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.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Register Now For Our Youth Writing Workshop At MoPOP

As part of the MoPOP's 2018 Write Out of This World contest for young writers, the Fairwood Writers will teach a story development workshop at MoPOP on Nov. 11, 2017, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Our professional science fiction and fantasy writer-coaches will help 3rd- through 12th-grade students develop settings, characters and storylines for their contest entries. We'll tour one of the museum's current exhibits, lead participants in a brainstorming session, and help them get a start on turning their ideas into stories.

Workshop registration is $6, but space is limited, so sign up now!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

2018 Norwescon Workshop Guidelines Now Available

We are pleased to announce that the guidelines for the Writers' Workshop at Norwescon 41 on March 29-April 1, 2018, are now available!  If you've participated in the workshop since 2015, or inquired about the workshop within the last two years, you should have received an email about our updated guidelines.  If not, please visit the Norwescon website.

We've made some changes this year, so be sure to read our guidelines thoroughly.  The biggest one to keep in mind: All participants will be limited to a single workshop session.  We'll allow two short-short stories that together total no more than 4,000 words and will be critiqued together, but otherwise you may submit one short story of up to 8,000 words or a novel excerpt and synopsis totaling no more than 10,000 words.

Submissions are now open, with this year's deadline December 3, 2017. Now's a great time to finish that story you've been working on or draft a synopsis for your novel.

We're looking forward to seeing you and your best work this spring at Norwescon!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

New micro-tale from Harold Gross

Harold's latest sold story is up on Story Seed Vault today. They can better explain their mission and raison d’ĂȘtre.
The challenge for this market was to tell a whole story in 140 characters or less; essentially no more than one Tweet’s worth. And the story has to be based on some new bit of science. Challenge accepted…

Thursday, June 1, 2017

New Story from Renee Stern

"All Hell to Wake" by Fairwood member Renee Stern is the May story at Speculate!, where you'll find a baker's dozen of dark speculative tales edited by Jennifer Brozek.  Check it out!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Norwescon 40, Fairwood Social

We're days away from Norwescon, April 13th-16th, and we hope your last minute plans are coming together gloriously!

As part of those plans, the Fairwood Writers would like to invite you to
our Norwescon Writers' Workshop social on Saturday (April 15th) , 1:30-3:30 p.m. in Presidential Suite 1360.

But wait...what if I'm not part of the workshop? Fear not. The social is our opportunity to give back to the writing community, and we'd love for you to be there. Its
a wonderful opportunity for you to meet fellow writers, learn about the workshop, or meet others from the local community.

We hope to see you there.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Norwescon 40 Readings

Check out these Fairwood Writers and Fairwood alums at Norwescon 40 next weekend:

Fairwood Writers:

Dean Wells reads "Through the Looking-Glass, Darkly" (PG)
Thursday, 6:30pm in Cascade 2


Christopher Bodan reads "Floodstage"  (PG)

Thursday, 8:30pm in Cascade 2

Erin Wagner Tidwell reads "For Old Times' Sake" (PG)
Saturday, 7:00pm in Cascade 2

Renee Stern reads "Winds of Danger" (PG)
Saturday, 7:30pm in Cascade 2 

Kim Ritchie reads "Rabbit Hole" (G)
Saturday, 9:00pm in Cascade 2


Fairwood Alums:

Spencer Ellsworth reads an upcoming work (PG)
Friday, 1pm in Cascade 2

Brenda Cooper reads "POST" (G)
Saturday, 11:30am in Cascade 2

Patrick Swenson reads "Rain Music" (PG)
Saturday, 1:30pm in Cascade 2

Rhiannon Held - autograph session
Saturday, 3pm-4pm in Grand 2

John (J. A.) Pitts - autograph session
Saturday, 3pm-4pm in Grand 2