If you are a writer of science fiction, fantasy, or horror, and are considering a workshop to devote time to your writing, you should apply to Odyssey. It's a six-week summer workshop in New Hampshire.
I can't recommend it highly enough, speaking as a graduate. Not only do you get six whole weeks to devote to learning about, practicing, and developing your craft, but you learn how to recognize your strengths, how to address your weaknesses, and how to critique with a scalpel-sharp eye. You also--this is the best part--meet other writers and make new friends who share the same passion as you.
The deadline for this year's applications is April 7th.
Here is the press release with all relevant info:
ODYSSEY WRITING WORKSHOP ANNOUNCES ITS 17th SUMMER SESSION
Since its founding in 1996, Odyssey has become one of the most respected workshops in the science fiction, fantasy, and horror writing community. Odyssey is for developing writers whose work is approaching publication quality and for published writers who want to improve their work. The six-week workshop combines advanced lectures, exercises, extensive writing, and in-depth feedback on student manuscripts. Top authors, editors, and agents have served as guest lecturers, including George R. R. Martin, Harlan Ellison, Jane Yolen, Terry Brooks, Robert J. Sawyer, Ben Bova, Nancy Kress, Elizabeth Hand, Jeff VanderMeer, Donald Maass, Sheila Williams, Shawna McCarthy, Carrie Vaughn, and Dan Simmons. Fifty-six percent of Odyssey graduates go on to professional publication.
The program is held every summer on Saint Anselm College's beautiful campus in Manchester, NH. Saint Anselm is one of the finest liberal arts colleges in the country, dedicated to excellence in education, and its campus provides a peaceful setting and state-of-the-art facilities for Odyssey students. College credit is available upon request.
Jeanne Cavelos, Odyssey's director and primary instructor, is a best-selling author and a former senior editor at Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing, where she won the World Fantasy Award for her work. As an editor, Cavelos gained a reputation for discovering and nurturing new writers. She provides students with detailed, concrete, constructive critiques of their work. Cavelos said, "I've worked with many different writers, and I know that each writer thinks and works differently. We limit attendance at Odyssey to sixteen, so I can become deeply familiar with the work of each student and provide assessments of strengths and weaknesses. I work individually with each student, helping each one to find the best writing process for him, suggesting specific tools to target weaknesses, and charting progress over the six weeks," Cavelos said. Her typewritten critiques average over 1,200 words, and her handwritten line edits on manuscripts are extensive.
Odyssey class time is split between workshopping sessions and lectures. An advanced, comprehensive curriculum covers the elements of fiction writing in depth. While feedback reveals the weaknesses in students' manuscripts, lectures teach the tools and techniques necessary to strengthen them.
The workshop runs from June 11 to July 20, 2012. Class meets for four hours in the morning, five days a week. Students spend about eight hours more per day writing and critiquing each other's work. Prospective students, aged eighteen and up, apply from all over the world. The early admission application deadline is JANUARY 31, and the regular admission deadline is APRIL 7. Tuition is $1920, and housing is $790 for a double room in a campus apartment and $1580 for a single room.
Meet Our 2012 Writer-in-Residence
Odyssey's 2012 writer-in-residence, Jeanne Kalogridis, is the New York Times best-selling author of more than thirty books ranging from historical novels to dark fantasy to novelizations. She has written in many different genres, and has even written several nonfiction titles. Her novels are renowned for their detail and evocativeness. Her trilogy The Diaries of the Family Dracul was described as “authentically arresting” by the New York Times and “terrifying” by Robert Bloch, the author of Psycho. Kalogridis is also an amazing teacher and mentor, who has taught at the American University in Washington, D.C.
Other Guest Lecturers
Lecturers for the 2012 workshop include some of the best teachers in the field: acclaimed authors Paul Park, Elaine Isaak, Barbara Ashford, and Craig Shaw Gardner; and top agent Jennifer Jackson.
Graduates of the Odyssey Writing Workshop have been published in the top fiction magazines and by the top book publishers in the field. Their stories have appeared in Realms of Fantasy, Analog, Asimov's, Weird Tales, Lightspeed, Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show, and Fantasy Magazine. Some of the recent novels published by Odyssey graduates are Kitty’s Big Trouble by Carrie Vaughn, published by Tor Books; Spellcast by Barbara Ashford, published by DAW; Jane and the Raven King by Stephen Chambers, published by Sourcebooks; and Sword of Fire and Sea, by Erin Hoffman, published by Pyr Books.
Martin Larsson, from the class of 2011, had this to say about his Odyssey experience: “The six weeks of Odyssey were a roller-coaster ride of inspiration, inadequacy issues, laughter, tears, learning and despair. Somehow, with Jeanne at the helm, we navigated through all this and came out the other side, forever changed into better writers and better people. I came away from Odyssey with knowledge I didn't know existed and inspiration I've never felt before. Apply. Apply now.”
Comments from the Class of 2011
"I have a bachelor's in Spanish literature, an M.F.A. in writing, and a Ph.D. in linguistics, but nobody has ever taught me about writing the way I've been taught at Odyssey." --Donna Glee Williams
"The Odyssey course is amazing! What a privilege to be able to experience this level of teaching! The incredible amount of progress that each participant made during the course speaks for itself. Fantastic, inspiring teaching in a supportive and encouraging environment!" --K. V. Lavers
Other Odyssey Resources and Services
The Odyssey Web site, www.odysseyworkshop.org, offers many resources for writers, including online classes, a critique service, free podcasts, writing and publishing tips, and a monthly LiveJournal, as well as more information about how to apply. Those interested in applying to the workshop should visit the Web site, phone (603) 673-6234, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.