I’m back from the Land of Writers, better known as Lincoln City, Oregon, where I spent the last 8 days attending an Anthology Workshop with some of the most amazing writers and editors imaginable. Hosted by Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and their guest editors Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, John Helfers and Kerrie Hughes, and roughly 50 professional writers.
Before the workshop, we were challenged to write short stories for six themed anthologies for upcoming editions of FICTION RIVER. Each day, the editor for that themed volume and the other five editors would offer brief feedback on the author’s submission, and say whether or not they would buy the story. While only the editor of that edition had the final ‘buy’ or ‘sorry, but no buy’ decision, the ensuing discussions (and yes, sometimes arguments) between the editors gave us all priceless insight into the minds of the anthology selection process.
The process had all of us on the edge of our seats; not only in anticipation of what the editors would say, but since we had ALL read each other’s stories (about 250 in all) before the workshop we were rooting for our favorites to be included as well. By the end of the week, we were all exhausted and bonded in friendship to our fellow writers (sort of like camp without the mosquitoes). I am thrilled to announce that I sold my steampunk story to Kerrie Hughes, and my young adult fantasy story to Rebecca Moesta. Both will be released in 2015 editions of Fiction River. And as wonderful as that is, Kevin J. Anderson made a surprise announcement; saying that for the Pulse Pounders edition he’ll be editing in December 2014, there will be a previously unpublished short story by Frank Herbert (author of Dune)! Very cool.
And it wasn’t all about selling, either. Dean and Kris worked tirelessly to make sure every author got the opportunity to network with some of the most experienced and successful professionals in the business. We got a chance to sit down with other full-time writers and publishers and talk about business issues, how to approach audio publishing, cover design, and even writing for comics.
I made a lot of new friends and have a much better understanding of what being a part of a writer’s community means. Dean, Kris, Kevin, and Rebecca have been friends since before they sold their first novel. Their fine example of how they support each other, echoed by John and Kerrie, make me proud to be a writer and determined to support my fellow writers any way I can.
I love writers.