Come to my Writing Workshop!

I’m teaching a 3-day writing workshop in November as part of the Miami Book Fair. The title of the workshop is: The Novelette, Science Fiction’s Little Jewel. Here’s a link to the official page. Each day is a 3-hour session for 9 total hours. After the break, I have a rundown of how I plan on running the workshop to try and entice you. I want that puppy full up! And I think the price is spectacular.

The goal of the workshop will be to help writers form the bones of a novelette in three days. We will briefly discuss the history of the short form and its importance to science fiction, how practicing with shorter works makes for a better written novel, and how new markets are opening up for shorter works. I’ll use WOOL and THE WALK UP NAMELESS RIDGE as examples, both for their writing, marketing, and how they were published. I plan on taking a stack of newspapers and magazine articles for writing prompts and will discuss how what we read informs our ideas for what we write. For the final two hours of the first day, I’ll have attendees brainstorm, outline, and begin writing, and make myself available to them for assistance and guidance.

The next day will be all about writing. I’ll begin with some tips that I’ve learned over the years, what I feel makes for decent prose (subjective, I know), and how not to get stuck. Each half hour, I’ll stop and impart some other prepared lesson or bit of advice. If anyone asks a question that I feel is germane to the group, I’ll write that on the board with a short answer. I’ll also be writing choice bits of prose or ideas that I see from others on the board.

Homework each night will be to read part of one of my stories to tie into a lesson the next day and to work on their own piece. I’ll explain the need to balance writing with all else life throws at us, stressing time management. Now will be the time for them to learn if they can handle the pace. Writing hard and swift makes for a tighter story, I’ll argue, and the prose can be cleaned up later. I’ll mention NaNoWriMo, even though this will be in the middle of November. Camp NaNo is always going on, I’ll explain. On the last day, I’ll give advice for a top-down approach to publishing their piece once they get done with it.

Sounds awesome, eh? If you can get the time off and live in the area, join up. Oh, and the description might say 9 am to noon every day, but I’m pretty sure it’s from 2 pm to 5 pm. I’m hoping the workshop fills up, so spread the news and sign up fast!

18 responses to “Come to my Writing Workshop!”

  1. “The Master, Hugh Howey, reveals his secrets to creating the kind of powerful literary crack that makes the book fiends smoke every page.”

    That’s what I wrote in response to yesterday’s post outlining your schedule. Your workshop sounds awesome. I just know it will be a hit. *Sigh* Too bad I can’t be there. :(

    To that end, I hope someone can video the whole thing and then make it available to the unfortunate. We’d be grateful.

    1. It would be cool if we could. But who would watch 9 hours of us writing and gabbing?

      1. Good point. But what if someone were to record the whole thing as audio and edit out the “boring” parts (when everything goes silent and actual writing is taking place)?

        As for the gabbing, that may prove useful. ;)

  2. Wow, if only I didn’t live on the other end of the country. Well, its for the best. You would have to gag me or kick me out into the hall.

    1. You are funny!

  3. I want to come/go!!!!!

    You will just have to plan to do it over here in the SF Bay area sometime soon. Or maybe Truckee, CA? We’ll put you up!

  4. Avatar

    I’m so hyped about this! Logic and critical thinking negates any belief of “karma”, yet for some unknown reason I gotta believe that all the advice, guidance and motivation you will be giving us will be returned to you in spades. Thanks so very much in advance, Hugh.

    1. Avatar

      PS: In spite of my previous documented “behavioral problems” in academic settings, I promise to behave and be orderly in the classroom.

  5. Hugh, just stay home writing!!!
    Just finished First Shift, and I need mooore…
    You made a junkie of me!
    I see Second shift still at 71%, argh
    Any approximate release date? Please tell me it’s within 2012… I need another fix …

    1. Should be in a few weeks or so. I hope!

      1. I’m just as hooked and checking Second Shift’s progress every day. Can’t wait!

  6. I suggest bringing a huge wooden paddle to deter any kind of foolishness from the attendees. Just place it in the front of the room and pick it up from time to time! 3:)

  7. Hey, Hugh. I’m also intensely interested in this but also stuck on the opposite coast. I would, however, be more than ready to buy the ebook version of your seminal that I hope/pray will come out of this endeavor. Please, oh please, write it!

    1. Seminar, not seminal. Oof. I suppose it could be a seminal seminar, but…damned fingers.

    2. I agree with the idea for an e-book version of the class. It sounds like great material. I hope that you’ll compile your notes and make them available on Amazon.

  8. So tempting! So close! But out of my budget this year. :(

  9. I just signed up for your workshop! So excited to meet you and learn more about how to write and develop a story more succinctly! I wrote my first novel three years ago (just over 400 pages) and after querying agents and getting rejection after rejection, I moved on to write my second novel, intending for that to be 200 pages or less…well, now two years and 400 pages later, I’ve finally decided to self-publish my first novel as I finish this second one!

    1. Congrats on getting your novel out! I look forward to talking with you about your writing.

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