What We Talk About When We’re Not Talking About Writing

Tonight’s the final session of the recent Thursday F&SF class, and it’s the one labelled in my notes as “Everything Else.” All the career stuff, the mechanics of submissions, how to schmooze at conventions, foreign reprints, agents, etc. Here’s the rough outline from my notes.

Submitting manuscripts – how, why, formatting, cover letters
Why everyone should do a stint reading slush
Researching markets – resources & strategies
Contracts and rights
Agents – do you want one and what they do for you, plus how to find one
Reprints – why? international and audio markets
SFWA – why? Plus other professional organizations.
Writing contests and entry fees
Writing workshops and classes
Finding a writing group (and why)
Conventions – getting on panels, schmoozing, professionalism
Readings – resources and why you should do them
Online presence – yes or no, and if so, what?
Taking care of yourself as a writer
Basic networking strategies

What other questions spring to mind in looking at that list? What’s the most useful thing anyone ever told you, and what are your resources for figuring some of this out?

(If you’re intrigued by the Writing F&SF class, I’ll remind you there’s a special deal going on for people signing up for the class that starts this Saturday, as well as a discount for early sign-ups to the Jan/Feb sections of it.)

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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 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov's, Clarkesworld Magazine, and the magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Her story, "Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain," from her 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. She is the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She is currently working on Exiles of Tabat, the third book of the Tabat Quartet. A new story collection, Neither Here Nor There, appears from Hydra House this fall.
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