For years and years, I set my writing goals–even the act of writing fiction–to the side. Life events had overwhelmed me. The mere task of getting by and raising my son consumed everything. It was… a bad time.
Then came the opportunity to apply to Viable Paradise. Here’s the description from the website:
“Viable Paradise is a unique one-week residential workshop in writing and selling
commercial science fiction and fantasy. The workshop is intimate, intense, and
features extensive time spent with best-selling and award-winning authors and
professional editors currently working in the field. VP concentrates on the art
of writing fiction people want to read, and this concentration is reflected in
post-workshop professional sales by our alumni.”
You, the writer, spend a week on Martha’s Vineyard, with professional writers and editors who are there to teach you, support you, and encourage you. This year’s instructors are writers Sherwood Smith, Steven Brust, Steven Gould, Elizabeth Bear, Debra Doyle and James MacDonald, and editors Patrick Nielson Hayden and Teresa Nielson Hayden.
You will be surrounded with fellow writers who want to take their stories from good to amazing, and who want to help you do the same thing. These writers don’t disappear at the end of the workshop. We keep in touch, beta read each other’s work, cheer progress and give support when times are tough, and generally enjoy each other’s company.
It is not an understatement to say Viable Paradise changed not only my writing, but the direction of my life. If you’d like to read my more personal accounts of the experience, you can check out my entries from LiveJournal here and here. Once you’re at LiveJournal, you can click the “viable paradise” tag on the left and see other entries that touch on the experience as well.
If you have questions, ask them here or there.
If you think you might like it, apply–the sooner the better.
If you know someone who might be interested, give them the link.