Monday, 27 April 2009

Link Loveliness

Some more opinions on the wonderful world of writing...

25 Things About Being A Writer - Richard Dansky/Storytellers Unplugged

The 4 Plots Of SF & F - Parker Peevyhouse/The Spectacle

On Concepts - Nathan Bransford

How Writers Can Beat The Recession - Jane Smith

James Tiptree Jr. Award Winners

The James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award Council ( has just announced the two winners of the Tiptree Award:

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
and the short story collection, Filter House by Nisi Shawl.

The Award will be given out at Wiscon (the world's leading feminist science fiction convention)over 22nd - 25th May in Wisconsin, and the lucky winners will receive $1000 in prize money, an original artwork created specifically for the winning novel or story, and (as always) chocolate.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Nebula Awards

The SFWA's Nebula awards were given out last night at the Nebula weekend that was held in Los Angeles.

The winners are:

Best Novel: Powers by Ursula K. Le Guin
Best Novella: “The Spacetime Pool” by Catherine Asaro
Best Novelette: “Pride and Prometheus” by John Kessel
Best Short Story: “Trophy Wives” by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Script: WALL-E Screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Original story by Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter

Andre Norton Award: How a Girl of Spirit Gambles All to Expand Her Vocabulary, Confront a Bouncing Boy Terror, and Try to Save Califa from a Shaky Doom (Despite Being Confined to Her Room) by Ysabeau S. Wilce

Solstice Award: Kate Wilhelm, A.J. Budrys and Martin H. Greenberg.

SFWA Service Award: Victoria Strauss

Bradbury Award: Joss Whedon

Grand Master Award: Harry Harrison

Author Emerita: M.J. Engh

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Things Kids Say

I have just received this press release:

Can members of your writing group help us with a book we are producing to raise money for Barnardo's? We are looking for very short stories of about 100 words. They must be on the theme of "Things Kids Say" and should be funny illustrations of amusing things that children have said. We hope you can help because we need more material for the book and half of the £5.99 cover price goes to Barnardo's.

We launched the book with the help of actress and TV celebrity Lynda Bellingham recently, and your members can see more details and an interview with Lynda at

We are also looking for people to do simple black ink illustrations of some of the funny stories, so if you can help in any way please let us know.

Many thanks, Peter Quinn, Managing Director, United Press

Sunday, 19 April 2009

The drinks are on them...

Alchemy Publishing News!

Jan Edwards has just had an interview with fantasy author Robert Holdstock published in Dark Horizons #54
Jan also had her story Nanna Barrows published in the same issue. This story was originally created as part of an Alchemy writing challenge last year!

Debbie Bennett will be having her story Hunt published in New Horizons #3 in June. This story was also an Alchemy writing challenge creation!

And Mike Chinn will be having his latest Damian Paladin story published in a forthcoming issue of Dark Horizons... more news when we have it!

Both Dark Horizons and New Horizons are magazines published by the British Fantasy Society - more info on them here...

SF & F Course

With thanks to Stephen Jones for passing the info along!


Kingston University London, Penrhyn Road Campus, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE
18th-21st May 2009, 6:00-9:00pm

"Science Fiction & Fantasy Writing" is designed to help you improve your creative writing techniques. This four-night crash course in what science fiction is -- and does -- is taught by one of Britain's most accomplished science fiction novelists, PAUL McAULEY -- author of 17 novels and over 70 short stories, and winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, John W. Campbell Award and Philip K. Dick Award.


The course is designed for everybody -- from beginners to long-time devotees of the genre -- and McAuley will provide workshop-style discussions of student work, overviews of the history of the genre, the current state of play, and the best ways of breaking into the market.

There will also be class exercises in brainstorming story ideas and narrative development, and class discussions of topics including good work habits, getting from idea to story, research and plausibility, world-building, interaction between character and narrative, and revision and preparation for publication.

Before the course begins, you are invited to submit 1,000 - 2,000 words of a work in progress. You can expect personal feedback -- by the instructor and the class as a whole -- of your work, and you will learn how to closely read and contructively critique others' stories, as well as how to revise and improve your own work.

At least one guest speaker will be featured.

FEE: £180 (£120 students -- student ID number required)


For more information contact the Short Course Administrator:
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 7790

More lovely links

Apostrophes Matter - Michael Marshall Smith

The Rise in Queries - Jessica Faust/Bookends LLC

What Editors Want - Jane Smith/How Publishing Really Works

QueryFail 2 - Colleen Lindsay/The Swivet

The ARC Thing - Justine Larbalestier

Digi-ARCS - Tobias Bucknell

The Reality of a Times Bestseller - L. Viehl/Genreality


Next Meeting

The date for the next Alchemy Meeting is still up for discussion but it will likely be in June.

And the challenge for next time is - write a story including/inspired by one of the following sentences:

And Jonathan jerks up from the floor screaming.

Cold darkness is comforting.

Just like in fairytales.

(For bonus points, include all three!)

Monday, 13 April 2009

DGLA Shortlist

The David Gemmell Legend Award Shortlist was announced last night...

Joe Abercrombie – Last Argument of Kings
Juliet Marillier – Heir to Sevenwaters
Brandon Sanderson - The Hero of Ages
Andrzej Sapowski - Blood of Elves
Brent Weeks - The Way of Shadows

Voting on it should start soon - see their website for more details.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

The Tipton Horror

This is taken from the Lit-Net website: "Do you want to be scared? Then Tipton Library is the place for you in May as two horror writers will be dropping in to talk about their novels. Joseph D'Lacey and Bill Hussey will be at the library on Tuesday 12th May as part of the Black Country Big Book Fortnight and will be on hand to share their experiences of horror writing and to answer questions. The event starts at 7.30pm and is free admission by advance ticket only. To reserve a place please call the library on 0121 557 1796". Sorry to say, I have not knowingly heard of these gentlemen before now. I did a quick websearch and both authors have MySpace pages. If you go along and want to report on the event, contact us, or add a comment.

BSFA Award Winners

Announced at Eastercon on 11th April, are the winners of the BSFA (British Science Fiction Association) awards.

Best Novel
The Night Sessions by Ken MacLeod

Best Short Fiction
Exhalation by Ted Chiang

Best Non-Fiction
Rhetorics of Fantasy by Farah Mendlesohn

Best Artwork
Subterfuge cover by Andy Bigwood

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Links galore

Pop over to the SToW blog -- I've posted a number of links to websites detailing online markets and story & poetry competitions.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Writerly Link-Fest

What other people have been saying about writing, publishing and all points in between...

The Paradox of Becoming a Writer - Brett Sandusky

Realities of Power In Publishing - Liz Williams

The Agent Bubble - Janet Reid

What Not To Do When You Get A Rejection - Colleen Lindsay

Book Contract Overview - Jim Hines

Self Promotion - Colleen Lindsay

Apprenticeships in Fiction

If you fancy trying your hand at an apprenticeship, Adventures in Fiction is offering a one year professional development programme for first-time novelists

There are five subsidized placements for first-time novelists of commercial and literary fiction, including one for crime, one for fantasy and one for fiction for children and young people (9+). The placements, which have an individual value of over £2,750 will take the form of an apprenticeships with a professional writer working in a similar genre.

In its first three years, the scheme has already resulted in a publication and referred a further six writers to literary agents. Four writers have also secured funding, two from Arts Council England, one for an individual mentoring programme with Adventures In Fiction and one to support an apprenticeship placement.

The financial assistance of Arts Council England has enabled them to offer an award of £1000 towards each apprenticeship. (A subsidy of over 36%.)

INDUCTION: 3rd September 2009

For further information go to