- Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction Short Stories
- The Art of the Book Review (2 hour online class)
- Editing 101 (3 week online class)
- Establishing an Online Presence for Writers (3 hour online class)
- First Pages (with Caren/GussoffLouise Marley, 2 hour online class)
- Flash Fiction Workshop (3 hour online class)
- Literary Techniques For Genre Fiction (3 hour online class)
- Podcasting Basics (2 hour online class)
- What You Need to Know About Electronic Publishing(2 hour online class)
Special Offer! Sign up by May 1, 2013 and get 10% off the class. This offer can be combined with the 10% discount given all former students.
To register for a class, mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, 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. 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
Section 1: Wednesday, 8-10 PM PST, June 5 – July 10
Section 2: Thursday, 1-3 PM PST, June 6 – July 11
Section 3: Saturday, 9:30-11:30 AM PST, June 8 – July 13
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. One two hour session; pick which you would prefer to attend.
Sunday, 9:30-11:30 AM PST, June 9 (will include guest speaker Nisi Shawl, who reviews for The Seattle Times)
This three week workshop 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. Classes are widely spaced to allow ample time for class assignments. Three 2 hour sessions.
- Week One: Developmental Editing
- Week Two: Editing at the Sentence and Paragraph Level
- Week Three: Editing and Publishing for a Living
Currently no section scheduled.
Flash Fiction Workshop
A three-hour session 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. One 2-hour session.
Sunday, 9:30 AM-12:30 PM PST, April 28
Sunday, 9:30 AM-12:30 PM PST, June 30
I’ve done this team-taught workshop several times with great success – this is our online version. You give us the first page 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. Single 2 hour session with co-presenter Caren Gussoff.
Sunday, 9:30-11:30 AM PST, June 16
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.
Sunday, 9:30-11:30 AM PST, July 14.
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, and Fantasy Magazine. Limited enrollment – reserve a slot now!
Sunday, 9:30-11:30 AM PST, July 7
What You Need to Know About Electronic Publishing
The two hour session spans the basics of formatting to the intricacies of electronic marketing distribution in order to give you the tools you need to survive in a rapidly changing publishing scene. Learn what to do with your e-book to publish and promote it. Co-taught with writer/publisher Tod McCoy of Seattle-based speculative fiction press Hydra House (hydrahousebooks.com).
Not currently scheduled.
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. One three hour session; pick the one you wish to attend.
Sunday, 9:30 AM-12:30 PM PST, July 21
NOT CURRENTLY TAKING TUTORIAL STUDENTS; WILL POST WHEN I OPEN FOR THIS AGAIN. If you’re interested in getting the equivalent of a mini-lesson, I suggest having me provide a development edit for a story. For $50, I’ll look at a story (5000 words or less) and give you feedback and market advice.