Tag Archives: speculative fiction workshops

Why You Can’t Teach Writing

How do you learn to write? You learn by observing and doing, by reading good fiction and making attempts at your own. The truth is that writing is primarily self-taught, that the axiom that you must write a million words is on the mark, and that the first truth is this: To learn to write, you must be writing.

With my students who are writing and thinking about writing, I would have to actively give them bad advice like Play videogames rather than write. Don’t read anything. Only write when you’re in the mood. for them not to get better.
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Where I’ll Be: Cascade Writers Workshop

If you’re coming to the Cascade Writers Workshop, this is where you’ll find me. Friday: 9:30-10 AM: Registration and meet & greet with tea & coffee! Conference Room 10 AM-11:50 AM: Critique group meeting 1: Curtis Chen & Cat Rambo: … Continue reading

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Beginnings & Endings with Cat Rambo

Beginnings are sometimes the last thing a writer finishes, and they must lead gracefully into a work that ends with the same sense of panache. In a class that combines lecture with in-class writing exercises and discussion, learn how to use beginnings to create their counterparts and vice versa while looking at strategies for both. Continue reading

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Advice for Attending a Writing Workshop

A student wrote in to let me know they’d made it into Odyssey, huzzah, and asked if I had any advice about attending a workshop. As a matter of fact I do. Like many things in life, you get more out of a workshop if you’re willing to invest a little effort beforehand, during, and afterward.

I went through a number of workshops in college at both the undergraduate and graduate level, but the place where I learned the most was Clarion West, a six week workshop in Seattle. My instructors were Octavia Butler, Andy Duncan, L. Timmel Duchamp, Connie Willis, Gordon van Gelder, and Michael Swanwick; my classmates included Ann Leckie, E.C.Myers, Rashida Smith, and Rachel Swirsky, among others. If you read a lot of F&SF, you may recognize many of those names and realize how incredibly privileged I was to be part of that year.
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