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Writers Workshop

Guidelines

SF, fantasy, horror and related- or sub-genres

The manuscript submission window will open May 1st, 2013, and will close July 31, 2013.

Submit your best work to the workshop just as you would submit your best work to an editor. Often a piece has problems that the author doesn’t know how to fix, and this is a good venue to explore solutions to those problems.

On the other hand this is not a good venue in which to present problems that you already know are there, know how to fix and haven’t gotten around to eliminating. Critique time is precious and goes by very quickly. It’s best spent on problems that are unknown or difficult for you to solve rather than the problems you already know how to take care of.

Short stories

Novel portions

Maximum 7500 words
Standard manuscript format
Include a one page cover letter
Electronic submissions preferred (Word or .rtf format)
Maximum 7500 words–highly recommended that you submit the first 7500 words.  Standard short story manuscript format (no need to submit as a standard novel submission with a separate title page.)Include a 500 word synopsis and a one page cover letterElectronic submissions preferred (Word or .rtf format)

Submission fees are $10.00 per manuscript. Email Carole Cole for mailing address for fees and hard copy submissions. Electronic submissions are preferred.

There will be NO REFUNDS for Submitted Manuscripts


Cover letter

Cover letter can be sent in the body of the email (if submitting electronically) or attached as a Word or RTF document. Cover letter should be no more than 300 words. Please include all your contact information (full name (not a pseudonym), email, mailing address, phone number).

Questions to answer in your cover letter:

  • How long have you been writing?
  • Are you part of a writer’s group?
  • Have you been submitting your work to genre markets?
  • Have you been published or do you plan to publish someday?
  • Do you have specific technical questions that you’d like answered, such as how to better employ point of view or how to deepen the setting without reverting to long expository paragraphs?

Novel synopsis

The Writer’s Workshop synopsis should be no more than 500 words and cover your entire novel, not just your excerpt. One possible method for the synopsis is to start with a single short paragraph about the main character and the main opening conflict. IF there are several main characters, focus on the most important one that the story follows most. Follow the character overview with a lively and heavily simplified description of the main plot. Include the ending. You might end the synopsis with either the consequences of the ending, an emotional overview, or description of the novel’s themes.

This is by no means the only way to write a synopsis, but it includes all the information the Writer’s Workshop requires (basic character, main plot, novel ending). You may find your synopsis will focus your editing and improve your work before you’ve even submitted it to the workshop, as it may reveal issues with the plot or characters you hadn’t noticed before.

The synopsis will not be critiqued, but it is required to put the novel excerpt in the proper perspective with the rest of the manuscript for those critiquing it. It is also good practice.

Standard manuscript format:

  • Double spaced
  • One inch margins
  • 12pt. Courier, Times or Times New Roman font
  • Paragraphs indented five spaces
  • No double returns at the end of paragraphs
  • Scene breaks marked by a # on a line by itself
  • First page:
    • On the upper left include your name, address, phone, email
    • On the upper right include the approximate word count
    • title and byline centered on the page
    • Text begins a double return after the byline
  • On all following pages, the header will have the following:
    • name
    • title of work (abbreviated if necessary)
    • page #

Please, no borders, images, illustrations, graphs or tables, html insertions, etc.

An example may be illustrative.

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