< class="pagetitle">Archive for the “Workshops” Category

Today, I am speaking at the Calgary Public Library on Editing 101. I’m told that the session is full–should be a lot of fun.

Also, Finished editing my novel, based on comments from my critique group. Into the final pass before re-submitting.

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I am really looking forward to When Words Collide’s upcoming 2-day writers’ workshop with Michael Cassutt. For July 15, I need to have Act I (12-18 pages) of my screenplay done, as well as a synopsis of the rest of the episode. I have been developing an idea for several months, as well as reading up on screenplays (Robert McKee’s brilliant book, Story) and downloading screenwriting software, but it wasn’t coming together to my satisfaction until last Friday when it all came together. After that, it was just a question of writing it. Got the pages and most of the summary done last night. I think it is pretty good. Will need to leave it for a few days and revise–and hopefully make it excellent!

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What an opportunity twelve of us had, to have our cover letter, synopsis and five pages of novel critiqued by Adrienne Kerr, acquisitions editor for Penguin Canada. First, just reading everyone else’s submissions was an education in itself (they were all very different), and I learned tons just from putting myself in an editor’s shoes and thinking about why I would or would not ask an author to send me more material. Then there were the critiques themselves, listening to everyone explain their thinking on pieces I had already made my mind up about–very eye-opening. Next, there were the critiques I got on my own writing–thanks, everyone! And finally, there were Adrienne’s observations, from the position of someone who does this work professionally every day. An unforgettable experience.

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Okay, so imagine the BEST con ever–you’re on the panel AND in the audience–the topics are all over the map; the speakers are incredibly knowledgeable, respected authors; the comments are completely honest; you NEVER get put on the spot (Susan, what do you think of that last point?) BUT, they listen when you have a relevant argument to take the topic further. OMG I am learning so much–and this is just DINNER on the night we arrived for the workshop–

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A bit nerve-wracking to gear up for Walter Jon Williams’ retreat in New Mexico–but what an opportunity! To get crits from people like Paolo Baccigalupi, Daniel Abraham, Carrie Vaughn and Diana Rowland! Let alone, everyone else–Nebula and Hugo nominees/winners, people who have published in–or edit for–all the major magazines, Locus book reviewers–

But even scarier is I will be critting them!

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Got my short story revised and sent out to the workshop for this summer. Next up: copy edits for my last Edge novel and communicating with my next Edge author! Then, got to get some short fiction out on the market.

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So, my beta readers now have the novel, so it’s back to short fiction. I have a piece completed for the workshop with Walter Jon Williams this summer that needs a last read through before submitting prior to the end of the month. Then I want to submit to a couple of markets I have my eye on. That should keep me busy until my beta readers come back with revision suggestions for the novel.

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Rough draft of my new story is complete. I’ll polish it up for the end of the month, when I submit it for the summer workshop with Walter Jon Williams.

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The past week has been excellent! Let me see if I can remember ALL the fantastic things that happened! First off, the writers’ workshop with David B. Coe as our guest author was amazing! I was very fortunate to be his host and billet during the workshop, and so as we drove back and forth to various workshop and social events, I was able to have some very enlightening and stimulating discussions about writing and the business with him. The workshop itself was very informative, as we discussed a number of topics as well as doing our critiques. And, I got some good ideas for further working and marketing my short story.On his Facebook page, David wrote: “Great workshop. I had a wonderful time, and was blown away by the level of work I read and the level of professionalism I encountered. Thanks!”

The workshop was followed by ConVersion, which, for all its shortcomings (such as having no idea when or where any of the panels were occurring — including absolutely no mention of the big musical production I was involved in — communication was an issue) was very profitable on a number of fronts. The Monster Mash, our musical, was a big hit in spite of its time being switched multitple times right up to the day of performance (we were lucky all the actors got there on time). I got to sing a song and I played the villain, which is always fun.

The literary programming was run by IFWA, and as such, was very successful. Panels had interesting presenters, were well attended, and took the various topics to new places for most people. I was able to do a panel, judge the Robin Herrington Short Story Contest and do three separate readings, which all went well (and I got some nice compliments!). I attended a number of entertaining functions tool, such as having the opportunity to hear wonderful stories at Bedtime Stories with IFWA, Writers’ Idol and launches for Rigor Amortis and Edge Press’s Tesseracts 14, as well as improvisation by the hilarious 404s.

One really special highlight was my opportunity to receive my Aurora Pin as a finalist for my short story, “Back” in Analog. It is a gorgeous pin, and part of a limited edition just for winners and finalists. Very special!

And naturally, I also had opportunities to buy books (and get autographs!), t-shirts and art, network with authors, editors and publishers, and make connections for future writing opportunities. Very exciting! And on top of ALL THAT, I got to spend big chunks of my weekend with my two daughters, who also took in parts of the convention (one performed in the play with me and the other attended panels with me!). AND both my daughters received publishing credits for artwork they did for the 2010 In Places Between chapbook!

My husband took care of the home front (he is to die for!) and we even got to spend a fun afternoon together today getting out of the city on his motorcycle. AND, my oldest daughter was able to skype me from England to say her interview for her application for her doctorate program went well!

All in all, I feel like about the luckiest person on the planet, right now.

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Yes, I think the universe conspired to ensure that I would NEVER want to go back on my decision to retire from the day job. So, as much as I enjoyed it, leaving it behind feels very much like Heaven, right now. I revised a flash fiction this week and am getting it critted right now for submission to an anthology next week, and have just come up with an idea for a short story, which is a good thing, because I have a deadline for a short story workshop coming up in 3 weeks. Also, I was asked to judge the Robin Herrington Memorial Short Story Contest again this year, so got a start on reading stories for that. Then, there is the novella revision and submission, and the novel to have done by the end of summer . . . September? Lots to do! :)

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