SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Summer Workshop Dates & Application Deadline

OdboatcleanedupDon’t let more time slip by.  Make 2016 the year that you take your writing to the next level!

The Odyssey Writing Workshop is one of the top programs in the world for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror.  Since its inception in 1996, the Odyssey Writing Workshop has become one of the most highly respected workshops for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror in the world.  The intensive, six-week workshop is held on the campus of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH, and combines writing, critiquing, in-depth feedback on students’ manuscripts, private conferences, and an advanced curriculum covering all the major elements of fiction writing.  Students commonly describe it as inspiring and transformative

Fifty-nine percent of graduates go on to professional publication, and among Odyssey graduates are best sellers and award winners.  Odyssey is for serious writers ready to give up their lives for six weeks and focus solely on their writing.  You’ll work harder than you ever have before and make friendships that will last a lifetime.

The 2016 Odyssey Summer Writing Workshop will take place June 6 through July 15.

Polish up those entrance stories! All applications must be received by April 8, 2016.

The workshop, directed by award-winning author and editor Jeanne Cavelos, combines an intensive, advanced curriculum with in-depth feedback on students’ manuscripts. 

 Top authors, editors and agents have served as guests at Odyssey, ready to lecture, workshop, and give feedback. This year’s guests:

2016 Writer-In-Residence

Mary KowalMary Robinette Kowal is the author of The Glamourist Histories series of fantasy novels. She has received the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, three Hugo awards, and the RT Reviews award for Best Fantasy Novel. Her work has been a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards. Stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Asimov’s, and several Year’s Best anthologies as well as in her collection Scenting the Dark and Other Stories from Subterranean. 

Mary, a professional puppeteer and voice actor, has performed for LazyTown (CBS), the Center for Puppetry Arts, Jim Henson Pictures, and founded Other Hand Productions. Her designs have garnered two UNIMA-USA Citations of Excellence, the highest award an American puppeteer can achieve. She also records fiction for authors such as Kage Baker, Cory Doctorow and John Scalzi. 

Mary lives in Chicago with her husband Rob and over a dozen manual typewriters. Visit maryrobinettekowal.com.

 

Guest Lecturers Continue reading “SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Summer Workshop Dates & Application Deadline”

Interview: Author Kij Johnson, Writer-in-residence

Kij JohnsonWriter-in-residence at this summer’s Odyssey Writing Workshop, Kij Johnson is widely considered one of the top fantasy/science fiction writing teachers in the country. She is the author of three novels—two fantasies set in classical Japan, The Fox Woman and Fudoki, and a Star Trek:The Next Generation novel—and a short story collection, At the Mouth of the River of Bees.

Since 2008, her short fiction has won the Nebula Award (three times), the Hugo, and the World Fantasy Award. In the past she has worked in book publishing, comic books and graphic novels, RPGs and trading card games; managed development and tech-writing groups for Seattle-area tech firms; edited cryptic crosswords; identified Napa cabernets by winery and year while blindfolded; and bouldered an occasional V-5.

She received her Master of Fine Arts from North Carolina State University, and teaches at the University of Kansas, where she is associate director for the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction. She splits her time between Seattle and Lawrence.


You are a permanent fixture at the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas, where you teach novel workshops in addition to classes, and we’re excited to have you as the writer-in-residence at this summer’s Odyssey Workshop.  Share with us the most important advice you can give to developing writers. Continue reading “Interview: Author Kij Johnson, Writer-in-residence”

Interview: Melanie Tem and Steve Rasnic Tem

Award-winning authors Melanie Tem and Steve Rasnic Tem will be the writers-in-residence at this year’s Odyssey Writing Workshop.

melanie temMelanie Tem’s work has received the Bram Stoker, International Horror Guild, British Fantasy, and World Fantasy Awards and a nomination for the Shirley Jackson Award. She has published numerous short stories, eleven solo novels, two collaborative novels with Nancy Holder, and two with her husband Steve Rasnic Tem. She is also a published poet, an oral storyteller, and a playwright. In Concert, a collaborative short story collection with Steve Rasnic Tem, was published in August 2010, and solo stories have recently appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Crimewave, and Interzone, and anthologies such as Supernatural Noir, The Devil’s Coattails, and the Black Wings series. Her novels Yellow Wood and Proxy will be published by ChiZine Press in 2014 and 2015. Melanie is a social worker and a non-profit executive director. The Tems live in Denver. They have four children and four granddaughters.

Steve Rasnic TemSteve Rasnic Tem is the author of over 400 published short stories and is a past winner of the Bram Stoker, International Horror Guild, British Fantasy, and World Fantasy Awards. His short story collections include City Fishing (Silver Salamander), The Far Side of the Lake (Ash Tree), In Concert (with wife Melanie Tem), Ugly Behavior (noir fiction, New Pulp Press), Onion Songs (Chomu Press), Celestial Inventories (ChiZine), and Twember (science fiction stories, NewCon Press). His novels include Excavation, The Book of Days, Daughters (with Melanie Tem), The Man In The Ceiling (with Melanie Tem), Deadfall Hotel, and Blood Kin, southern gothic horror released in March from Solaris Books.

You may visit the Tem home on the web at www.m-s-tem.com.
*Photo credits courtesy of Debra Lee Fanatia


This summer you will be writers-in-residence at the Odyssey Writing Workshop, something you previously did in 2005. This blog was not in existence then. So tell us, once you started writing seriously, how long did it take you to sell your first pieces? What were you doing wrong in your writing in those early days? Continue reading “Interview: Melanie Tem and Steve Rasnic Tem”

Interview: Nancy Holder

Nancy Holder will be the writer-in-residence at this summer’s Odyssey Writing Workshop. She is an award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of adult, young adult, middle grade, and early reader work, both fiction and nonfiction. She has sold approximately 80 novels and 200 short stories, comic books, and essays in various genres. She has taught creative writing classes at the University of California at San Diego, the Maui Writers Retreat and Conference, and other conferences and colleges, and has been on the faculty of the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing for seven years. She has also served on the boards of Clarion (San Diego) and the Horror Writers Association. You can learn more about Nancy and her work at her website: http://nancyholder.com/


You are an incredibly busy and successful writer, writing in different genres, for different ages, in different formats. How do you keep up? Is there ever a danger of having too much on the go? Continue reading “Interview: Nancy Holder”

Interview: Jeanne Kalogridis

Jeanne Dillard Kalogridis will be the writer-in-residence at this summer’s Odyssey Writing Workshop. Jeanne is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books, including historical novels (The Inquisitor’s Wife, The Devil’s Queen, The Borgia Bride and others), dark fantasy (The Diaries of the Family Dracul trilogy), and novelizations (The Fugitive, the Star Trek movies and others). She’s also written several nonfiction titles. The New York Times called her Family Dracul trilogy “authentically arresting”; Robert Bloch, author of Psycho, called it “terrifying.” USA Today called The Scarlet Contessa “a guilty pleasure of a novel,” while Publishers Weekly called it “[a] vividly rendered historical . . . plenty of intrigue and conspiracy in the lusty plot.” Her historical novels are renowned for their detail and evocativeness; according to Publishers Weekly, “Kalogridis nails the palace intrigue and lush pageantry of the Renaissance.” She specializes in writing about remarkable women who have been ignored or maligned by history.

Born in central Florida, Jeanne earned a B.A. in Russian and an M.A. in Linguistics at the University of South Florida. Afterwards, she escaped to Washington, D.C, where she taught English to foreign students at The American University for eight years. During that time, she was fired for unionizing and used her period of unemployment to write her first novel. Happily she was rehired with full back pay before eventually retiring to write full-time.

She now lives in northern California with an enthusiastic if stinky Labrador named Django. Visit her website (jeannekalogridis.com) or blog (historyisabitch.com) or catch her on Twitter at @jkalogridis. You can also find her on Facebook.


You’ve mentioned on your blog that you miss teaching. Why? What is your favorite part of teaching?

Continue reading “Interview: Jeanne Kalogridis”

Graduate’s Corner: The Sprint or the Marathon? by Carrie Vaughn

Carrie Vaughn is the bestselling author of a series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty who hosts a talk radio advice show. The ninth book in the series, Kitty’s Big Trouble, has just been released from Tor Books. She’s also written young adult (Voices of Dragons, Steel) and stand-alone fantasy (Discord’s Apple, After the Golden Age). Her short stories can be found in many publications and anthologies, and one of her short stories has been nominated for the Hugo Award in 2011. She graduated from Odyssey in 1998, and returned as writer-in-residence in 2009. Visit her website at www.carrievaughn.com.


I never made a conscious decision to transition from writing short stories to novels or vice versa. Continue reading “Graduate’s Corner: The Sprint or the Marathon? by Carrie Vaughn”

Podcast #44: Laura Anne Gilman

Laura Anne Gilman was the writer-in-residence at Odyssey 2010. During her week at Odyssey, Laura Anne lectured on a variety of topics, participated in critique sessions, and worked individually with writers. In this podcast, Laura Anne discusses how to approach revisions. Before one can revise, one first needs to get a draft of the story written. Often, writers can get hung up on creating the perfect sentence and lose focus on the story. In a first draft, each sentence doesn’t need to be perfect; it’s more important to get the heart of the story on the page. Of course, that doesn’t give one the right be a sloppy writer. Improving the sentences will come in revision, along with other improvements. Laura Anne discusses common problems writers need to address in revision, drawing on her experiences as both editor and writer. She also provides tips on how a writer can tell when something isn’t good enough. And she explains how revising a work can help you with future works.

Laura Anne GilmanLaura Anne Gilman was an editorial assistant at the Berkley Publishing Group in 1994 when she took the first plunge into murky writing waters and submitted her first story to a professional market. An almost immediate sale to Amazing Stories followed. She didn’t make another fiction sale for more than a year, which taught her humility and patience. And the fine art of perseverance. Continue reading “Podcast #44: Laura Anne Gilman”

Interview: Gary A. Braunbeck

Gary A. Braunbeck will be the writer-in-residence at this summer’s Odyssey Writing Workshop.He was born in Newark, Ohio (the city that serves as the model for the fictitious Cedar Hill in a majority of his novels and stories) and wrote his first story in the seventh grade at St. Francis de Sales Catholic School. It wasn’t very good. He wrote his next one while still in the seventh grade. It was much better, but it also bought him several sessions with both a psychologist and a priest. Skipping ahead several decades, he has published 25 books, over 200 short stories, and co-edited two anthologies. Though he is best known as a writer of horror and dark fantasy, he has also published in the fields of mystery, suspense, science fiction, fantasy, bizarro, western, and mainstream literature. His 25th book, To Each Their Darkness, a non-fiction memoir/ writer’s guide, will be published in December of 2010 by Apex Books. His work has won numerous awards, including five Bram Stoker Awards, an International Horror Guild Award, three Shocklines “Shocker” Awards, a Dark Scribe Magazine Black Quill Award, and a World Fantasy Award nomination. His short story “Rami Temporalis,” was turned into the Parsec Award-winning short film “One of Those Faces” by director Earl Newton. Gary currently lives in Worthington, Ohio, with his wife, Bram Stoker Award-winning poet and novelist Lucy A. Snyder, a guilty conscience, and five cats that do not hesitate to draw blood when he neglects to feed them on time.

Once you started writing seriously, how long did it take you to sell your first piece? What were you doing wrong in your writing in those early days?

Continue reading “Interview: Gary A. Braunbeck”

Podcast #38: Carrie Vaughn

Podcast #38 is now available for download here.

Carrie Vaughn served as writer-in-residence at Odyssey 2009. In her lecture on goal setting and building a writing career, Carrie discussed important strategies that can help writers to persist and succeed in the publishing industry. In this excerpt, Carrie discusses the insanity of the publishing business. She explains that many writers are discouraged by setting unrealistic goals that deal with issues beyond their control. She suggests that writers instead set goals only about those things they can control, such as how much they will write, what efforts they will make to improve, and how often they will submit their work to markets. Those things that writers can’t control, such as whether a story will sell, whether a story will sell to a particular publisher, whether it will receive an award, whether an agent will represent a novel, should be separated from goals, so they don’t needlessly frustrate and discourage the author. By setting reasonable goals and focusing on what can be controlled, writers can build their skills, work through the tough times, and make progress toward achieving those things that can’t be controlled. Carrie explains how goals and habits kept her from giving up on writing and led to her eventual success.

Carrie VaughnCarrie Vaughn is the New York Times Bestselling author of a series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty who hosts a talk radio advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged. Continue reading “Podcast #38: Carrie Vaughn”

Podcast #36: Carrie Vaughn

Podcast #36 is now available for download here.

As writer-in-residence at Odyssey 2009, Carrie Vaughn provided a week of great lectures and worked closely with students. In her lecture on suspense, pacing, and the delivery of information, Carrie discussed various techniques authors can use to create suspense and control pacing, and the role that information plays in both of these elements. In this podcast, Carrie discusses the importance of drawing out key moments, creating emotion and expectation. Slowing down at the right places can help you generate suspense and manipulate the reader. Carrie also explains how the order of information determines the emotion and effect of the story. Changing the order in which you reveal events, or the place at which you reveal a piece of information, can completely change the impact of the story. Carrie differentiates those situations in which withholding information can provide a big payoff, and those in which withholding information alienates the reader. She also stresses that information can make the reader worry, which is good. Even better can be providing information but leading the reader to misinterpret it, so understanding only comes later. The expectations of the reader can also be used to create suspense. Does the reader expect the character will survive the story unharmed? Or is the reader terrified that the character may not survive? Playing with reader expectations can be more effective than just surprising the reader. Carrie also discusses some common mistakes writers make in creating false suspense.

Carrie VaughnCarrie Vaughn is the New York Times Bestselling author of a series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty who hosts a talk radio advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged. Publishers Weekly said that “Vaughn’s universe is convincing and imaginative.” Kitty and The Midnight Hour, the first book in the series, has over a hundred thousand copies in print. The seventh novel in the series, Kitty’s House of Horrors, was released in 2010. She’s also published many short stories in various anthologies and magazines such as Realms of Fantasy and Weird Tales, and is a contributor to George R. R. Martin’s Wild Cards series.

Carrie graduated from the Odyssey Fantasy Writing Workshop in 1998 and was excited to return as an instructor. “Once I was but the student. Now, I am the master.” Oh, and she’s also a big Star Wars fan. But she really does have a Masters in English Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She credits the intensive Odyssey experience with helping her cross the great divide between unpublished and published, and with setting her firmly on the road of professional writing, with the skills she learned and contacts she made.

A lifelong science fiction fan and reader (her parents both read science fiction), Carrie worked the traditional series of day jobs for about twelve years before turning to writing full time. She survived her Air Force brat childhood and managed to put down roots in Colorado, where she lives in Boulder with her dog, Lily, and too many hobbies. Visit her website at www.carrievaughn.com.


For more information about Odyssey, its graduates and instructors, please visit our website at http://www.odysseyworkshop.org.