From the Odyssey Writing Workshop:
Each summer, writers of the fantastic come from all over the world to attend the Odyssey Writing Workshop. Odyssey is one of the most highly respected programs for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Only fifteen are admitted. Fifty-nine percent of graduates go on to professional publication.
Odyssey is for developing writers whose work is approaching publication quality and for published writers who want to improve their work. The six-week program combines an advanced curriculum with extensive writing and in-depth feedback on student manuscripts. Top authors, editors, and agents have served as guest lecturers, including George R. R. Martin, Jane Yolen, Terry Brooks, Robert J. Sawyer, Ben Bova, Nancy Kress, Jeff VanderMeer, Holly Black, Catherynne M. Valente, and Dan Simmons.
This summer’s workshop runs from JUNE 8 to JULY 17, 2015. Class meets for at least four hours each morning, five days a week. That time is split between workshopping sessions and lectures. While feedback reveals the weaknesses in students’ manuscripts, lectures teach the techniques necessary to strengthen them. Intensive lectures cover the elements of fiction writing in depth. Students spend about eight hours more per day writing and critiquing each other’s work.
The program is held on Saint Anselm College’s beautiful campus in Manchester, NH. Saint Anselm is one of the finest small liberal arts colleges in the country, and its campus provides a peaceful setting and state-of-the-art facilities for Odyssey students. College credit is available upon request.
The early action application deadline is JANUARY 31, and the regular application deadline is APRIL 8. Tuition is $1,995, and housing in campus apartments is $830 for a double room and $1,660 for a single room.
Odyssey graduate Sara King is sponsoring the Parasite Publications Character Awards this year to provide financial assistance to three character-based writers wishing to attend. The Parasite Publications Character Awards, three scholarships in the amounts of $1,995 (full tuition), $500, and $300, will be awarded to the three members of the incoming class who are deemed extraordinarily strong character writers, creating powerful, emotional characters that grab the reader and don’t let go.
Several other scholarships and a work/study position are also available.
Odyssey’s Director and Primary Instructor
Jeanne Cavelos is a best-selling author and a former senior editor at Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing, where she won the World Fantasy Award for her work. As an editor, Cavelos gained a reputation for discovering and nurturing new writers. She provides students with detailed, constructive critiques that average over 1,500 words each. She also meets individually with students several times over the six weeks to discuss their progress and explore ways in which their writing process might be altered to improve weak areas. These discussions often lead to breakthrough insights.
Comments from the Class of 2014
“Jeanne is an amazing, supportive, and nurturing mentor. This has been one of the most transformative experiences of my life, and I say that as a veteran of the Marine Corps who has spent a significant amount of time in combat zones. This is the best investment that I have ever made in myself. I think it was worth every penny and every minute away from home, loved ones and work. I was completely unprepared for how amazing and special this workshop was for me.”
“I have three graduate degrees, but I can easily say that Jeanne Cavelos is the best instructor I’ve ever had. I came to Odyssey with specific ideas about what the problems were in my fiction. During the first week, I learned I had problems with my fiction that I didn’t even realize I had. Jeanne, though, teaches us that those problems should not overwhelm fiction writers; instead, she teaches us how to solve them.”
Our 2015 Writer-in-Residence
Kij Johnson is widely considered one of the top fantasy/science fiction writing teachers in the country. She is the author of three novels–two fantasies set in classical Japan, The Fox Woman and Fudoki, and a Star Trek: The Next Generation novel–and a short story collection, At the Mouth of the River of Bees. Since 2008, her short fiction has won the Nebula Award (three times), the Hugo, and the World Fantasy Award. In the past she has worked in book publishing, comic books and graphic novels, and RPGs and trading card games. She received her Master of Fine Arts from North Carolina State University and teaches at the University of Kansas, where she is associate director for the Center for the Study of Science Fiction.
Other Guest Lecturers
Lecturers for the 2015 workshop include some of the best teachers in the field: authors Brendan DuBois, E. C. Ambrose, Alma Alexander, and Alex Hughes; and top literary agent Jennifer Jackson.
Graduates of the Odyssey Writing Workshop have been published in the top fiction magazines and by the top book publishers in the field. Their stories have appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Analog, Asimov’s, Weird Tales, Lightspeed, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, and many more. Recent novels by Odyssey graduates include Low Midnight by New York Times bestselling author Carrie Vaughn, published by Tor Books; Elisha Magus by E. C. Ambrose, published by DAW; The Thickety by J. A. White, from HarperCollins; This Shattered World co-authored by Meagan Spooner, published by Disney-Hyperion; and Reflected by Rhiannon Held, from Macmillan Books.
Other Odyssey Resources and Services
The Odyssey site, odysseyworkshop.org, offers many resources for writers, including online classes, a critique service, free podcasts, a weekly discussion salon, writing tips, and a monthly blog. Those interested in applying to the workshop should visit the site or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.