Back in October, I was lamenting my shameful lack of writing craft training (at least in the speculative fiction genre) at a monthly meeting of the Aspen Writer’s Network. I was encouraged by Mark Tompkins (author of Last Days of Magic) to start looking for writing workshops which might be taking applications soon.
Submit First, Think Later
Low and behold I found a competitive workshop specifically aimed at speculative fiction whose open submission window started the next day. I polished up the first 1500 words of my novel Windward, and tossed it into the ring. I really didn’t think about it much after that. A month later, however, I was accepted in the Futurescapes Writing Workshop for March, 2021. In fact, it was so serendipitous, and I was so uninitiated in the industry, that I asked Mark scope out the experience for me with his more finely-tuned bullshit detector.
(I am a high-functioning cynic, and anything that is easy is always too good to be true. Especially when it comes to writing.)
But the report came back clean, and so I signed up. As the weeks went on, it became more and more apparent that this workshop is actually kind of A REALLY BIG DEAL. Authors with multiple Hugos, highly-respected editors and agents who deal in major speculative fiction sales were going to be running workshops on manuscripts, synopses and query letters in small, interactive groups.
I began to panic lightly and promptly over-edited my workshop manuscript before sending it in.
Starting to Feel Real
Today, I received notice about which faculty members will be leading my groups’ workshops, and I cannot fully express how excited I am!
Check out this list while I send my inner fangirl away to cool off in the other room:
Mary Robinette Kowal is the author of Ghost Talkers, The Glamourist Histories series, and the Lady Astronaut series. She is the President of SFWA, part of the award-winning podcast Writing Excuses and a four-time Hugo Award winner. Her short fiction appears in Uncanny, Tor.com, and Asimov’s. Mary Robinette, a professional puppeteer, lives in Nashville.
Literary agent with the Knight Agency for 16 years, based out Los Angeles
Literary agent with L. Perkins Agency.
After finishing my first draft (110k words) in April of last year, every month of revision has only shown me exactly how far I still have to to hone my writing craft skills. I feel like I got into the workshop a year too early, but am prepared to turn on sponge mode and just soak it all in.
*banishes imposter syndrome to keep ego company in the darkest timeline*