- Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction Short Stories
- Advanced Story Workshop
- The Art of the Book Review
- Editing 101
- Building an Online Presence for Writers
- Character Building
- First Pages (with Caren/Gussoff)
- Flash Fiction Workshop
- Literary Techniques For Genre Fiction
- Moving Your Story From Idea to Finished Draft
- Podcasting Basics (2 hour online class)
10% discount given all former students, except for the Advanced Workshop. To register for a class, mail me at email@example.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. Tndicate 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.
- 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, $199
Tuesday evenings, 6-8 PM PST, Jan 7, 14, 21, 28, and Feb 4, 11
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.
Saturday mornings, 9:30-11:30 AM PST (Feb 1, 8, 15 and March 8, 15, and 22)
The Art of the Book Review
Where do you start if you want to become a book reviewer? Learn what resources and markets are available, as well as pitfalls to avoid. What should (and shouldn’t) be included in a book review? What ethical questions arise when reviewing books? What’s fair to say and what’s not? A two hour session talks about writing book reviews as well as what to do with them. Guest speaker Nisi Shawl reviews for The Seattle Times, Ms. Magazine, and the Cascadia Subduction Zone.
Not currently offered.
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.
Sunday, December 8, 9:30-11:30 AM PST OR Sunday, March 16, 9:30-11:30 AM PST.
This class, a shortened version of the three session 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, January 19, 9:30-11:30 AM PST.
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!
Sunday, December 15 OR Sunday, March 9, 9:30-11:30 AM PST.
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, January 12, 9:30-11:30 AM PST OR Sunday, March 9, 9:30-11:30 AM PST.
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. One 3 hour session.
On December 6, 2013, 10-11 AM PST there will be a free session of the class (limited to the first 8 sign-ups), which will also be broadcast on Google+.
Sunday, January 26, 9:30-11:30 AM PST.
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 records and acts as Podcast Manager for Every Day Fiction, and has also recorded podcasts for Beneath Ceaseless Skies, 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.
Saturday, October 12, 9:30-11:30 AM PST. This is the last time the class will be offered in 2013.
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.
Sunday, December 22, 9:30-11:30 AM PST OR Sunday, February 16, 9:30-11:30 AM PST
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, March 23, 9:30-11:30 AM PST.
I am not currently taking tutorial students.