Upcoming Online Classes

Cartoon of Cat Rambo

Done at PenguinCon, but alas I don't have the name of the artist!

10% discount given all former students, except for the Advanced Workshop. To register for a class, mail me at catrambo@gmail.com and indicate which class or classes you would like to register for.

Why take a class with me? As both 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. I have been shortlisted for the Endeavour, Locus, Million Writers, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award.

My teaching experience includes Clarion West, the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars, Towson State University, and Bellevue College. I’ve studied with John Barth, Stephen Dixon, Grace Paley, Octavia Butler, Karen Joy Fowler, John Crowley, and Connie Willis, among others. Former students can testify that I’m an engaged and entertaining instructor who motivates you to write while providing feedback on the work you produce. See what they’ve said about the class.

These classes are taught online, using Google+ Hangouts, which has proven robust and easy to use. If you’re worried about the degree of technological skill required, my 70+ mother can testify that when she attended the First Pages workshop, we had her computer ready to go within a couple of minutes and she had no trouble with the technology. :) You do need a computer with a microphone at a minimum, but headphones are suggested and a webcam is best so people can see you participate. Each class is limited to eight or nine students, depending on whether or not there will be a guest speaker.

If you have previously taken a class with me (either online or in-person), you are entitled to a 10% discount on class prices, including early reservation prices, except on the Advanced Workshop. Please check if you think you should be receiving the friends and family rate.

Reserve a section by mailing me at catrambo AT gmail.com and indicating whether you would like to pay by check or Paypal. Indicate which class(es) you are signing up for.

Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction Short Stories
This six week workshop focuses on the basics of writing speculative fiction short stories, including plotting, creating believable and engaging characters, world-building, what to do with a story once it’s finished, dealing with editors and markets, and other necessities. Students will have the opportunity to workshop at least one story over the course of the class and will also be writing and sharing weekly writing assignments. Six 2 hour sessions; limit of 8 students

  • Week One: Introductions, Story Structures, and Plotting
  • Week Two: Characters and Dialogue
  • Week Three: World-building
  • Week Four: Description, Delivery, and Devices
  • Week Five: Revising and Rewriting
  • Week Six: Everything Else

6 sessions
Section 1: Monday evenings, 6-8 PM PST. January 5, 12, 19, 26, February 2, 9, 2015
Section 2: Saturday mornings, 9:30-11:30 AM PST, January 10, 17, 24, 31, February 7, 14, 2015
$179 for former students; $199 for new students

Advanced Story Workshop
In this six-session class we will workshop two to three stories each session along with a lecture on a specific aspect of story writing and an (optional) writing exercise. Only students who have taken the Writing F&SF Story class or who have comparable experience. Limit of 8 students per section.

Wednesday evenings, 4-6 PM PST. January 7, 14, 21, 28, February 4, 11, 2015
$179 for former students; $199 for new students

Character Building
One session: A combination of lecture and writing exercises will get you writing interesting, rounded characters that your readers can identify with, whether hero or villain. Learn how to write convincing interesting dialogue as well as how to flesh out a character so they come alive. Limit of 8 students.

Saturday morning, February 28, 2015, 9:30-11:30 AM PST.
$89 for former students; $99 for new students

Editing 101
This class targets editing both other people’s works as well as your own. Students have found that learning to trust their editing skills has made them more productive when producing early drafts. Topics include how to edit at both the sentence and story/book level, working well with writers, theory of ToCs, electronic publishing, copyright, and making a living as an editor.

Sunday morning, January 18th, 9:30-11:30 AM PST
$89 for former students; $99 for new students

Flash Fiction Workshop
One day workshop focusing on flash fiction consisting of a mixture of lecture, in-class writing exercises, discussion of how to turn fragments into flash, and an overview of flash fiction markets. Come prepared to write! 8 students per section.

Saturday, December 20th, 9:30-11:30 AM PST
Sunday, February 22, 9:30-11:30 AM PST
$89 for former students; $99 for new students

First Pages:
Give us the first 500 words of your novel and we’ll critique and discuss it in a way that will be helpful with the overall work as well as talking about agents, and editors and how important the first page is when engaging them. More than one student has told me this was the single most useful workshop they’ve ever had. Co-presenter Caren Gussoff.

Sunday morning, January 4, 2015, 9:30-11:30 AM PST.
$89 for former students; $99 for new students

Establishing an Online Presence for Writers
Not sure what to do about blogging and social networks? Concerned about using them effectively rather than as a means of procrastination? In this three hour class, we’ll talk about what works and what doesn’t, the basic online presence any writer should have, how to measure what you’re doing to see if it’s working, and how to use that time to sell books.

Sunday morning, February 15th, 2015, 9:30 AM-12:30 PM PST
$89 for former students; $99 for new students

Podcasting Basics
Podcasts, both audio and video, are an increasingly popular way to reach an audience. In this two hour session, learn what you need to know to record and edit your own podcast, how to promote your podcast, and what equipment and software to use. As Folly Blaine, Christy is a professional audiocaster, and has also recorded podcasts for Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Every Day Fiction, Wily Writers, and This Mutant Life; Cat is the former fiction editor of Fantasy Magazine and has recorded podcasts for Clarkesworld, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Fantasy Magazine, and her own promotional use.

Sunday morning, February 8th, 2015, 9:30-11:30 AM PST
$89 for former students; $99 for new students

Literary Techniques for Genre Fiction
Discussion and in-class writing exercises designed to introduce a number of techniques to use in your own writing such as foreshadowing, alliteration, rhythmic device, allusion, etc, and ways to test them out in short fiction as well as discussion of when and where to use them.

This is the class that produced Rachel Swirksy’s Hugo-winning flash piece, “If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love.”

Sunday morning, February 1, 2015, 9:30-11:30 AM PST.
$89 for former students; $99 for new students

Moving Your Story From Idea to Finished Draft
Come with a story idea, no matter how vague. We’ll discuss several ways of plotting a story, as well as engaging in class exercises designed to hone your plotting skills. Learn how to build a roadmap for your story that will help you complete it.

Sunday morning, December 21st, 2014, 9:30-11:30 AM PST
$89 for former students; $99 for new students

Delivery and Description
How do you give the reader the evocative and interesting descriptions and information they need without boring them or making the story drag? How do you give them information without cluing them in that it’s important. This one day workshop will use discussion and writing exercises to finetune your descriptive skill.

Sunday morning, January 25th, 2015, 9:30-11:30 AM PST
$89 for former students; $99 for new students

These one hour classes will focus on lecture and Q&A, and will not feature in-class writing or workshop. Each will focus on a specific aspect of writing or a career topic. Limited to 8 students. Cost is $19.99 for former students; $29.99 for new students.

  • Getting It Out There: Submissions How to find, research, submit to, and track markets, including reprint markets and yearly “best of” anthologies. What you must include in a cover letter — and what’s best left off the page. How to find out what current projects editors are working on, as well as how to approach them about submitting to those projects in a non-intrusive and graceful fashion. Friday morning, January 9th, 2015, 9:30-10:30 AM PST.
  • Everyone is Interesting: Interviews How to research a subject and create an interview that showcases why someone is interesting. Friday morning, February 20, 9:30-10:30 AM PST
  • Tessellated Voices: Anthologies, Collections, and Magazines Considerations for assembling as well as submitting to anthologies and themes issues, as well as what to think about when putting together your first collection or anthology proposal, including how to approach writers about reprints; pros and cons of crowdsourced projects such as Kickstarter, Patreon, and Indiegogo; and budgeting for such projects. Friday morning, January 30th, 2015, 9:30-10:30 AM PST.
  • The Choreography of Blows: Blocking How to block a scene so the reader has enough information to fill in the rest while also moving the scene along smoothly. Friday morning, February 6th, 2015, 9:30-10:30 AM PST
  • Doing the Policeman in Funny Voices: Reading Aloud How to read to an audience, either real or virtual. Friday morning, February 13th, 2014, 9:30-11:30 AM PST

I am not currently taking tutorial students.

I AM taking on developmental editing (not copy-editing) for $50 per short story, with a one-week turn around on pieces. (Price and turn-around depend on length for pieces greater than 8500 words.) If you have a piece you would like to have me go over and provide advice on, mail me.

If you’re interested in getting stories and commentary from me every month in your mailbox, check out my Patreon campaign. You can also find some new and reprint stories up on Amazon: Aquila’s Ring; Elsewhere, Between, Elsewhen; Grandmother; Her Windowed Eyes, Her Chambered Heart; Jaco Tours; Karaluvian Fale; Mirabai the Twice-lived; Narrative of a Beast’s Life; and Rappacini’s Crow. If you want to see flash, check out the pieces I’ve been putting up on Quarterreads.