Many of us have endured some brutal weather lately. As I write this, I am thinking especially about friends in Australia and Brazil and the severe snow storms in the northeast US and Canada. Hang in there, everyone, and find time to write somehow!
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
Take something cliched or done to death and find a way to twist it. Have a prophecy that doesn't come true. Have long lost triplets instead of long lost twins. When your "chosen one" insists that the characters have got the wrong guy, he turns out to be right. My personal favourite example: the D&D half-orc character whose human father liked his women big and beautiful.
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). This one was tweaked up by Lindsay Kitson.
Enchanted Conversations, a Fairy Tale Magazine, will be accepting submissions soon for 2011. Each issue has a theme around a particular fairy tale. You can submit a short story, a poem, or an article that addresses some aspect of the fairy tale spotlighted in that issue. Payment is 10 cents a word for stories and articles, $50 for poems. Stories and article may be up to 2.000 words, but preferably no more than 1.500 words. Check out all the guidelines here.
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, Elizabeth Bear, 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!
THE WATCHER, Ch. 1, by Kim Allison
Kim Allison's THE WATCHER appears to be the start of an epic fantasy in the traditional mode, with a young, outcast protagonist conducting forbidden rituals in the wood. Allison obviously has a well-realized world here, richly detailed and experienced. She offers lavish description of the world the character moves through, with good hints of a nature religion and the presence of the gods that rule the seasons. This is a world with an ecology, and the point-of-view character Aalu feels connected to it--she knows what these plants are, and their uses, and she's aware of the progress of seasons. This felt convincing, as a detail of the awareness of a pastoral person--too often, epic fantasy disregards the demands of harvest and husbandry, and how people make their livings.
Unfortunately, in some ways, that detail works against Allison. One of the things a writer needs to consider when presenting description is that too much, in too much detail, bogs the narrative down and leaves the reader skimming, waiting for something to happen. This opening chapter is beautiful but static, and I feel it will fail to draw many readers in.
Instead of choosing a few telling details to ground us in the story, Allison barrages readers with lists of stuff. It would be more effective to find one real, sharply observed thing than six indeterminate ones.
It's evident that Aalu has a goal and a direction, and there's something she's afraid of--but even by chapter's end, readers don't know what these things are. Her conflict gets buried under coyness and the intentional withholding of information. And when the writer has an opportunity to show me these things--such as with Aalu's plea to the goddess--and skips over it, I become suspicious that perhaps the writer has no real concrete idea what the conflict is.
Withholding information that readers need to understand the plot does not actually create tension, but rather frustration, although it's a common mistake to think otherwise. We must give readers enough information to understand what is happening if we expect them to engage with it. We need to share understandable stakes and goals, not vaguely defined motivations. If there is to be a mystery, the mystery needs to be something that the protagonist is invested in solving and can articulate. If the character has palpable goals, and a palpable reason to fear failure, then readers instantly have a reason to be on her side.
Readers need to care, in other words.
The Watcher itself could be satisfyingly enigmatic if contrasted with a specific world. I want him to feel like an intentional mystery, in other words, rather than one more incidental one--because he's nifty, and a good plot hook.
This problem of vagueness is exacerbated by some weaknesses in Allison's sentence- and paragraph-level construction. The author is overfond of stringy sentences--awkward combinations of three or four linked actions or observances that would flow better if they were broken up and considered logically. She also has a tendency to write indirectly, sneaking up on the central idea of a sentence through layers of other clauses and thereby burying it. Also, it would be wise to check and see where an adverb can be rendered unnecessary by a stronger and more precise verb.
For example, let's take Allison's first paragraph:
Silver light painted the tops of a thousand wavering leaves shimmering in the afternoon sun's ardent caress. Golden shafts of sunlight illumined the forest floor, splashing the broad leafed ferns and the small leaved tanglewood with hues of bright greens and golds, pools of darkness and light, shade and sun. Bravely holding their heads up high in a small patch of meadow, azure blue bell, golden zinnia, and ruddy chrysanthemum bore the weight of fat bumble bee and glossy brown beetle lumbering from flower to flower. Listening to the constant dull buzz of wings, Aalu leaned her back against a lithe silver birch, her white shirt speckled with gently swaying patches of blue and purple shadow that remained proudly impervious to the heat of the day.
There is some beautiful imagery and sensory detail here, but scaffolding obscures it. The first two sentences are repetitive--the second one circles back over ground already covered by the first, which causes readers to feel as if the story is not progressing. In addition, neither of these sentences do anything to "hook" readers--to establish a question in their minds that they will keep reading in order to unfold. Then we have two sentences with repetitive structure--participial phrase followed by main clause. And at the end of the paragraph, exactly one thing has happened: a girl has leaned against a tree. We as yet have no inkling that she has a problem, or even that she is an interesting person.
I would suggest rewriting this paragraph to be more direct, and bringing in as much information as possible to let readers know that Aalu has a problem, what it is, and what she is doing about it. The more readers understand what's going on, the more directly they will relate to the narrative--and by the end of this chapter, I still don't know what Aalu's problem is, other than that it's bad enough to give her anxiety symptoms and sending her haring off to bargain with fairies.
Another problem I note--and this stems from the author's overuse of participial phrases--is a proliferation of "false simultaneity"--when the structure of the sentence indicates that several things happen at once when in reality they happen in sequence.
For example: Gripping the braided handle of the gathering basket with the last of her fortitude, she hefted its weight, leaving the birches behind and headed into the darkened cluster of ancient blackened alders.
This suggests that she's gripping, hefting, leaving, and heading all at once. Greater clarity is obtained when the sentence is broken into its component parts and presented in a linear fashion.
When I talk about direct language, what I mean is finding the easiest way for readers to assimilate information. When they slow down to parse out a badly arranged sentence, they are being broken out of the fictional dream, and every time the writer does that, she has to win them back.
When you have fabulous ideas and a richly imagined world, don't be afraid to grab onto an idea and state it boldly. Make the reader aware up front what the meaning and consequence of actions are. It will lead to stronger writing overall, and give your prose--and your narrative--increased energy!
Author of THE SEA THY MISTRESS
Forever Queen, Ch. 20: The Only Exit by Stelios Touchtidis
The beginning of this novel was selected for an EC more than a year ago and it's good to see that the book has progressed. This Chapter 20 reads tight, brisk, and confident, culminating in the demise of a protagonist. It feels like the wrap-up of a major section of the novel, especially considering the events of the directly previous chapters, and if that's so, it works well.
The opening few paragraphs of this chapter cap off nicely with this description (before the characters begin to interact):
It was a sizable room, with giant glass windows that opened to a gorgeous view which in the daytime would have reached to the sea. Tonight the city lights danced everywhere like fiberoptic sparkles, the nearby skyscrapers shielding the Blight with their illuminated columns of concrete and steel.
Wonderful simile of fiberoptics, the reminder of the Blight...the originality of this and the other descriptions of this chapter beginning are diluted somewhat by throwaway phrases like "a gorgeous view." Push the prose a little more by not falling back on generalities and paint the world as precisely as possible, on every line. None of the pacing will be thrown; the world-building will just become more complete.
By the time Mark and Jake, the two initial characters in this scene, begin to interact, the pace naturally picks up. But without tags marking who said what, the longer stretches of dialogue get a little confusing. Don't forget for the sake of clarity to tag every once in a while, and again, in the interest of specificity, a writer doesn't need to use a parade of "he said" and "she said" or any other simple configuration. Use action to tag the dialogue, which serves a triple purpose: you don't get repetitive with the he said/she saids; you add color to the characters by showing gestures and mannerisms and facial expressions; and you can use tags as an opportunity to place your characters physically in the scene so they aren't just amorphously in the space. Who's sitting, who's standing, do they move around through the back-and-forth conversation? Especially in a conversation like this, which isn't necessarily fraught with tension, where two people might be facing off across a table (like later in the scene), showing some animation to the characters can only help.
There are some colorful turns of phrase in this chapter as well. Descriptions like:
Her handshake was firm and her hands, tipped with long black nails, had the hardness of a taekwondo instructor's.
Not only is this colorful, but it's also foreshadowing. Also this:
The smile transformed her face into something that should crawl and slither.
Although this also points out that there were a few spots in the chapter where the tenses got a little mixed up. Present was used when it should have been past, etc. The fight scene at the end read smoothly and with excitement, but it might have gone on a beat too long. It gave the sense that she was playing with him--which is fine if she was, though she didn't give any indication that she'd want to use him later and had dispatched of his friend with such efficiency. Someone that skilled in fighting wouldn't tend to fool around and give Mark so many chances (her taunting was almost to the point of caricature, but did manage to stay just this side of it, but be mindful of that)--though the fact he undercut her plans for him in the end was satisfying and well-timed.
Overall this is a fascinating concept; the issue and entanglement of virtual immortality and generational family politics is a great topic for a science fiction novel, and after a chapter like this, one wonders where the story could go next.
Author of THE GASLIGHT DOGS, BURNDIVE and CAGEBIRD
"Trail of Stones" by Adam Smith
"Trail of Stones" retells a Hansel and Gretel story, looking back on it from an older Gretel's perspective. She presents her version in a fairly realistic way, but it still takes place within the world of fairy tales, drawing upon some of their atmosphere and retaining elements of fantasy. Magic does seem to happen here, mostly clearly when the children are gone for what seems like a short time, then return home to find three years have passed. The siblings are the targets of hostile neighbors who claim their mother is a witch. Eventually, fearful that they are being trapped by another witch, they attack that witch and kill her. Different readers will find individual meanings in this story, which is good: it's a situation that's open to varieties of interpretation, all of them rooted deep in human experience.
Because the original plot is familiar to us, language becomes especially important in setting an atmosphere and mood to make this story stand out as special. Overall, this is handled well, with beautiful attention to the sights and sounds and textures of the world. I can picture this world, and it's a magical one.
One of the few spots where the prose feels strained to me is in the opening passage, which functions mainly to announce that this is going to be a fairy tale retelling. I read a lot of fairy tale retellings, and find it a little wearying to see this sort of intention telegraphed in such an obvious way. It strikes me as a bit self-conscious and clever, and I think that does the story a disservice: the narrator's defensive tone and awareness of audience doesn't really fit with what comes afterward. So the section feels tacked-on, and I'm not sure how well it lines up thematically or emotionally with the rest of the story. It seems to anticipate a type of ending that never arrives; instead, the story goes to a much more interesting place.
As a general rule, I'd caution any author to be wary of using rape (or rape-threat) scenes as a way of moving plot forward or as a default way to show female characters in peril. It's very easy for these to ring false and read as arbitrary plot devices. In "Trail of Stones", our narrator is sexually assaulted and escapes, and that scene rides the line for me. It's close to working as a way of revealing the townspeople's violently misogynist attitudes toward witchcraft. But it's odd that throughout the entire story, the narrator's would-be rapist is the only active character who gets a name. This gives him, and his actions, an extra sharpened focus and emphasis that I think is misplaced; I'd leave him at "baker's apprentice" and let the scene stand as more of an archetype of their society, instead of an overly specific incident. I also wonder if it might make more sense for the girl to be saved by her brother's intervention, rather than by this rather convenient boar passing through? (Given my druthers, I like to see girls saving themselves, but that's not the story being told here.) The boar reads as though it's dropped into the woods purely because the scene calls for a rescue. Whereas if the incident were rewritten so as to make it possible for the brother to show up, we could see the siblings sharing the experience of being targets of anti-witch hatred. That would help set up their crucial decision later on to collude together against another witch when she triggers the fears they've absorbed.
Because I think that decision does need more setting up. This story hinges upon the narrator's choice to help kill the witch in the oven: it's the key turning point. And yet it feels sort of shallowly sketched. We haven't seen enough of her character, or her background, or her desperation to understand why she does it. As I've written about above, there's plenty of motivation already available to draw on, but the narrator is still too much of a cipher for us to completely buy her decision to help kill the witch. We haven't seen her take any other decisive action. Her passivity could become a character trait if explored a little further, but right now it feels more like an absence of character traits.
For the rest of this review, visit the Editor's Choice area of the OWW site!
--Karen Meisner, Editor, Strange Horizons
"Scout Lake" by Dustin Walker
Suspense is an important part of most horror, so writers of horror should make a study of when and why they feel suspense in the various stories they read. Suspense is usually generated in one of three main ways. One type of suspense occurs when we see a specific danger to a character we care about, and we worry whether that danger will come to pass. This generates a more emotional type of suspense. Another type of suspense occurs when the author raises a question in our minds and we want to know the answer. This generates a more intellectual type of suspense. Another type of suspense can occur when the author creates an atmosphere of dread and we feel free-floating anxiety that something bad is going to happen, even though we have no idea what. This is the most difficult type to create, and generates both emotional and intellectual responses in us, since we simultaneously feel fear and wonder what the source of the danger is.
"Scout Lake" does quite a good job of generating the first two types of suspense. Nick is a workaholic with an unfaithful wife who has talked him into going on a fishing trip, probably so she can have a liaison with her boyfriend. Alone in his boat, he hears someone in the woods and then sees "the Commando," a muscular man in camouflage who is behaving erratically. At this point, we fear that the Commando will attack Nick, creating the first type of suspense, and we wonder what the Commando is doing at this lake, creating the second type of suspense. As darkness falls and Nick hears mysterious noises, the suspense rises. Nick manages to make it to his car, but the Commando has beat him to it and holds a knife to Nick's throat. While Nick has figured out why the Commando is there, eliminating the second type of suspense, the danger the Commando poses, with the knife, is now very specific, bringing the first type of suspense to a peak. The Commando has Nick drive and tells Nick about all the people he has tortured by cutting off limbs with a circular saw. Nick crashes the car, killing the Commando and hurting himself. He is rescued, taken to the hospital, and finally released. At home, he notices his old circular saw, and at the end, as his wife arrives home, we get the feeling that he's ready to try it out on her.
One of the strongest sections is Nick's attempt to reach his car in near total darkness. He keeps pressing his keyless remote to make the car lights flash, so he can find his way to it. Yet at the same time, he fears the lights are drawing the Commando as well.
I do think that some of the third type of suspense could be created with more atmospheric description of the lake and the surrounding area. The story has minimal description of the setting, and it doesn't generate a feeling of foreboding or dread.
The plot has some good turns, with the appearance of the Commando turning a fishing trip into a life-threatening trial, with Nick being captured by the Commando, and with Nick returning to his unfaithful wife a changed man.
The main plot weakness I see is that it's not entirely convincing that Nick is ready to use the saw on his wife at the end. That's a big change in character, and while the events he's been through are traumatizing, I don't feel they're bad enough to cause this change. While he felt a lot of fear, ultimately, the worst thing that happened to him was the self-inflicted car accident, which seemed to cause a concussion. I think I would find the ending more believable if Nick used more drastic and personal violence on the Commando. Or if Nick suffered a greater loss, such as a body part being amputated. Then he might blame this loss on his wife, and he might want a hand for a hand, or something like that. Creating a character change at the end of a story that the reader actually believes is tougher than most writers realize. Sometimes the author can set up an internal conflict early in the story whose resolution can lead to a change that the reader can believe. Or sometimes bits of foreshadowing can be used to make the change, when it occurs, feel "right." In this case, I liked the idea, but I felt it coming and it seemed forced, rather than natural. Nick's circular saw might be introduced near the beginning rather than at the end, with him thinking that if he'd said no to the fishing trip, his wife would have had him doing some chore with the circular saw, as she had the weekend before, making him build a vanity where she could make herself up for her boyfriend. In that case, where Nick's circular saw is more prominent, I would delete any mention of the circular saw from the Commando's dialogue. He can just talk about the joy of chopping off fingers and limbs without mentioning a circular saw in particular. I think that could work better, since it would tie the saw to his resentment of his wife at the beginning, and the ending would just take that to the next level.
For the rest of this review, visit the Editor's Choice area of the OWW site!
--Jeanne Cavelos, editor, author, director of Odyssey
Jessica Faust, owner and literary agent for BookEnds, LLC, is no stranger to the publishing industry. She began her career as an acquisitions editor at Berkley Publishing, Macmillan, and Wiley, where she had the unique opportunity to acquire and edit both fiction and nonfiction. Her agency accepts fiction submissions in the categories of romance, YA, steampunk, urban fantasy, mystery, suspense, and women's fiction.
Ms. Faust has been a regular columnist with Romantic Times magazine, taught at New York University's Continuing Education Program, been recognized as Agent of the Year by the NYC Romance Writers of America chapter, and is asked regularly to speak at writers' conferences throughout the world.
A native of Minnesota, she now lives in New Jersey with her family. Her personal interests include cooking, entertaining, reading, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
I've enjoyed Ms. Faust's blog for several years and she never fails to educate and inspire. You'll want to add her blog to your must-reads.
How does a writer decide if an agent is right for him or her?
Well, ultimately I think the best person to answer that question would be a writer. That being said, I think it's a gut feeling. In talking to one writer recently she told me that you can tell a lot about how an agent handles business by how she offers representation. Ultimately, she was able to quickly rule out a couple of people because they stressed her out too much or their communication styles were too different. When making the decision, trust your gut. Who do you feel most comfortable with?
I also advise all authors to come up with a dream list: not a list of agent names, but a list of agent qualities. Do you want an agent who edits? Someone who represents primarily romance? Do you want an agent who calls all the time or e-mails? Think about what you want and then ask the appropriate questions.
With the sobering economic news and publishers announcing cutbacks and layoffs, has anything changed in the way you do business?
Yes, I think it has. In some ways we're all taking fewer risks. A lot of my published authors are happy to stay put these days and not desperate to find a new house "just because," which I think is always a good idea. I also find when it comes to submissions that I'm demanding more. Books need to be nearly perfect for me to offer because I know that editors are more demanding these days. Of course, I think we should always be demanding so that's not such a bad thing.
Can you tell us your favorite story of how you found one of your clients?
I'm not sure I have a favorite. Most of my clients came through the age-old query process. I wish I had a great story of hearing a pitch at a conference, reading the book in my room that night and offering the next day, but I don't.
What has been a hard sell lately? And what do editors seem to ask for most?
Suspense and thrillers (including romantic suspense) seem to be really tough lately. Editors are looking for YA. It's the hottest thing right now, as is women's fiction and steampunk. Odd assortment of genres there.
You run a lively blog with a lot of useful information. Do you enjoy blogging? Do you think your readers are writing better queries?
I do enjoy blogging. Don't get me wrong, it has its days. Days when the negativity gets to me and days when I feel that I can't possibly have anything more to say, especially anything useful. That being said, the bad days are far outnumbered by the good, by the positive feedback I receive and the thank yous from my readers. And yes, I strongly believe that all writers are writing better queries and better books thanks to not just my blog, but the vast amount of information that's now available to writers, whether through other blogs or just helpful websites.
Have you made a sale you're particularly proud of?
Honestly, I'm proud of every sale I make. I'm proud of those I made within 24 hours and those that took years. I'm proud of the debut sales as well as those that keep an author's career alive.
What are your thoughts on digital? Are contracts evolving?
It's a constant conversation. I do think everyone has accepted that digital is here to stay, but I also don't know that anyone is exactly sure what that means quite yet. What will it mean for book covers, marketing and publicity? What will it mean for how books are sold and made? It shouldn't change things from an editorial end at all, but it will change many other pieces of the publishing puzzle. For example, will the publishing model shift from a sales department to marketing? Will marketing become more important than sales because it's going to become more about the individual reader and less about the bookstore? There's still a lot to learn which we'll all do as it happens. And yes, certainly contracts are evolving when it comes not just to digital publishing, but in general.
What advice would you give authors on marketing their books?
Do only what excites you. If you don't like blogging, for example, don't blog. It won't work if you don't have passion for it. Readers will see right through that.
Can you name three pet peeves in the submissions you see?
-Calling me Jennifer
-Not telling me what your book is about
What genres do you like to read for pleasure?
Lately I don't have as much time to read as I would like. I've been reading a lot of YA and paranormal and steampunk fiction.
Leah Bobet tells us that her poem "Little Songs" is in the Winter 2011 edition of Goblin Fruit.
Tim W. Burke announced, "I just sold 'I.C.U.' to Pseudopod.org. My many thanks to the commenters who helped me get the story into shape!"
Tony Peak tells us: "My story 'Tarquin and the Dragon' will appear in a forthcoming issue of Silver Blade Magazine."
Erin Stocks says, "My short story 'Lisse' was accepted for the anthology ANYWHERE BUT EARTH by Coeur de Lion publishing. Thanks to Steve Chapman, Gio Clairval, Jay Reynolds, Christine Lucas, Ilan Lerman, Stelios Touchtidas, Boz Flamagin, Giovanni Gusti, Eliza Collins, Joseph Kim, and Rich Hurndall for their crits."
Henry Szabranski wrote us to say: "Just to let you know my OWW-critted story 'Dance of the Splintered Hands' is a semi-finalist in the 2010 4th quarter of the Writers of the Future Contest. I win another critique! Thanks to Zachary Murray, Steve Chapman, Erin Stocks, Cécile Cristofari and J. Westlake for their reviews!"
Zvi Zaks announced: "I've been a member of the workshop for years, and have found the comments from fellow writers an invaluable help in improving my own writing. Eternal Press isn't a large house, but it's a start. A VIRTUAL AFFAIR, by Zvi Zaks, was published by Eternal Press in January 2011."
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 2011 Honor Roll Nominees
Reviewer: Joseph Kim
Submission: Lost Little Shadow pt 1
Submitted by: A. Merc Rustad
Reviewer: Joseph Kim
Submission: Haunted by Elizabeth McGlothlin
Submitted by: Elizabeth McGlothlin
Reviewer: James Cacciavillani
Submission: Illusion Chapter 19
Submitted by: Dy Loveday
Reviewer: Kari Cooper
Submission: Rois Wren - Chapter 1 Part A
Submitted by: Rebecca Birch
Reviewer: Kim Allison
Submission: Grayed-Out Exit
Submitted by: Jay Reynolds
Reviewer: Karin Lowachee
Submission: NOT JUST ANOTHER BRAINDEAD TEENAGER-CH3
Submitted by: karlos laws
Reviewer: August Griffin
Submission: If Not By Her Hand by Heidi Kneale
Submitted by: clinton ellingsworth
Reviewer: Kari Cooper
Submission: The Fire of the Wheel query & synopsis
Submitted by: Tony Peak
Reviewer: Benoit Fraser
Submission: Sisohpro Matem
Submitted by: B. Morris Allen
Reviewer: Julia Ruck
Submission: Reveries of a Solitary Walker
Submitted by: Donnie G Reynolds
Reviewer: Elizabeth Coley
Submission: The Angel of Turing Run
Submitted by: Donnie G Reynolds
Reviewer: Lydia Kurnia
Submission: The Gremio Inheritance Chapter 52
Submitted by: Ann Winter
Reviewer: elizabeth hull
Submission: The Numberless Stars, Chapter 1 by PJ Thompson
Submitted by: PJ Thompson
Reviewer: David Rees-Thomas
Submission: The Numberless Stars, Chapter 1 by PJ Thompson
Submitted by: PJ Thompson
Reviewer: Pedar Bloom
Submission: The Numberless Stars, Chapter 2 by PJ Thompson
Submitted by: PJ Thompson
Reviewer: Nancy Chenier
Submission: Dear Birth Mother by Michele Lee
Submitted by: Michele Lee
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