Recommended Summer Writing Workshops

Published on March 18, 2011 by

I definitely believe I am a better writer as a result of going to writing workshops over the past several years.   For those of you who are aspiring authors, I want to bring to your attention two fantastic workshop experiences:

Odyssey, the Fantasy Writing Workshop – Despite the name, it’s not just for fantasy writing, but also for science fiction and horror.   It’s a six-week-long, intensive course, held this year from June 6 through July 15 in Manchester, New Hampshire.   It covers all the basics, but also gets into more advanced writing concepts.   I went in 2007, when I already had several professional story sales under my belt, and it was still an extremely valuable experience. Plus, Jeanne Cavelos, director of Odyssey, is one of the most insightful critiquers I have ever met.   So, if there’s some way you can afford to spend six weeks at Odyssey, I highly recommend it.   (I generally say that I was lucky enough to get laid off just before the deadline to apply to Odyssey.)   This year’s application deadline is April 8.

If you can’t spend six weeks at a workshop but can manage one week, then I recommend Orson Scott Card’s Literary Boot Camp.   Its one week is an even more intensive learning experience than Odyssey – it has to be, since there’s much less time.   This year, it will be from August 8-13 in Greensboro, North Carolina.   I attended in 2003, before I had sold my first story, and it really put me on the path to publication.   If you can’t do the full week, you could still try to attend the first two days of Card’s workshop, known as Uncle Orson’s Writing Class.

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