, anyway.) All will be held at Hartford Prints!

Jan 28– Argument
Feb 25– Beauty
March 25- Childhood
April 29- Danger
May 27- Exits
June 24- Free
Go put these dates in your calendar. Now, get writing!

Announcing our Fall Dates & Themes!

17 Sep

We’re back!

This fall, Syllable Series will be at Hartford Prints, located at 42 1/2 Pratt Street in Hartford. Come on in and enjoy!

September 24th: Depth

October 22nd: Decay

November 19th: Doubles

December 10th: Desire

Submission deadlines are 3 days before each event. Email your submissions and questions to



Syllable will be the Final Event at the 3rd Annual Writers’ Weekend at the Twain House!

18 Apr

Holy cow! The 3rd Annual Writers’ Weekend at the Twain House has chosen Syllable Series as its closing event for their weekend of awesomeness. On Sunday, April 27th, come by the Twain House at 2:00 pm and read your work!

All the conference details are below!

3rd Annual Writers’ Weekend at the Mark Twain House: Reserve a spot for the whole weekend, one day, or simply your favorite sessions


Fiction! Memoir! Poetry! Playwrighting! Criticism! Publishing and publicity guidance! This annual event has something for writers of every level.


Peruse the schedule and reserve your spots now—registration is limited.



Come see our keynote speaker Meg Wolitzer, bestselling author of “The Interestings,” &  get your book signed— for only $25. Register here.


Includes lunch, all workshops and lectures, book signings, and admission to our three big events this day: the Critics’ Panel, the Playwrighting Panel, and Literary Death Match.

Sessions on Saturday range from “Conflict in Fiction and Memoir” to “Pitching for Publicity” to “What’s Funny,” a session led by National Book Award Winner John Casey, plus sessions on Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and publishing. $75. Register here.


See three of America’s best working literary critics—John Freeman, David Bromwich, and Carole Goldberg—in conversation with Je Banach of the Yale Writers’ Conference. They’ll discuss the history of criticism, critics they love, what makes a fair review, and much more. $25. Register here.


A stunning lineup of playwrights in conversation with Frank Rizzo of the Hartford Courant. This year we bring you Douglas Carter Beane (“The Little Dog Lauged”), Edwin Sanchez (“Unmerciful Good Fortune”), and Matthew Lopez (Hartford Stage’s current production, “Somewhere”). $25. Register here.


Watch famous writers get judged by other famous writers in a contest of literary skill, wit, and nerd-ery! Contestant read their most exciting work before moving on to a final round of something vaguely literary (past events include “Pin the Moustache on Hemingway”). $25. Register here.


A book fair of local authors, here to meet & greet you and tell you their publishing secrets; small sessions on social media for writers, writing biography, collaborative writing, mystery writing, what authors need to know about the law, poetry, memoir, and more! The day ends with an open reading opportunity for all workshop participants through “Syllable Series.” $75. Register here.


Stop by any single session for just $15. These tickets are only available if our all-weekend and all-day passes aren’t sold out, so just walk up to the Twain ticket desk on those days and purchase at the door! For the full schedule, check here.

ALL-WEEKEND PASS: Doesn’t it all sound great? Attend every single session of the writers weekend, plus the opening reception and two lunches, for only $160. Register here.


For any and all questions, email Director of Writing Julia Pistell or call (860) 280-3130 (tickets can also be purchased over the phone).