We’ll be talking about writing, publishing, our anthology stories, and who knows what else during Apex’s regular Happy Hour livestream event on Tuesday, December 13th, at 8 PM EST. We’ll also be fielding questions that viewers leave in the livestream chat, so I definitely do not encourage you to ask about what is or isn’t a good idea to summon using public-domain magic during the course of, say, a livestream. NO ENCOURAGEMENT TO BE FOUND HERE.
So once more with feeling:
What: Happy Hour livestream event: Apex Magazine 2021 When: Tuesday, December 13th, 8 PM EST Where:Apex Magazine‘s YouTube
Back in October of 2021, I recorded a performance of my 2014 flash horror story “Your Hand in Mine, We’ll Be All Right” for Flash Fiction Online — it’s only recently that I remembered that I didn’t actually announce it on my own dang site. As we head into spooky season, though, I thought I’d toss up a link– enjoy!
(Some handy trigger warnings: body horror, self-harm, mutilation, fetal distress, and my questionable acting ability.)
I’m stretching my wings, folks, and taking 20+ years of experience writing, editing, and publishing — not to mention three-odd years’ worth of podcast hosting — to the classroom. This spring I’ll be teaching a practical, nuts-and-bolts approach to writing short fiction at Assabet After Dark, the largest adult continuing education program in metrowest Massachusetts.
From the catalogue:
Writing Short Fiction
Short fiction is an easy medium to attempt, a difficult one to master. We will focus on a practical, nuts-and-bolts approach to writing short fiction in multiple genres. You will discover different narrative techniques, tips for effective dialogue, plotting a short story versus plotting a novel, and how to submit your work and where. You will workshop your story one-on-one with the instructor, with the goal of having a completed, ready-to-submit short story by the end of the course.
It’s six classes, one a week in 2-hour blocks every Tuesday from March 8 to April 12. The only cost is the course fee, which I haggled down to $85 to keep the cost of entry low for those who might otherwise not be able to afford writing classes. Representative demos of my approach to writing (both the art and the commerce thereof) can be found on my blog post about How to Sell Your Fiction, my appearances at conferences, or my co-hosting gig on the No Story Is Sacred podcast.
But! I recognize that not everybody is in or around Massachusetts, or would feel comfortable with in-person teaching right now. (VERY fair.) So here’s the skinny — I’m offering two options to people who want to be part of this, regardless of where you are in the world.
Option 1 – In Person: This is an open class (though spaces are limited — ETA 2/11/22: And is now using a waitlist!). If you’re in Massachusetts and want to make the drive, you can register to attend the “live” course, whether that ends up being in person or over Zoom. Registering for the in-person course gets you access to:
12 hours of dedicated live teaching
One-on-one short-story workshopping and support with me
A course site with resources and copies of the presentations for later review
Access to a dedicated Discord server to talk over assignments, ping me and others for help, and generally build a writing community for those who may not have had one previously
Option 2 – Online-Only: For those who still want to be part of a community and learn along with others in an online setting, I’m creating a special role in this class’s Discord server called “Virtual Student”. You’d be locked out of the in-person class channels, but everything else will be open for you, including:
Workshop-versions of future classes
Crowd-sourced resources, open submission calls, and general support
And that’s it! This is a new direction for me, but one I’m very excited about.
ETA: 12/6/22: Online-only server access closed for now! Check in again in the spring of 2023 for another opening~
Have an idea for classes or talks you’d like to see, or other topics you’d like me to address? Drop me a line and I’ll add it to the list!
Holy crackersnacks, I was invited to be a panelist at Worldcon! This year it’s being hosted by Discon III from December 15-19, 2021, in Washington, DC. Paraphrasing their site bio a little, Worldcon is the annual convention of the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS); it was first held in 1939 and, with a pause for WWII, has been held continuously since 1946. The Hugo Awards, the Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book, and the Astounding Award for Best New Writer are all given at this convention, and this is my first time being a panelist at it. I am very excited.
My schedule is below:
Logistics of Off-World Disasters Format: Panel (Virtual)
16 Dec 2021, Thursday 1:00 PM EST
Complex logistics are required to respond to mundane natural disasters. How could we handle a natural disaster occurring on another planet or in space? What additional political and diplomatic complications arise when working on an interplanetary scale?
Katherine Crighton, Malka Older, Sandy Manning, Jennifer Rhorer (mod)
Ask an Editor: Long-Form Writing Format: Panel (Virtual)
16 Dec 2021, Thursday 4:00 PM EST
What makes a good novel? How do you know it’s ready? Where should you send it and how should you respond to comments? This is your chance to ask burning questions to a panel of respected agents and editors.
George Jreije, Katherine Crighton, Navah Wolfe, Patrick LoBrutto, Trevor Quachri, Joshua Bilmes (mod)
The Public Domain We Don’t Have Format: Panel (Onsite and Virtual)
17 Dec 2021, Friday 1:00 PM EST
Entertainment industry lobbyists keep pushing copyright life further and further into the future. If copyright in the U.S. hadn’t been extended in 1976 and again in 1998, many more works would now be in the public domain. Join us to discuss the fun mashups we might have had if copyright extension hadn’t passed. Bring your own soapbox.
Avani Wildani, Katherine Crighton, Tenaya Anue, Jennifer Rhorer (mod)
Publishing Your E-Book Format: Panel (Onsite)
17 Dec 2021, Friday 2:30 PM EST
What is the process for self-publishing your own e-books? Who should you hire to create a high-quality product and make it stand out? Where can you sell it beyond Amazon? Come and learn how to get your e-books published and noticed by the right readers.
Brenda W. Clough, Katherine Crighton, Matthew S. Rotundo, Tao Wong, DH Aire (mod)
Real Estate in Space Format: Panel (Onsite)
18 Dec 2021, Saturday 11:30 AM EST
Space law is a real, existing field of law, but it’s only beginning to touch on the complexity of property rights in space. The Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies is the international treaty that addresses these issues, but current events suggest that we may soon reach the limits of its provisions. What happens when Elon Musk tries to sell you a condo on Mars?
Katherine Crighton, Penelope Flynn, RWW Greene, Su J Sokol, D. Wes Rist (mod)
Reading: Katherine Crighton and Benjamin Rosenbaum Format: Reading (Onsite)
Join me at Readercon (August 13-15, 2021), gone virtual and running for the low weekend price of $25 this year. It’s a conference on imaginative literature that focuses almost exclusively on the written work, and I’ve loved it for years.
I’m also on a couple of panels this year, and moderating one of them, so you’ve got plenty of opportunities to either see me via Zoom or watch the panels after the fact. The topic I get to talk about are amazing, and I’m delighted by the panelists I get to spend time with.
My schedule is below:
Reading Fantasy Through a Motif Index Lens Format: Panel
14 Aug 2021, Saturday 11:00 AM EST – Main Track 1
Folklorists use motif indexes to catalog and analyze folk tales from around the world. The existence of TV Tropes suggests the need for new motif indexes that fit new forms of literature, but we can also apply folklore motif indexes to 21st-century fantastical fiction. Which motifs have had staying power for hundreds of years, and what other expected or unexpected patterns do we find? What does treating fiction as folklore bring to the reading experience?
Content Tags: Implementation, Accommodation, and Ancillary Art Format: Panel
15 Aug 2021, Saturday 4:00 PM EST – Main Track 2
The increased prevalence of content tags has lead to growing questions around implementation. Useful for accommodation, content tags are also deployed on dynamic platforms such as AO3 to warn, advertise, and joke, becoming extra-diagetic material that is enjoyable on its own terms while providing meaningful context for the work. Still, there is a divide between those who want them and those who find them objectionable. How do content tags enhance and complicate reader experience, and what are emerging best practices that bookstores or publishers could adopt?
Join me at Boskone (February 12-14, 2021), which’ll be online and running for the low weekend price of $25 this year. It’s the science fiction and fantasy convention I grew up at, with discussions of books, science, art, games, music, and more.
Better yet, I’m on panels this year, and moderating one, so you get that many more opportunities to see me in glorious Zoom-vision. I’m getting to be with some extremely cool people, too, so I’m super excited about this.
No matter how realistic a character is, that doesn’t mean they will be relatable. So, what does it take to write a character who gels with the reader? How do you avoid friends of the protagonist being relegated to token sidekick status? What helps a reader understand and sympathize with protagonists who are far beyond their own lived experience? And how do you write them if they are beyond yours?
Christine Taylor-Butler (M), Paul Tremblay, Katherine Crighton, E. Lily Yu, Carlos Hernandez
Robots in fiction are often androids — bipedal, two arms, head on neck — people-shaped. After all, the term “robot” goes back to 1920 when Karel Čapek introduced it in his play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots). However, today’s robots have form following function e.g. robotic vacuum cleaners, pharmacy prescription-filling robots, and driverless automobiles. The panelists discuss how the image of the robot has changed and developed, both in fact and in fiction.
Suzanne Palmer, Katherine Crighton (M), S.B. Divya, Charles Stross
Cyborgs, constructed of flesh, bone, steel, and advanced technologies, are full of potential and possibility. Let’s talk about meldings of man and machine in fact and in fiction. Portrayals often focus on cyborgs’ humanity, or on their lack of it. When is which appropriate? What distinguishes cyborgs from augmented humans?
S L Huang, Katherine Crighton, Stephen P. Kelner (M)