February 2010 Newsletter


Monthly Writing Challenge


Editors' Choices


Publication Announcements

Reviewer Honor Roll

Membership Info



February might be the shortest month of the year, but we're still required to get the same amount of work done. How is 2010 working out for you so far?  If you haven't already mapped out your projects for 2010, it's not too late to do it now. Decide what goals you'd like to reach this year, and make plans for them.

This month, we give thanks to David Fortier who spearheaded OWW's new Facebook page. If you're on Facebook, add us to your friends list.  One of the greatest things about the workshop has always been that members extend what the workshop is, and what it does for members, in ways that make sense to them--crit circles, monthly challenges, focus groups, marathons, contests, and now social media.  Keep up the great ideas!

The winners of our "Red Line of Death" Editing Pencil proofreading contest were John Dale Beety and Wm. Luke Everest.  Congratulations and enjoy your pencils!

As always, contact us if you have any questions, publication announcements, or ideas for improving the OWW Newsletter.

Maria Zannini, newsletter editor
newsletter (at) onlinewritingworkshop.com

Monthly Writing Challenge

Sexual identification and gender are highly charged issues when developing a character. Biology only partially defines one's sexual identity, and may have nothing to do with the gender one adopts as one lives a life.

This month's challenge seeks to explore how character development and characterization are affected by both sex and gender. Your challenge is to create a scene with a character but to write it multiple times. In each rewrite, change the sex and/or gender of the main character, but nothing else. Culture, status, class, caste, etc., should all remain static. Try to write the scene at least three times. The more you rework it, the more you'll get out of this exercise.

Remember: Challenges are supposed to be fun, but don't forget to stretch yourself. If you normally write fantasy, try SF. If you've never tried space opera, here's your chance. It doesn't have to be great. It's all about trying new things. There's no word limit, no time limit, no nothin'. Just have fun.

Challenges can be suggested by anyone and suggestions should be sent to Maria (newsletter (at) onlinewritingworkshop.com). 


After a discussion on the mailing list recently of Facebook's usefulness for the workshop, OWW member David Fortier picked up the gauntlet and created a Facebook page especially for the Online Writing Workshop. Already, it's become a serious success.  If you're already a Facebook member, here is the page for OWW--participate in our discussions, and encourage other aspiring writers to join us. Like any other networking venture, it only gives back as much as you put in.  (To join Facebook, go here.)  Thank you, David! You're the best!

Editors' Choices

The Editors' Choices are chosen from the submissions from the previous month that show the most potential or otherwise earn the admiration of our Resident Editors. Submissions in four categories--science fiction chapters, fantasy chapters, horror, and short stories -- receive a detailed review, meant to be educational for others as well as the author. 

This issue's reviews are written by Resident Editors Jeanne Cavelos, Karen Meisner, John Klima, and Karin Lowachee. The last four months of Editors' Choices and their editorial reviews are archived on the workshop. Go to the "Read, Rate, Review" page and click on "Editors' Choices." 

Congratulations to the current Editors' Choice authors!

Editors' Choices, Fantasy

DEVIL'S PIT, Chapters 3-4 by Shiloh Carroll

If you've been following my choices for any length of time, you know that I like well-developed characters. In my opinion, the best way to your readers is through characters in which they can believe. And that's not easy to do, which is why I bring it up so often. Which is why I try to find examples of places where I think it works so you can see all the different ways authors create real breathing people on the page.

Shiloh Carroll has created a pair of tangible people in David and Adria (the protagonist). David is a forensic necromancer and Adria is a psychic. They work together at a place called Super Tech which is kind of a supernatural detective agency. They get called to come do some work at a mine. Early on in this chapter, we get a strong sense of Adria's powers and how different places can affect them. We also get some nice interaction between the two as they use their combined talents to determine if a cave-in left any survivors.

Normally, Adria does not pick up any psychic resonances (my words, not Carroll's) from physical objects, only from people. Carroll does explain that in extreme circumstances, typically places that have seen a lot of human suffering, Adria can pick up on that. So it makes the line, "The mine sat on me" all that more powerful. In that short, simple line, I get a near-perfect image of what Carroll wants me to see and feel here. There is something different going on in the mine and it's not good. This is a great set-up for where the novel and its characters are going.

There are a few places where I stumbled in reading this submission. In one paragraph, Carroll uses the word "precarious" twice, which reads awkwardly. This is something simple to avoid. I'd say it's not a good idea to repeat words in a paragraph, but it's more than that. It should be actively avoided. And a word like "precarious" is so specific, that it does not need to be repeated. If you've told your reader that the situation is precarious at one point, we'll assume that it's precarious until you tell us different. Now, look back at my paragraph and not how many times I use the word. Too many times, even in describing an issue.

In Chapter Four of the submission, there are several places where the dialog falls flat for me. Right off the bat, Carroll tries to set up that some of the mine workers believe there is something weird going on in the mine. It just doesn't work for me. We go too quickly from David and Adria being thanked for helping get the miners out of the cave-in to the mine supervisor, Billy, and his foremen, Larry and Tray, talking about ghosts in the mine (some miners went missing and the other miners are blaming ghosts). There needs to be more transition here. It's like they can't wait to blurt out that there might be ghosts down in the mine.

Then, when David asks if the mine workers want David and Adria to go down in the mine to investigate the ghosts, Billy takes their offer immediately. The alacrity with which Billy agrees to sending the pair down in the mine to look for ghosts seems to imply to me that the problem with ghosts is bigger and more pressing than we're lead to believe. Again, there's not enough set up for the reader to believe that Billy really wants this problem taken care of; the way it's portrayed right now more feels like Billy is embarrassed to even discuss the problem. That's not the mindset of a man who desperately lurches at David and Adria's help.

For the rest of this review, visit the Editor's Choice area of the OWW site!

--John Klima, Editor, Electric Velocipede

Editors' Choices, Science Fiction

THE BETRAYAL, Chapters 10 & 11 by Anita Romero

This month's EC was chosen for its timely subject matter and intriguing concept. Jet Jameson is a one-man Enola Gay -- tasked to lay waste to a remote village in the Himalayas by releasing a deadly virus in order to force a peace treaty between warring Asian countries. The idea is horrific and plays into the fears that many modern readers might have about uncontrollable terrorist acts of biowarfare -- and as such it's an interesting plot to pursue. Anticipating a flare up in the Asian region between India and Pakistan, with China on the side, would make a great socio-political science fiction yarn. Add to that the expected conspiracy by the US government and we have the makings of a heavy book told through great adventure, and what should be an intriguing panoply of characters. Some of these characters are introduced in the previous chapters -- locals of the Himalayan village.

However, the writing does get bogged by scant characterization of its protagonist (Jet -- whose name sounds a little too Buck Rogers for a story of this nature) and clichéd language. Jet has a great dilemma and psychological conflict: he's mourning his dead wife, whose death he blames on the village that he believes encouraged the terrorists that killed her (turns out, they weren't connected.) He's also guilt-ridden by his own actions. All of these aspects of his story make for an inherent compelling internal drama that could fall seamlessly in line with the broader plot -- but his constant doubt/self-reassurance of his actions is heavy-handed and too frequent; there is no subtlety to it and thus it reads a little cartoony. It's also odd how, as stated in the summary paragraphs of the preceding chapters, he would have to ‘fake' the stages of grief when he would be understandably grieving for real over his wife. Maybe that's explained in depth in that chapter but it was a confusing lead in to reading these chapters, where his grief is quite dramatic:

The room looked vacant, empty, like his life.

Beware of such overwrought similes. "As black as my soul" is another one that's used. In this instance, be conscious of showing, not telling. If his life is empty, somehow show it through the way he interacts with others or navigates his physical space rather than stating it outright.

There had to be some absolution, something to tell him that his actions were justified.

This concept is said too explicitly throughout. His "mission" in the novel seems to be one of redemption. As such, it shouldn't have to be stated so obviously -- it should be implicit in his journey throughout the book. Trust your reader to link the points.

Presented as fact, the media held one of several eco terrorist groups responsible for unleashing the virus.

What a farce. Jet knew who was responsible.

Statements like the last one in this excerpt are also redundant. We know that Jet knows who is responsible -- he's spent lines telling us how guilty he feels and/or justifying to himself that his actions were warranted and for the greater good. Again, trust your reader to make the links themselves.

Conversely, there are incidents in this chapter that don't seem addressed enough. When the video plays at the base, showing the awful effects of the virus, and the mechanical voice comes in at the end -- as a threat -- there is no real reaction from the crew standing around. It's not made clear that this is footage the news agency obtained from the so-called terrorist source (or is it? Was this a hijacked stream? And if so, why aren't people alarmed at that?) It initially reads like it's footage from a neutral source, and then the voice at the end comes across like a hijacked stream (someone taking over the broadcast.) This needs to be cleared up.

Other details that don't scan: what is the time frame as he's on the base? It seems to jump around and first he's told to attend to an F-35 pre-broadcast and then he's tasked to fix an Osprey. Don't lose the reader in the action; always be clear where and when your characters are placed, especially for a novel of intrigue and drama like this (as opposed to a surrealist jaunt). And speaking of the Osprey, is there a reason the chief didn't catch the fix for it when it was supposedly so easy? Are they supposed to be that incompetent? These are likely just all clarification issues, small details that should not hang up a reader.

There is also a question of whether the warring parties would ameliorate so quickly even with such a devastating display and threat via the virus. Japan hadn't capitulated after the first atomic bomb, after all. Not that it's not plausible, but maybe there needs to be some indication of debate or blustering by the ruling powers.

Jet's agonizing display at the end reads similarly overwrought as his previous behavior, though the concluding action of burying his wife's ashes is chilling and the last line is wonderful. It seems that the writer is trying to balance a numb grief and self-loathing in Jet but it's coming across too distant or too dramatic, when what is needed is a middle ground. On a nitpicking note, there are a few misplaced commas (inserted where they shouldn't be and absent where they should be) that should be given a closer look, as in:

He held his breath afraid to move

needs a comma between "breath" and "afraid" and

"See, how happy he is."

doesn't need a comma between "see" and "how."

I'm also confused by what the space opera-like inserts at the beginning of the chapters relate to; they don't really work and seem out of sync with the rest of the story.

Still, this is a great idea with the set-up for a lot of good psychological examination as well -- the seeds are all there and beginning to flower; they just need a little more focus.

--Karin Lowachee

Editors' Choices, Short Story

"Ravi's Funeral" by Hilary Goldstein

Three years ago, Ravi thought he was dying, so he had a clone made, complete with an imprint of all his memories, to carry on in his place afterwards. But then Ravi recovered, and went on living for three years, while the clone (named Peter) was left to make a separate life for himself. Now that Ravi has finally died, the clone shows up at his funeral to pay his respects and say goodbye to the life that was never his.

The story begins with Peter entering the church in the middle of the ceremony, unnerving the funeral-goers because he looks like the dead man:

"Sorry," I said. "I'm Ravi's clone."

The subtlest grimace settled on the Reverend's face, like he'd been punched but was trying to play it cool in front of the ladies. And what fine ladies they were -- a dozen women, mostly in their thirties, dressed in purple robes and standing in a raised box to the left of the Reverend. As if sensing the discomfort in the room, they broke into song. I didn't recognize the hymn, but then, Ravi was never one for church.

"You look just like him," the woman next to me whispered. She was old and smelled like powdered sugar.

"That's how it works," I said. "The whole clone thing."

She nodded and patted my arm. "I just can't keep up with you young folk and your technology."

I'm very impressed with this introduction. The actions of the church people flow naturally, and the dialogue is succinct, even sassy: it draws me in, makes me want to read further. The opening never feels like it's handing us a chunk of exposition, and yet in a few brief strokes, it has effectively set a tone and told us what we need to know about the ground situation.

There's one problem with the factual end of the story, which is that a clone, as we typically use the word, would not have inherited all of Ravi's memories, personality, or life experience. We're well into the story by the time this is casually mentioned in passing: "Three years ago, I was split from Ravi with all of his knowledge and experience of the world." I'd suggest coming down with a slightly harder emphasis on that point, because it's not at all a given. We don't need a real explanation, just a hand-wavey reference to the process. Memory-sharing clones are a familiar enough conceit in SF; as long as you make it explicit that "clone" here means something beyond a vat-grown DNA copy, the reader can run with that.

In a few places, the voice shifts tense, sometimes switching between past and present within a single paragraph. This is disconcerting because it throws us out of the narrative perspective. For example:

I know how alone he felt, how he became overwhelmed watching a sad movie, that Mira was his one and only love. But I can't speak for the past three years. Not for Ravi. Those and the rest to come are mine, aren't they? I declined politely with my palm and a downturned shake of my head. Prickling whispers drowned out the passage read by the Reverend.

Stick with a consistent tense throughout -- "I knew how alone he felt", "Those and the rest to come were mine, weren't they?" and so forth. Even if these lines are written in the past tense, they'll read like Peter is in the here and now of the story, looking into the future.

I am wondering why the children don't react more to seeing a clone of their dead father. The grownups are discomfited by his presence; I can only imagine the children would freak out. The fact that they quietly leave the room without fuss feels convenient and unnatural; one senses the hand of the author ushering them out of the way because they aren't needed for the scene. I should think in reality, this interaction would be messier, and it seems like we ought to catch a glimpse of that.

Be wary of overly familiar phrases like "they had the ring of truth" and "cocoa skin". It's a literary cliche to refer to brown skin in terms of food, usually in variations of coffee or chocolate, and there are historical reasons why it's problematic to equate dark skin with commodities, but even apart from that, it reads as lazy writing, because this comparison is so overdone. Any time you feel yourself reaching for a well-worn descriptive phrase, see if you can come up with one that hasn't been used before.

If this is a story about a clone struggling to find himself and a separate life independent of his origins, I'd like to see a little more of that struggle in effect. My concern is that Peter comes across as just a touch cool and distant; we're already inclined to view clones as less than fully human, so the danger is that he seems like an incomplete copy rather than a real person. The writing is nicely restrained and I respect that it never dips into sentiment, but I do want to see that this narrator has a beating human heart and the full range of emotions. Rather than outright describing his feelings, you could focus more on the struggle itself, because I think the struggle needs to be brought forward.

For the rest of this review, visit the Editor's Choice area of the OWW site!

--Karen Meisner, Editor, Strange Horizons

Editors' Choices, Horror

(No horror review this month)


John Klima is not only one of OWW's Resident Editors, but also the editor of Electric Velocipede, the 2009 Hugo Award winner for Best Fanzine. John is thoughtful, articulate and objective, and an editor can have no better qualities than these. Every month when I read through the Editor's Choice reviews, I'm always awed by how well the Resident Editors can identify and explain both the trouble spots and the shiny goodness. John not only delivers, but he delivers before deadline! He does this on top of his work at Electric Velocipede and the newest arrival at the Klima household. My gut feeling tells me he's hiding behind a secret superhero identity.

If you visit Electric Velocipede you can read "stories that are a little weird." Or follow John on his blog. For now, read on, to learn more about John and Electric Velocipede.

EV logoHow did Electric Velocipede come about? What would you like to tell people about EV?

In 2000 I left Tor Books to begin some fast-track training in computer programming. I went off and lived the high-excitement lifestyle of the programmer (and since I am no longer a programmer, you can tell how that worked out).

At the same time, I missed the publishing stuff I had done at Tor Books and Analog and Asimov's. I missed working with authors, missed being a part of the process that created a book or a magazine.

There was a Readercon (a convention in the Boston area) around that time at which I went to a panel featuring Gavin Grant and Kelly Link in their pre-Small Beer Press days. They talked about starting a 'zine. One thing I clearly remember from that panel was that Grant said, "Every person in this room can start their own magazine."

When I left that panel I had decided I was going to start my own magazine.

I had wanted to start a magazine since the early 1990s, but never got anything off the ground. Now, I had all sorts of connections to authors and editors that I could use to get started. I contacted all the writers I knew to solicit stories and cobbled together a first issue that came out in November 2001. I'm working on issue #20 now and along the way I've picked up a Hugo Award for Best Fanzine.

You review SF stories as OWW's Resident Editor for Science Fiction. How do you decide which stories to choose for your monthly review?

It can be tough. I try to find things that have a strong core but need some work. Sometimes there's more work to be done, sometimes there's less. But I need something where I can do a "here's what's working, here's what's not working" write-up. Sometimes I try to look for certain things like cross-genre or high fantasy, other times I want an introductory chapter, or one from further along in the book. That helps me tighten the group of chapters to look at. I've read a lot of good stuff out there that I felt I didn't have enough to say about, so I passed on it.

I wish I could offer advice for everyone, but I don't have time for that.

I did get the chance to meet a few OWW members at the World Fantasy Convention in San Jose this year and was informed that their nickname for me is "the shredder."

In your opinion, how has SFF changed over the years?

I think the biggest thing is that there are more and more writers competing for a reader's attention. And that the reader's attention has more things to be spent on. Even in my own lifetime there's been an explosion of television channels (we had five channels when I was in grade school in the 1970s).  Then there's the creation of the internet and the ubiquity of mobile phones to distract people.

For example, right now I'm listening to music, watching Monday Night Football score updates, checking Electric Velocipede submissions, following ~150 people on Twitter, AND answering these interview questions. Twenty years ago? I probably would have been sitting in front of the TV reading a book.

Do you think there's been a significant change in the demographics of SFF readership?

I think there were a lot of potential readers who got missed, and who now are the people playing World of Warcraft and similar things. I'm sure there is crossover from that demographic with those reading SFF, but I don't think it's as strong as it could be. Now we've got a lot of high-quality genre work being published the young-adult category that I think will turn younger readers into adult readers.

On the other side, I think we've got the unfortunate situation of an aging fandom. Genre publishing is losing fans every year and we can't get them back. I don't address the history of fandom very often because I'm woefully ignorant of a lot of it, but I know that those early fans made science fiction and fantasy what it is today. My hope is that the newer generations of readers and fans have the same passion for the field that those early fans had.

I see a lot of readers that are older and a lot of readers that are younger and I hope that we're on a wave and not a spike.

photoI'm sure you were rightly stoked over the 2009 Hugo win for Electric Velocipede. (We love how it rises between the hot sauce and the syrup, to the right of your EV mug, in the photo you sent.) To what do you owe your success?

That's a tough question for me since in a lot of ways I don't think I'm able to assess my success or failure. When I made the  ballot, I heard from all over the place that I was the best-known of all the candidates and I thought, "Really?" I was talking to some people about the fact that I'll be in the Semiprozine category for this next year and they said I would make the category a lot stronger. And again I thought, "Really?"

What I strive to do is to continually assess what I'm doing and see if there's anything I can improve. You can't start reading Electric Velocipede hoping you'll get the same stuff for the next ten years. The size might change, the layout might change, the content will slip all over the place...

I also don't spend a lot of time thinking about what other magazines are doing. I read the other genre magazines to see which writers are getting published. I go through the newsstand and design books to see if there are ideas I can steal. For example, I thought my table of contents wasn't presenting material in an interesting enough fashion, so I went and did some research on design and re-imagined the layout.

I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what's missing: I want to see if there's something the reading public is asking for that I can provide. Similarly, but differently, I try to see if there's something none of the magazines provide for their readers and try to fill the gap. I think that's part of what appeals to a lot of people where Electric Velocipede is concerned.

What do you look for when people submit to Electric Velocipede?

I want to see something different. I want people to try things. But what I find exciting about short stories is that an author can try something crazy and it can work. Take Jeffrey Ford's story "The Way He Does It" (available online) for example. That story would not work at novel length. But as a piece of short fiction, it totally works.

I don't want to see the same things that people have written about over and over again. I have a story coming up next year about a man with a secret cross-dressing habit who discovers a woman is growing out of the new pair of high heels he bought. But then I have at least one post-apocalyptic story, a few steampunk stories, and there's yet another that is essentially secret agents in space. It's a mixed bag.

What advice can you give writers, especially with so much competition out there?

Read your dialog out loud. Follow submission guidelines. For short fiction, start your story on page one, not page eight (i.e., don't spend most of the story setting the scene). Follow submission guidelines. Put your contact information on your submission. Double-space your document. Follow submission guidelines.

Following submission guidelines is similar to the reason why Van Halen famously put the "no brown m&ms" clause in their contract rider. It was to make sure you read the whole thing. Their contract had some very serious things venues had to consider that could actually be life-threatening if not handled properly. Ignoring, or not seeing the "no brown m&ms" might seem trivial, but if you couldn't follow that, the band knew it had to check EVERYTHING else in the rider. They had a concert where their stage sunk into the floor of the venue because the venue hadn't checked that part of the contract rider. If they had looked at that, they would have known that having Van Halen play there would wreck the place, literally.

Think of submission guidelines like a job application. If you can't follow those, it's easy to reject your piece without reading it. One of my pet peeves: If you can't put your name on the submission, why are you sending it out? If I ask for a specific typeface, don't question it, JUST DO IT. People who don't follow submission guidelines aren't serious about getting in my publication or even getting published at all.

By the same token, publishers need to assess what they're doing and see if they can do something different with their submission process to match current technology. I think it's a little absurd to work with submission procedures from sixty years ago.

If you're interested in publishing in the SFF genre, I heavily recommend getting to conventions. It's a way to see how the fans and pros both interact with the books and magazines. For me, World Fantasy is the most important thing I do every year. I always come home with several new projects to work on.

What kind of submission makes you sit up and take notice? For example: the voice, the world-building, etc.?

It's mostly the voice. I can tell in the first paragraph if I've got something special. Hal Duncan's "The Chiaroscurist" (available online) grabbed me of me from the get-go. In short fiction you have to get my attention right off the bat or you're setting yourself up for a tough row to hoe.

I also like when someone can take a situation that is absurd or completely implausible and make it sound normal. A pair of high heels that a woman grows out of? Giant worms that crush houses in the suburbs? Dolphins putting on a Esther Williams-esque show? If you can make these things sound like everyday things, you've got something going. (those are all stories coming out next year, so don't send me those ideas!)

What do you read for pleasure? Is it hard to take off your editor's hat when you read for pleasure?

I read a lot of mystery and young-adult stuff for pleasure. Stuff that's fast to read. Lately I've been reading a bunch of typographic/bibliographic material. Stuff that talks about the history of books and how you can determine the age and provenance of a manuscript or old book. They're related to a story from Darin Bradley called "∞°". It's heady stuff, but fascinating.

I have no problem taking off my editor's hat when I read for pleasure. I have to. There's no sense in me getting riled up about editorial choices that can't be fixed/changed anyway.  Now, typographic or proofreading mistakes...those drive me NUTS. I am absolutely unable to take off my proofreading hat (unless it's something I've typed; then I'm BLIND to mistakes).

What would you be doing if you weren't an editor?

I work full time as a librarian, so I have that as a back-up plan.

Publication Announcements

Aliette de Bodard wrote: "My Lansara (aka pseudo-Hindu) short 'By Bargain and by Blood' is in the 108th issue of Hub Magazine, courtesy of the awesome Lee Harris."

Brandon Barr wrote: "'At the End of the Time Jump' is a short story I wrote back in 2005, and to my delight, it's now out in AUDIO form! My story is read by talented voice actor Christina Boyd, produced by Taylor Kent and Paeter Frandsen, and mixed and directed by Taylor Kent (who runs Snark Tank Productions)."

Marlissa Campbell reported the sale and pending publication of "The Proust Effect" to The Tangled Bank anthology. "Many rounds of workshop review and revision went into this story. Thank you to all who reviewed, with special shout-outs to Gill Ainsworth and Michael Keyton who stuck with me through the years (really!) that it took to get this one right!"

Nicole Cushing had a boatload to share: "Eraserhead Press will be publishing my first book, How To Eat Fried Furries, as part of their New Bizarro Author Series. It seems to me that at least two of the short pieces in Fried Furries were workshopped on OWW ('A Citizen's History of the Pseudo-Amish Anschluss' and 'The Whacking of Godfather Christmas'). I can't remember who actually did the crits, but I do want to thank anyone who critted those stories.  Also, my short story 'Herman Sligo Is Flayed & Living in Louisville, Kentucky' appears in the new issue (#37) of the Journal of Experimental Fiction. And the absurdist 'zine Bust Down The Door & Eat All The Chickens (yes, that's the name of the 'zine) will be publishing my story 'Youth to Be Proud Of' in a forthcoming online issue (probably out in February)."

Hilary Goldstein told us: "I sold 'Seven Sins for Seven Dwarves' to The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. It hasn't been scheduled for a specific issue yet, but should be out to the world by this summer. Hot damn!"

Barbara Gordon says: "My first pro sale, 'On the Transmontane Run with the Aerial Mail Express,' is up on Beneath Ceaseless Skies. It has airships, monkeys, air-pirates, and jellyfish--what more could you want? Go, read, donate to the 'zine!"

Karen L. Kobylarz tells us: "I am writing to let you know my short story 'Breath of Amun' has been published by Lacuna: A Journal of Historical Fiction, and is currently available. I posted this story several times on the workshop; thanks to all workshop members who reviewed it."

Karl Bunker
wrote: "My story 'Under the Shouting Sky' has been selected to appear in Gardner Dozois' Year's Best Science Fiction, Volume 27. Also, my story 'Jerry' is out in issue #18 of Neo-Opsis. Thanks again to the workshoppers who gave me feedback on these stories."

Carole Ann Moleti wrote us to say: "The last quarter of 2009 and the first of 2010 has been a great one for me. In addition to winning the Best Nonfiction Prize with Oasis Journal 2009, a total of four memoir pieces were published. Details and excerpts are on my web site. But the biggest news is the upcoming release of my workshopped paranormal romance (under a pseudonym) "Hot Chocolate Kiss" by Eternal Press on January 7, 2010."

Marshall Payne says: "Just learned that my story 'Borrowing Sugar' will be in Pill Hill Press' upcoming anthology The Four Horsemen: An Anthology of Conquest, War, Famine & Death."

Josh Vogt told us: "My short story 'Odd Jobs,' which was workshopped last year, has been picked up by Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show. It should be out with their next issue."

Reviewer Honor Roll

The Reviewer Honor Roll is a great way to pay back a reviewer for a really useful review.  When you nominate a reviewer, we list the reviewer's name, the submission/author reviewed, and your explanation of what made the review so useful.  The nomination appears in the Honor Roll area of OWW the month after you submit it, and is listed  for a month. You can nominate reviewers of your own submissions or reviewers of other submissions, if you have learned from reading the review.  Think of it as a structured, public "thank you" that gives credit where credit is due and helps direct other OWWers to useful reviewers and useful review skills.

Visit the Reviewer Honor Roll page for a complete list of nominees and explanatory nominations.

January 2010 Nominees

Reviewer: Lindsay B
Submission: Misfit Mystics and the Foggy Sea
Submitted by: Sandy Garza

Reviewer: M. G. Blak
Submission: Sins of the Mother
Submitted by: Jennifer Dawson

Reviewer: Valerie Jones
Submission: Bringer of the Change
Submitted by: Heather Clitheroe

Reviewer: Elizabeth Butler
Submission: Prologue, Chapter 1
Submitted by: Heather Johnson

Reviewer: Pam Hullin
Submission: THE TRIBE OF MARY LORE, Chapter 2
Submitted by: Frances Snowder

Reviewer: J. Dennis Johnson
Submission: Prologue, Chapter 1
Submitted by: Heather Johnson

Reviewer: Gio Clairval
Submission: Attrition, Chapters 1 & 2
Submitted by: Dev Agarwal

Reviewer: Crash Froelich
Submission: Of Man, Ghost, and Woman
Submitted by: Mike Harrington

Reviewer: Terri Trimble
Submission: TRIBE OF MARY LORE Chapter 6
Submitted by: Frances Snowder

Reviewer: Kelly Bryson
Submission: The Tribe of Mary Lore Chapters 7 - 8
Submitted by: Frances Snowder

Reviewer: Hilary Goldstein
Submission: The Tribe of Mary Lore Chapter 1
Submitted by: Frances Snowder

Reviewer: Elissa Hunt
Submission: The Goblin Brothers and the River Lobster's Riddle
Submitted by: Lindsay B

Reviewer: Frances Snowder
Submission: Blood Betrayal - Chap. 4
Submitted by: Zoe Zygmunt

Reviewer: Steven Bouchard
Submission: Of Man, Ghost, and Woman
Submitted by: Mike Harrington

Reviewer: Margaret Fisk
Submission: A Magic for All Seasons
Submitted by: Tony Peak

Reviewer: Sage V Jorran
Submission: The Watchers
Submitted by: David Marshall

Reviewer: Karen Kobylarz
Submission: Orion's Dawn
Submitted by: Christine Lucas

Reviewer: Ilan Lerman
Submission: Cemetery Water
Submitted by: Frances Snowder

Reviewer: Kendra Highley
Submission: Janie Lane and the Toy Mill - Prologue and Chapter 1
Submitted by: Raymond Walshe

Reviewer: Georgina Bruce
Submission: Cemetery Water Revised
Submitted by: Frances Snowder

Reviewer: Heather Johnson
Submission: Misfits
Submitted by: Gotmy Irishup

Reviewer: Sage V Jorran
Submission: Epsilon Echoes
Submitted by: Scott Baker

Reviewer: Erin Stocks

Submission: Orion's Dawn
Submitted by: Christine Lucas

Reviewer: Boz Flamagin
Submission: Orion's Dawn
Submitted by: Christine Lucas

Reviewer: Ursula Warnecke
Submission: Misfits
Submitted by: Gotmy Irishup

Reviewer: Aaron C. Brown
Submitted by: Karen Clark

Reviewer: Heather Johnson
Submission: CILU'S VIAL
Submitted by: Jeremy Salisbury

Reviewer: Sam Emerson
Submission: Current
Submitted by: Kendra Highley

Reviewer: Glenn Harsha
Submission: Revenge is a Parasite
Submitted by: clinton ellingsworth

On Shelves Now

coverGIVE UP THE GHOST by Megan Crewe (Henry Holt Books, September 2009)

A supernatural twist on the "Mean Girls" plot, for YA readers. Cass McKenna sees ghosts. Her first spotting was her sister Paige, who failed to pass on to the afterlife following a drowning accident. Unfortunately for Cass, Paige and the ghosts that inhabit her school are her only friends. A junior-high bullying incident left her jaded and angry, and as revenge, she uses her supernatural informants to spill her classmates' juiciest secrets.  (School Library Journal)

"Crewe’s first effort will make readers wonder what else she’s got up her sleeve," said Kirkus Reviews.

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The Online Writing Workshop for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror
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