Ten Ways To (Seriously) Improve Your Writing (via Broadside)

An awesome post for writers who are at any stage in the game–but especially those who want to take it seriously. Her advice for dealing with rejection, listening to feedback, and doing things to improve yourself, really ring true to me. Maybe they will for you too.

Ten Ways To (Seriously) Improve Your Writing It’s commonly said, (among writers who do it for their living), that blood to a surgeon is like rejection to a writer — a necessary part of every day’s work. Whether a surgeon likes blood is irrelevant. Do professional writers — and ambitious amateurs — enjoy rejection? Irrelevant. It’s not a game for d … Read More

via Broadside

2009 Yukon Writers Conference, April 3-5

scribo book cover by Kater CheekNorthern Writes is pleased to announce the 2009 Yukon Writers Conference, taking place at the Westmark Whitehorse, on April 3 through 5, 2009. The 2009 Yukon Writers Conference is an opportunity for Yukon writers to meet with and learn from six North American editors and one publisher representing a variety of genres.

The conference will include workshops, a panel discussion, individual pitch appointments and an open critique session.

The conference fee of $90 also covers an opening reception, lunches on Saturday and Sunday, and coffee breaks.

The following publisher and editors will present at the event:

Claire Eddy, Senior Editor, Tor/Forge Books, New York

Paula Eykelhof, Editor, Mira Books, Toronto

Lily Gontard, Editor, Yukon, North of Ordinary, Whitehorse

Shawna McCarthy, Editor, Realms of Fantasy and Agent, New Jersey

Lynne Missen, Executive Editor, Children’s Books, HarperCollins, Toronto

Kathleen Scheibling, Editor, Harlequin Books, Toronto

Howard White, Publisher, Harbour Publishing, Madeira Park, BC

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Registration deadlines as follows: February 28 if submitting a writing sample/proposal March 15 if not submitting Registration forms and information sheets will be available at the Whitehorse Public Library starting on February 9, or by contacting Marcelle Dubé at (867) 633-4565, mdube@northwestel.net. Please feel free to share this information.

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This conference is not to be missed if you live anywhere near the Yukon. You can’t see these people up close and personal in other venues in the States or in Canada. But here, in Whitehorse, you have a chance to talk with them personally, submit writing, receive critique, and get to know them.

I’ve said before that it was in the Yukon that I met and really got to know some amazing authors/editors from Outside. These meetings were all through conferences like this one that Barb Dunlop and Marcelle Dubé engineered.

If you believe in that Latin phrase on the book above–“I write”–then you’ll want to prepare for this conference. Have ready a manuscript by the end of February to submit to these editors. Come and join us for a chance to develop your writing and all Yukon writers.

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Photo above is from my good friend, Kater Cheek, whose amazing art can be found here at www.catherinecheek.com

Online SF Market: Futurismic–for near future stories

Another great market for Science Fiction writers, especially those dabbling in near future fiction.  Check out the full Guidelines here.  Here’s an excerpt of what they’re looking for.

Futurismic seeks contemporary, near future science fiction for online publication. We’re looking for innovative, exciting stories that use the tools of speculative fiction to examine contemporary issues and take a look at what’s just around the corner.

Whether by established professionals or promising newcomers, we would like to see the very best in today’s SF, with an emphasis on work that truly connects with and illuminates the fast-paced, fascinating times we live in.

Stories should be compelling and well written, with a strong emphasis on characters confronting or embracing imminent cultural, social, technological, and scientific changes.

PLEASE NOTE: Near-future, Earth-based science fiction is our primary focus!

WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR:

  • Mundane SF
  • Post-cyberpunk SF
  • Satirical/gonzo futurism
  • Realistic near future hard SF

WHAT WE’RE NOT LOOKING FOR:

  • Fantasy
  • Horror
  • Space opera
  • Off-world SF
  • Distant futures
  • Aliens
  • Time Travel
  • Alternate History

Length: up to 15,000 words!  and there’s a webform to submit with.  No nasty stamps and paper problems.  $200 flat rate for stories, 2-5 weeks to respond.

Click on the Guidelines link and read the rest if you are interested.  Good luck!

Novelists! Classes start Monday at Yukon College

rightimg1Happy New Year to Everyone! I hope this coming new year brings you what you want.

It’s a long and interesting journey, no doubt.

Perhaps, you are looking to work on your novel? Perhaps, you have been working on one for years and you want to get some guided help through a course? Maybe, you just plunked one out in November during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and you want to work on revising it, or just getting feedback on it.

Yukon College is offering two courses: Monday nights for Realism/Mainstream writing and Tuesday nights for Speculative Fiction (Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, Fantastical Children’s Lit). The school, though, is closed till Jan 2, or Friday. So, if you’re gonna sign up and come to the first class on Monday, you’ll have to sign up on Friday or Next week. Regardless of when you sign up, come to the first classes. We have to get a viable head count to know if the classes will make. We need 8 people each class, at least, to make this happen. We’ll be working on synopsis writing and editing three chapters of your novel.

Click on Writing Classes to learn more.

Also, don’t forget that Yukon writers, in classes or not, should be getting ready for the Editor’s Weekend that is happening at the beginning of April. Six editors are coming up to talk with Yukoners, give workshops, about the next steps in publishing their manuscripts. This coincides with the last weekend of our coursework. So it makes a fitting transition after our class is done to move towards shopping a manuscript around.

So, if working on your novel is part of your planned journey for 2009, I hope to see you in class in the new year!

Writing Classes at Yukon College–Get Your Novels Out

Hey, Novelists!

For some of you Nanowrimo was a great experience–but what next??  Or some of you have an old novel kicking around in your closet.  Dust it off, get it ready.

I’m teaching two courses at Yukon College in the Winter, both of them are Fiction Writing Workshops.  You can read more about them if you click on Writing Classes up on the Menu Bar.

In brief:  Monday night is for novels that are more realistic–they don’t have magic, or time travel, or science fiction, or monsters in them.  They are set in this world, working with people as we know them.  They can be set in the past.

If you have at least 3/4 of a novel manuscript through a first draft, you are welcome to join the course.  If you don’t have that much done, that’s okay to join too, as long as you know that a majority of people will be working on novels, and that class time discussion will be focussed on longer story arcs.  People with novels are required to workshop 3 chapters over the course of the semester, comment on other people’s chapters, and with a group, present one novel to the class, one of the ones that we will be reading (we have three on the schedule), and  turning in to the class a synopsis of your novel.

The practical side is that in April you will need one synopsis and the first three chapters of your novel ready to show editors who are coming to the Yukon!!  Don’t pass up this opportunity. BIG name people are coming to look for manuscripts and help people move towards publication.  They will take our class to the next level, much farther than most could take you.  They will also take you to that next level if you AREN’T a part of the class–the Editor’s Weekend is a Yukon Wide event… (oh, it won’t be named Editor’s Weekend…I just made that up….).

Tuesday nights are for those novelists with a speculative element in their novel.  There are different considerations when you are working with speculative elements and you will want people who are familiar with those elements.  The rest of the class will be VERY similar to the Monday night group–all that’s different is that we will be working with texts that are outside of realism, even just slightly.

The courses are 16 weeks long, are the cheapest prices in any college in North America (dare anyone to beat $150 per course), and I think you will get more bang for your buck.  Workshops are good to use to get a good opinion of what to look at more closely.  Only come if you are ready to receive the opinions of 15 other readers, and to consider their thoughts on your work.

Come and Join us for a good workshop experience!  CRWR 241: Fiction Writing Workshop (Mondays–realism; Tuesdays–Speculative) Starts Jan 5 at Yukon College!

CRWR 244: Intro to Novel Writing begins Monday

Jumping into the New Dimension by Fadzly Mubin, all rights reserved

Take the Plunge!

“I just need a kick in the pants!” —You might have said that about writing a novel. You have one in you, but you never had the time or the direction to push it out. Now you do.

If you’re thinking about signing up for the Novel Writing course–then sign up soon! It’s the first time a novel writing course has been offered at Yukon College. It all begins on Monday night, Sept 8, 7-10pm.

Writing can be a lonely business, and novel writing can be daunting–but this course aims to keep you encouraged through a group of people all writing their own novels. Read more about the class on the “Writing Classes” page, and through my posts, “The First Draft is the Hardest.” Write me if you have any questions at jstueart@yahoo.com

There are no prerequisites to the class and Andrew Richardson has agreed to sign off on any students who are interested. You just need to want to write and push out a novel–but with 15 people–it will be enjoyable and we will go through all the roadblocks to writing together! We need 15 people to make the class work at optimum level–there are 7 spaces left.

*All genres of writing are welcome–however, we have a separate class for Science fiction and Fantasy writers on Tuesday nights through the City of Whitehorse, called WorldBuilders, if you want to work with other SFF writers!

Come to Yukon College and take the plunge into a novel!