Author Archives: Cat

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.

Pitches and Synopses Workshop: Some Highlights

[View the story “Pitches and Synopses Workshop with Jennifer Brozek” on Storify]

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SFWA and Independent Writers, Part Three: Launches and Lurches

This third of a four part series about the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s decision to admit independently published writers talk about the first wave and SFWA’s efforts to add value for those members. Here is Part One: History of the Organization and Part Two: Bringing in the Indies.
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Media Consumed in August

I had plenty of travel time in August, so yay for reading. My primary focus this month was to read as many of the Dragon Award nominees as I could before voting, but there were a number I just didn’t … Continue reading

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SFWA and Independent Writers, Part Two: Bringing in the Indies

In part one of this series, I talked about the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writes of America (SFWA) prior to the move to bring in the independent writers. This section will discuss the decision and the process, as well as some of the reactions. My sources in putting all of this together are my own faulty memory, my personal notes, and the Internet. The discussion of the indie admission took place in a number of venues, including e-mails, blog articles and comments, social media, and the SFWA discussion forums. In drawing on the latter, I have tried to ensure that I did not violate their confidentiality rules, quoting only with permission.

Nomenclature has varied, but when I refer to independently published writers, that is the same group that others have used self-published, self-pubbed, indie, and other terms to describe. Self-publishing has been conflated with vanity publishing in the past; I believe them two distinct things.
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Cat’s Schedule at GenCon 2017

Thursday 10 AM Story Craft: Where Do You Begin Your Story? 12 PM Writing 101: Careers – What a Writing Career Looks Like Friday Lunch plans 5 PM Business of Writing: Handling Problem People — From Divas to Needy Fans … Continue reading

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SFWA and Independent Writers, Part One: History of the Organization

As part of a Twitter conversation, one of my favorite gamewriters, Ken St. Andre, suggested I write up something about SFWA and independent writers that goes into enough detail that people can understand why — or why not — they might want to join. This is part one of a multi-part series that will talk about some of the history behind the decision, and in this first part I want to talk about the organization prior to admitting independent writers. Part two will discuss how SFWA came to change membership criteria in order to make it possible for people to qualify for membership with indie sales in 2016, and some of the changes made as part of planning for that expansion. Part three will focus on how SFWA has changed in the intervening time, while part four will look at what I see as the changes that will continue as we move forward over the next decade. In all of this, I’m trying to provide something of an insider’s look that may or may not be useful, but certainly will be full of many words.
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Summing Up July 2017

Over halfway through the year, and here’s some of the happenings for July. Online I taught workshops on Story Fundamentals, Flash Fiction, Writing Steampunk & Weird Western, Moving from Idea to Draft, and Editing 101. I’ll announce September and October … Continue reading

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Playing at Being Motivated: Habitica for Writers

One thing that was fascinating about this year’s Nebulas was the chance to meet so many people in the publishing industry, including a couple of the founders of Habitica.

Habitica is a motivational game. It lets you gamify your daily tasks and to-do list, turning them into challenges you face in the game. As you complete tasks, you gain levels and items in the game, giving you an extra push to get things done. You can also set it up so you lose points for doing things, if there’s habits you want to avoid. There’s a social aspect; you can join parties and guilds in order to share your progress with friends.

I am always on a quest for a method that will help me stay organized. Various systems have come and gone, some more successful than others, and I’ve learned a few things about how to make such systems more effective. As I share how I am using Habitica, I’ll include some insight into how that knowledge shapes that use. I’ve been logging into it consistently for two weeks now, and I believe it’s going to stick, because I’m finding it very effective for a) nudging me to do things, b) helping me remember stuff, and c) motivating me to use free time and options (like snacks) better.
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You Should Read This: Five Satisfying F&SF Series for Vacations

I just got back from a trip that included a couple long plane rides. I’m a very fast reader and finding a long, well-crafted series immersive enough to make me forget that my back is aching, the kid behind me … Continue reading

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Writing and Gender Class

Often when I add new classes, it’s because someone has specifically asked for them. I know whenever I teach something new, it’ll be a learning experience for me as well, because I’ll have to think hard, come up with an … Continue reading

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