Online Writing Workshop for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror
Welcome to 2013!
This month we welcome workshop alumna Liz Coley, who shares some great advice on how to write for teenagers. And in the Grapevine department we have the latest news about the 2013 Summer session at Odyssey. It's a great start to a brand-new year!
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
I used to see infinity in grain of sand, but now all I see is quartz. A character had a capacity for some experience that he or she has lost and wants to regain. How far will they go? How will it effect them and others?
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. Put "Challenge" in the title so people can find it.
Challenges can be suggested by anyone and suggestions should be sent to Maria (newsletter (at) onlinewritingworkshop.com). This month's challenge was submitted by Elizabeth Porco.
ODYSSEY WRITING WORKSHOP ANNOUNCES ITS 18th SUMMER SESSION
Since its founding in 1996, Odyssey has become one of the most respected workshops in the fantasy, science fiction, and horror writing community. Odyssey is for developing writers whose work is approaching publication quality and for published writers who want to improve their work. The six-week workshop combines advanced lectures, exercises, extensive writing, and in-depth feedback on student manuscripts. Top authors, editors, and agents have served as guest lecturers, including George R. R. Martin, Harlan Ellison, Jane Yolen, Terry Brooks, Robert J. Sawyer, Ben Bova, Nancy Kress, Elizabeth Hand, Jeff VanderMeer, Donald Maass, Sheila Williams, Shawna McCarthy, Carrie Vaughn, and Dan Simmons. Fifty-eight percent of Odyssey graduates go on to professional publication.
The program is held every summer on Saint Anselm College's beautiful campus in Manchester, NH. Saint Anselm is one of the finest liberal arts colleges in the country, dedicated to excellence in education, and its campus provides a peaceful setting and state-of-the-art facilities for Odyssey students. College credit is available upon request.
Jeanne Cavelos, Odyssey's director and primary instructor, is a best-selling author and a former senior editor at Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing, where she won the World Fantasy Award for her work. As an editor, Cavelos gained a reputation for discovering and nurturing new writers. She provides students with detailed, concrete, constructive critiques of their work. Cavelos said, "I've worked with many different writers, and I know that each writer thinks and works differently. We limit attendance at Odyssey to sixteen, so I can become deeply familiar with the work of each student and provide assessments of strengths and weaknesses. I work individually with each student, helping each to find the best writing process for him, suggesting specific tools to target weaknesses, and charting progress over the six weeks." Her critiques average over 1,200 words, and her handwritten line edits on manuscripts are extensive.
Odyssey class time is split between workshopping sessions and lectures. An advanced, comprehensive curriculum covers the elements of fiction writing in depth. While feedback reveals the weaknesses in students' manuscripts, lectures teach the tools and techniques necessary to strengthen them.
The workshop runs from June 10 to July 19, 2013. Class meets for four hours in the morning, five days a week. Students spend about eight hours more per day writing and critiquing each other's work. Prospective students, aged eighteen and up, apply from all over the world. The early action application deadline is JANUARY 31, and the regular admission deadline is APRIL 8. Tuition is $1,920, and housing is $790 for a double room in a campus apartment and $1,580 for a single room.
This year, Odyssey graduate Sara King is sponsoring the Parasite Publications Character Awards to provide financial assistance to three character-based writers wishing to attend. The Parasite Publications Character Awards, three scholarships in the amounts of $1,920 (full tuition), $500, and $300, will be awarded to the three members of the incoming class who are deemed extraordinarily strong character writers, creating powerful, emotional characters that grab the reader and don't let go.
Odyssey's 2013 writer-in-residence, Nancy Holder, is an award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of adult, young adult, middle grade, and early reader work, both fiction and nonfiction. She has sold approximately 80 novels and 200 short stories, comic books, and essays in various genres. She has taught creative writing classes at the University of California at San Diego, the Maui Writers Retreat and Conference, and other conferences and colleges, and has been on the faculty of the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing for seven years.
Lecturers for the 2013 workshop include some of the best teachers in the field: award-winning authors Holly Black, Patricia Bray, Adam-Troy Castro, and Jack Ketchum; and the two-time Hugo Award-winning editor of Asimov's Science Fiction magazine, Sheila Williams.
Comments from the Class of 2012
"I learned more in six weeks at Odyssey than I did in three years in an MFA program." --Jessie Robie
"Jeanne is the most thorough and hard-working instructor I've ever met. Odyssey has changed me as a writer. I can't imagine a finer education or experience." -- James Khan
"I was afraid Odyssey would change my writing and take away what made it mine and unique, but I was so wrong. At Odyssey, I developed a sense of control over those gut feelings I used to have-when I sensed something was off but just could not figure out what it was. . . . Odyssey is like a writer paradise. You might not want to change when you get here, but you will. Later, you won't want to leave, but when you do, you leave with a purpose." -- Jessica May Lin
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, Leah Bobet, Elizabeth Bear, and C.C. Finlay. 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!
ELLIS, UNDERGROUND, Chapter 1 by amber van dyk
amber van dyk's moody, experiential ELLIS, UNDERGROUND is a bouquet of interlocking images--impressionistic as the reflections in the rain that pervades it. Its strength lies in the writing and the characterization; this is a story wrought as much in the sound of the words as in their meanings.
It's beautifully done, and the language in particular is very fine and finely wrought--but it does suffer from the weaknesses of its strengths. Because so much of the motion is in the language, rather than the narrative, this chapter has a certain static feel--again, like an impressionist paining. We learn in the opening paragraphs that Ellis, the boy, and a hare are all waiting, and the structure of the chapter--looping into the past, creating a stream-of-consciousness swirl of images--reinforces that. The problem, of course, is that that sense of stasis can be alienating. A reader who is not drawn in at once by the intrigue and the beauty of the language will not find much tension or momentum here.
By the end of the chapter, we have a murder and a mystery, but because Ellis is still waiting--and does not know what her immediate need or want is--there's still a lack of momentum. Fortunately, this isn't a difficult problem to correct. There's one very easy way for getting a character, even a very static character, to engage the audience--make the character want something. Ellis has the beginnings of this--we see her hungry, we see her scared, and we see her trying to make contact with the boy by sheer force of will--by telling him her name one hundred and thirteen times, from across a street, from behind a wall of glass. I think if that longing were brought forward just a little but, it would make this all the more compelling.
The world-building details in here are wonderful, and I think tying them more strongly to Ellis's cravings would also create a sense of unity and momentum. I love this world, the fantasy we find ourselves immersed in, how we see it in splinters and fragments. It has a one-thing-follows-another logic where nothing is over-explained. There's a sense of "just so" in the details that evokes magic realism. The author's confidence in the narrative makes readers trust her; it gives a sense that this is the way the world is, and we might as well just accept it.
I'm also enamored of the idea of a fantasy world modeled on an Umbrella, with places named Seventh Tip and Ferrule. I imagine there must be a number of Ribs as well, and some Canopies. That's a delightful conceit, and already has me engaged and wondering what this world will be like.
I love the particular details--the mushroom grown in the corner of the room, the over-class that gives subsistence "gifts" to the underclasses, but not without a sinister overtone. A foodStore that requires certain types of scrip or coin, as opposed to a free market where (I presume) one can barter. There's a sense that this is a world with an economy. And economies in fantasy are like weight in C.G.I. They make things feel real.
In general, I find the stylization of the prose to be very effective. It's unusual and striking, of course--but that certainly wasn't a problem for David Mitchell. The only sticking point is that this sort of impressionist nonstandard prose requires very delicate control and an extremely steady and conscious auctorial hand, or it becomes confusing--obscuring meaning and creating work, rather than lending an artistic ambiguity.
Some assistance may be rendered to readers by the use of punctuation and careful choice of words. The object is intentional ambiguity, not confusion. The former creates a sense of wonder and engagement--readers become involved in figuring out what's going on, and are invited to project their own interpretations onto the story. The latter--confusion--just generates frustration.
And a frustrated reader eventually puts the book down and walks away.
For the rest of this review, visit the Editor's Choice area of the OWW site!
Author of THE SEA THY MISTRESS
HARVIE, PART II: THE HOLIDAY OF A LIFETIME, Chapter 19 by Olga Efremova
Every novel contains "glue chapters" -- these are the chapters that hold the book together, the chapters that connect sometimes vastly different parts or scenes in the story. Some writers try to delete their glue chapters and skip over those parts, some writers break up the glue and sprinkle it throughout other scenes, and some writers find ways to make their glue chapters essential to the story. A good glue chapter includes essential exposition, develops character, reveals plot... and is always entertaining to read!
"Harvie - Part II, Chapter 19" is a good example of a glue chapter. This is a science fiction novel set in orbiting cities around Earth. Harvie is a 15-year orphan girl who becomes a pawn in nearspace politics. When she is kidnapped, her foster-father Stan Kozerski is placed under house arrest but decides to go after her. In order to chase her kidnappers, he's going to need a ship -- which brings us to the current chapter.
One narrative way to handle this situation would be to just show Stan in a ship giving chase and skip over how he got it. A second solution would be to tighten the acquisition of the ship to just a couple paragraphs of exposition. The danger with both approaches is that they can raise more questions than they avoid, and draw attention to plot holes as big as hull breaches.
So in this chapter the author wisely chooses to show the full sequence of events: Stan negotiates for a ship with an independent broker; when he reaches an impasse, the broker's boss steps in; Stan turns out to have a history with the boss, who ends up helping him get certified to fly.
The choice to do it this way accomplishes several important things. One is to work in essential exposition about the ship:
[Stan:] "I see. What else do you have?"
[Broker:] "Let me see. Casse-Cou? Same class as The Star, but a bit cheaper. Has been through a major repair recently; nearly written off, but they managed to kick her back to life. Thirty six hundred."
"What kind of repair?" Last thing Stan needed was some old wreck that would die on him the moment it leaved the dock.
"The guy who hired it ran into some issues with the Legion's sector patrol. I think they had four Legion interceptors against them. Took quite a pounding, but got everyone back safely."
"Four to one, you say?" Stan moved closed and pulled up the picture of Casse-Cou. He recognised the make instantly, a Dassault. Not as old as The Ranger would be now, but still pushing well into "vintage" category. Little wonder it held so well against the Legion ships: these chunky things were built to last.
The author could just tell us that the ship had been in battle before, but this way we learn more about it, positive and negative, compared to the other ships that Stan didn't hire. We also learn about Stan's previous experience and knowledge. And the exchange builds tension by foreshadowing space battles ahead.
A second important thing is that new characters are introduced who may end up being allies or enemies later. Roz, the broker's boss, is an old ship-mate of Stan. When he reveals that he is going to fly the ship himself, she vouches for him so that he can be certified as the pilot.
And the chapter also develops Stan's character, internally and thematically, when he practices the Fleet Guild Oath promising to trust his own instincts and knowledge, to discern right from wrong, and to serve all humanity. The oath increases tension because it has the potential to put him in direct conflict with his mission to save Harvie and the others.
So how could this chapter be improved?
The negotiation with the broker and the recitation of the Guild oath are both done effectively, but the chapter doesn't take full advantage of the appearance of Roz.
"Roz? Rozzie Hé?" Stan finally put the voice to a face. Roz Hé, the Ranger's treasurer and a go-getter girl, the one who knew everything and everyone -- or, rather, her family did; and Roz, their rogue little darling, knew how to pull just the right strings. Who could possibly say 'no' to a sweet doll face above a gigantic red bow adoring a white schoolgirl's blouse with a cute marine collar? Twenty-something back then, she never looked older than twelve.
"You look surprised. Did I age that much?"
"Not a bit." Stan knew too well that there could be only one correct answer to this question. "It's just hard to recognize you without your Sailor Moon outfit!" Rozzie's cosplay antics were a steady source of jokes aboard of The Ranger.
Stan's description of Roz is authorially neutral, and the cosplay reveal tells us more about her character than his. What is Stan's emotional reaction when he recognizes Roz? Were they friendly or unfriendly? Does he owe her or does she owe him? Do they have unfinished business? Is she someone that he can ask for favors or is she someone who might turn him in at a moment's notice? Will she help him later or will she come after him?
The answers to some of these questions trickle out slowly through their interactions. But let's remember that Stan is taking a huge risk to rescue Harvie and his sons, who were kidnapped along with her, so every new development should figure into his immediate risk assessment.
In this case, contrasting his internal thoughts with the dialogue could develop his character, move the plot forward, and increase tension. Compare a slightly different version of the last two paragraphs with the section above.
"You look surprised. Did I age that much?"
"Not a bit," Stan said. Roz always had a mask she wore in public to conceal her true feelings; he never knew where he stood with her then, and he didn't know now. "It's just hard to recognize you without your Sailor Moon outfit!"
There are good examples of this later in the chapter, like when Roz comments on a mugshot of Harvie that is being broadcast on the news and Stan thinks one thing but says another. Using that same technique on the critical middle scene, from the point where Roz steps forward until they leave for the registrar, would make Roz's decision to help Stan that much more convincing, especially if her help isn't automatic and he has to win her over. This can be done subtly, without significant change from the current version, but it needs to be frontloaded in Stan's immediate reaction to recognizing Roz, and it should affect his conversation with her as he tries to negotiate to get the ship he desperately needs.
Roz is the hinge on which this chapter, and thus Stan's mission, turns. If the chapter keeps the emotional complexities of their relationship in the foreground, and develops possible tension between them, then the glue in this glue chapter will be that much stronger.
"Start with Stones" by B. Morris Allen
"Start with Stones" is quietly breathtaking. Reminiscent of a Patricia McKillip novel, or Lloyd Alexander's TARAN WANDERER, it's an excellent example of how a speculative element can inflect a story, instead of acting as a literary metaphor or an overt force in the narrative. There's often tension over what counts as a speculative element -- and thus a speculative story -- when it comes to this borderline style of fiction, but "Start with Stones" succeeds at reading as a story very much concerned with magic: both in terms of what that means to different people and in different places, and in providing a certain emotional ambiguity to the ending, where the reader must decide if Pepper's magic has been a metaphorical force on her relationship with Crane, or if her ditch-digging has actually altered reality.
I know it's a thing I tend to harp on month to month, but the detail work here is excellent: sensory, well-chosen, and above all, efficient. Sentences like: "It was a piece of grey flint, roughly the size of his slender hand, crumbly and damp from the morning dew" do triple duty - let readers know the stone is big; let readers know how Crane's hand is rather small; and tie readers deeper into the story itself by having the descriptive detail afterward be the thing that hand is feeling, which means after only a sentence, readers are relating more strongly and more empathetically to Crane himself. That's a lot of work done in about twenty words, without the prose feeling dense.
And that detail work is important for a story like "Start with Stones", because everything in this piece - between Crane and Pepper as well as between the story and the readers - is told to us in the subtext.
That means it's walking a delicate balance, narratively: it's a careful story to read -- but rewards careful readers. Why this works for me, in this story: Readers are given the signals they need to know how carefully to read. The dialogue between Pepper and Crane leaves out more than it explains, but we have access to Pepper's internal narrative -- which tells us there are things going unsaid. That primes readers to look more deeply into sentences like: "He straightened as he put back his hood, and she saw dark brown hair framing a long, intelligent face with light green eyes. The color, she thought irrelevantly, of summer moss." In a story where everything else was explained in a perfectly straightforward way, it might not be possible to hang a whole big honking clue on that "irrelevantly": that the colour of Crane's eyes, and Pepper's noticing them, are the farthest thing from irrelevant. Because the expectation is that reading this story involves looking for those hints, it comes off smoothly here. It's once again a question of having a story's themes, forms, and craft decisions all pull together in the same direction.
On the whole, "Start with Stones" communicates those subtleties well, but I do have two suggestions: small, but notable in a story where enough of the notes hit right, leaving anything that jars that much more noticeable.
The first is to rethink the summary-style quality of the opening paragraph. The bulk of "Start with Stones" is very grounded in the characters and the place, and thus deeply immersive. The almost prologue-style scene-setting doesn't transition as gently as one might like into that moment-by-moment narrative. It may be worthwhile to consider giving that opening paragraph a touch more immediacy and groundedness so it's in step with the rest of the piece. Even small changes like rephrasing "Up a small rise, a crofter watched from her drystone cottage..." to "Up a small rise, the crofter watched from her drystone cottage..." will increase the early ties and the concrete sense of those opening lines.
For the rest of this review, visit the Editor's Choice area of the OWW site!
Author of ABOVE
"Harvest of Truth" by L. K. Pinaire
A protagonist who seeks knowledge and ends up dooming himself with that knowledge is a common plot in horror. It has been developed in countless different ways and can be very powerful. In this case, the knowledge sought is knowledge of the past: adopted James seeks to discover his birth parents. The story effectively creates a growing atmosphere of dread, so we fear for James and anticipate something horrible awaiting him. This expectation is fulfilled at the end when James encounters stones with skeletons crouched on them and learns his fate. The imagery reminded me of H. P. Lovecraft's "The Rats in the Walls," which is a major compliment. The setting of the story is fresh and unusual, adding to the story's appeal.
One area that is not working as effectively as some of the others is the plot. One of the strongest drivers of plot is the protagonist's desire. In this type of story, as described above, the protagonist's desire is key, because it triggers his doom. Yet James's desire doesn't seem very strong, because it is mainly told to us rather than shown to us. He doesn't have to struggle much to achieve his desire. A leprechaun appears and helps him. Then a fairy appears and helps him. James questions the barmaid and she easily gives him information. It's only in the last third of the story that he struggles. If he had to struggle from the beginning--if he had worked for years to find a leprechaun so he could force it to grant him a favor--then we would feel the power of his desire. Because so little struggle is necessary, events often feel manipulated by the author. Instead, we need the illusion that events are unfolding on their own without interference. More struggle will also add to the irony and power of the ending, since his struggles have brought him to his doom.
James's father could be one obstacle that could force James to struggle more. Instead of providing James with information, his father could try to scare him off or steer him in the wrong direction, making it harder for James.
Another option would be to flip the story around and make the father the protagonist. He could struggle to stop James from finding the truth, only to tragically fail.
The plot also seems a bit confusing and unfocused because, throughout the story, James thinks of his mother, and his dreams suggest she is fae. This makes us think the story is about finding his mother rather than his father, so when the father becomes important late in the story it doesn't seem consistent. Also, since the father is the one with fae powers, the dreams remain unexplained.
The climax could also be stronger. Generally, a climax should feel both surprising and inevitable. These are a very tough combination of qualities to evoke. I didn't find the climax surprising, because I guessed at the first mention of a "monster" guarding a cemetery it was the father. The climax also didn't seem inevitable, because the clues in the story indicated the mother was fae and didn't set up any expectations about the father. The whole idea of a cemetery guardian comes out of nowhere and seems random. It doesn't feel like that must be the answer, that everything has been leading up to this, though we didn't see it. We need some clues about the father, but we need to misinterpret the clues, so we are expecting something other than the truth, and then the climax can surprise us by showing us a different (but even more valid) explanation of the clues that hadn't occurred to us.
Another area that could be strengthened is character motivation. When the father reveals that he was the leprechaun, and he was the fairy, I don't believe his motivation. He says he wanted to know how James was doing, but he could easily have done that by posing as a fellow teacher or a student and simply observing. He seems to be leading James to his doom, which is a different story and one that is incompatible with the story I described at the top.
James's motivation was also not always convincing. For example, I don't believe it when James shuts himself in with the leprechaun. The problem with motivation arises in part from a problem with emotion: I often don't believe that James feels what he's supposed to be feeling. There are several reasons for this. Emotions are often told when they need to be shown; for example, "I long for more," "almost more than I can bear," "a storm growing inside me," "my life is now a perfect Hell." Internal life signs are one way to show emotions, but these sometimes seem overdone or unconvincing; for example, James's hands shake and his teeth chatter too suddenly, and then the hands stop shaking too suddenly.
I hope this is helpful. The story has some powerful elements, particularly the atmosphere, and with some revisions it can be quite memorable and haunting.
--Jeanne Cavelos, editor, author, director of Odyssey
On Writing for Teens and Being "the Cool Mom"
by Liz Coley
I have two pieces of advice for people who want to write for teens. The first is: Remember your own teen tears vividly. You know what? That was a completely Freudian typo, so I'm going to let it stand. Tear years. No, seriously? I did it again, I swear. Teen years. Teen years. Teen years. That's what I was trying to type. Holy subconscious, Batman. Now that I've got that straight, on to number two: Have some of your own, so you can observe them and their culture at close quarters.
Let's consider the first--tapping your inner teen. If you were a journal keeper, lock yourself into a private place where no one can see you blush or hear you scream and delve into your old journals. If you received letters from a long-distance boyfriend (Letters? What are they?), take off the rotten rubber band and look them over. Even if you lack documentation, you can make a list of the five most humiliating moments in middle or high school. Now a list of the five happiest. The five grossest. The five most self-pitying or depressed. The five most dangerous. Invent categories. Carry-on. You may have in front of you fodder for a memoir, a character, a scene, an entire plot. Or you may only have put yourself back into that mental landscape of emotional extremes and vulnerability so that you can write a story that speaks with authenticity to teens. But that was the idea of the exercise.
Let's consider the second--tapping teen culture through familiarity. Unless your story is set during the decade of your own teens, nostalgia for such delightful chick flicks as "Sixteen Candles" will only speak to middle-aged moms. The go-to movies for my fourteen-year-old daughter's cohort are "Mean Girls," "Clueless," and for the edgier ones, "Zoolander." I wouldn't know this if I hadn't watched thirty-nine reruns on channels you'd probably never turn on for "market research" without a teen in the house. There are plenty of teenagers who have NEVER seen Star Wars. Their references are not ours. "On Wednesdays we wear pink" is more relevant than "May the Force be with you." A further advantage to owning teens is that you have a much better shot at engaging teen voices throughout your writing. Unless the cadences of their conversation and tone are part of your daily vocabulary, it will be hard to fake.
If you are a young writer, still closer to 19 than 39, without preteen or teens in your life, the best preparation for you may be turning on the favorite teen TV channels that make you cringe and/or hanging out with a notebook at the mall.
The corollary to number two is, if it is in your nature, be the Cool Mom. You'll be the go-to house for gatherings. Kids will talk freely in front of you in the car. You'll have access to a larger circle of teens, their voices, their hopes and dreams, struggles and triumphs and disasters. What does it mean to be cool? Talk to the kids like a slightly older peer. Be authentic, which can occasionally be embarrassing. Understand their references, but don't force it. Share your own teen experiences in a story-telling way, not a preachy way. Acknowledge that they are likely way more worldly than we were at their age. Don't be shocked or prudish. Appreciate the crushing depth of everything they are feeling. Don't try to soothe them with decades-out perspective.
My upcoming novel, Pretty Girl-13 (which releases March 19 but available for pre-order) is a teen book for mature audiences. In fact, the overseas versions will be sold primarily as adult with crossover to YA. Sixteen-year-old Angie has been missing for three years, but her memory of those years is so blank, she believes she is still thirteen. Even though Angie is dealing with terrible questions about her identity and with uncovering secrets that she can't even tell herself, she still goes to high school, eats in the cafeteria, thinks about boys, wonders what to wear to the dance. The authentic teen life needs to be superimposed over the darker story so that readers of all ages can slide back into their teenage avatars and live the story through Angie's eyes.
Bio: Liz Coley's short fiction has appeared in Cosmos magazine and speculative fiction anthologies. Her passions beyond reading and writing include singing, photography, and baking. She plays competitive tennis locally in Ohio to keep herself fit and humble. With a background in science, Liz follows her interest in understanding "the way we work" down many interesting roads. Pretty Girl-13's journey into the perilous world of dissociative identity disorder is one of them.
Aliette de Bodard says: "Quite happy to announce that my Interzone story 'Ship's Brother' will be reprinted in Gardner Dozois's The Year's Best Science Fiction, Thirtieth Annual Collection. This is, er, pretty awesome? First time I ever sell two reprints to two different Year's Bests. Also 'Scattered Along the River of Heaven' and 'Heaven Under Earth' will be reprinted in Rich Horton's The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2013."
We heard through the grapevine that Elizabeth Bear and Sandra McDonald have stories in the new paperback Edge of Infinity. On sale now.
Vylar Kaftan says: "My essay 'You're Not Supposed to Write That: Taboos in Speculative Fiction' is in Apex Magazine. Also, the novella 'The Weight of the Sunrise' is already available in Asimov's February 2013 issue. 'The Weight of the Sunrise' is an alternate history in which the Incan Empire survives into the 19th century, and they bargain with the Americans for their future."
Jaime Lee Moyer announced: "I am oh so pleased to announce that Tor Books, a publisher of infinite taste, will be publishing my three-book series Delia's Shadow, A Barricade In Hell, and Against A Brightening Sky. We don't have a firm publication date yet, but all three books will be out first in hardcover and then go to trade paper. Delia's Shadow was workshopped on OWW and you can be sure my loyal band of critters, PJ Thompson, Jodi Meadows, Josh Vogt, Dena Landon, Teresa Frohock and J.R. Hoch, will go in my acknowledgements. I have a lot of work to do in the next couple of years. I'm going to love every second of it."
Cory Skerry wrote us to say: "I just sold my 4,600-word short story 'Breathless in the Deep' to Lightspeed Magazine. Thanks for running the workshop! I love how it's always there for me. My meatspace critique group is magnificent, but we only meet once a week, and OWW is 24/7. I don't think I've made a single sale without running the story through OWW first. "
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.
Reviewer: Michael Glyde
Submission: Deadsong (The Singer for the Dead, maybe?) by Jon Paradise
Submitted by: Jon Paradise
Reviewer: Laurence Pittenger
Submission: Deadsong (The Singer for the Dead, maybe?) by Jon Paradise
Submitted by: Jon Paradise
ASUNDER by Jodi Meadows (Katherine Tegen Books/Harper Collins, January 2013)
Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls-and the newsouls who may be born in their place.
Many are afraid of Ana's presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.
Ana was told that nosouls can't love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.
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Gift memberships: You can give a gift membership for another member; just send us a payment by whatever method you like, noting who the membership is for and specifying whether the gift is anonymous or not. We will acknowledge receipt to you and the member.
Bonus payments: The workshop costs only 94 cents per week, but we know that many members feel that it's worth much more to them. 25% of any bonus payments we receive will go to our support staff; the rest will be tucked away to lengthen the shoestring that is our budget and keep us running! (more)
Got a helpful tip for your fellow members? A trick or hint for submitting or reviewing, for what to put in your author's comments, for getting good reviews, or for formatting or titling your submission? Share it with us and we'll publish it in the next newsletter. Just send it to support (at) sff.onlinewritingworkshop.com and we'll do the rest.