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O | The Online Writing Workshop for SF, F & H Newsletter, February 2007
W |
W | Become a better writer!

| - - CONTENTS - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - |

- Workshop News:
       March writing challenge
       Contest news
       Bear to teach at Viable Paradise
       Finlay to teach at Alpha Workshop
       Oddysey writing workshop launches podcasts
       Membership payment information
- Editors' Choices for November 2006 submissions
- Reviewer Honor Roll
- Publication Announcements
- Workshop Statistics
- Tips & Feedback

| - - WORKSHOP NEWS - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - |

What can we say about this month's member sales?  A first paid sale, a
first pro sale, one of last month's EC winners, a zombie unicorn, and
Star Trek all make appearances, plus two different publications buying
stories from three OWWers each and a German publisher buying another
original novel.  We also welcome back Susan Marie Groppi as our
Resident Editor for short stories.   She'll be alternating with Kelly
Link, who's been on the road frequently of late.  Susan is the editor
at _Strange Horizons_ ( and the
co-editor of last year's acclaimed anthology TWENTY EPICS.
Interestingly enough, both Susan and Kelly independently selected the
exact same EC this month although we only asked Susan for a review.


Picture Perfect:  Frequent visitors to the OWW Chat room over the past
few years remember the Picture Game, where members would do a timed
writing exercise based on links to pictures.  Kat Allen, Elizabeth
Bear, Leah Bobet, Amanda Downum, Catherine Morrison, Jaime Voss
(better know as poet Jaime Lee Moyer), Marsha Sisolak, and many other
OWWers who are now published polished their imaginative chops on the
Picture Game.  Some folks even got story sales from the exercise.

So Jodi, our fearless Challenge Dictator, Unicorn Warlord, and general
menace, issued this month's challenge thusly:

You may want to note that it's a "tool silhouette." It should be worth
at least a thousand words. Now go!

Remember: These 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. :)

Please don't post your challenge pieces to the workshop until MARCH
first. Include "MARCH Challenge" in your title so you can show off
how fancy you are to all your friends.

For more details on the challenges, check the OWW Writer Space at:


Think positive: _Jim Baen's Universe_ and the National Space Society
are co-sponsoring a science-fiction short-story contest that looks for
positive portrayals of space exploration in the near future. The
guidelines (at are pretty
specific about what they are and aren't looking for. The winner will
be published at _Baen's Universe_ at pro rates of at least six cents
per word.


OWW alum, guest Resident Editor, and Campbell Award winner Elizabeth
Bear will be teaching this year at Viable Paradise, the weeklong
writers workshop held at Martha's Vineyard in late September.  This
year's other instructors include Cory Doctorow, Debra Doyle, Steven
Gould, James D. Macdonald, Laura J. Mixon, Patrick Nielsen Hayden and
Teresa Nielsen Hayden.  For more information, visit the Viable
Paradise website at:


Charles Coleman Finlay, OWW's official third brain, will be teaching
at the ALPHA Workshop for Young Writers (ages 14 - 19) at the
University of Pittsburgh's Greensburg Campus from July 18 - 27.  The
workshop is held in conjunction with Pittsburgh's science fiction
convention, Confluence, July 27 - 29th.  Other instructors include
Catherine Asaro, Tamora Pierce, and Wen Spencer.  The deadline for
applications is March 31.  For more information, please see:


Beginning February 1, the Odyssey Writing Workshop offers free
podcasts on their website at

The podcasts are excerpts from lectures given by guest writers,
editors, and agents at the Odyssey workshop, run by OWW Resident
Editor Jeanne Cavelos.  Every month or two, Odyssey will release a new
podcast.  Each one is ten to fifteen minutes long.  According to
Cavelos, "We have taped all our guest lectures since 1997, and these
recordings offer a wonderful collection of insights and advice for
developing writers.  With these podcasts, we hope to further our
mission of helping writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror to
improve their skills."

The first podcast is an excerpt from a lecture Charles L. Grant gave
in the summer of 2000 on characterization.  Grant offered some
invaluable insights and provided concrete, practical tips.  This was
his last teaching engagement before he died in 2006.  "We are honored
to present this excerpt as our inaugural podcast, as a tribute to
Charlie's life and his contribution to the field," Cavelos said.

Future podcasts will feature lecture excerpts from Robert J. Sawyer,
Melissa Scott, Jeff VanderMeer, Gardner Dozois, and many more. No
special hardware or software is required to access the recordings.
Users may download the mp3 files to their computer, subscribe using
RSS, or subscribe on the iTunes page for Odyssey podcasts.

Odyssey is still accepting applications for this summer's workshop.
This year's Writer-in-Residence is Nina Kiriki Hoffman, author of
novels, juvenile and media tie-in books, short story collections, and
more than 200 short stories. Her works have been finalists for the
Nebula, World Fantasy, Sturgeon, and Endeavour awards. Guest lecturers
include Michael A. Burstein, Rodman Philbrick, Michael A. Arnzen,
Elizabeth Hand, John Clute, and George Scithers.

The workshop runs from June 11th to July 20th, 2007. Prospective
students, aged eighteen and up, apply from all over the world. Those
interested in applying to the workshop should visit the web site
(, phone/fax (603) 673-6234, or e-mail The application deadline is April 13th.


How to pay: In the U.S., you can pay by PayPal or send us a check or
money order. Outside of the U.S., you can pay via PayPal (though
international memberships incur a small set-up fee); pay via Kagi
( for non-U.S. people); send us a check in U.S.
dollars drawn on a U.S. bank (many banks can do this for you for a
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and some post offices).  If none of those options work for you, you
can send us U.S. dollars through the mail if you choose, or contact us
about barter if you have interesting goods to barter (not services).

Scholarship fund and 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.  Or you can donate to our scholarship fund, which we use to
fully or partially cover the costs of an initial paying membership for
certain active, review-contributing members whose situations do not
allow them to pay the full membership fee themselves.

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.  So here's
your chance to award us with a bonus on top of your membership fee.
For example, is the workshop worth five dollars a month to you? Award
us a $11 bonus along with your $49 membership fee. 25% of any bonus
payments we receive will go to our support staff, sort of like a tip
for good personal service. The rest will be tucked away to lengthen
the shoestring that is our budget and keep us running!

For more information:
Bonus payments and information about our company:
Price comparisons:

| - - 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 -- SF, F,
horror, and short stories -- receive a detailed review, meant to be
educational for others as well as the author.

This month's reviews are written by our Resident Editors,
award-winning authors and instructors Jeanne Cavelos, Susan Marie
Groppi, 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'

Congratulations to the current Editors' Choice authors!

Editor's Choice, November, Fantasy Chapter/Partial Chapter:

Jeff England's young adult fantasy chapter for  MONSTER CLUB has a
very engaging tone. You want to know more about this kid, Tobe. You
want to know what it is that makes him different despite his attempts
to not be different. Of course, this theme strikes true to the hearts
of many readers since when we were young adults, most of us wanted
nothing more than to fit in. Unfortunately for Tobe, not only is he
different, but he's moving.

I really like the interaction of the three kids, especially during
their game. Having been a part of many afternoon sessions like this,
there's a genuineness to the description. You can tell the friendship
really revolves around Tobe and that the other two tolerate each other
(and maybe have grown to be friendly?) because of Tobe's presence.
Because of this, I'd like to see more of the three of them together.
This means that the intro could be lengthened, which would be a good
idea, or that the friends could come to visit Tobe in his new house,
which would also be a good idea

Also, I like the set up of Tobe seeing someone in a suit of armor in
the woods on the way to his new house and then also seeing a house in
the distance that looks like a castle. England could have these things
be a product of Tobe's imagination (some sort of manifestation of him
not wanting to move or brought upon by the terror of moving),
something supernatural, or something real (an eccentric neighbor who
built a castle-like house and dresses up in a suit of armor). The
great thing is, all three of these options could require Tobe's
friends to come visit.

If this chapter is drawn out more, England can spend more time setting
the schedule of Tobe's life for the reader and help show why this move
is so difficult. Obviously moves are difficult and leaving friends is
not fun, but I think learning a little more about Tobe and his friends
before the move would strengthen the story.

Along those lines, when Tobe learns of the move, it's going to happen
in two weeks. That's not a lot of time. Maybe it doesn't matter -- and
possibly adds to the shock of the move -- but it wouldn't be strange
for a move of that magnitude (since it sounds like the Brown family is
moving out of state) to have more time built into the planning. Maybe
it's just that Tobe's parents didn't tell him until only two weeks
were left. As I said, for the purpose of this story maybe it doesn't
matter and I'm trying to place importance on something that will
distract from the meat of the story. But, if England gave more time
for the move to happen, he would have more time for Tobe and his
friends to agonize over the move.

To build on this, I like how the first few paragraphs show how Tobe's
life is extraordinarily structured (e.g., the same meals every week).
There are no surprises in his life, and Tobe revels in that
unassuming, even boring, life. The game he plays with his friends
doesn't contain any surprises in it either. If England took a chapter
to write about the regularity of Tobe's life and its structure, then
another chapter to learn who Tobe's friends were, and then a third
chapter devoted to the horror of the impending move and describing the
move/drive to the new house, the reader would have a great set up for
what comes next. It would also give England a chance to spread out the
information that he provides in this introduction so that the reader
does not feel overwhelmed. There are a lot of small details that I'm
not sure if they're important or if they just provide some extra
setting for the scene.  For example, one of Tobe's new neighbors is
the owner of Hanith Meat Locker Co., and I couldn't tell how Tobe knew
that, and whether it was going to be important later on; I hope it is.

I had trouble understanding the age of Tobe and his friends. There was
a line "just after school had let out on his fourth year" that I
couldn't interpret whether it was supposed to be fourth year of school
or four years old. I would assume fourth year of school, but that
makes the characters younger than how I was reading them. In my
experience (I recently worked as a young-adult librarian, and
therefore was reading a lot of young-adult fiction), if this is a
young-adult novel, then the characters have to be teenagers. Young
readers will read about people their age or older, but it's the rare
reader who wants to read about someone younger than them. However,
there was also a line about Tobe wanting to pull on the pigtails of
the girl who sat in front of him in school, which reads like a younger
child, too. There's no problem if this book is going to be for tweens
or younger readers, but then England should be careful not to describe
this as a young-adult book.

England has a lot of great set up in this introductory chapter. The
tone is good, the characters are interesting and engaging, and there's
a nice sprinkling of humor in the story that I think is essential when
writing for younger people. He needs to take some more time with
what's been written and slow down the pace of the book a little. A
fast introduction can spell disaster if there are long, slow passages
later in the book. Remember, the introduction is the set up of the
story for the reader and they will make their expectations based on
what you show them right away.

--John Klima
Editor of _Electric Velocipede_, former Tor editor

Editor's Choice, November, SF Chapter/Partial Chapter:
JAL A'DAID by Warren Scott

Another great month of submissions made it difficult to choose only
one. In the end, JAL A'DAID stands out as appealing because of the
unusual tone and paragraph structure.  If OWW writers want to succeed
as professionals they have to be willing to take risks and this story
does that.

JAL A'DAID is a military story about a mercenary named Gonzales. While
I don't think the paragraph structure works in all cases, it did help
to provide a certain tone to the narrative that does work really well.
Here we have a war story from a first person point of view -- not
original in and of itself -- but moving it from a typical blow-by-blow
of strategy and tactics, and instead infusing the story with a more
human voice is in keeping with great novels like THE FOREVER WAR or as
far back as THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE. War is a timely thing to write
about in any case, but certainly in current times it's a backdrop that
resonates. The question becomes, then, how to set your war story apart
from the general association of "military science fiction" and all of
the preconceived notions that arise from that classification? It's not
a bad thing for a writer to go into a work wanting their book to stand
outside of the typical. Or to undercut it.

The dialogue in the beginning, without tags or quotations, lent a
disembodied feel to it all, perfect for voices traveling over com.
It's a great hook to lure the reader into the specific action, which
isn't too long in coming, but isn't just there to "be different."  The
way it reads affects style and voice.  This tactic is used again later
in the chapter, but I felt to lesser effect, as it was an actual
conversation and carried longer than the initial one. Readers
automatically want to know in some way who's talking but it's lost
after a few lines. It's a great conversation -- witty and realistic as
something they'd shoot around -- but doesn't have that disembodied
quality and needs some tags. I understand wanting to keep all com
chatter in this format for continuity but a way around the confusion
is to break up the conversation with lines of description/action so we
can easier keep track of when Gonzales is talking. As long as it's
banter like this the tags may be necessary; orders during an operation
you don't necessarily need to know the speaker because it's much more
rapidfire and to the point of the action.

The chapter begins emotionally, the death of a comrade whom we later
discover was the brother of the protagonist's friend (and potential
love interest) Sarah. In a few short lines we're introduced to one of
the salient features of these fighters (their armor) and a couple of
the main players. The image of Sarah banging her helmet in grief
against a stone wall is effective. Though her anguished questions seem
a little overwrought, it's understandable after such a blow.

"She looked up at me and all I saw was my reflection, because her
helmet was obscured for combat."  Simple lines like these resonate.
The image is strong and doesn't have to be elaborate to get the point
across. Gonzales's voice is one of frank observance which should be
watched so it doesn't fall into blandness. There are times to flatten
the voice in emotional moments especially if he's a lifer who likes to
distance himself for self-protection, but one of the advantages of a
first person narrative is the writer can play with the tone -- his
tone can change as his emotions do.  Don't be afraid to switch up the
pace or patterns of his speech in specific incidences: in battle his
recounting of things may be clipped; in emotional moments with Sarah
it can be more detailed as he has time to carefully observe things.
Humor can be infused even in descriptions, as it is all through his
eyes. Even a dark humor in the midst of tragedy might be appropriate
depending on his personality. This conscious implementation of the
different voices of the character can add a dynamic lift to the
narrative as a whole. When you think about it, we as people don't
speak or recount things, events or emotions, in monotone or one
rhythm. Neither should your first person narrative.

I'm aware this is a rough draft, but do go over the chapter for simple
mistakes. It read "Armenian" in some places, rather than "Armethian."
Some of the dialogue ran together when they should've been on separate
lines. Whether that was typo or oversight, remember that new people
speaking requires a new paragraph, otherwise the reader can be
confused.  Unless, of course, you're attempting something
stylistically, but I don't think that was the case here.

There are some beautiful descriptions of concepts that anchored the
images and actions very well:

The boat hit hard, and I disengaged on the second bounce. Gyros and computer argued about which way was up, and for a moment I did a bumblebee dance across the terrain.
Being able to get across an image or concept succinctly is a skill; more of these kinds of descriptions pepper the narrative and speak of a confident hand. They also play well into the character's voice; to him these actions are mundane, and the reader gets that by the casual way things are described. Casual, yet colorfully accurate. The main problem in this chapter came at the end. We get an unexpectedly sweet scene between Gonzales and Sarah, that even though he's an experienced merc you feel a realism with his shyness with Sarah. That contrast could well be explored further and add more dimension to the character, but with no segue at all really we're slammed into some infodump to drag the chapter to a schreeching halt. It's interesting information (the SF elements of this military 'world' are fantastic without being overbearing for people who might not be so interested in that above the characterizations or situations) but seems abruptly placed. Could this not be somehow threaded through elsewhere in the chapter or moved to the next chapter? If the sudden concentration on tech details is his inner reaction to some kind of increased intimacy then this needs to be enhanced more. The very last paragraph, just those couple lines, are effective for his state of mind: always the mission? It begs the question if he is trying to convince himself of this, or if it is the reality. Explore the contradictions, contrasts, and complications that men like this face in a combat lifestyle, keep the interesting stylistic risks but be aware of just how they are used, and this book can well evolve into something that might well break from the standard 'military science fiction' classification. --Karin Lowachee Author of BURNDIVE and CAGEBIRD Editor's Choice, November, Short Story: "Faces of Nefertiti"by Ruth Nestvold This story opens with a woman, confused and alone, walking down a dusty road in Egypt. She can't remember who she is or why she's in Egypt, but from her fragmented memories she manages to piece together that she's German, and a physicist. The rest of her story unfolds only gradually. Eventually we learn that she has developed a way to manipulate tiny wormholes in order to travel through time, but that her first test of the process set in motion a chain of events that has left her stranded in a world where neither she nor her scientific discoveries ever existed. This story has a great combination of compelling writing and engaging scientific concepts. Gabrielle's memories of talking about her work on theoretical physics feel very realistic, as do all of her personal interactions throughout the piece. I was most impressed by the descriptions of her disorientation, the way that her amnesia blends with the more generalized confusion of a tourist or traveller in any foreign city. The past really is a foreign country for Gabrielle, but so is the present, and you've managed to very clearly articulate that confusion. I also liked that the changes are very small and very personal -- many authors who write time-paradox stories seem to like exploiting the possibilities of small changes to create disproportionately large consequences, and those stories often end up feeling contrived. I found it both convincing and refreshing that the change to the past in this story resulted in a localized change to the timeline, although one with enormous consequences for our protagonist. Where I think this story could use some work, though, is in the way the full implications of the time-travel incident are revealed at the end. The key, for me, is in the sentence "The memories are not complete, but she can fill in some of the blanks." The surrounding narrative is so well-paced and balanced, but a large section of the story is glossed over in just a few quick sentences, leaving me with questions about the plot that I have no way, within the context of this story, to answer. Some of my questions relate to the technical functions of the CTL system (how does Gabrielle end up stranded in an alternate present rather than just adrift in the past?), but I don't necessarily object to those technical questions being outside of the scope of this story. What troubles me much more is the role that Omar plays. His actions, and to a lesser extent his motivations, are essential to the plot, but are completely obscure to the reader. When Omar runs through the CTL warp, is he planning on convincing the Egyptian government to keep the bust of Nefertiti in Egypt, or is that just a side effect of some larger plan? This is one place where the small scale of the temporal paradox may work against you. If he thinks his actions will only have a small effect on the timeline, then they're not worth sacrificing his entire professional career -- and possibly his life, given that they're just testing the system -- for. It almost seems as though he was expecting a bigger effect, but there's no hint of that within the story itself. I actually found this troubling enough that it caused me to start questioning a lot of small details about the premise of the story. But I think there might be an easy way to address this problem. Gabrielle herself says in the narrative that she can fill in the blanks in her memories. If she fills in just a few more of those blanks for the reader -- Omar's actions, or his motivation, and perhaps some gesture towards some of the tecnical details (for instance, how the CTL warp could have continued to exist long enough to pull her back to the future even as that future was being erased by Omar's actions) -- I think that would be enough. --Susan Marie Groppi Editor of _Strange Horizons_ and co-editor of TWENTY EPICS Editor's Choice, November, Horror: "Herlethingi" by Michael Keyton This story of a man who lets his daughter go out one night and loses her forever climaxes with an incredibly powerful, horrifying image. I think I will remember that image for years to come. It makes the story well worth reading. The early part of the story relays a very believable dilemma for the father, John: should he protect his daughter, or give her the freedom to learn and grow? He finally agrees to drop her off at this friend-of-a-friend's house and then lives to regret it. I think the story generally has a good set up and a good climax, but it's missing the appropriate middle and the appropriate fantastical element. Right now, the middle contains no strong causal chain and no obstacles for John. He rides his bike around the area of his daughter's disappearance, passes repeatedly by a house, and one day the man who lives in the house, Dander, steps out in the road and forces John to stop. John doesn't really struggle and doesn't make any hard decisions. Dander makes the decisions -- and since there is no clear reason why Dander steps into the road on this day, we realize it's actually the author making the decisions. Readers need a strong causal chain of events to maintain the illusion that these events are unfolding on their own, not being controlled by the author. Dander invites John inside, and then we have a long section of exposition, during which Dander serves John a poisoned drink and explains who has taken his daughter. This scene follows a very common pattern in horror/thriller fiction -- the bad guy poisoning the good guy while explaining the evil force. ROSEMARY'S BABY contains one example. Because this scene is so familiar, and you haven't really made it distinct from other versions of it, this is a major weak area in the story. The scene ends in the usual way, with the good guy having the horrific revelation. Because your revelation is distinctive, this part carries power. The exposition about the Wild Hunt is not terribly interesting, because you are telling us about something potentially exciting, but not showing it to us. Further, I don't believe the Wild Hunt is the right fantastic element for this story. If the Herlethingi really were wild, and we saw them, and we saw them tempting the daughter, and we saw her casting off her father's oppressive rules and succumbing to temptation, then this fantastic element could provide a good metaphor for teen rebellion -- rather like the movie "Lost Boys." But this story isn't about teen rebellion; it's about a parent struggling with the idea of letting his child grow up. When you think about that, and you think about the end -- the daughter trapped in a wall -- those two elements seem to fit together well. John can't let his daughter go, and she ends up trapped forever. So the questions -- which you need to answer -- are, what is the middle of this story, and what is the fantastic vehicle that can reflect these themes and get us to that end? It seems that John should be more proactive in the plot, following his daughter when she goes on various outings, and if she has a friend he doesn't approve of, sabotaging that relationship, limiting her life more and more until she is a face in the wall, safe and imprisoned. Making him more active would allow his internal conflict to be developed more, and it would allow him to struggle against obstacles and to ultimately make a hard decision. The story of a parent who doesn't want to let a child go is rather like the middle section of "Rapunzel," where the witch keeps Rapunzel safe from the world (and boys) in a tower. When a prince invades this safety, and Rapunzel chooses the prince over the witch, the witch is furious and cuts off Rapunzel's hair (her connection to the outside world and a sign of her health) and abandons her in a wasteland. I think your ending -- getting trapped in a wall -- is much better than abandoning her in a wasteland. But what is your equivalent to cutting off Rapunzel's hair? The exact way this should be developed must come from you, of course, but I hope I've given you some ideas to consider. I think you've got some very strong pieces mixed with other pieces that don't belong, and if you can replace those to create a unified story, it will be very powerful. --Jeanne Cavelos Editor of THE MANY FACES OF VAN HELSING and author of INVOKING DARKNESS | - - REVIEWER HONOR ROLL - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - | The Reviewer Honor Roll area of the workshop recognizes members who have given useful, insightful reviews. After all, that's what makes the workshop go, so we want to give great reviewers a little well-earned recognition! If you got a really useful review and would like to add the reviewer to the Reviewer Honor Roll, use our online honor-roll nomination form -- log in and link to it from the bottom of the Reviewer Honor Roll page at Your nomination will appear on the first day of the next calendar month. The Honor Roll will show all February nominations beginning March 1. Meanwhile, here are two advance highlights from this month: Reviewer: David Cummings Submission: "Chimps on a Blimp" by Barbara Gordon Submitted by: Barbara Gordon Nominator's Comments: I don't dabble in sf that often, so getting feedback on the technical aspects of the story, especially the sillier ones (like the jellyfish) was invaluable. Also, David's comments on the structure of the ending pointed out the roots of the weakness Dorothy spotted, and I've been happily fixing that in the revision. David has a clear eye to spot problems and knows how to explain them clearly. Very helpful indeed. Reviewer: E E Submission: Elsewhen: Chapter One: The Knight and the Madman by Alisa Goode Submitted by: Alisa Goode Nominator's Comments: I was struggling to understand why this wasn't working so well as I wanted to. E isolated the problems this chapter had in a very encouraging way. Just when I needed someone to be hard-hitting, she hit one out of the park. Now, I will be able to fix what I didn't know was wrong. Isn't that what we want crits for? Reviewers nominated to the OWW Honor Roll during January include: Gregory Clifford, David Cummings, Ruv Draba, Bonnie Freeman, Cathy Freeze, Randall Humphries, Leonid Korogodski, Helen Mazarakis, Sandra Panicucci, Mark Reeder, Shawn Scarber, Tracey Stewart, Sylvia Volk (2), and Zvi Zaks. We congratulate them all for their excellent reviews. All nominations received in January can be still found through February 28 at: | - - PUBLICATION ANNOUNCEMENTS - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - | We can't announce them if you don't let us know! So drop Charlie a line atsupport@sff.onlinewritingworkshop.comwhenever you have good news to share. In February 2007 Rackstraw Press published GLORIFYING TERRORISM, an anthology of sf short stories written in protest of the United Kingdom's Terrorism Act. The book boasts some familiar OWW names in the table of contents: Kathryn Allen, Vylar Kaftan, and Rachel Swirsky. Some other writers in the anthology include Marie Brennan, Hal Duncan, Gwyneth Jones, Ken MacLeod, Charlie Stross, Jo Walton, Ian Watson, and others. You can check it out at Leah Bobet's story, "Three Days and Nights in Lord Darkdrake's Hall," which was once known as "The Evil Story (tm)" for all the grief it gave her to write, was published in _Strange Horizons_ ( Johne Cooke reports his first paid sale. "The Reconstructed Man," Cooke's riff on Bester's famous similarly-titled novel, appears in the new Christian sci-fi ezine, _Wayfarer's Journal_ ( Aliette de Bodard sold a flash piece "Weepers and Ragers" to _Abyss and Apex_ for their 3rd Quarter 2007 issue. Also, her short story "Autumn's Country" has been picked up by _Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine_ ( for their 30th issue in June 2007. She's happy to have such a strong start to the year, and says that "although neither piece went through OWW, I received thoughtful and very helpful criticism from OWWers Linda Steele and Marshall Payne." Casey Fiesler sold her short story "Answer Me This" to _The Town Drunk_ ( We translated "It's my first sale of an OWW-critted piece!" to "Thanks to everyone on OWW who critted it for me!" The zombicorns go pro! Long-time OWWer and everyone's favorite professional copyeditor (well, my favorite, for what that's worth--your humble newsletter editor), Deanna Hoak made her first pro sale, and did it with her Strange Horizons April Fool's Day zombie unicorn story "The Robidermist's Steed." Look for it in SFWA-qualifying market _Dark Wisdom_ ( Anna Kashina has another German-language novel sale! She sold THE FIRST SWORD to German publisher Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag. She told the mailing list that "they are treating it like a big epic fantasy project and hope to sell it back to the American publishers eventually, and I am very excited about it. This one definitely would never have happened without OWW, because a lot of this novel was edited and rewritten at the workshop and had been posted more than once. Thanks to all of you who reviewed many raw versions of this novel over the past 6 years and to all of you OWWers for help and support!" Heidi Kneale sold her short story "Eyes of the Swan" to CROSSROADS: A CHRISTIAN ANTHOLOGY of Australian authors. She tells us that "this story was reviewed on the Workshop waaaaay waaaaaay back when it was still Del Rey. I think it was one of the first few pieces I'd posted. I can't remember everyone who reviewed it, but Jennifer DeGuzman was one of them. Still, thanks to you all." Celia Marsh sold "Firing the Dead" to _Fantasy_. Former member Dean McMillen, writing as Dean Chalmers, emailed us to say that his novel THE KEY OF OBERKION, early chapters of which were workshopped on OWW, has been published by StoneGarden (, a print-on-demand publisher. He says, " I'd like to thank all those helpful people on OWW who gave me feedback on the early chapters and helped me to find the right voice for the story." Darren Moore sold "The Most Daunting Task of All" to FANTASTICAL VISIONS V. He thanks everybody who reviewed it when it was on the workshop a long, long time ago. Catherine Morrison sold "The Glass Children" to _Fantasy_. Camille Picott's collection "Nanobytes: A Collection of Speculative Flash Fiction" is available for free download on her website at Each of the stories is accompanied by anillustration from graphic artist Joey Manfre. And her flash story "Mr. Stump" was accepted for publication by _Bewildering Stories_. It was critiqued by F.R.R. Mallory of OWW. Chelsea Polk sold "Kether Station" to _Baen's Universe_. Chelsea tells us that "this story was workshopped on OWW in, I think, 2004. I remember that Charlie Finlay helped me a lot by using the story to teach me about pacing, Kat Allen provided both grammar picks and an insight about the structure of the characters that made it make sense, Elizabeth Bear knew just where the extraneous stuff was and helped me keep exposure to the cool points of the setting without losing the direction of the story, and Mike Farrell had a point about electronic hardware that kept me from looking like a doof. The windows on the space station are entirely my doing, and not his fault at all." Kaori Praschak wants to say thanks to Matthew Herreshoff, Kevin Miller, Barbara Gordon, and Calie Voorhis for helping with her science fiction story "Fixer Uppers" last year. _Coyote Wild_ has just taken it for an upcoming issue. John Schoffstall sold his flash story "She's a Flight Risk" to _Raven Electrick_, scheduled to go live 10/26/2007. He sends "special thanks to Raymond Walshe, Eric Bresin, Ruth Nestvold, Kenneth Rapp, Mur Lafferty, and David Reagan who critted this story when it was on OWW." From EC to ToC in record time! Debbie Smith reports that "The Charnel House" sold to Stephen Jones for his SUMMER CHILLS anthology due out in May. Debbie writes: "I'd like to thank all the people who critiqued the story, as well as Jeanne Cavelos for her great comments." Amber van Dyk sold a super literary barely fantasy euthenasia short based on misheard Fixmer/McCarthy lyrics to _Fantasy_. Kinda makes you want to go out and subscribe, just so you don't miss it. Jeremy Yoder reports his second pro -- and second media tie-in -- short story sale. "Reborn" will appear in the anthology STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS 10. Which is pretty darn cool. He says "thanks to everyone who's ever critted me. It's all helpful." Then, more honestly, he adds, "Well, actually about 84% of it's helpful." The trick is always picking out the right 84%. | - - WORKSHOP STATISTICS - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - | Number of members as of 2/19: 586 paying, 60 trial Number of submissions currently online: 395 Percent of submissions with 3 or more reviews: 65.82% Percent of submissions with zero reviews: 4.30% Average reviews per submission (all submissions): 4.50 Estimated average review word count (all submissions): 716.09 Number of submissions in January: 269 Number of reviews in January: 998 Ratio of reviews/submissions in January: 3.67 Estimated average word count per review in January: 759.31 Number of submissions in February to date: 157 Number of reviews in February to date: 658 Ratio of reviews/submissions in February to date: 4.19 Estimated average word count per review in February to date: 788.53 Total number of under-reviewed submissions: 72 (18.2%) Number over 3 days old with 0 reviews: 4 Number over 1 week old with under 2 reviews: 22 Number over 2 weeks old with under 3 reviews: 46 | - - FEEDBACK - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - | 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@sff.onlinewritingworkshop.comand we'll do the rest. Until next month -- just write! The Online Writing Workshop for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror | - - Copyright 2007 Online Writing Workshops - - - - - - - - - - - |

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