April 2010 Newsletter


Monthly Writing Challenge


Editors' Choices


Publication Announcements

Reviewer Honor Roll

On Shelves Now

Membership Info



This month the awesome Jennifer Dawson is once again hosting the Proposal Package Focus Group. Spots are limited and there is a deadline. For more information check the Grapevine section below.

We also have a special treat for April. Nathan Bransford is in the house for this month's interview.

Do you have an agent or editor who'd like to be interviewed on OWW? Drop me a line at: newsletter (at) onlinewritingworkshop.com. I am always on the look out for publishing professionals to interview.

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

You never thought that you would be writing in the second person, but you were wrong. You pick up your pen, and then decide that this story is best composed on a keyboard, fresh from your mind to the cybermind. With eager fingers on the hard plastic, you write.

Second person is even more challenging than first, and very rarely used, but may be the perfect vehicle for a story. The challenge for April is to write a story in second person of no more than 1000 words. So, be an April fool and write in the second person.

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). 


Proposal Package Focus Group: From April 12th through April 30th, members will be able to post a query letter, synopsis and first five pages for in-depth critique by a focus group. The group will be led by long-time member Jennifer Dawson. Reviewers of these proposals will not only do line nits, but will also give valuable feedback regarding plot hook, the quality of the writing sample, the likeability of the characters, etc.

Registration will begin on April 1st and will be limited to the first fifteen people. We will hold a waitlist, though, and those people will be contacted if anyone drops out. Past participants are welcome to register. So get those proposal packages ready! You will need a query letter, a polished synopsis, and the first five pages of your book ready BEFORE the PPFG starts.

This event will be held on a new ProBoards forum with secure logins so all posts are protected, like the workshop. Unlimited space per member, and organized spaces are great perks. For more information, you can visit http://ppfg.proboards.com/ and read the basics without registering -- or contact Jennifer at dawson001@mac.com

Hope to see you there!


Market News

Othergate seeks original works of science fiction, fantasy, and other speculative fiction in all forms including prose, poetry, essays, new media, and art. We are a student run online journal publishing our inaugural issue. We are going live in mid-April. This is a great opportunity to get published; the journal will be available online to view for years to come. We look forward to reading your submissions! Please visit our web site.  If you have any questions please e-mail us: othergatejournal@gmail.com

AE--The Canadian Science Fiction Review is a new professional market for science fiction, both Canadian and international, and is currently running a microfiction contest for science fiction stories 200 words in length or shorter. Winners will published in the promotional publication AE Micro and will receive cash awards and other prizes, including memberships to this very workshop.

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


Have we talked about where to start your story? At what point chronologically in your narrative do you start putting words to page and take the reader from there into the future of your literary world? No? Good. We're going to do that this month.

There is a tradition in fantasy-not necessarily starting with Tolkien, but popularized by him-of having the story start in a fairly mundane fashion. Think Bilbo sitting in his home at the beginning of The Hobbit, or throwing himself a birthday party to kick of The Lord of the Rings. In both cases, the novel progresses for quite a ways before the story proper gets going, i.e., when the characters pack up and head out of town for adventure.

Starting your story this way can be fine, but my advice is if what you're writing isn't pertinent to the story at hand, leave it out. There's no need to describe all the food, dancing, and fireworks at a party unless they're relevant in some fashion. However, if by providing great detail about a dinner lets you introduce a large amount of characters that the reader needs to keep straight, then by all means leave the scene in the story.

Alternately, the story can start in media res, i.e., in the middle of things. In this case, you put your reader right in the middle of the action. Think The Odyssey or Glen Cook's Black Company books. The story no longer starts with the journey, but after the journey.

Of course choosing where to start has many different variables playing with it and it's necessarily easy to do. In M. G. Blak's Heir of the Wolf, I think the story could benefit from starting in media res rather than starting where it does. I think chapter four would make an excellent opening chapter for the book. It provides some back story, has some excellent action (an assassination), and introduces a few major characters to the reader.

Also, given that the chapter three ends with years passing-the equivalent of a theater card declaring "two weeks later" between acts-that information can come to the reader in flashbacks, dialog, and other literary devices. Rather than have time pass in your story where nothing happens, start the story after that time has passed.

Blak does a nice job of introducing characters to the reader. There is a lot of information provided about DeMarkus, the king's right-hand man, without using lengthy bouts of exposition. I like the dialog between DeMarkus and his senile king. Blak has really captured he senility and how at times the king is very lucid and at other times somewhere else. When DeMarkus is talking to the king, Blak needs to put more pause into the conversation to indicate that DeMarkus is waiting for the king. Right now it reads like DeMarkus is badgering the king with his constant reminders that he is in the room with the king.

All is not well, however. There is a short section during the beginning of the chapter where Blak describes the king's dead jester. I don't see how it fits into the story and how the reader benefits from it being there. Perhaps it sets the character of DeMarkus, but I think giving character traits to DeMarkus can be done in a better way, which Blak does during the course of the chapter.

There is a scene where Blak describes how the king lost his hand. The order of events felt jumbled and confused to me, and they should be clear. Also, there is no transition into or out of the scene. Since DeMarkus is thinking into his past about the event that caused the hand to be lost, Blak needs to provide transitions to keep the reader from getting lost. It was disconcerting to come back to the current scene from when the hand was lost.

Additionally, the characters talk about the king losing his hand like it's something that just happened. However, the king lost his hand when he was young and still a prince. While losing a hand is traumatic, its impact should be lessened over the course of the decades that have passed since the event. The king's son even brings up the loss of the hand, asking if he lost his manhood at the same time, except that the hand was lost before the king's son was born and the king had performed many deeds that would prove his manliness in the intervening years. The comparison, while powerful, is not well conceived given the impact and meaning the missing king's hand should have on the characters in the scene.

Something that I noticed Blak doing was a repetition of words. Not to harp on the scene of losing the hand, but in the paragraph that starts "DeMarkus shoved the point of the blade..." Blak uses the word ‘still' three times and once again at the beginning of the next paragraph. Using the same word too many times will distract your reader from your story.

Two things I've mentioned before: Blak occasionally falls into the pronoun trap, using the same pronoun to refer to different people or things within the same sentence or paragraph; and there is one occasion where two different people speak in the same paragraph. I won't go on with the pronoun thing as I've covered it before, but I will reiterate that you CANNOT have multiple people speaking in the same paragraph. If we were talking out loud, I would know who the voices belong to, but given that the only clues are written, separate different speakers into their own paragraphs.

While it may seem that there are a lot of little nits about this chapter, there is a great core here. I like the characters and how they're developed. It makes me believe that Blak will create other memorable characters. (spoiler alert) I like the patricide and how that complicates everything to come. I also think it wouldn't be a bad idea to have this chapter start the novel. This chapter is shocking and engaging and I think it would suck the reader in and make them keep turning pages. The information that happens in the preceding three chapters can be brought out later in the story.

--John Klima, Editor, Electric Velocipede

Editors' Choices, Science Fiction

QUALIA Ch. 3 Continued, By Jules KD

An easy style defines this month's selection, where an amnesiac Leander finds himself driven to a strange town, threatened by Whiteclads and tacitly allied with Darkclads. The images are clear, the character interaction smooth, and the story pretty brisk in its action. There are ways that the tension can better be inserted, though, so Leander's experiences don't roll out quite as easily. You want the writing to be accessible but not so simply offered that it cuts the suspense down.

There is some great scene setting at the beginning:

The town's entrance, nothing more than an alley between closed market stalls, was unremarkable but for two elements. One was a pervasive feeling of something Not Quite Right. Leander didn't need sidelong glances of people milling about (people milling about in a small village at night seemed out of place in itself), whispers from alleys, and a gallows silhouetted in the distance to know that this was a town of hidden and perhaps not so hidden things, with murder right at the top of the list. The dead howled through the dirt roads and echoed down the cobbled ones, and anyone but the most obtuse of people would have noticed it.

Small punctuation and tense issues are inconsequential, but the question does arise -- is it murder if it's a justice gallows? Why would he assume it's murder and not justified punishment for extreme crimes? Maybe this is explained somehow in the context of the world he comes from, but capital punishment could be debated as not murder, especially coming from a society that Leander seems to come from (ie: not a 21st century one). Still, this scene setting provides a grim tone that one expects to be carried through Leander's wandering of the streets, looking for refuge. Especially considering he just escaped from a prison, pursued by enemies.

But what we get instead is the easy tone of the writing bleeding into the way the story's delivered on a line basis:

"Damn," he breathed. "Now what in all creation is this?" Of course he would walk into a foreign town in the middle of a protest, a revolution or whatever it was.

While it's fine to have a matter-of-fact style, some of the tension is whisked away at this point in the chapter and the reader doesn't feel a sense of menace or threat, which one assumes is the author's intention -- the protagonist is in an unfamiliar place, having just left a bad situation, and there is potential for violence ahead. Leander's gut-deep reaction to what's going on might bolster a sense of suspense and tension; show that he's edgy by less matter-of-fact internalisms, perhaps. There are a lot of his actions to get him from point A to B, and his brief considerations of things at hand, but not a lot of emotion involved -- so the reader is locked out. This obviously borders on stylistic choices, but the suggestion is to move the novel from competent storytelling to gripping storytelling.

Dialogue is handled very well here, though. A conversational style is good for character interaction and it's interesting -- from the bouncer at the door of the ‘pub' to the various walk-on parts from the women Leander encounters once inside. Through what they say, the reader wonders who is being upfront or what their hidden agendas might be; clearly there are some.

Some jarring word choices, however:

He had seen countless pubs and hostels during his travels, and this one looked like a clean, well-kept one despite its lack of modernities. It had the potential to be a really fine joint.

I haven't read the previous chapters completely but from the context in this one, Leander seems to come from a 19th century type environment? Or early 20th century? If that's so, using ‘joint' to describe a place screams too much as 21st century. Also, again, unless it's mentioned in the previous chapter specifically that he has coin to pay for everything, it did niggle that he waltzed in a place, wanted room and board, and the idea of having to pay for it didn't occur until the very end of the scene. If the fact he has money was mentioned previously, that's fine, but if not it should be slipped in there sooner in the chapter.

The interactions with all the women does get a little muddled, as to who is who, so maybe dropping names somehow for everybody would minimize that confusion and awkwardness of referring to them by characteristics (except for the one flirting with the men -- her being mysterious works for the narrative).

Leander nodded. People were the same everywhere. In Majat, some folks celebrated a day when a wounded but lucky young soldier had almost accidentally grabbed hold of a would-be tyrant and fallen into a breach in the world with him. Some people cursed that day.

This read a little clumsily, as well, as it's an insertion of backstory or previous story, seemingly to just remind the reader of it, and then it's discarded. Other small details to note are: did he ultimately lock the door on his room, after it was mentioned it had a lock? And if not, why not? And though we're reminded that he was carrying a bag, as he empties its contents at the end of the chapter, some mention of his negotiating it in his walk through the town or being in the pub would keep that in mind. ‘Props' in books shouldn't be dismissed any more than they should be in movies -- if a character has to hold or carry something, remind the reader every once in awhile that he has it; it adds to realism (someone could've grabbed the strap of the bag, for example, in order to engage him).

There are wonderful telling details throughout the narrative too, like his focus on prime numbers, or the detail about his mother being mute. These things add idiosyncratic elements to the story and the character that make the book as a whole more unique and readable, so it's not just a way to deliver a plot. Provide more of them. Leander is a likeable protagonist and the story moves well -- keep at it, but just pay attention to the smaller points so they can boost the book from good to great.

--Karin Lowachee

Editors' Choices, Short Story

"A Rude and Undeveloped Mass" by Ilan Lerman

This is a lively and dynamic story, a classically science-fictional take on a very human capacity for rage, which gets amplified into an epidemic that throws all of Edinburgh into chaos. It's written with a good ear for dialogue and a fine observation of how easily small irritations can shift into rage and violence. Because the action starts out on a realistic scale, we're drawn into an atmosphere of threat and danger that's believable enough to be scary without any need for explanations. Presumably, there must be a fantastic catalyst making it happen, but it's enough that we recognize something, somehow, has unleashed a real potential for violence that's within us all.

The story quickly builds an ominous sense of threat, with plenty of action to keep the energy high. We get some great vivid moody descriptions along the way. This is exciting stuff:

In town that day, I could taste the bitter tang of violence in the air. It radiated from the throng of shoppers on Princes Street, all in a hurry to barge past each other, no matter who was in the way. It bled from the skin of shop assistants, murder-eyed and slovenly. It dripped like flammable oil from the stares of teenage gangs draped around the bus stops.

The overall arc doesn't always propel us forward, though. The narrator's physical movements reflect the course of plot momentum: rather than moving into new territory, Don goes back and forth between already-covered ground. He's at the pub, he's in town, he's in the van for work, he's home, he's in the van for work (literally driving in circles around town), he's home again, until the end when he goes to his friend Willy's house, and finally escapes to higher ground above the city. This route may be intended to emphasize a static, stifled quality to Don's life, but the effect is that the story's momentum falters when it could be lurching forward at speed. I suspect a couple of the repetitive scene changes could be condensed for tighter pacing.

The main issue isn't the number of scene changes, though, but the blurry transitions between them. New settings tend to be marked by brief, vague cues: "By the following morning," "In town that day," "Willy and I were in the van," and so on. While each new scene does begin with an indication of where and when, there are few details to establish the new place or time as different in tone or mood from the previous scene, so one day seems to blend into another. This story is already shadowed by such a looming climate of chaos; best to contrast that with a crisp, clear picture of the setting, to keep the whole atmosphere from becoming too vague and murky.

Don appears to hold out against the encroaching chaos for longer than all the other characters do. I get the sense that his repressed nature is what keeps him from giving in to his impulses, and I'd like to see this developed more, because that idea is potentially very interesting, but right now it's just sort of unclear. It raises intriguing questions: Don seems to view his lack of confidence as a character flaw, but are those inhibitions a functional constraint that sometimes protects civilization from falling apart? We tend to hold up directness and honesty as ideals, but maybe it's Don's inability to express his frustrations that allow him to maintain a veneer of civility for longer. I wouldn't want this spelled out for us, but it might be fun to witness more of Don feeling the urge, and then pulling back to intellectualize it as usual because he's repressed and fears confrontation. That habit must be pretty well ingrained in him by now, so I imagine it could automatically kick in even when he's swinging toward real rage. More indications that this is happening would help set up the ending so we understand he's not been immune all this time, just too bottled up to turn himself loose.

I have to wonder: where are the women of Edinburgh? Don't they get angry too? Here they are portrayed mostly as sources or targets of rage, rather than active expressers of it. This is somewhat understandable coming from Don's perspective of the very masculine social circles he moves in, but it leaves the story feeling oddly imbalanced, like a major part of the backdrop is invisible. It undermines the sense of reality to this world.

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

--Karen Meisner, Editor, Strange Horizons

Editors' Choices, Horror

WHAT THE DEVIL SELLS, partial chapter (in two chunks) by Becka Eastham

This story of a impatient, put-upon, foul-mouthed necromancer is offbeat and interesting. Necromancers are usually the villains in stories, so it's nice to read a story with a necromancer as the protagonist. The problems and challenges he faces in bringing back the dead feel original and convincing. While the voice needs to be refined somewhat, the voice in the second chunk, from the necromancer's point of view, is one of the strongest parts of the chapter, bringing me very close to this unusual character. The chapter does a good job of revealing who he is and what he does through action, as he interacts with clients. The main plot of the novel seems like it will involve his attempt to retrieve Allison from hell for Suzannah, with complications created by Gina and her potential demon-baby. That seems like good material for a novel plot. At this point, the work definitely feels like part of a novel to me, rather than something shorter.

My sense, Becka, is that you're still finding your way with the novel. There's nothing wrong with that; it's normal to have a novel changing as you write it. That's actually a sign that it's coming to life, which is good, but difficult to deal with, as things happen that you haven't fully anticipated. The reason that I have this feeling is that some plot developments seem to arise suddenly, out of nowhere, as if the author just made them up. For example, on p. 3, Suzannah reveals that her wife has died and is in hell, and she thinks, "She can't stop shaking. She's been shaking for two months. Two months. Her mouth tastes horrible. She can't focus." Yet up to this point, we've had no indication that she's shaking or upset, or that her mouth tastes horrible, or that she can't focus. It all seems to arise in this moment. Again, this is a very normal issue. Writers come up with ideas as they're writing (let's hope so!), and they often put the ideas into the story right at the point that they think of them. Seldom are these the best spots for this material. So in revision, you need to go in and plant the fact that Suzannah is shaking right at the beginning of the chapter, and show us that her thoughts drift from one thing to another within the first page, and establish the bad taste in her mouth within the first two pages. We also need some hints in her actions, perceptions, and thoughts that she has suffered a loss. That way, you'll raise a question in our minds--What's wrong with her?--which will create suspense and make us want to keep reading. And when we get to the revelation that her wife has died and is in hell, it will feel RIGHT to us. We'll be thinking, "Ah, yes, of course, that explains it." Instead, right now, I'm thinking, "Gee, it seems like the author just dropped this into the story." It seems like you're so focused in using Suzannah as a way to describe the necromancer's house and his work that you aren't letting Suzannah be Suzannah.

The opening of the second chunk feels very much like the author dropping in a bunch of new ideas. The presence of Trinka and other souls needs to be established in the opening scene of the novel. Introducing Trinka only when she's possessing the necromancer is very confusing.

Another example of something that seems dropped in suddenly, as if the author just made it up, is when you tell us that the necromancer "liked bossy women" after he is aroused by Gina. This leads to another common problem, which is the sense that the author is justifying some action she wants the character to take. If it's not important that he likes bossy women, then you can cut that and just have Gina sit on his lap and arouse him. But if it's important that he likes bossy women, the time to establish that is not after he is already aroused; then it seems like justification. You need to establish it before he acts on it. To give a more dramatic example, if a character pulls out a sword at the climax and uses his expert skills to defeat the villain, you don't want to be explaining that he's an expert swordsman after the fight is over. You need to show that earlier. And, of course, it's better to establish it through showing than telling. The story has quite a bit of telling in it, and I would caution you about that.

Another characteristic that makes me think you're still finding your way is the discontinuity in the voice/viewpoint. For me, the voice works much better in the second chunk, from the necromancer's point of view. I don't feel close to Suzannah in the first chunk, and I don't feel I'm getting a consistent character in that chunk. The second chunk is in such a close POV, it almost feels like first person, which is interesting. That makes me think that the entire novel should be told in that one viewpoint, without any shifts. I'm not sure if that's possible, since I don't know quite what you're planning. But the first chunk could easily be redone from the necromancer's POV and give the piece more strength and unity, and cement our attachment to the necromancer.

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

--Jeanne Cavelos, editor, author, director of Odyssey


If you don't know who Nathan Bransford is, you definitely have been living under the proverbial cyber rock.

Nathan Bransford is a literary agent with the San Francisco office of Curtis Brown Ltd. and is the author of JACOB WONDERBAR AND THE COSMIC SPACE KAPOW, which will be published by Dial Books for Young Readers in 2011. He was raised in Colusa, California, where he learned a thing or two about rice farming, and graduated from Stanford University with a degree in English. He runs a wickedly popular blog where he talks about all things publishing and occasionally turns the tables and asks his readers a question of his own. 

If he's not already on your blog reading list, do it now. You won't regret it. Nathan is a generous soul and a font of information on the vast and changing climate of publishing.

After much nagging on my part, Nathan graciously agreed to an interview. I am delighted to showcase him for this month's issue. Please welcome Nathan Bransford.


How did you get into agenting? What made you decide this was the field for you?

photoI decided I wanted to go into publishing when I was in college. I really enjoyed the creative writing classes, not even so much writing myself but providing comments for and feedback for other writers. I also took a class with Vikram Seth and really loved it. I ended up seeing a job listing for Assistant to the President of Curtis Brown after I graduated from college, and I was so excited when they offered me the position. I've been with Curtis Brown ever since.

Have there been books you've regretted not taking on?

Not really actually. I have definitely passed on books that have gone on to be successful, but in each of these instances I remember reading the query and just not feeling like it was right for me. If I didn't see what was great in those books I wouldn't have been the best representative for those books and who knows if they would have gone on to success.

How much does voice carry in a query? Can you really glean that much about a story in under three hundred words?

In a well-written query voice definitely comes through and it means a lot. It can sometimes be difficult to learn too much about a story in such a short time, but a vivid voice shows that a person can write and can make an agent want to read more.

What mistakes do you wish querying authors would stop making?

Aside from my personal campaign against queries beginning with rhetorical questions, I encourage authors to be concise (250-300 words), personalize (to demonstrate your professionalism), and make sure the query looks professional (no crazy fonts, block formatting, etc.).

Should aspiring authors have an established web presence, or should this wait until they have a book contract?

I think every aspiring author should have some sort of Googleable web presence, and since this takes time to establish it's not enough to wait for a book contract. That said, I don't think every author should feel like they have to blow out their blog, Facebook page, Twitter account, etc. etc. in advance of publication. The most important thing to focus on is writing a great book. Everything else can be figured out later.

What has been a hard sell lately? And what do editors seem to ask for most?

Everything has been a hard sell lately. I don't really follow trends too closely and look instead for great stories regardless of whether the genre is "hot" or not.

How has the rise of digital media affected authors and agents?

Oh wow. So many ways I'm not sure where to start. But most importantly, I think the Internet has afforded authors new opportunities for finding their audiences, connecting with readers, and learning so much more about the publishing business. There are certainly drawbacks, but authors who seize the opportunity have tools available that authors in past eras could have only dreamed of.

Do you think advances will continue to get smaller? Are New York publishers and agents becoming more creative with the contracts they negotiate?

I think it's going to vary greatly depending on the author and the project. Authors who can command audiences or who have projects that publishers think can catch on in a huge way are going to continue to be extremely valuable, whereas publishers may be much more cautious with everything else.

What's been the most surprising thing that's happened to you since you started agenting?

I'd say the impact of the Internet and the introduction of e-books. When I started in publishing things were basically operating as they had been for the last hundred years, and while certainly there were lots of predictions that the electronic era would change the publishing world it always seemed far away and somewhere over the horizon. Almost ten years after the Internet boom it was almost as if the book business was just going to continue on as it had been.

But then came the Kindle and the rise of social media along with the recession, and things began changing very very quickly. It's an exciting time but definitely a tumultuous one as well.

Thanks, Nathan!

Publication Announcements

Treize Aramistedian very calmly told us: "My novella 'Dust to Dust' which debuted on the OWW as a baby short story, will be appearing in Vol. 3 of the Panverse Anthology series, slated for 2011 publication. This is my first speculative fiction sale and I couldn't be prouder of the story. Many, many thanks to Way Jeng, Charlie Finlay, and Swapna Kishore who did me the incredible service of reviewing this when it was a short story and to Eric Buck, Bryan Culbert, and the indefatigable Sue Curnow. The story will be published under my real name Tochi Onyebuchi. I'm not really sure what else is supposed to go in this announcement, as I'm kinda new to this, LOOOOL. Suffice it to say, I am over the moon. Thankyouthankyouthankyou!"

Tim W. Burke says: "I sold my workshopped story 'The Mother And The Worm' to PseudoPod. It is the second story about the fakirs Mrs. Spaulding and Alexandri, the former who murdered her husband and the latter who was reincarnated from her husband's brain tumor."

Cécile Cristofari wrote in to say: "Okay, this is not strictly a fiction sale... But since the workshop is also about reviews and criticism, I wanted to tell you that I have just sold my article 'Aboriginal Lovecraft' (on the Dream stories and the Cthulhu mythos) to Strange Horizons."

Tom Crosshill wrote: "Jake Freivald at Flash Fiction Online has picked up my piece 'The Zombie of His Early Days' for April publication. I love the mag, so I'm very excited. Thanks to everyone who took a look at this one."

Mike Keyton tells us that 'Housebound' sold to the horror anthology RAW TERROR.

Samuel King told us: "My short story 'The First Angry Man' is available from Damnation Books as of today. While this story was not workshopped on the site, its "prequel" 'Love With The Proper Hologram' is currently being workshopped here."

Terra LeMay says: "I've made my first professional short story sale. "A Multiple Choice Love Story" has been accepted by Apex Magazine. I'm very excited!"

Ilan Lerman wrote: "I'm very happy to say that 'Saint Stephen Street' will be published later in the year by Ideomancer. It was the story that made me a lot of friends on the workshop, and gave me loads of confidence in my writing. Thanks are due to many reviewers -- Jeanne Haskin, Erin Stocks, Ursula Warnecke, Crash Froelich, J.R. Hoch, Bo Balder, Boz Flamagin, Georgina Bruce and Jesse Bangs are the ones I can recall."

Christine Lucas wrote us: "The forthcoming Aether Age anthology will include two short stories of mine: 'Orion's Dawn' and 'Heart of Carnelian.' 'Orion's Dawn' was workshopped here, twice, and received excellent feedback both times. Alas, I cannot remember everyone who critted, but I do recall Erin Stocks, Boz Flamagin, and Karen Kobylaz amongst them. But everyone's reviews were excellent and I can't thank them enough."

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.

March 2010 Nominees

Reviewer: Michael Keyton
Submission: The Gremio Inheritance, Chapter 12
Submitted by: Ann Winter

Reviewer: Jeremy Salisbury
Submission: The Witch and the Captain
Submitted by: Cecile Cristofari

Reviewer: Michael Keyton
Submission: Godfire, Chapter 21
Submitted by: Elissa Hunt

Reviewer: Michael Staton
Submission: The Goblin Brothers and the Rogue Wizard's Revenge
Submitted by: Lindsay B

Reviewer: Jeanne Marcella-Ayer
Submission: The Goblin Brothers and the Rogue Wizard's Revenge
Submitted by: Lindsay B

Reviewer: Stewart Baker
Submission: Pharoahs Gate: Final Sands of Fate
Submitted by: Josh Atkinson

Reviewer: Stewart Baker
Submission: Choosing the Leonid Khan
Submitted by: Matt Dawdy

Reviewer: Crash Froelich
Submission: Deliverance by Jeanne Haskin
Submitted by: Jeanne Haskin

Reviewer: elizabeth hull
Submission: Deliverance by Jeanne Haskin
Submitted by: Jeanne Haskin

Reviewer: Kendra Highley
Submission: Deliverance by Jeanne Haskin
Submitted by: Jeanne Haskin

Reviewer: Michael Destro
Submission: Green Sky -- Chapter 18 by Kendra Highley
Submitted by: Kendra Highley

Reviewer: Sam Emerson
Submission: Green Sky -- Chapter 18 by Kendra Highley
Submitted by: Kendra Highley

Reviewer: Jeanne Marcella-Ayer
Submission: Half-Blood, ch. 1 (revised) by M. Nilles
Submitted by: M. Nilles

Reviewer: C. S. Inman
Submission: Mosaic by Amanda Fitzwater
Submitted by: Amanda Fitzwater

On Shelves Now

THE GASLIGHT DOGS by Karin Lowachee (Orbit, March 2010)

coverAt the edge of the known world, an ancient nomadic tribe faces a new enemy-an Empire fueled by technology and war. 

A young spiritwalker of the Aniw and a captain in the Ciracusan army find themselves unexpectedly thrown together. The Aniw girl, taken prisoner from her people, must teach the reluctant soldier a forbidden talent -- one that may turn the tide of the war and will surely forever brand him an outcast.

From the rippling curtains of light in an Arctic sky, to the gaslit cobbled streets of the city, war is coming to the frozen north. Two people have a choice that will decide the fates of nations -- and may cast them into a darkness that threatens to bring destruction to both their peoples.

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Until next month--just write!

The Online Writing Workshop for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror
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