Dragons in your pickle jar. Devils at the diner. Sentient space ships named for epic poetry. All these and more inhabit the pages of the annual Alphanthology, an illustrated collection of flash fiction by alumni of the Alpha SF/F/H Workshop for Young Writers. Alpha is a nonprofit, ten-day residential workshop for teen writers of genre fiction, held every summer in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.
Archive for the ‘The Craft of Writing’ Category
by Deborah J. Ross I love to take conventional wisdom and turn it on its head, following the tradition of rules are made to be broken but first you have to learn them. Beginning writers make mistakes. At least, I did, and I don’t know anyone who’s gone on to a successful writing career who didn’t. At […]
Anyone who grew up yearning to become a writer knows it’s hard to do it alone. The Alpha SF/F/H Workshop for Young Writers provides an environment for young writers ages 14-19 to build a community of likeminded wordsmiths. Each year, 20 students spend 10 days on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh’s Greensburg campus, crafting a short story and participating in peer critique groups.
by Caren Gussoff Note: Part One appears here: Lit Fic Mags for Spec Fic Writers 101. Part Two appears here: Lit Fic Mags for Spec Fic Writers 102: Is It Literary? ••• Now, you’ve decided to submit to a literary market for a particular story. You’re hip to the fundamental differences between lit mags and SFF mags […]
by Caren Gussoff Note: Part One appears here: Lit Fic Mags for Spec Fic Writers 101 This may seem totally obvious, but is actually worth a deeper dive: if you want to market your speculative fiction to literary markets, it has to be significantly literary. Literary markets, though they may protest that they do not like/accept/read […]
by Caren Gussoff I’ve sat in a lot of panels — and eavesdropped on a bunch of conversations — lately, in which genre writers have asked, debated, and/or mused about crossing over from SFF magazines and journals into straight-up literary fiction ones. Seems to many, and I agree, that the notorious snobbery and befuddlement of […]
This manual is intended to focus on the special needs of the science fiction workshop. Having an accurate and descriptive critical term for a common SF problem makes it easier to recognize and discuss. This guide is intended to save workshop participants from having to “reinvent the wheel” (see section 3) at every session.
If your writing features a richly detailed universe, full of names, places, and historical events, you may want to explore using a wiki to chronicle it. A wiki’s structure allows intricate details to be recorded in a way that both preserves it in an easy to locate fashion but also allows devoted fans to browse the longtime story of your work.
There’s a difference between being a writer and wanting to be a writer. There are plenty of conversations about it, about whether payment, time spent, or day jobs land you on either one side or the other. But the consensus seems to be one major thing: writers write.
Too often the burden of “genius” is placed on the fragile shoulders of individuals trying desperately to create, to live up to expectations, to outdo their own previous creations, and to essentially justify daring to call themselves artists (or writers, or musicians, etc.) to begin with.