Sunday, July 15, 2018

Book Launch

Come celebrate the launch of Fairwood alum Kate Marshall's new YA thriller, I Am Still Alive, with a signing on July 29 at University Bookstore.

In a starred review, Kirkus describes Kate's latest book as "A taut, gripping page-turner with a strong female hero to root for."

Kate's short sf and fantasy stories have appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Crossed Genres and other publications. And, writing as Kathleen Kimmel, she's published several historical romances.

  Details: Sunday, July 29
                 2 p.m.
                 University Bookstore, Seattle

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Wrapping Up a Series

Fairwood alum and professional archaeologist Rhiannon Held celebrates the release of the fifth and final book in her urban fantasy series with an added musical treat.

Death-Touched, now available in print and e-book, wraps up the Silver series about the Roanoke Pack of werewolves that began in 2010 with Silver.  Throughout the series Rhiannon explores the concept of werewolves with their own religion and folk songs.

To accompany this final volume, Rhiannon has also released an in-world folk song, "The Lady's Light," with her lyrics from the series and music by Seattle composer Mitchell Fund.

You can find out more about the Silver series and Rhiannon's other upcoming books and short stories at

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Join Us at Norwescon 41 (Part 2)

We're all getting ready for Norwescon March 29 through April 1, and we hope you'll be there too!

While you're there, check out these Fairwood Writers and Fairwood alums reading our work:

Fairwood Writers:

Erin Wagner Tidwell reads "She Falls Into Darkness" (G)
Friday, 7:30 p.m., in Cascade 4

Kim Ritchie reads "Stick" (G), a post-apocalyptic tale
Saturday, 8 p.m., in Cascade 4

Renee Stern reads "Stolen (PG), a dark story of a lost soul trying to find its way home
Sunday, 10:30 a.m., in Cascade 4

Dean Wells reads "All Whirlpools Lead to Atlantis" (R): When Special Agent Romulus Caul investigates a series of unexplained deaths, he learns that the motive hits much closer to heart than he'd ever suspected. A work in progress from The Clockwork Millennials
Sunday, 11 a.m., in Cascade 4

 Fairwood alums:

Brenda Cooper reads from Wilders (G): In a future where climate change is even more real than today, Seattle has a far more dramatic seawall, and the land between Seattle and Spokane has mostly been emptied.
Friday, 3 p.m., in Cascade 4

Spencer Ellsworth reads a new work (PG)
Friday, 4 p.m., in Cascade 4

Patrick Swenson reads a new work (PG)
Saturday, 2 p.m., in Cascade 4

You can also find us signing our work:

John (J.A.) Pitts: Autograph Session 1
Saturday, 2 p.m., in Grand 2

Brenda Cooper: Autograph Session 1
Saturday, 2 p.m., in Grand 2

Spencer Ellsworth: Autograph Session 1
Saturday, 2 p.m., in Grand 2

Dean Wells: Autograph Session 2
Saturday, 3 p.m., in Grand 2

Rhiannon Held: Autograph Session 2
Saturday, 3 p.m., in Grand 2

Patrick Swenson: Autograph Session 2
Saturday, 3 p.m., in Grand 2

Join Us at Norwescon 41 (Part 1)

We're days away from Norwescon (March 29-April 1), and we hope you'll be there too!

While you're planning your convention schedule, don't forget to include our
Writers' Workshop social on Saturday, March 31, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. in Presidential Suite 1360.

You don't have to participate in this year's workshop to attend, so we hope you'll drop by to socialize with other writers. 

The social is the Fairwood Writers' opportunity to give back to the writing community. Whether you're participating in this year's workshop, a veteran from previous years, or simply interested in learning more about our workshops for next year, we look forward to seeing you there! 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Workshop Spotlight: Shweta Adhyam

Once again our occasional series on writers' journeys focuses on someone who's about to rack up time on both sides of our critique table. This year Shweta Adhyam--a 2017 Clarion West student whose work is starting to show up in respected genre venues--is switching roles from receiving feedback on her writing to providing it to other writers.

Shweta submitted short stories to our Norwescon workshops for five years running. "Every year, I came away with a little bit more command over the craft," she says. 
When the pros critiquing her stories brought up a specific technique or aspect of craft, such as foreshadowing, she'd go on to study it and practice incorporating it into story revisions and new work. Over time her writing became more sophisticated.

And sometimes the feedback had more immediate benefits on top of a long-term lesson. 
"Once, a critiquer pointed out how I could get a really amazing ending from what I had already planted throughout the story. It was a proverbial lightbulbs-going-off-in-head moment on so many levels," Shweta says.

Along with leading the way to a perfect story ending, it was also "an invaluable lesson to go back and mine your stories for things that might have been left on the table while you were looking elsewhere," she says.

Critique workshops are tremendous opportunities to learn and grow as a writer, she says. The pros who read your work and offer feedback are sitting at the table with you, so submit the manuscript you're struggling with, listen to the critiquers' comments and ask them questions. 
"The conversations (that follow) can open up possibilities not just on the piece under discussion, but also mastering the art in general," Shweta says. 
Shweta's most recent stories include "The Warrior and the Sage" (written as Shweta Sundararajan) at Intergalactic Medicine Show and "A Conch Shell's Notes" in an upcoming issue of Lightspeed.

Although it's too late to take part in our 2018 Norwescon workshop, please contact us at to be added to our mailing list for information about future workshops and events. And if you're attending Norwescon, we'd love to meet you at the social we're hosting, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 31, in Presidential Suite 1360.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Last Call For Our 2018 Workshop

Get your manuscripts ready for the writers' workshop at Norwescon 41 next spring!  We're in the final week and counting down to our submissions deadline at midnight on Sunday, Dec. 3.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to have your fantasy, science fiction and horror short stories and novel excerpts critiqued by professional writers and editors.  You'll find our guidelines here.

The clock is ticking!  We hope to see you and your work at Norwescon!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Why Workshop? One Writer's Story

Sandra M. Odell will be critiquing for our 2018 writers' workshop at Norwescon for the first time, but she's no stranger to what we do. Her experiences being critiqued in some of our past workshops were an important step in her journey to turning pro and racking up an impressive list of short story sales.

Sandra first submitted a manuscript to one of our Norwescon workshops after an extended hiatus from writing. "That first workshop opened my eyes to the possibilities inherent in my own work, a sort of affirmation that this whole writing schtick was more than just in my head," she says.

As that first workshop session wrapped up, Jay Lake, one of the pros assigned to critique her work, told her, "Don't [screw] this up." That admonishment stuck with her and remains her favorite takeaway from the experience.

"Until my first Fairwood workshop, all I'd ever heard was 'You're a great writer!' " That's flattering, but not helpful, Sandra says. "None of these people were writers. The Fairwood workshops gave me my first taste of writer to writer critique, a much more valuable experience than hearing 'You're great!' all the time."

To grow as a writer, you need to hear the hard truths about what's not working in your story as well as the praise for what you're doing right, she says.

"There is a difference between someone reading your work and someone critiquing your work. If you want a reader who says 'Love it!' and then forgets the story 15 seconds later, then don't bother with Fairwood," Sandra says. But "If you want someone who can take your story apart, show you how, why, and where, and then cheer you on for the rewrite, sign up and take that next step with your writing."

If you'd like to take that next step yourself, you'll find the guidelines for our upcoming workshop at Norwescon 41 here.

Sandra's most recent stories include "For," which opened the CAST OF WONDERS podcast's Banned Book Week event for 2017, and "Resistance on a Park Bench, With Stale Bread and Ducks," in the August 2017 issue of MYTHIC DELERIUM.  You can find out more about her through her occasional blog ramblings.