News: Offering an Online Workshop

Photo of a black cat named Raven

Bonus: The virtual classroom may include sundry visits from Raven, who likes to know what's going on at all times.

Several people have been asking if I’d offer an online workshop and I’ve been thinking about how best to do that. So here goes. Please spread the word of this however you can. If I don’t get at least 3 students for a workshop, I’ll cancel it.

Workshop 1 — Wednesday evenings, 8 pm-10 pm PST, December 14, 2011-January 18, 2012
Workshop 2 — Saturday mornings 9:30 AM-11:30 AM PST, December 17-January 28, 2012 (I have to miss the 21st due to a convention).

Format: I’m going to offer two sessions, one on a weekday evening and the other on Saturday mornings, because I know schedules vary. The class will run six weeks, with a two hour session each time. I would like to schedule workshop time into that, where you’ll get a chance to read and critique each other’s stories, as well as a chance to hear me critique them, so starting with the second session, part of the class will be devoted to that (no more than 50%, tops). I’ll be doing the class as a Google Hangout, so we’ll all be chatting face to face, which means there is a limit of 9 students per class. There will be an optional make-up session for both workshops for people who had to miss a class or two along the line the week after the class ends.

Focus: The focus is the short story – how to come up with an idea, how to write it, how to revise, and how to submit it. There will be weekly writing exercises and optional reading. The final class will include career stuff, market advice, and a few funny anecdotes.

Why take a class with me? As both a writer and editor, I bring a focus that lets me advise you from both sides of the desk. My experience as the fiction editor of award-winning Fantasy Magazine as well as short story collections and anthologies combined with the fact that I’m a working, selling writer helps me provide you with solid, up-to-date market advice for both online and print publishing. My teaching experience includes the Johns Hopkins University, Towson State University, and Bellevue College and I’ve studied with John Barth, Stephen Dixon, Octavia Butler, and Connie Willis, to name just a couple of people I’ve had the pleasure of learning from. Former students can testify that I’m an active, engaged, and entertaining instructor who gives careful and considered feedback on their work.

Value adds: As part of the class, I will be happy to critique an extra story (up to 10k words) afterwards and offer market advice. The offer expires after a year.

Cost: Well, it’s an experiment, so I’m basing this off comparable workshops I teach. I am charging $199 per person, but will make it $149 if you sign up before midnight PST November 30. I do take Paypal; contact me at spezzatura AT and we can work out details. If you can’t afford it and have some interesting barter to propose, let me know at the same address.

What if those times don’t work for you? Drop me a line. We can try to work something out.

Other questions? Drop me a line in the comments.

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About Cat

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 100+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov's, Clarkesworld Magazine, and Her short story, "Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain," from her story collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012.
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  • Alyc

    I’d love to take a workshop with you, but there are so many conflicts and travel and demands over the holidays that it’s a challenge just to get my daily word count done. Any chance you might be offering something like this again in the spring?

    • Cat

      If this ends up being successful (by which I mean it runs smoothly and allows me to pay bills and fund the next couple of cons), absolutely! So pass it along to all and sundry. ;)

  • Danielle Gembala

    I think you can count me as signed up for the Saturday session. I’ll drop you a message. I am excited!

    Which 21st are you missing – the December one or the January one?

    • Cat

      The January one – I’ll be at Confusion that weekend.

  • Ann Gimpel

    I am interested in the Wed evening workshop, even though it skirts my bedtime. Now if you’d offered it from, say, 5 in the morning . . . Ah, well, never mind. Let me know how to pay you through PayPal.

    • Cat

      At 5 in the morning, I fear all I could do is stare blankly at the screen in a most uninformative manner. Paypal to spezzatura AT is swell. Thanks!

  • Rosalind M Green-Holmes

    I was able to sit in on a reading of yours at the WFC this year. I would love to take the Wednesday class, but the time zone shift makes that a 10-12 midnight course for me, and I’ve got to be able to drive to work every Thursday morning. Please give me a nudge if the class times shift to an earlier period :)

    • Cat

      Absolutely, Rosalind! I’m going to tinker with the times next time I offer the class. Living on the West Coast makes evenings a little goofy time-wise.

      • Cat

        Rosalind – I’m offering a Thursday section at 4 pm PST. Drop me a line at if you’re interested.

  • Anne Barringer

    Do you still have room for the Wednesday night 8 – 10 class? If so, let me know I’m in. You already have taught me a lot just from reading your blog posts and I think this would be awesome.

    • Cat

      I do indeed!

  • Lauren @ Pure Text

    I don’t have the money or the time for this right now; however, it sounds like a great opportunity. Hope you fill the spots.

    • Cat

      Thank you, Lauren, I do too! :)

  • K. Richardson

    Another East Coaster struggling with the time change. I’ll keep watching to see if it gets any earlier. Very exciting idea!

    • Cat

      Doing an earlier one wouldn’t be tough. If next time I went for 4 pm PST, which is 7 PM EST, is that a time that would be good for East Coasters?

      • K. Richardson

        7EST/4PST would work very well for me.

        • Cat

          I’m offering a Thursday one at 4 PM PST – drop me a line at if you’re interested.

          • K. Richardson

            done! :)

  • Anne Barringer

    Excited for this! I have spread the word around. (If you need to change the time to get more people in, I don’t mind – either is good for me.)

  • Karen Munro

    Hi! This sounds great–is there still room in the Saturday workshop?

    • Cat

      There are three slots left in the Saturday class.

  • Miriah Hetherington

    Hi Cat,
    Do you have space left in your Wednesday evening class?

    • Cat

      I do!

  • Che Gilson

    Wow, this is really tempting. I’m not sure I can raise the funds in time for the first one but I will definitely be watching this site.

    Is the focus short stories only? Do you need new or old material? Will we be writing new stories for the workshop?

    • Cat

      The focus is short stories, and I’ll be pushing people to write new stories. There will also be a writing component for each class.

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  • Eduardo Filippi

    Hi, I’d be very interested on your workshop but unfortunately Paypal is not avaiable on my country, would it be possible for me to pay via credit card?

  • Che Gilson

    Hi! I emailed you about the workshop but haven’t heard back.

    I was wondering if the workshop was still going ahead, I wanted to join the Wed. evening one.

    • Cat

      Found your mail in my spam filter, sorry about that! Have replied.

  • Judith Thomasberg

    Hey Cat,
    Sounds great, unfortunately Dec. is crazy busy and besides my computer is playing Peek-a-boo with me; after x-mas is should all be mended ;) I hope you’ll do a class later.
    Have a great Holliday!
    :) Judith

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