November 2009 Newsletter


Monthly Writing Challenge

Editors' Choices


Publication Announcements

Reviewer Honor Roll

Membership Info



Just the FAQ. The lovely and talented Leah Bobet is putting together a terrific new FAQ page for the workshop. If there are any questions you'd like to see answered on the FAQ page please contact Leah so she can consider them for the list. 

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

Maria Zannini, newsletter editor
newsletter (at)


Monthly Writing Challenge

Silence as a second language. How do you have a conversation with someone who doesn't speak, or perhaps doesn't understand your language at all? For this month's challenge, write a story about a character who cannot communicate through verbal means. Show us how he or she gets a message across.

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) 



The Odyssey Writing Workshop, one of the most respected programs for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, is now offering writing classes online. Classes are designed for adult writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Each class is focused on a particular element of fiction writing and is designed for writers at a particular skill level, from beginners to professional writers. The application period for the first class, Showing versus Telling, runs from October 10-December 10, 2009. The class itself will be held from January 6-February 10, 2010.

Odyssey Director Jeanne Cavelos explains, "For fifteen years, Odyssey has pursued its mission to help developing writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror improve their work by holding its annual six-week workshop. But we can only help sixteen writers each year at the workshop. We wanted to be able to help more writers. So we've taken the teaching techniques that are so effective at the workshop and adapted them to create online classes. We've worked very hard to ensure that our online classes are of the same quality and caliber as our in-person workshop and that they deserve to carry the name of Odyssey."

Unlike most online classes, Odyssey's Online Classes offer live lectures and discussions using Web conferencing software. At class time, students call the class phone number and go to the appropriate Web site. The instructor is live on the other end of the phone, giving the lecture, and students' computer screens become the class blackboard, where the instructor displays various examples and notes. By clicking on the appropriate icon, a student can raise his hand, use the phone to ask a question, and listen to the questions of other students, who are all on the same conference call.

Odyssey's Online Classes are rigorous and demanding, packing valuable content into each session and providing assignments that challenge students to take their writing to the next level. The classes provide the tools and techniques students need to improve their writing, along with feedback on their work that reveals whether they are successfully using those tools and techniques.

Taking one of Odyssey's Online Classes is not equivalent to attending the Odyssey Workshop, and should not be considered a substitute. But writers can improve through many different experiences, and for many, attending a six-week in-person workshop is not possible.

Cavelos says, "If you're ready to hear about the weaknesses in your writing and ready to work to overcome them, you'd be welcome to apply to one of our online classes." Classes provide a supportive yet challenging, energizing atmosphere, with a class size limited to fourteen students and close contact with the instructor.

The first class, Showing versus Telling, will be taught by Odyssey Director Jeanne Cavelos. Sessions will be held for one hour each week for six weeks. Tuition is $295. More information is available at or by e-mailing

In addition, the Odyssey Web site,, offers many resources for writers, including free podcasts, writing and publishing tips, a weekly writing blog, and a critique service.



Taos Toolbox, a two-week master class in writing science fiction and fantasy, will take place June 6-9, 2010, in Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico. Teaching duties will be shared by Walter Jon Williams and Nancy Kress, along with special lecturer Carrie Vaughn. The application period will begin December 1. For more information, visit



How to Write Badly Well is the blog to visit for a very different take on essential writing skills.  Read between the lines and you can definitely learn something!

Editors' Choices

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

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

Congratulations to the current Editors' Choice authors!

Editors' Choices, Fantasy

THE BLACK ROSE, Chapter 14, comic fantasy chapter by Gene Spears

Comedy is not easy. It can be difficult to ascertain whether what you think is funny would also be funny to a larger audience. On top of that, when it comes to genre, there are not many examples (Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Robert Aspirin, and Spider Robinson to name a few) of humorous writing, and the tendency among new writers can be to emulate those writers instead of developing their own comedic chops. Another way writers get into humor is to employ parody (and genre is ripe for parodying), but that can devolve into slapstick nonsense fairly quickly. You need to be careful with comedy since there can be the compulsion to fill each paragraph with funny bits, which is not necessarily a good thing.

The good thing about comedy is that it can incorporate pieces from many other styles of writing. There can be action scenes, romance storylines, scary parts, and so on. There is comedy in every situation. Gene Spears has done a pretty bang-up job of incorporating a little bit of everything into his storyline for his comic fantasy novel THE BLACK ROSE.

This chapter kicks off with a little funny patter between the two main characters Roberto Neri (a swindler) and Ysera (the daughter of the Grand Master of the Assassin Order). Roberto is Italian and Ysera is Arabic, so you already have two conflicting cultures and characters to mine for comedic content. It does have a little bit of the tired "guy from the wrong side of the tracks" and "princess looking to get out from under father's/country's control" to it, but that can still work as long as you don't rely on clichés to get your point across.

Comedy is also about timing. In an early paragraph, Spears has Ysera say (in reference to their camels), "Yours won't leave unless it prefers males." I think the sentence works much better with a break between "leave" and "unless." It gives more emphasis to the end of the conversation and establishes a bit about the relationship between Neri and Ysera. In this case, it can be showing that Ysera knows more than Neri or that Neri is out of his element being so far from Italy or that Ysera is going to put Neri in his place whenever she can. Or it can mean all these things.

As the chapter progresses, the reader learns (or is reminded, depending on what's happened in earlier chapters) that Neri is a free spirit while Ysera is more controlled. At the same time, Neri does have more life experience, so he is the unspoken leader of the two and Ysera is forced to follow his lead, which makes her uncomfortable. This gives both characters a lot of room for development as Neri can learn how to be a little less flighty and Ysera can learn to loosen up.

There is a scene where Neri is improvising being Ethiopian and Ysera is translating for him. Right now the scene is played pretty straight, although Spears does note that Ysera is having a difficult time keeping a straight face. However, I don't think the reader knows why she would be having trouble. There's little in the scene to laugh at since Spears give us little description of what Neri is doing. Spears did provide a small bit of gibberish speech which Neri is passing off as Ethiopian, and I think that Spears stopped it at the right moment. Too much more would be hard on the reader. However, Spears could put in more description of what Neri is doing (he's got a peacock with him) and how the crowd is reacting to him. Additionally, when the crowd turns on them, I think Spears could have a little more fun with their reaction.

I'd like to bring up one minor point. Spears refers to one of the camels and the peacock in the same paragraph and then uses the pronoun "its." From context it's pretty clear which "it" he's talking about, but it would be clearer if he wrote "the bird" instead. I recently was editing a piece whose author referred to the two male main characters in one paragraph and then started using "he" without being clear as to which one was meant. You want to be careful when using pronouns that you're explicit about which person or, in this case, animal the pronoun is talking about. If it's not completely clear from context, use a name or a description instead of the pronoun. No one will ever fault you for being clear.

Spears uses tight dialog and conflicting character types to move his comedic novel along. A little bit more humor through description in a few places and this will be quite a fun read. And Spears has the ability to insert all sorts of story-telling styles if he wants: fantasy, horror, romance, action, etc.

--John Klima, Editor, Electric Velocipede

Editors' Choices, Science Fiction

THE JOURNAL OF DAVIDSON CREEK, HUMAN, Chapter 16, Part 1, by Duff McCourt

In this self-styled "reenactment of Golden Age science fiction" we follow the (mis)adventures of Davidson Creek through a colorful landscape of aliens and their worlds. Though set in some kind of future, Davidson's original world is that of the 1950s and we see glimpses of this sensibility in the narrative, giving a charming nostalgic tone to the story.

Chapter sixteen was split into two parts over two separate submissions, so this critique and Editor's Choice only covers the first part. Since this chapter is well into the novel it isn't the ideal way to critique, but it's to the author's credit that the world feels fully realized and it's not too confusing to jump into even at this stage. There's definitely a "new frontier" vibe -- Dust City, blazing white suns -- that allows for a certain amount of landscaping: longish paragraphs going into some detail of the surroundings. This is a place in which we're meant to feel a bit of wonder, and we do. The descriptions adeptly evoke a fascinating, alien world:

The days were growing longer in Dust City. As Davidson's watch measured time, the blazing white sun had spent nearly five hours above the horizon in its most recent pass over the largest city on Heliabar. As he watched the sunset through the tinted window, Davidson calculated that that left roughly three hours remaining in the planet's cycle. Three hours the city would spend sheathed in the deliciously cooling womb of darkness.

The descriptions of the aliens themselves are just as spot-on as the environment details. The reader gets an immediate, vivid image with words such as these:

As Davidson denied himself this retreat, a slow steady stream of Heliabazians trudged past Davidson's outpost reminding him, as they always did in their surface form, of some sort of amalgamation of a terrifyingly huge bipedal lobster and one of King Arthur's knights.

The author expands deftly on this initial impression and it carries throughout the chapter (and presumably the book) as Davidson interacts with them. We are reminded through cleverly inserted details that these lobster-like aliens have deadly pincers, are rather tall, and require translators to understand. These details don't have to be infodumped, but crop up through action:

"He doesn't know his place sometimes," Flim's mother continued. She had her head lowered and eyes downcast in a universal gesture of obeisance made ridiculous by her physical formidability.

The mismatching of words or interpretation add a fond realism to Davidson's conversations. The dialogue is pretty spot-on as well, with the characters adopting that nostalgic feel in their almost formal way of interacting. But this is reflected not so deftly sometimes in other areas.

When the ship passed close by one of the massive structures and a momentary glimpse through one of a thousand impossible windows afforded Davidson a view of several dozen of Opannial's kin playing some sort of game on a field several times larger than a soccer pitch, it dawned on him that this port--for that was what Jump Town truly was--must house several times the population of Earth.

Sentences like these are very unwieldy and hard to track. There are also some instances of odd comma splicing, or placement of commas, that break up the flow and understanding of the prose. This makes some passages that are infodumpy even doubly difficult to wrap the mind around. Though it might be a conceit to break off into memories for Davidson in the middle of the action, and ruminate on past encounters, places, or people, this actually makes the narrative confusing and less immediate (I lost track of the present timeline, where he was and what he was doing, as well as all the business about Amy). Quickly remembering things of his past that might have been shown in earlier parts of the novel could be passed off -- but two or three thick paragraphs of infodump at a time do not serve the story well. This happens a couple times in this chapter and I would suggest the author relook at that choice.

Lastly, even though this is a forced part one of two in the chapter, I wondered why the withholding of details about the "creature" at the end of this part, even for this bit. Presumably the "creature" will be explained soon after but it still reads like an unnecessary lack of details or observation on Davidson's part when he should be having an immediate reaction to whatever this creature is and its seeming significance.

Overall the characters, the worlds, the journey so far is fascinating, charming, and just simply works. I only wish I'd been able to read the first fifteen chapters to see how it all developed.

--Karin Lowachee

Editors' Choices, Short Story

"The Wizard's Wife" by Heather Hillstead

This is a story of a woman who finds herself stuck in an unhappy marriage, and gets help from a mother-in-law who teaches her the magic to literally reshape herself and break free. It's told in the first person, and what draws me most to the story is the sincerity of the narrator's emotional situation, which comes through as honestly felt.

Magical details are casually strewn across the landscape: bottles of bat wings and crushed mint, bits of star dust, salamanders in the fireplace. They give the wizardry a nice lived-in feel, a sense of depth behind the magic. There are some bright, vivid bits of description in here, like hair described as "the color of ground coffee or the dark pit of an avocado" or laughter as "a cracked sound like shards of glass rattling around inside a box." Other descriptions are less original: "The woman laughed, but this time the sound was the chirping of birds in love." I'm willing to allow for poetic license in comparing laughter to the sound of birds, but birds in love? I don't know what that sounds like. It crosses a line into too-cute territory, but the more significant problem is that it doesn't provide me with an audio cue. It's telling me the emotion I'm supposed to get from this sound, rather than letting me imagine the sound itself and glean whatever emotional associations I'll take from there.

We get one jarring moment of inconsistent narrator perspective, in the line, "You see, my husband had given me a second ring to wear so I could tell when someone, like a salesperson say, was lying." This is the only time in the story when Julia directly addresses the reader, which repositions her relationship to us, and changes the telling of this story to more of a conscious performance for an audience who is part of the story. Fine when done deliberately, but as it stands, this one line sticks out awkwardly as a violation of the more distant relationship between storyteller and reader that's been established throughout the rest of the text.

Also, check for transitional modifiers like "after all," or "actually," that dampen the impact of the sentences. Another phrase that crops up in here a lot is "I think," as in:

"I think he wanted to impress me. He was always trying to do that back then: impress me. Make me love and adore him, I think."

While some of these may be in keeping with the character's insecure need to qualify her statements, too many of them will only clutter and muddy the flow of the story. I'd recommend going through and seeing if some of these modifiers can be cut, and the sentences tightened into more straightforward statements.

Other places can be streamlined too. For example: "Suddenly, she turned around sharply, much more quickly than I would have credited to be possible." There are three separate adverbs in here about quickness, and all of them are undermined by an extraneous and somewhat awkward phrase about Julia's opinion of the turning, which drags and interrupts the action's immediacy. What if, for example, she were just to suddenly turn around, startling Julia? Then we would see her being faster than Julia expected, without needing to be explicitly told so, and the scene gains motion.

The story begins with the line, "Even wizards need wives." It's a fine start, but begs the question: What does he need a wife for, exactly? They don't seem to have much of a physical relationship, so what is her function in his household? What does she do with her time? Perhaps some of the answer could come in the brief early paragraphs where Julia sketches out five years of marriage:

"Spring turned into summer, then fall and winter. He stopped looking at me. I watched him conjure flames out of water. I envied him when he turned into an eagle and flew away for months at a time. I pitied the young woman he turned into a rose for the matter of a few thousand dollars and I sometimes even wished I was her. Five years passed. Away. And in many ways, I was still sixteen."

This rushes through those first five years awfully fast, skipping over elements (like the lie-detection ring, or the fact that she apparently loved him) that will show up later on when the narrative calls for them, feeling like they're shoehorned in, rather than expanding organically from the initial picture. Julia mentions that the wizard turns a girl into a rose, but only toward the end of the story does she discuss this event as a turning point in the second month of their marriage, an event that changed her husband and affected her deeply. This is important stuff, and doesn't seem to quite match up with the brief early sentence we'd seen above, which made the event sound like it had a much shallower effect on her life. It's nearly the only event we witness from that time, and yet it carries very little emotional weight. I wonder if this section could be expanded a bit, to give us more sense of the flavor of those years? The mention of the girl-to-rose transformation could even show up on a list of many interesting events that occurred over that period; maybe it could take a place of honor at the end of the list. This would allow the words to echo in the pause that followed the paragraph, and suggest unexplored depths of the transformation's impact on her, without needing to go into much description of it at this point.

There is a poetic sort of narrative voice to this story, and I think it works best when the sentences are fairly simple and clear, helping create a fairytale atmosphere. Even little tweaks to the language will make a difference, as in the second sentence: "My mother told me that the day my father signed the marriage contract sealing my fate." When I read this aloud, I find myself wanting to say "My mother told me that, on the day my father signed the marriage contract..." Just adding a comma and "on" changes the sentence for me from one that reads awkwardly to one that sings. Everyone has different rhythms; an excellent way to find your own is to read your story out loud to hear where you stumble or hesitate, where a word added or removed or changed would make the story flow better. Read it out loud, and listen to what you can learn from yourself. Good luck!

--Karen Meisner, Editor, Strange Horizons

Editors' Choices, Horror

"Nomenclature" by Parker Betz

In a strange and fascinating future, Mimics threaten humanity. They whisper your name, mimicking the voice of a friend or loved one. If you turn and look, you die. People abandon the use of names and terms of endearment, trying to protect themselves from the Mimics. Michael, the first-person narrator, describes the changes to society. His father-in-law succumbs to the Mimics; his brother blinds himself to ensure his safety and then commits suicide in despair; his wife succumbs to the Mimics as well, and after that they follow him, imitating her last words, "Please, no."

The premise is interesting, and the story is told in an unusual way, with the first half in a first-person plural POV (for example, "We were still given names") with a kind of scientific, lecturing voice. That voice reminds me of some of the stories in Michael Blumlein's incredible collection THE BRAINS OF RATS. It can be tough to pull the reader along with such a voice, though. That's one of the major challenges of this piece, and I don't think it's fully successful yet. I was not really engaged in the story until I got to the government's three rules, which were intriguing. The next scene, involving the brother's surgery, solidified my involvement in the story, because it made Michael more of a real person to me.

Another challenge of this piece is the passive main character. He doesn't really work toward a goal until he meets Natalie, which is on the last page. Because of this, the ending doesn't have a lot of impact, because you haven't had long to lead up to it.

Another challenge is the shift from the first-person plural lecturing mode to the first-person singular story of Michael. The story feels almost like two different stories.

I think you could pull the reader in more strongly, hold the reader better, and create more impact at the end with several revisions:

*Putting Michael in a dangerous and involving situation right at the beginning. Right now, the story is basically all exposition (background information) except for the last line, which describes the Mimics now following Michael. I think you would do better to create a frame, with scenes focusing on Michael's current situation at the beginning and end of the story. You could open the story with Michael hearing the Mimics imitating his wife saying, "Please, no," and refusing to turn, fearing he will die. This would raise questions in the reader's mind and encourage the reader to care about Michael. You could then return to this frame at the end and resolve the situation in some way.

I'd like the frame even more if Michael were trying to do something particular at the opening, rather than just trying not to respond to the voices. For example, perhaps he's madly searching for a video of Natalie. We don't know why he's searching for it until the end, when we return to the frame and he finds the video and plays it. He's hoping the Mimics will learn and repeat some of the things Natalie says to him in this video, because he'd rather hear her voice like this, when she was happy, rather than hear her final, frightened words. Perhaps the Mimics do say "I love you" or something similar at the end, and Michael is happy.

Or perhaps at the beginning he's considering turning and killing himself; perhaps he no longer feels life is worth living. Then at the end we can see his decision.

*Clarifying the premise. I don't know if I understand the premise correctly. If my description at the beginning of this critique is correct, then I guess I do. But I had to work quite a bit to figure that out. The stress on names at the beginning really confused me. I thought that the Mimics simply needed to figure out someone's name and say it. If they said a person's name and that person heard it, I thought he died. I didn't think the deaths had anything to do with looking at a Mimic. The power of names is a familiar motif in mythology and fairy tales, so the stress on names at the beginning led me right down that path.

Thus I was extremely confused when the story said that "Benign words have probably caused thousands of deaths." I didn't understand how non-names could hurt anyone.

If the deaths are actually caused by looking at the Mimic, that needs to be clarified. I didn't figure that out until after the brother blinded himself. That really stopped me in complete confusion (so it didn't have the emotional impact it should), and I had to puzzle over it a while and look back over the story to finally figure out that the Mimics are a sort of combination of sirens and gorgons, drawing you to look at them and then killing you with that glance.

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

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


Review: Writing The Breakout Novel, by Donald Maass (Writer's Digest Books)

coverDonald Maass is one of the premier agents in the publishing industry and his book Writing The Breakout Novel is an insider's look at what makes a novel a commercial success.  The book was written in 2001, yet I found the advice as sound today as then. There is some dated information, most notably when he asked whether e-readers fill a need. Nowadays it's hard to find an agent or editor who doesn't use an e-reader.

Although this review is about the book itself, I must note that there is also a companion workbook that prompts the writer to ask the right questions about a manuscript. I think of the two, I prefer the workbook, only because much of this book regularly refers to Maass's clients' work. There's nothing wrong with that, I just couldn't help feeling there was an agenda attached.

The workbook is a straight by-the-numbers punch list of things writers should address as they go about writing and editing their books, while the original book discusses the whys and wherefores.

Although Writing The Breakout Novel is a handy guide to both unpublished and published authors, I think at its core it serves the published author best. The book assumes that you already know your way around basic storytelling, and it asks you to be able to pinpoint elements in your book, such as premise, plot, and multiple points of view.

While I was researching this book, I discovered that not only did Mr. Maass host live conferences using the techniques described in the book and workbook, but there is even a Yahoo group, unaffiliated with Mr. Maass, that also uses his book as a jumping off point for the members' own works in progress. Writing The Breakout Novel seems to have become its own cottage industry.

That's not to say the book hasn't its detractors. I've read several accounts with some apparent animosity from those who think Maass is handing the author a blueprint for formulaic writing rather than nurturing creativity. I didn't walk away with that impression when I read the book. I felt Mr. Maass had his finger on the pulse of the industry. As an agent, it's his job to know what sells and why. I find that valuable information.

While any one of us might be able to rattle off a list of great unknowns with the skill and voice capable of challenging any New York Times bestseller, Mr. Maass counters by identifying a clear distinction for successful novels. He draws the line between the accomplished writer and the extraordinary story teller. If you take away only one thing from this book it's this line:

In reality there is one reason, and one reason only, that readers get excited about a novel: great storytelling.

The rest of the book is compartmentalized into the elements that make great storytelling. Furthermore, he explains why these measures work and how to make them work for you. The book discusses premise, stakes, world building, characters, plot, pacing, point of view and voice. At the end of each chapter is a mini punch list of what was covered.

I liked this book. I liked that Mr. Maass didn't pull any punches and he didn't make any promises. I would recommend both the book and the workbook for any writer's resource library. For myself, I found the workbook more than enough to kick start me in the right direction and force me to ask the important questions about my story. But the original book was also helpful and it gave me a deeper appreciation for just how hard it is to write not just a good novel, but a great story.

Maria Zannini

Publication Announcements

Aliette de Bodard tells us: "It would seem my short story 'The Dancer's Gift,' published in the Spring 2008 issue of Fictitious Force and repackaged as part of my short fiction sampler for the Campbell, has garnered an Honorable Mention on the long-list Ellen Datlow's Best Horror of the Year from Nightshade."

April Gray says: "My flash fiction 'Objects of Desire' has been selected for Every Day Fiction's anthology. Many thanks again to John Tremett for his help in polishing the story to get it sold."

Vylar Kaftan reports: "There's a new magazine in town, folks. Published by Sean Wallace of Prime Books and edited by John Joseph Adams, Lightspeed Magazine will feature 'all types of sf, from near-future, sociological soft sf, to far-future, star-spanning hard sf, and anything and everything in between.' I've got a story in the first issue. It's called 'I'm Alive, I Love You, I'll See You in Reno.' It's a multi-century love story about two lovers who just can't connect."

Karen L. Kobylarz says: "I am writing to report that my short story 'Mistress of Magic' has been published in the current issue of Mindflights. The story was posted several times on the workshop, sometimes under the title 'The Aegyptian.' Thanks to all who reviewed it."

Joshua Palmatier tell us: "I have good news! I wrote this short story called 'Mastihooba' for an anthology called Close Encounters of the Urban Kind being put together for APEX and I was notified yesterday that my short made the cut. So I'll have a short story *gasp* released next year sometime! I don't typically write short stories, but there are a few that rattle around in my head every now and then that make it down to paper. Most of the time they end up exploding into novels, but this one was nice (well, I had to do some major cutting to get it to the appropriate word length for the anthology). It came in at just under 7,000 words."

Marshall Payne reports that he sold his short story "Televisionary" to M-Brane SF. "I must be the king of Feast and Famine," he says with this sale to break his dry spell. "For me they seem to come in bunches." 

Abra Staffin Wiebe tells us, "My humorous dark fantasy short story 'The Radiator Burped' is now out in the free Fall issue of Strange, Weird, and Wonderful Magazine. This story came about when my husband got tired of my whining about not writing and told me to write a story about a fairy and a dragon. Neither fairy nor dragon are quite as you might expect."

Reviewer Honor Roll

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

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

October 2009 Nominees

Reviewer: Lindy Kilby
Submission: Spiritual Trappings (revised)
Submitted by: Christopher Kilna

Reviewer: Max Griffin
Submission: Diana's Woods (Revised)
Submitted by: Richard Fuller

Reviewer: Jeanne Marcella-Ayer
Submission: Winterturn, Part 1 Chapter 1
Submitted by: Terri Trimble

Reviewer: Max Griffin
Submission: JACK AND THE BOX
Submitted by: L. K. Pinaire

Reviewer: Lindsay B
Submission: Winterturn, Part 1 Chapter 1
Submitted by: Terri Trimble

Reviewer: Lindsay B
Submission: Immortal Blood, Chapter 5 w/Synopsis
Submitted by: Sandy Garza

Reviewer: elizabeth hull
Submission: The Lights Are on in Hell - Chapter Fifteen (Complete)
Submitted by: Jeanne Haskin

Reviewer: Crash Froelich
Submission: The Lights Are on in Hell - Chapters Thirteen & Fourteen (All New)
Submitted by: Jeanne Haskin

Reviewer: Gregory Clifford
Submission: The Lights Are on in Hell - Chapter Fifteen (Complete)
Submitted by: Jeanne Haskin

Reviewer: Zvi Zaks
Submission: The Lights Are on in Hell - Chapter Fifteen (Complete)
Submitted by: Jeanne Haskin

Reviewer: Boz Flamagin
Submission: WITH GIO CLAIRVAL - A Rose for the Nomad - PART TWO (REWRITTEN!)
Submitted by: Erin Stocks

Reviewer: Lindsay B
Submission: Water and Fire, Chapters 1 & 2 REVISION 2
Submitted by: Lindy Kilby

Reviewer: Lindsay B
Submission: Matt Archer ch 7 and 8
Submitted by: Kendra Highley

Reviewer: Kevin Sullivan
Submission: The Penitent
Submitted by: Zvi Zaks

Reviewer: Max Griffin
Submission: "The Full Fare"
Submitted by: Erik Alexander Hill

Reviewer: David Douglas
Submission: The Emperor's Edge -- Chapter 14 (synopsis included) by Lindsay B
Submitted by: Lindsay B

Reviewer: Erin Stocks
Submission: Holding On by Gregory Clifford
Submitted by: Gregory Clifford

Reviewer: C. S. Inman
Submission: Blood and Snow - part 1 by Lindsay Kitson
Submitted by: Lindsay Kitson

On Shelves Now

THE PRISONER by Carlos Cortes (Random House, October 2009)

cover2049. Earth's prisons are shut down and all inmates placed in massive hibernation tanks. In the ten years since then, no one has broken out...until now.

When prisoners check into Washington D.C.'s maximum security "sugar cube," they don't check out. Here lie suspended not just the planet's most dangerous criminals, but also half a million so-called "center inmates"-troublesome activists whose only offense is to challenge those in power.

Laurel Cole was one of those inmates-and now she's on the run. After pulling off a meticulously executed escape plan, she and her team must elude the police by descending into the tunnels that run like poisoned veins beneath the city. Pursued by a ruthless mercenary who knows these sewers better than anyone, Laurel seeks help from a group of renegades who live huddled in the fetid darkness. But if she ever hopes to see daylight again-and expose the government's lies-she'll have to go even deeper. . . and the clock is ticking.

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The Online Writing Workshop for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror
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