This week kicks off a busy summer of writing and teaching. I’m currently preparing lesson plans and writing lessons for two summer workshops. There are only two spots left in my science fiction, fantasy, and horror writing workshop online for the Writers Studio. I’m grateful for the interest! And there’s still room in my face-to-face […]

I am so excited to announce that my proposal for a workshop on writing speculative fiction and poetry, including science fiction, fantasy, and horror, was recently approved, and the class is now listed and available for registration! This new 6-week workshop is titled “Crafting Fantastic & Imaginative Worlds” and it uses The Writers Studio method of persona writing and critiquing. It begins Saturday, July 27, 2019.

The Writers Studio Tucson is holding eight-week writing workshops again this summer, and there are two options for the beginning level: I’m teaching Workshop Saturday mornings from 10:00am – 12:30pm starting July 20th. Lela Scott MacNeil is teaching Workshop Wednesday evenings from 6:30 – 9:00pm starting August 7th. Registration and the full list of courses including […]

Horror 101: The Way Forward edited by Joe Mynhardt explores a tremendous territory of information, advice, and experience with essays written by many different creatives who work in the genre. These essays are organized into four main sections about the horror genre itself, the artistic opportunities in horror, writing horror, and building and maintaining a career in horror. There are some very useful commonalities to be found between various essays, but there are many differences, too, and even contradictory information. I love that. I found this mix especially inspiring because it underscores just how much room there is for you and me to explore the genre as singular readers, writers, artists, and enthusiasts. Even when I told myself I would absolutely *NOT* emulate what a particular essayist has done in their career, I loved learning about their experiences and how this only proves how wide open horror is.

Book cover of Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting That You'll Ever Need by Blake Snyder, with a cat on the cover hanging from a frayed rope

The tone and humor might be a little dated, even insensitive and problematic at points, but there’s no question that Save the Cat by Blake Snyder is a book packed with useful, easily digestible, but comprehensive information. Ostensibly written for screenwriters, I think novelists and short stories writers will find this book equally as beneficial. It might even have a thing or two to teach poets.

A cozy corner of Story Land

A writing practice or process is individualized. You pay attention to your own patterns and preferences and begin to select the steps and tools that work best for you. You carve out your own space and time for writing. You reject what isn’t helpful and you practice what is. I’ve spent the past few weeks doing all of this and with my fledgling new writing process I crafted the first draft of a 5000-word short story. I’m not offering the details of my writing process as a model for what will work for you. Mine is just one example of a writing process that will hopefully inspire you to build your own.

The Writers Studio Craft Class Spring 2017 reading list

It occurs to me that I haven’t written much about The Writers Studio workshops I’ve been attending regularly for the past year. It has been such a positive experience that I think I have been trying to keep it all to myself. No more. This is the real deal and writers no matter what their level of craft may find The Writers Studio helpful.

The problem with some men (Many? Just me?) in their twenties is that they won’t shut up and listen. Instead they pronounce. Loudly. I pronounced on a writing forum that the only writers who are successful and published are those who sacrifice themselves entirely and painfully to their art. I called out people I believed would probably never be published to defend my pronouncement. I called out housewives and retirees specifically.

The Kick-Ass Writer by Chuck Wendig includes over 30 lists of 25 tips about various subjects like writing, rewriting, craft, and publishing. The tips are really helpful and comprehensive. Some of the tips are repeated, but I found that extremely useful; this is a good way to cement in my brain tips that might be especially helpful to me in the future. While I read the book from beginning to end, I think I’m going to enjoy it most by coming back to specific lists when I need inspiration at those particular steps in my writing.