Special Announcement: 2020 Odyssey Writing Workshop Scholarship Winners

MISKATONIC SCHOLARSHIP

New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin created the Miskatonic Scholarship to support to a promising new writer of Lovecraftian cosmic horror attending the Odyssey Writing Workshop. As a boy, Martin came across his first story by H. P. Lovecraft. He says, “I had never read a story that scared me more . . . so of course I sought out more Lovecraft wherever I could find it.” Martin’s love of weird fiction grew, and he found that “No werewolf, no vampire, no thing going bump in the night could give me chills to equal those provided by the cosmic horrors that Lovecraft evoked.”

With the annual Miskatonic Scholarship, Martin hopes to provide “encouragement and inspiration to a new generation of writers.” And to one special scholarship candidate, Martin wants to offer the opportunity to learn and improve at the Odyssey Writing Workshop, one of the top programs in the world for writers of the fantastic. The scholarship covers full tuition and housing at the workshop.

2020scholarship1The 2020 winner of the Miskatonic Scholarship is Scott Gray. Scott is a passionate writer living in New Hampshire. He developed a love of stories as a young boy, especially those that transported him to other worlds. To this day, Anne McCaffrey’s dragon riders and J. R. R. Tolkien’s hobbits hold a special place in his heart.

Scott’s love of fantasy drove him to try his hand at writing. He discovered that the magic found in the reading of a great story also existed in its telling. Since then, he has written short stories and is working on his fantasy novel.

Scott hopes that in the future, teenagers and adults get lost in the worlds that he creates.

Scott’s winning story, “The Path,” follows a man mourning his dead wife and struggling to adjust to life without her. Of his inspiration for the story, Scott says, “My wife is my heart and compass, and I cannot imagine a world without her. My love for her inspired me to write a story about a man navigating to adjust to his new reality while battling his beliefs and discovering there is life after loss.”

Jeanne Cavelos, one of the scholarship judges and director of the Odyssey Writing Workshops Charitable Trust, says, “The other judges and I loved the unique way that Scott’s story brought heart and a deep sense of humanity to this tale of cosmic horror. It evoked not only fear but also hope and joy.”

THE WALTER & KATTIE METCALF SINGING SPIDER SCHOLARSHIP

Funded by Pam Metcalf Harrington, Odyssey class of 2001, the Walter & Kattie Metcalf Singing Spider Scholarship is offered in honor of Pam’s parents, who encouraged a lifelong passion for reading and writing fantasy. The scholarship is also named for the infamous singing spiders, fictional characters who appeared in a novel excerpt submitted at Odyssey 2001. The scholarship is awarded to a fantasy writer whose novel excerpt shows great skill and promise, and it covers full tuition.

2020scholarship2This year’s winner is Vikram Ramakrishnan, a Tamil-American writer and computer programmer who lives in New York City. He loves to write fiction about fantastic worlds imbued with South Asian elements. When he’s not writing, he’s either playing flamenco guitar or visiting arboretums with his Siberian Husky, Kratos. His short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Newfound, SAND Journal, and AE–The Canadian Science Fiction Review.

The winning novel excerpt, from Godmen Are Dropping Like Flies, impressed the judges with its strong world-building, well-chosen descriptive details, and intriguing magic system.

Vikram describes the key experience that triggered the writing of the novel, which is about a magic-user named Hari who works for the police: “A few years ago, I was trekking through southern India visiting temples with my father and we came across mystics who were convinced they had magical powers. They were captivating and I couldn’t stop thinking about them. I started picturing one of them leaving their temple-bound life behind to become a big city detective, which is how Godmen was born.”

Pam Metcalf Harrington says, “I absolutely loved the detailed descriptions of the characters and the setting. Hari’s magic is unique, and the story grabbed me from the first page.”

THE FRESH VOICES SCHOLARSHIP

Funded anonymously by an Odyssey graduate, the Fresh Voices Scholarship provides support to an outstanding writer of color each year. It seeks to offer opportunities for underrepresented racial and ethnic minority writers to learn at Odyssey and enrich the fantasy, science fiction, and horror genres as a result. The scholarship awards $2,000 toward tuition.

2020scholarship3The winner of the Fresh Voices Scholarship is Rona Wang, a junior studying mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her debut novel, You Had Me at Hello World, will be published by Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster in spring 2022. Her short story “Imitation Game”, the recipient of the Fresh Voices Scholarship, won the 2020 Dell Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction & Fantasy Writing and is forthcoming in Asimov’s. It was inspired by her computer science background and her parents’ citizenship tests. She sends special thanks to CMS.307 fall 2019 for workshopping the first draft!

Award-winning author R. F. Kuang, one of the judges and a graduate of Odyssey 2016, said of the winning story, “The Imitation Game,” “What a clever idea and tribute to Turing’s legacy. I really enjoyed this and want to read more!”

THE ENCHANTED BOND SCHOLARSHIP

Funded anonymously by an Odyssey supporter, this scholarship provides support to an outstanding fantasy writer each year. The scholarship awards $1,000 toward tuition.

2020scholarship4The winner of the Enchanted Bond Scholarship is Francesca P. Rahe, a student currently living in Michigan. Her work has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. She is an alumna of the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio, and is looking forward to her Odyssey experience in the coming months.

Her winning short story, “Ashes and Dust,” was inspired by a combination of N. K. Jemisin’s fabulous Dreamblood Duology and an hour spent looking at her family’s photo albums.

The judging panel praised the story’s compelling voice, complex protagonist, and the emotional impact of the protagonist’s decision at the climax.

THE QUANTUM ENTANGLEMENT SCHOLARSHIP

Funded anonymously by an Odyssey graduate, the Quantum Entanglement Scholarship provides support to an outstanding writer of science fiction each year. The scholarship awards $1,000 toward tuition.

2020scholarship5The 2020 winner of the Quantum Entanglement Scholarship is Maurice Haeems. Maurice has a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the University of Mumbai and an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Over the last 30 years, he has enjoyed successful careers in mechanical/fluid engineering, investment banking, and software entrepreneurship.

Thereafter, Maurice turned to his fourth career and first love–Writing, Storytelling, and Filmmaking. His first project, the multi-award-winning sci-fi feature film Chimera, which Maurice wrote and directed, was released in April 2019. Maurice is delighted and honored to be a part of the 2020 class of the Odyssey Writing Workshop.

Of his winning story, “The Third Incarnation,” Maurice says it represents his attempt at coming to terms with the practical and physical limitations of mass-positive superluminal travel, though he desperately hopes that he will be proven wrong within his lifetime. In the meantime, he continues to dream of Tachyons, Warp Fields, Worm Holes, and other equally cool conceptual conundrums.

Jeanne Cavelos, director of Odyssey, says, “Maurice’s story combines an unusual scientific premise with a fresh, vivid world and a character who excited me every time he appeared.”

2020 Odyssey Writing Workshop Scholarship Opportunities

GEORGE R. R. MARTIN SCHOLARSHIP AND OTHER FINANCIAL AID FOR THOSE ATTENDING THE ODYSSEY WRITING WORKSHOP

The Odyssey Writing Workshop is an acclaimed, six-week program for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror held each summer in New Hampshire. Write rs apply from all over the world; only fifteen are admitted. For those attending, Odyssey is pleased to announce that five scholarships and one work/study position are available. Continue reading “2020 Odyssey Writing Workshop Scholarship Opportunities”

2019 Odyssey Writing Workshop Scholarship Opportunities

GEORGE R. R. MARTIN SCHOLARSHIP AND OTHER FINANCIAL AID FOR THOSE ATTENDING THE ODYSSEY WRITING WORKSHOP

The Odyssey Writing Workshop is an acclaimed, six-week program for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror held each summer in New Hampshire. Writers apply from all over the world; only fifteen are admitted. For those attending, Odyssey is pleased to announce that five scholarships and one work/study position are available.

GeorgeMartin*New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin is excited to once again offer a scholarship to help a horror writer with financial need attend Odyssey. Martin explains, “Odyssey has become legendary for the challenges it sets for students and the enthusiasm with which they meet those challenges. And all that writing, learning, critiquing, and sweat yields great results. Among Odyssey’s alumni are New York Times bestsellers, Amazon bestsellers, and award winners.”

The Miskatonic Scholarship is awarded each year to a promising writer of Lovecraftian cosmic horror, a type of fiction Martin loves and wants to encourage. The scholarship covers full tuition, textbook, and housing. Martin says, “It’s my hope that this new scholarship will offer an opportunity to a worthy applicant who might not otherwise have been able to afford the Odyssey experience.”

Last year’s scholarship winner, Valerie San Filippo, explains the impact of the Miskatonic Scholarship on her Odyssey experience: “I wouldn’t have been able to attend Odyssey if not for George R. R. Martin and the Miskatonic Scholarship. Odyssey and the scholarship made it possible for me to devote my mind and heart fully to my craft, to level up my writing, and to meet some of the most wonderful, talented people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. I left the workshop motivated and professionally equipped to take on the writing world. To know that George supported my writing journey heartens me beyond belief. To any writer out there who wants to attend Odyssey but worries about the cost, I encourage you to apply for the Miskatonic Scholarship. It’s an incredible opportunity. I’m so glad I applied.”

Applicants must demonstrate financial need in a separate application. A panel of three judges will select the winner from among the applicants who have demonstrated financial need, using the writing samples sent with the workshop applications. Martin notes, “we are not looking for Lovecraft pastiches, nor even Cthulhu Mythos stories. References to Arkham, Azathoth, shoggoths, the Necronomicon, and the fungi from Yuggoth are by no means obligatory . . . though if some candidates choose to include them, that’s fine as well. What we want is the sort of originality that H. P. Lovecraft displayed in his day, something that goes beyond the tired tropes of werewolves, vampires and zombies, into places strange and terrifying and never seen before. What we want are nightmares new and resonant and profound, cosmic terrors that will haunt our dreams for years to come.” Contact Odyssey Director Jeanne Cavelos (email jcavelos@odysseyworkshop.org) for the Miskatonic application, which is due April 1.

*Bestselling author and Odyssey graduate Sara King is sponsoring the Parasite Publications Character Awards to provide financial assistance to three character-based writers wishing to attend this summer’s Odyssey. The Parasite Publications Character Awards, three scholarships in the amounts of $2,060 (full tuition), $500, and $300, will be awarded to the three members of the incoming class who are deemed extraordinarily strong character writers, creating powerful, emotional characters that grab the reader and don’t let go. No separate application is required.

*New this year, the Chris Kelworth Memorial Scholarship will be offered to a Canadian writer admitted to Odyssey. Chris, a 2013 Odyssey graduate, was an inspiration to many Odyssey alumni and a strong believer in creating systems and participating in events to increase his productivity, such as setting goals, attending workshops, and participating in NaNoWriMo. This scholarship, funded by alumni and friends of Chris, will cover $900 of tuition. A separate application is required and due April 1. Contact Odyssey Director Jeanne Cavelos (email jcavelos@odysseyworkshop.org) for the Chris Kelworth Memorial Scholarship application.

*One work/study position is also available. The work/study student spends about six hours per week performing duties for Odyssey, such as photocopying, sending stories to guests, distributing mail to students, and preparing for guest visits. Odyssey reimburses $800 of the work/study student’s tuition. The work/study student will be expected to fulfill the regular requirements of Odyssey in addition to these duties. Contact Odyssey Director Jeanne Cavelos (email jcavelos@odysseyworkshop.org) for the work/study application, which is due April 30.

About Odyssey

odysseyThe Odyssey Writing Workshops Charitable Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the mission of helping promising writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror improve their work. Odyssey’s six-week, intensive workshop, held each year since 1996, is widely considered one of the top programs for writers of the fantastic. Odyssey director Jeanne Cavelos is a former senior editor at Bantam Doubleday Dell, bestselling author, and winner of the World Fantasy Award. Top authors, agents, and editors serve as guest lecturers. Intensive instruction in advanced writing techniques, in-depth feedback on manuscripts, and one-on-one guidance help students to make major improvements. Graduates say they learned more in six weeks than in two years at a creative writing MFA program. Fifty-nine percent go on to professional publication.

This summer’s workshop, held on the campus of Saint Anselm College, runs from JUNE 3 to JULY 12, 2019. Class meets for over 4½ hours each day, 5 days a week, for workshopping and lectures. Students spend about 8 hours more per day writing and critiquing each other’s work.

The early action application deadline is JANUARY 31, and the regular application deadline is APRIL 1. All applicants receive feedback on their writing sample.

Odyssey is funded in part by donations from graduates, grantors and supporters, and in part by student tuition. Tuition is $2,060, and housing in campus apartments is $892 for a double room and $1,784 for a single.

In addition to the five scholarships and work/study position, other opportunities for financial assistance exist. 

Writers from the New York Metropolitan Area (including New Jersey) are eligible to apply for the Donald A. and Elsie B. Wollheim Memorial Scholarship, created by the New York Science Fiction Society–the Lunarians. The amount of the scholarship is variable.

Members of the Horror Writers Association are eligible for one or both of the scholarships they offer, each worth $2,500.

Since Odyssey is a member of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, those accepted into Odyssey can apply for AWP’s three Kurt Brown Prizes, scholarships of $500 each.

For more information, visit http://www.odysseyworkshop.org/workshop.html. The Odyssey site offers many programs and resources for writers, including online classes, webinars, a critique service, consultations, coaching, free podcasts, author interviews, writing tips, and a monthly online discussion salon.

Special Announcement: George R.R. Martin Establishes Scholarship for Horror Writers

GeorgeMartinNew York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin announces an exciting new Odyssey Writing Workshop scholarship to help a horror writer with financial need attend the acclaimed, six-week residential program. Martin explains, “Odyssey has become legendary for the challenges it sets for students and the enthusiasm with which they meet those challenges. And all that writing, learning, critiquing, and sweat yields great results. Among Odyssey’s alumni are New York Times bestsellers, Amazon bestsellers, and award winners.”

The Miskatonic Scholarship will be awarded each year to a promising new writer of Lovecraftian cosmic horror, a type of fiction Martin loves and wants to encourage. The scholarship will cover full tuition, textbook, and housing. Martin says, “It’s my hope that this new scholarship will offer an opportunity to a worthy applicant who might not otherwise have been able to afford the Odyssey experience.”

2004_Odgroup
George R.R. Martin with the Odyssey Class of 2004

A separate application is required to demonstrate financial need. A panel of three judges will select the winner from among the applicants who have demonstrated financial need, using the short story or novel excerpts sent with the workshop applications. Martin notes, “we are not looking for Lovecraft pastiches, nor even Cthulhu Mythos stories. References to Arkham, Azathoth, shoggoths, the Necronomicon, and the fungi from Yuggoth are by no means obligatory…though if some candidates choose to include them, that’s fine as well. What we want is the sort of originality that H. P. Lovecraft displayed in his day, something that goes beyond the tired tropes of werewolves, vampires and zombies, into places strange and terrifying and never seen before. What we want are nightmares new and resonant and profound, comic terrors that will haunt our dreams for years to come.”

Contact Odyssey Director Jeanne Cavelos (email jcavelos@odysseyworkshop.org ) for the Mistakonic application, which is due April 7.

Along with the new Mistakonic Scholarship, there are other financial assistance opportunities, scholarships, and one work/study position. For more information, visit www.odysseyworkshop.org/workshop.html.

Special Announcement: World Fantasy Award Nominations for Jeanne Cavelos and Scott H. Andrews

We here at the Odyssey Blog and pretty much anyone ever associated with Odyssey Writing Workshops are ecstatic! Why?

Because Jeanne Cavelos, the founder and director of the Odyssey Writing Workshops, and Scott H. Andrews, Odyssey graduate and founder and editor of Beneath Ceaseless Skies Magazine, have each been nominated for World Fantasy Awards! The World Fantasy Convention and award ceremony will take place next month in Saratoga Springs, New York–and until then we’re all on the edge of our seats.

Without further ado, we Odfellows present a tribute to Jeanne and Scott.

Ode to Jeanne

jeanne
Jeanne Cavelos

Odyssey just concluded its 20th workshop, and its two decades of operation have spawned such writers as Carrie Vaughn, Theodora Goss, James Maxey, Alex Hughes, Rebecca Shelley, Lyn Benedict, Barbara Webb, Mike Grinti, J.A. White, Meagan Spooner, and David J. Schwartz, and editors such as Scott H. Andrews and Douglas Cohen–and many more, and more to come.

Jeanne Cavelos, nominated in the Special Award–Professional division for creating and running the Odyssey Writing Workshops, is one of the most humble, unassuming people I know–all the better to get her sneaky editor claws in you, because she has lived quite the varied life, and she brings all of her experience plus a critical eye toward editing, critiquing, and writing, whether she’s assessing her work or someone else’s. She’s an astrophysicist who worked for NASA, then was a senior editor at Bantam Doubleday Dell where she started an award-winning line of books, and now is a college professor who runs a full-service freelance company on the side. She is the author of several books, both fiction and nonfiction (The Science of the X-Files was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award), and has also edited an anthology. (She swears she has not cloned herself.)

But those are all the jobs she gets paid for.

I can say with all honesty that creating and running Odyssey is the jewel in Jeanne’s crown. I’ve gotten to know her a little over the last eight years and in that time I can’t say her enthusiasm for Odyssey has ever flagged. She works tirelessly to promote and host the annual six-week on-site summer Workshop, and even expanded Odyssey’s offerings to include online winter writing courses and themed free online salons.  There is always something to do and someone to see, and when an Odyssey workshop comes around, plots to fix and characters to revive.

Jeanne lives and breathes Odyssey, at great sacrifice to herself and others. She has made it her life’s work to educate amateur, up-and-coming science fiction, fantasy and horror writers, and introduce us to the world of writing and publishing. The caliber of instruction at Odyssey is always high because Jeanne sets the bar high and makes good on that promise, year after year. If something doesn’t work, she acknowledges it, fixes it, and does better.

In Odyssey, Jeanne has crafted an atmosphere that fosters collaboration and community over competition. Many graduates return year after year for TNEO (The Neverending Odyssey)–ten days of critiquing, story writing and all things science fiction–for more of that same community and support. Most of us stay in contact with each other, encouraging writerly habits.

Jeanne doesn’t do any of this for fame. She is always looking for better ways to serve amateur writers and give us the tools we need to become professional writers. She does it for the students, for all the people she sees who are writers. Whether Jeanne wins an award or not (but hint: we think she should), we thank her for everything that she does for us–and she should know we wouldn’t ask for a better evil overlord.

~Ronya F. McCool (Odyssey 2007) is the managing editor for the Odyssey Workshops Blog. She lives, works, writes and renovates in the Midwest and can sometimes be heard on the Libraryland podcast.~


A Toast to Scott upon the Event of his WFA Nomination

WFC2012-ScottA
Scott H. Andrews (photo courtesy of Al Bogdan)

My pal, drinking buddy and fellow 2005 Odfellow Scott H. Andrews is up for a World Fantasy Award! Permit me to briefly bask in the credit of his association and raise a glass of something frothy in his honor as I elucidate why it couldn’t have happened to a better editor.

Scott is a great, meticulous, thoughtful, perceptive, respectful editor. As far as I’m concerned, he’s like nobody else working in the field. If you’ve ever submitted to Beneath Ceaseless Skies, you know how routinely generous he is with his time. He provides actual feedback in practically every rejection. He asks for way more rewrites than is good for him. When he buys a story, all too often it’s because he helped the author make it better. This has certainly been the case with all five of the stories I’ve sold him. He’s made me a better writer.

As a reader, he has an uncanny ability to inhabit a character inhabiting a world that isn’t our own, to see that world through their eyes and feel what they feel. As an editor, that ability helps him keep me honest. Often it seems like he knows my world and my characters better than I do. I’m not saying I’ve never been frustrated working with him–I think every writer loves their own words too much for their own good–but he knows that as well as I do, and he’s always ready to work through it. And the story is better for it. He is the only editor I’ve worked with willing to go to those lengths. In fact, I’d argue no other short fiction editor in the field contributes as much has he does to making the stories they buy as good as they can be.

Contrary to what we’ve heard from different quarters over the past few years, short fiction is not dying. But neither does it pay an editor’s bills; novels do that. In an era when many top markets for short fiction act as loss-leaders for novel sales, BCS is an end in itself. The purview is narrow: character-driven, secondary world adventure fantasy. But that narrow focus allows Scott to be the best at what he does. And in doing so, he’s forged a legitimacy for that kind of fiction without which by now it might have faded away completely. When BCS came on the scene in 2008, Realms of Fantasy was the only professional-rate market dedicated to short fantasy, and it was in its death throes. Eight years later, thanks to Scott, BCS is the top market for fantasy.

I’m really proud of him for the nomination. In fact, I think it’s overdue. But if this year has taught us anything, it’s that there’s no accounting for awards politics. So by way of closing, let me just suggest that in the event he doesn’t win the award (and here let me express profound relief Scott and Jeanne aren’t in the same category), next time you run into him, you should really ask him to recap his acceptance speech.

Here’s to Scott and BCS!

 

~Michael J. DeLuca’s (Odyssey 2005) short fiction has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Apex, Interfictions, Pseudopod and Clockwork Phoenix. He guest-edited Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet #33, an ecologically-themed issue that came out this July 2015. He narrates occasionally for the Beneath Ceaseless Skies fiction podcast, operates Weightless Books with Gavin J. Grant, and blogs at mossyskull.com.~

Graduate’s Corner: Odyssey–The Journey, by B. Lynch

Brian LynchB. Lynch is a YA/MG fantasy writer from New Jersey and a 2015 Odyssey Writing Workshop graduate. His latest book, King Callie, can be found on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.com; since his Odyssey classmates challenged him to become the Michael Bay of fantasy novels, he’s currently working on an MG manuscript involving goat-poop powered mechas and gratuitous amounts of explosions.


There were three things I noticed immediately about the Odyssey Writing Workshop class of 2015: we weren’t short on creativity, odd careers, or punctuality. Continue reading “Graduate’s Corner: Odyssey–The Journey, by B. Lynch”

Special Announcement: Odyssey Podcasts #76 (Alex Jablokov) and #75 (Holly Black)

Jablokov Black podcastEvery month or two, the Odyssey Writing Workshop releases new podcasts created from excerpts from lectures given by guest writers, editors, and agents at the Odyssey Writing Workshop. Each one is ten to fifteen minutes long.

Our two newest podcasts feature authors and guest lecturers Alexander Jablokov (Brain Thief), from the 2014 summer workshop, and Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles), from the 2013 summer workshop.  Alexander discusses how a character functions within a plot, and the many conventions authors use to present believable characters, while Holly explains how to create a magic system.

Other available podcasts include:

  • Carrie Vaughn: Goal-setting for writers (#38)
  • Lori Perkins: Agents, what they do, and what to look for in an agent (#37)
  • Sheila Williams: Qualities of short story openings (#74)
  • Nancy Holder: Short fiction and novel contracts; advances and royalties (#72 & #73)
  • Lane Robins: Outlining techniques (#64)
  • Craig Shaw Gardner: Writing humor in science fiction and fantasy (#18)
  • Melissa Scott: Worldbuilding techniques (#5 & #21)

These podcasts and many more are available for free on the OdboatcleanedupOdyssey Podcast page at http://www.sff.net/odyssey/podcasts.html.  Here you may browse and download podcasts, or subscribe to podcasts so you automatically receive them upon release.

Odyssey Podcasts can also be found in the iTunes store (for free): https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/odyssey-sf-f-writing-workshop/id213992784?mt=2.