Last summer my life changed forever–I attended Odyssey, a six week intensive writing workshop for writers of speculative fiction led by the inestimable Jeanne Cavelos. It was amazing, trying, thrilling, exhausting. I learned so much that I am still learning what I learned. I never so loved being around a group of strangers, but they weren’t strangers exactly–we all love writing, reading, and the life in words. I met a whole group of my sisters and brothers of my dreamworld. We wrote up apocalypses that destroyed cultures and whole worlds then the next day we birthed new ones; we created horrors and dreams, monsters and gods, and then we met for dinner.

If you are considering investing in your writing, in yourself as a writer, and have considered applying to Odyssey, do! I did not get accepted my first round of applications to the three big workshops (Odyssey, Clarion, and Clarion West). But I kept writing and bettering my craft and the next time I applied, last year, I was wait-listed and then accepted to two of these fine institutions. The process of applying is a worthy process–you can learn from it regardless of outcome. But it’s the only way to be accepted into one of these programs.

Write your heart out, revise, and apply!

ImageHere’s a brief description from Jeanne:

The application deadline for this summer’s Odyssey Writing Workshop is April 8.  If you want to make a big leap forward with your writing skills, now is the time to apply to Odyssey.  Graduates have repeatedly said that six weeks at Odyssey has taught them more than a two-year master’s program in creative writing, and more than years of study on their own.

We have a wonderful session prepared for this summer, with guests including Catherynne M. Valente, Ellen Kushner, Elizabeth Hand, and Gordon Van Gelder.  Our writers-in-residence, Melanie Tem and Steve Rasnic Tem, taught at Odyssey 2005 and are among students’ most beloved writers-in-residence.  I was thrilled when they agreed to teach again this year.

You can find more workshop information here:  http://www.sff.net/odyssey/workshop.html

And you can find instructions on how to apply here:  http://www.sff.net/odyssey/apply.html

Saint Anselm College, photo credit: Kate Hall

Saint Anselm College. Photo credit: Kate Hall (fellow Odyssey ’13 graduate)