We've had quite a few sales this past month. Keep up the good work! This month, we welcome OWW alumnus Brad Beaulieu. I think you'll enjoy his journey to publication. And be sure to read our Editor's Choice reviews to find out what "micro-telling" is!
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
K. C. Shaw said in "Sand-Skin Man," "every man has something he wants badly enough to kill or die for." Write a story, or a scene, about a character and that thing that they would kill or die for. Maybe someone's discovered what it is and is going to use it against them, maybe they only just realized what it is themselves. Maybe you have a character already whose motivation you're struggling with--sit down and figure out what it is.
Remember: Challenges are supposed to be fun, but don't forget to stretch yourself. If you normally write fantasy, try SF. If you've never tried space opera, here's your chance. It doesn't have to be great. It's all about trying new things. There's no word limit, no time limit, no nothin'. Just have fun.
Challenges can be suggested by anyone and suggestions should be sent to Maria (newsletter (at) onlinewritingworkshop.com). This month's challenge brought to you by Lindsay Kitson.
The Editors' Choices are chosen from the submissions from the previous month that show the most potential or otherwise earn the admiration of our Resident Editors. Submissions in four categories--science fiction chapters, fantasy chapters, horror, and short stories -- receive a detailed review, meant to be educational for others as well as the author.
This issue's reviews are written by Resident Editors Jeanne Cavelos, Karen Meisner, Elizabeth Bear, and Karin Lowachee. The last four months of Editors' Choices and their editorial reviews are archived on the workshop. Go to the "Read, Rate, Review" page and click on "Editors' Choices."
Congratulations to the current Editors' Choice authors!
NEVER, Chapter 1, Snogging the Pepper Pot (rewrite) by Crash Froelich
I would have liked to review some additional content of Crash Froelich's Never, since Chapter 1 is so brief. This is an intriguing beginning to a story with an unusual sense of place and character, and I was hooked.
It was that sense of place that drew me in. This is no generic fantasy setting, but a vibrantly described place. A little Googling leads me to believe that Mr. Froelich's Fox Bay is in the Falkland Islands, a setting about which I know little. I can't tell if his depiction is accurate, but what he writes, I believe. It has the ring of authenticity and finely observed detail to it.
This is an advanced art, a skill which all writers need to evolve--the ability to evoke setting and atmosphere with a few well-chosen details. What makes Fox Bay come alive in this writing is exactly that--the so-called telling detail. The public house, the drunken sheepherder, the hardscrabble existence of those who live off the land. Froelich's gift for description brings a stark seacoast alive. He does this by concentrating on unusual and precise details rather than generic, clichéd ones.
There are a few details that contradict. I hesitate to believe in water so calm you can see your face in it when there's enough wind to put a sting in spitting rain, for example. Such inconsistencies lead readers to start questioning the author's control, so they must be used only with intent, not out of laziness. I would strike the line in which Hasse examines his reflection: it's trite, and unworthy of the rest of this narrative. Also, it's unnecessary: Hasse's internal monologue is not going to lead anyone to expect a movie star.
The time period is likewise indeterminate, and I would like that nailed down a little more firmly. I'm uncertain, for example, if this is set before or after the Second World War; there's evidence of somewhat modern technology in the bicycle, but it comes on the third or fourth page, and readers are (often unconsciously) looking to ground themselves in space and time. How the author fulfills these unconscious expectations determines how readers engage with the book.
I adore these characters. They're interesting, complex, conflicted people. Not your usual generic fantasy protagonists: here we have a hardscrabble farmer and a working-class wife, confronted by a young woman who may or may not be a witch. I also like the ambiguity Froelich leaves with regard to exactly what happened between Hasse and Siobhan.
Siobhan becomes sympathetic when she rushes to help a neighbor in need, and even more so when she's canny enough to figure out that not everything is what it at first seems. Hasse is not particularly sympathetic in and of himself, but he's treated with empathy by the author, and that makes him somebody we can relate to.
I also admire Froelich's use of language here. His voice is well-developed and sly, as seen in the early line about the rhythm of the oars and the throbbing of Hasse's hangover--and the bit about God's pease. He's got the confidence not to explain his jokes, which is important--and the subtlety to make them well.
There's just one thing: in the first paragraph, I'm pretty sure he meant a basalt dike.
This short chapter also ends with good tension. Froelich wastes no time in establishing a conflict and setting some stakes. Raising questions is important, as long as the author eventually starts answering some. The art of moving a narrative forward is a balancing act between asking and answering questions, drawing the reader along with the story. And moreover, the magic here has a real folkloric feel. Borrowing tuppence and turning it into a ball of fire feels real, much more real than a Dungeons-and-Dragons style thaumaturgy.
The confrontation between Siobhan and Belle and Hasse is not quite as finely drawn as the introspective passages in which only one character and his or her observations appear. I get a sense that perhaps Mr. Froelich feels a bit out of his depth when juggling more than one character, and there need to be stronger transitions between paragraphs to lead the reader from moment to moment, image to image. This will help the tension build more strongly--as currently written, it tends to get a bit fragmented between paragraphs, because of the necessity for readers to reground and reorient themselves each time the narrative jitters.
In part this is because Froelich's fine eye for observing landscape is not yet quite so developed when it comes to observing people. His descriptions become more generic when he speaks of the actions of his characters--for example, he says that Hasse "drooled on himself and sobbed." This may not seem like it to the casual eye, but it's an instance of micro-telling rather than showing.
In other words, he's saying what happened, but he's not showing it to us. If by contrast, he were to replace that sentence with something more observed--"A thread of drool slithered down Hasse's withered chin," for example--it would continue the reader's sense of immersion. Also, I'd like to see him use more sensory detail that does not rely on sight and hearing. We do feel the rain sting, but where is the ache of Siobhan's calves as she pedals? We have a brief mention of Hasse's unwashed aroma, but where is the stench of the smoke and the sheep?
Those quibbles aside, this chapter is an exceptional piece of work, and I feel privileged to have read it.
Author of THE SEA THY MISTRESS
RESONANCE, Chapter 1, Revised, by Peter Mackey
This month's SF EC starts off with a literal bang: an explosion that drives protagonist Kee-lin from her apartment and sets the ball rolling in this near-future urban world (beginning in Brooklyn, NY). The pace is mainly swift, the characters well-drawn for a first chapter, the dialogue snappy and the prose succinct. The potential here is obvious -- the foundation has been laid.
The first line doesn't read as punchy as it should, though: "A metal chair burst through a second-story window of the small brownstone..."
...though everything else that follows is on the money. The generality of "a metal chair" and "a second-story window" could be better nailed down, perhaps with: The metal chair burst through the small brownstone's second story window and landed in the narrow alley amidst a shower of glass... Just tightening up the prose a little can add to what is already a good command of language and pacing.
There are wonderful touches to the world and characters: Kee-lin's pet rabbit, the keepsakes that got destroyed in the explosion that illustrate her and her world (the 5D reference), and the walk-on parts of random characters that still manage to sound individual and city-quirky. The simple detail of the cabbie not going so far into a bad neighborhood sets up a necessary world clue, later to be expanded upon. The reader is getting a good feel of what this future society is like without topheavy backstory paragraphs. But as in any swift narration, be careful that the world isn't given short shrift. Because the writer's voice is buoyant and confident, you can afford to go into more detail without risk of boring the reader.
However, there are some creaky parts. Sometimes the narrative feels like it is holding back essential information in an attempt to create suspense, but what it's really doing is creating unnecessary opacity. There is a pretty seamless interlude on the space station that explains -- briefly but effectively -- the telecommunications situation and the conglomerate majority. When the phenomenon happens, though, the tension that should be inherent in that scene is strangely bleached away. This might be because of the under-reaction of the characters in the scene. While everything is described well there's still a sense of distance to it because a) the reader doesn't know what's going on, which is fine, since the characters don't know either, but, b) since the characters don't know and it is a pretty involved, invasive sort of incident (paralysis) that obviously hasn't happened before, their reactions come across oddly blasé. This doesn't mean they need to run around in a panic, since they are professionals and presumably trained in emergency situations, but there needs to be something more there to push the tension to the next level, especially since there appears to be correlation between that "blackout" and stuff that happens on the planet in the following scenes. You want the tension to be carried right through to the end of the chapter.
Kee-lin and her business partner Chelly try to figure out who is responsible for the bomb and for that they enter their 5D channel called Askance. The conversation here is remarkably smooth and understandable considering it's basically describing an avatar-laced meet-up in cyberspace and could easily become confusing. But the beats are a little off towards the end of this scene. The back and forth with the other denizens of Askance goes a little too long and Kee-lin's insistence that Kincaid is behind it, while not really giving a concrete explanation other than Askance is a threat for this or that reason, feels repetitive.
Askance often discussed controversial subjects the commercial media wouldn't touch, or at best would sensationalize into a few keywords guaranteed to make headlines.
A little more detail of offenses is provided later in the scene but, again, it doesn't feel weighty enough and though ordinarily talking it through in dialogue is better than infodumping, there are necessary telling details that the reader still needs to know -- outside of what might be discussed naturally by the characters -- and that might be what's needed here. Maybe focus on a major incident that affected the company, that Askance was responsible for, to add a heavier weight to her suspicions, and also would give readers something more solid to hold onto. We get that the company is a controlling conglomerate and that is Evil. But push it further.
Another interesting character is introduced in the last scene: Sanders Kincaid. This scene works really well, with a balance between characterization, details, and pushing the plot forward. There is still some minor confusion, mainly because of dialogue attribution:
A whiff of cologne passed behind him at the sink, a short round man in a hurry.
"Morning, Mister Sanders."
"Morning, Rolando. It certainly is."
"How's that?" He stopped. His boss was topless, in khaki shorts, with a large tattoo across one biceps. "Oh, yes, it is morning for sure."
So many "he"s. Also confusing because we assume Rolando is the boss, but then not, because of the point-of-view of that last quote, but then later in the scene we learn that Sanders is "just working" there. So clear that all up more decisively and the speed bump in this scene would go away. The reader doesn't want to be spending time on trivial details when the main storyline's knocking at the door.
Overall this is an intriguing, obviously well thought-out narrative with the types of colorful characters and interesting world set-up to carry a reader through an entire novel.
Author of THE GASLIGHT DOGS, BURNDIVE and CAGEBIRD
"Lord God Bird" by Sarah Frost
"Lord God Bird" follows a team of travelers searching through parallel universes to find one in which the Ivory-billed Woodpecker has not yet become extinct, in the hopes of bringing some birds back to repopulate the species in their own world. But time after time, they are unable to prevent the same extinction from happening across the universes.
The prose here is strong and clear, with a confident voice in the storytelling. And there's something thrilling about the shape of the story, the economy of words, the way these characters simply show up and search for this bird and fail, without introductions or tidy endings. It feels a bit like we've been dropped into a chapter of a longer backstory. In some ways that works: it's elegantly done, and there are intriguing hints of richness behind this piece of the larger picture. I think, though, that to fully pull off this trick, the piece that's on the page here needs to be more vividly drawn, so it can stand on its own as a complete vignette even while leaving so much unsaid. I would suggest that what's needed overall is a sharper image of what we are looking at, in the sense of both plot and description.
Let's look at plot first. Many questions are left unanswered here, some of which feel like plot holes because a better understanding of these points would strengthen the story. When the team finally finds a bird and it promptly gets shot, the narrator seems to assume it was the last of its species, to feel responsible for its death, and to suggest that their rescue attempts always play out the same way. Is that true, and if so, why? It seems unlikely that the timing would be coincidence, so does their presence really bring about the extinction of the species? (Possibly an interesting thought to play with in there, that these people from an alternate universe might carry some woodpecker-extinction quality of their world with them into every place they visit, bringing the death of the species to those worlds instead of taking the survival of the species back home with them. If theirs is the gaze that collapses quantum possibilities into a fixed state, then I wonder how the angle from which they're observing might affect what they'll see?)
Anyway. The main problem for me is that the story doesn't give adequate context for their focus on the bird, or what their mission means to their world. The closest we get may be in these lines:
"The differences were supposed to matter. That was the foundation upon which the project had been built, this idea that somewhere in the shuffle of universes stacked side-by-side there was one where things had gone differently. Where the birds hadn't been hunted..."
This sounds like a central concept is being explicated, and yet the phrasing is unclear: I can't tell whether "the project" involves many teams traversing universes in the hopes of bringing back various forms of salvation to their own, or whether the entire project has been built around finding a surviving woodpecker. The former seems more likely, but our narrator is so narrowly focused on finding woodpeckers that we don't get much sense of whether there's anything greater at stake.
Readers who have seen a recent documentary about the Ivory-billed Woodpecker may be familiar with the subject, but this story should provide enough information for other readers to have some idea of why this bird is a big deal. For example, how it's said that the bird was so spectacular that people seeing it fly would exclaim things like "lord god!" That's a wonderful detail, and I'd love to see the story make use of it -- especially since without that bit of information, the title lends itself to misleading interpretations. At the very least, when the bird finally appears at the end of the story, we ought to get some description of what it looks like, to show us what all the fuss is about.
Because I am left to wonder: what does make this bird special? Why does it matter so much that they can't rescue it? What is really at stake here, and why should I care about the fate of this bird? We need to understand more about the team's hopes and goals in order to understand the full meaning and impact of their failures.
Another way to strengthen this story is by filling in more sensory description. The story is told through a first-person narrative, so everything we see is being filtered through the narrator's eyes. With characters who specialize in a field, you can reveal a lot about who they are and what they do through which aspects of their surroundings they pay attention to. Are these characters scientists, maybe environmentalists of some sort? As such, I would expect them to be highly aware of and interested in the flora and fauna around them, and so we should be getting plenty of evocative details. As it stands, the story doesn't provide enough imagery to make the forest come alive in our imagination.
We do get occasional eloquent descriptive passages: "Saladin and I drift through the drowned forest, cutting ripples through water that reflects the branches and the sky like a black mirror." Oh, that's wonderful; more of this please! But when we go for a long stretch without any sensory input, what happens is that my awareness of setting fades away, until in my mind's eye the story becomes just a couple of people in a boat floating through a blank white landscape. In fact, these characters are moving through a rich natural world, and their environment should be a constant presence throughout the narrative. We should continually be reminded of the sights and sounds and smells and feel of the forest around them.
And then they go through a portal into another world! This is a mightily exciting event, but there's so little description attached that a reader can almost miss that it happened. When they move between worlds, I'd like to experience the difference as though I were with them: the change in climate, in the landscape, in the quality of light, in the way the air feels on their skin. Help me feel what it's like to be there.
There's some beautiful writing in here, and skilled storytelling that conveys a sense of a firm and capable authorial hand at the wheel. I'm just looking for a fuller sensory immersion in the characters' experience, and a better understanding of why their actions matter. What is this bird, and why do they care so much if it is extinct? What are the stakes?
--Karen Meisner, Editor, Strange Horizons
"The Pen Name" by Benoit Fraser
This story has a plot we can all relate to. Williamson wants to write, but family and work demand all his time, and a recent house fire has forced his family into a tiny apartment. He creates a pseudonym and starts his story, but a stranger at work taunts him, destroys his laptop, and sets his workplace on fire. Williamson realizes the stranger is his alter ego, and that he himself has set both fires. The alter ego takes over his personality.
"The Pen Name" has many strengths, including some strong description ("She swatted the bowl from her tray and a mac-and-cheese landmine exploded on the linoleum," "the electric chair of the information age") and a couple of great scenes describing Williamson's interactions with his twin two-year-olds. The story also does a good job of conveying the pressures of family and work.
The main area that I think could be strengthened is the unity of the story. Unity is a very important quality that is often overlooked by writers. To have a powerful impact on readers, a story needs to be unified, to have a clear focus and to have all elements contributing to that focus. When all the pieces of the story are working together, the cumulative impact can be much greater than if different elements are focused on different things. In this case, I feel the story is really torn between three different foci: family, work, and writing. The story does a good job of showing the family problems--the kids who scream and won't sleep, the wife who doesn't understand Williamson's desire to write. Yet the family disappears from the story and is not present at the climax, so what has been set up receives no satisfying development or conclusion. If Williamson wanted to free himself from his family obligations, and that's why he burned down his house, then he should realize (subconsciously, anyway) that burning down the house was an insufficient solution, and he really needs to kill his family to be free of them. Thus the logical development of this story would be for the alter ego to burn down the apartment with the family inside, or do something else that threatens the family. Yet this isn't what happens. So we have the beginning of a story about the family--Williamson is frustrated--but no middle or end.
We also have the beginning and middle of a story about a man who wants to write. He creates his pen name and begins his story, and then faces adversity when the alter ego destroys his laptop, but this reaches no satisfying climax and resolution. The alter ego hands him a pad and tells him to write--which is confusing because the alter ego seemed to disapprove of his writing--but Williamson shows no desire to write and that plotline is dropped. If the alter ego wants him to write something different than what he was writing, that could be an interesting conflict to develop and to bring to a climax.
Finally, we have the end of a story about a man frustrated by his work situation. The fact that the alter ego sets the workplace on fire (at least I think he does) suggests that Williamson is very frustrated by work, feels trapped by it, and wants to escape it. Yet we've only had one mention of trouble at work. The workplace and his coworkers haven't been developed, so we don't feel Williamson's frustration or need to burn down the place--it seems to come out of nowhere, without sufficient development, and we don't know what happens to any of his coworkers, so we don't feel any satisfaction or horror or any strong emotion over the burning of the workplace, which is the climax of the story. Having one fire at home and the other at work creates a lack of unity in the plot (unless the story is about a pyromaniac, which it's not).
It feels like the story is trying to do too much, so our interest and the power of events is diffused. My main suggestion is to pick one of these elements to be the focus of the story. Since the family scenes seem the strongest to me, that would be my choice for a focus, but it could be any of these three. If you do focus on the family, you can still say he's frustrated at work and he wants to write, but his primary frustration throughout would be his family, and the plot would develop around the family. Then we could feel more of a sense of tensions building to a series of crises (three is good), the third and final crisis being the climax. As is, the story doesn't seem to be building to a fire at work, so the plot feels manipulated by the author, not developing through a causal chain.
For the rest of this review, visit the Editor's Choice area of the OWW site!
--Jeanne Cavelos, editor, author, director of Odyssey
Bradley P. Beaulieu is the author of The Winds of Khalakovo, the first of three planned books in The Lays of Anuskaya series. In addition to being an L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Award winner, Brad has published stories in various other publications, including Realms of Fantasy Magazine, Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show, Writers of the Future 20, and several anthologies from DAW Books. His story "In the Eyes of the Empress's Cat" was voted a Notable Story of 2006 in the Million Writers Award.
What's the premise to The Winds of Khalakovo?
The Winds of Khalakovo is an epic fantasy coming April 1st, 2011. Yes, April Fools. I fully expect Night Shade Books to send me a singing telegram on that day, letting me know it was all an elaborate (if overly cruel) joke. I'm not sure, but I probably won't laugh much.
As for the premise, I'm going to use a quote from my favorite blurb, written by Gregory A. Wilson:
"If Anton Chekhov had thought to stage The Three Sisters onboard a windship, with a mix of Arabian Nights and Minority Report thrown in for good measure, the result would have been Bradley Beaulieu's The Winds of Khalakovo."
How did you find out The Winds of Khalakovo had been offered a contract? How did you celebrate?
I had gone to the World Fantasy convention in San Jose in 2009, and while I was there, I knew I wanted to speak with Night Shade Books. They'd been building a reputation for publishing strong work and putting beautiful packages together. I stopped by the dealer's room, and after waiting for things to die down a bit, I approached Jeremy Lassen and pitched Winds as The Song of Ice and Fire meets Earthsea. He asked if I had an agent. I said no. But instead of politely declining (Night Shade typically doesn't take unagented manuscripts) Jeremy said he liked the pitch and that I should send the book his way.
Fast forward to April of 2010, and I received an e-mail from Jeremy saying he liked the book and would like to make an offer. Now, I was extremely excited by this, but my excitement was tempered because I didn't yet have an agent. I took the offer from Jeremy and started my agent hunt. I was lucky enough to get hooked up with Russell Galen of the Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency. Russ worked with Jeremy, and shortly thereafter, we had the deal finalized and the contracts signed.
That's when I really celebrated. I'm a bit of a foodie, so to mark the occasion, my wife, Joanne, and I made reservations at Topolobampo, Rick Bayless's excellent high-end Mexican restaurant in downtown Chicago. It was an expensive meal, but well worth it.
What would you say was your first big writing break and how did it come about?
Gosh. This is hard to pick, but I'm going to have to say my first sale of any kind was my first big break. I "sold" my story "The Secrets of the Shoeblack" to Deep Magic way back in 2003. I'd been working hard at my craft up until that point, and although the sale wasn't for any money (Deep Magic was a "for the love" market), it really boosted my confidence. I was flying high after that sale, particularly after it appeared in the zine. I wouldn't say I had a lack of confidence by the time I sold that story, but I knew enough to know that breaking in was hard--really hard--and I was beginning to wonder if I'd ever have the chops to succeed in writing. The sale to Deep Magic gave me the confidence to go on.
Has there been any writing advice you've happily ignored?
Sure. Lots. The easiest examples are the bits of bad writing advice you get from fellow writers. As valuable as your peers are, they all have their strengths and weaknesses, and it's really important for a writer to learn how to weigh their advice properly. First and foremost, you have to figure out if it makes sense for you and for the particular piece you're writing. If you're not sure (i.e., if you're still learning and need help in this area), then of course you rely on others to guide you, but you get a number of opinions so you can properly judge whether the advice is sound or if it's something that can be safely ignored.
The phrase "show don't tell" nearly killed my writing career. I took it too seriously at first, and all my writing became very spare, very cinematic, so to speak. It showed only what was happening "on the screen." It didn't delve into the characters minds, their moods, their loves and fears. If you know anything about writing, it's that its greatest strength is to make the reader care about what's happening to the point that they become lost in the story. They become a part of it. And one key ingredient to doing this is to open the doors to the minds of the characters so that the reader can experience the story with them.
If you could go back in time and give yourself some writing advice, what would you say?
I think I would say to try to get more lost in the writing. In the beginning I was all about the rules. How did I need to write? What did I need to avoid? What was the formula for success?
Well, of course there is no formula. There are rules, sure, but all of them are bent or broken in wonderful ways by brilliant writers. The key is to practice, learn what works for you, and by all that is good, lose yourself in the story.
Has there been anything that's surprised you on your journey to publication?
I would probably have to say the slow loss of control is one of the things that's most surprising. I knew, intellectually, that the author gives up control over the course of getting the book ready to publish. In the beginning, you work with your editor on the broad-brush issues of the manuscript. Then you take out the fine-tipped brushes. You still have a fair amount of control here, because it's your book and you know it best, but then again, the editor knows his stuff, so you have to try to see things from his perspective, and it's a bit more serious now than advice from a fellow writer during the course of getting your work critiqued. I would like to think that I would weigh advice from both editor and fellow writer in the same way, but let's be serious--the editor has more pull, and frankly, more investment, in the book. So as a writer I need to give the editor's proposed changes more weight.
And it isn't merely the manuscript where you lose control. It's in the cover art, the cover design, the front and back matter, the interior design, the blurbs, and on and on and on. Writers often don't have a lot of control over these ancillary things. They have some, to be sure, but not a lot, and any small amount of control you do have leaks away as the publication date approaches.
The bio on your web site says you like to cook. What's your favorite dish?
Gosh. There are so many. I really just love food. My favorite dish to cook is one that I haven't tried before. I'm still learning, so I love trying things that I've never tried before to learn new techniques or experience tastes I've never tasted before. Though I suppose if I was forced into a choice, I do love making guacamole.
Tell us about your next books. What's on the horizon?
I'm currently contracted for two more books. I'm in the final stages (thank goodness) of the first draft of Book 2, The Straits of Galahesh. Book 3 is bubbling around in my hindbrain now, but it's starting to become more clear. I'm really looking forward to finishing these books, not because they wear on me (they don't), but because I'm anxious to simply have the arc completed. Much as Tolkien considered The Lord of the Rings one book (and it was), I consider The Lays of Anuskaya one book, one story. It'll be nice to have that wrapped up and out in the world.
Beyond this, I have a science-fantasy in mind, tentatively titled The Days of Dust and Ash. Think Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind meets The Coldfire Trilogy. I'm really excited about this story, because it's a departure from what I've written in the past, though it will still be fantastic and wide in scope. The story focuses on a young girl who is summoned from the dust, a global consciousness that was created as the last great age of technology fell under a nanite plague.
Wow! To find out more about Brad Beaulieu visit him at www.quillings.com
Tim W. Burke wrote to tell us: "I've sold 'I.C.U.' to Pseudopod.org. This marks my third sale to the horror audio podcast. Thanks to Gary Braunbeck for his encouragement! And I also sold "Yellow Called and Mom Was There" to the anthology Shattered Souls II from Cutting Block Press. Again, thank you to the OWW reviewers who encouraged my story."
Tracy Canfield told us: "I just sold my horror story 'One-Eyed Jack's' to Strange Horizons -- it'll probably be out in July. This was an Editor's Choice pick in October last year."
N. E. Chenier announced: "Just made a sale to Sam's Dot Publishing, for their Martian Wave magazine. "Latency" was workshopped here a few years back. Many thanks to some of the old timers who looked at it, like Gene Spears."
Gio Clairval wrote us: "I should also announce my recent publications/sales: 'Lizard Dance' (with Jeff VanderMeer), in Fantasy Magazine, February 2011, 'The Hand' (a workshopped story sold last year) is forthcoming in Weird Tales (May 2011), and 'The Pea' (workshopped as 'Dust') will appear in the HarperCollins anthology Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities (June 2011). A big, big thank you to all the OWW reviewers: Marc Sellers, Kelly Lagor, Gregory Clifford, Charlie Hoopla, Zvi Zaks, J. Westlake, Elissa Hunt, Zed Paul, Andrew Alford, Ilan Lerman and Giovanni Giusti for 'The Hand'; Elissa Hunt; April Grey, L. David Holbrook Jr., Aliette de Bodard, Charlie Hoopla, Steven Bouchard, Elizabeth Hull, Georgina Bruce, Mark Lord, Ilan Lerman, Marc Sellers, Arshad Ahsanuddin for 'The Pea,' and special thanks to Erin Stocks, who reads all my stories several times, and then some more!"
Sarah Gilman told us: "I have a publication announcement! OUT IN BLUE, workshopped summer 2010, has been contracted to Entangled Publishing. Release Fall 2011."
Tom Jolly wrote: "After oh-so-many submissions over too many years, and with the help, skills, and support of members of the Online Writing Workshop, I finally got a story published in the on-line magazine Daily Science Fiction. The name of the story is "Surface," and it was published 3/4/2011 under the name Thomas F. Jolly. I'm ecstatic! Thanks to everyone."
Christine Lucas announced: "I'd like to share some good news: my story 'The High Priest's Cat' has been accepted for the Our Haunted World anthology from Whitlock Publishing. I received some great crits here at OWW, with special thanks to Erin Stocks and Elizabeth Shack. And another short story 'Demon Kebabs, with Fries on the Side,' which also received excellent feedback from Aliette de Bodard and Raven Matthews, has been accepted by Murky Depths. Also, my short story 'The Last Dues Owed' (not workshopped at OWW) has been accepted for the Assassins: A Clash of Steel Anthology from RBE."
Michael Merriam announced: "I sold my novel LAST CAR TO ANNWN STATION to Carina Press. It was workshopped in part on OWW."
Tony Peak tells us: "My story 'Furies' Progeny' will appear in the next issue of Writing Shift."
Pamela Troy has sold "Risen" to State of Horror: Louisiana from Rymfire E books. "I do want to say how helpful I've found this workshop. It's increased my confidence, and given me a surer hand when it comes to the nuts and bolts of writing. "
The Reviewer Honor Roll is a great way to pay back a reviewer for a really useful review. When you nominate a reviewer, we list the reviewer's name, the submission/author reviewed, and your explanation of what made the review so useful. The nomination appears in the Honor Roll area of OWW the month after you submit it, and is listed for a month. You can nominate reviewers of your own submissions or reviewers of other submissions, if you have learned from reading the review. Think of it as a structured, public "thank you" that gives credit where credit is due and helps direct other OWWers to useful reviewers and useful review skills.
Visit the Reviewer Honor Roll page for a complete list of nominees and explanatory nominations.
March 2011 Honor Roll Nominees
Reviewer: Heidi Garrett
Submission: A CRIMINAL OF THE NEAR FUTURE by Benoit Fraser
Submitted by: Benoit Fraser
Reviewer: Susan Curnow
Submission: Painted Eldpat Second part ch1 by Peggy Stubblefield
Submitted by: Peggy Stubblefield
Reviewer: Benoit Fraser
Submission: THE BAKER OF BENVIUE by Kim Allison
Submitted by: Kim Allison
Reviewer: leslie dow
Submission: Micah's ship: 2014 rev 2 by Ronald Kent Robertson
Submitted by: Ronald Kent Robertson
Reviewer: Richard Fuller
Submission: A Split Second Feeling by David Rees-Thomas
Submitted by: David Rees-Thomas
Reviewer: Gio Clairval (SfF)
Submission: Expanse Illness by Charlie Hoopla
Submitted by: Charlie Hoopla
Reviewer: Tracy Canfield
Submission: The Curse of All Forgotten by C. S. Inman
Submitted by: C. S. Inman
Reviewer: L. K. Pinaire
Submission: When We All Can Borrow by Charlie Hoopla
Submitted by: Charlie Hoopla
Reviewer: Cécile Cristofari
Submission: Rite of Taming by Christine Lucas
Submitted by: Christine Lucas
Reviewer: Jay Reynolds
Submission: THE BAKER OF BENVIUE by Kim Allison
Submitted by: Kim Allison
Reviewer: Kari Cooper
Submission: The Pantheism of Anthony Gardner by Tony Peak
Submitted by: Kim Allison
Reviewer: Scott Kennedy
Submission: A Philosophy of Thieves by F. Wilde
Submitted by: F. Wilde
Reviewer: Heather Andricevic
Submission: Magic Fallout-Chapter 1 (Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy) by Rob Bedford
Submitted by: Rob Bedford
Reviewer: Dy Loveday
Submission: Stealing A Dream Part II: Chapters 12 to 13 (revised) by Lydia Kurnia
Submitted by: Lydia Kurnia
Reviewer: B. Morris Allen
Submission: THE WATCHER--Ch. 1 by Kim Allison
Submitted by: Kim Allison
Reviewer: Greg Prescott
Submission: Painted Eldpat Chap end REVISED by Peggy Stubblefield
Submitted by: Peggy Stubblefield
Reviewer: Selina Fenech
Submission: Stealing A Dream Part II: Chapters 12 to 13 (revised) by Lydia Kurnia
Submitted by: Lydia Kurnia
Reviewer: Boz Flamagin
Submission: The Dome, Ch. 2 w/ summary by Camille Picott
Submitted by: Camille Picott
Reviewer: Elizabeth Coleman
Submission: The Hammer of Justice, Chapter 1 (Some Revision) by David Howard
Submitted by: David Howard
THE WINDS OF KHALAKOVO published by Night Shade Books March 15, 2011.
Among inhospitable and unforgiving seas stands Khalakovo, a mountainous archipelago of seven islands, its prominent eyrie stretching a thousand feet into the sky. Serviced by windships bearing goods and dignitaries, Khalakovo's eyrie stands at the crossroads of world trade. But all is not well in Khalakovo. Conflict has erupted between the ruling Landed, the indigenous Aramahn, and the fanatical Maharraht, and a wasting disease has grown rampant over the past decade. Now, Khalakovo is to play host to the Nine Dukes, a meeting which will weigh heavily upon Khalakovo's future.
When an elemental spirit attacks an incoming windship, murdering the Grand Duke and his retinue, Prince Nikandr, heir to the scepter of Khalakovo, is tasked with finding the child prodigy believed to be behind the summoning. However, Nikandr discovers that the boy is an autistic savant who may hold the key to lifting the blight that has been sweeping the islands. Can the Dukes, thirsty for revenge, be held at bay? Can Khalakovo be saved? The elusive answer drifts upon the Winds of Khalakovo...
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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.