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Writing the Unreal: The Whole Novel Workshop in Fantasy & Speculative Fiction 2015 | May 3 – May 10, 2015 WAITLISTED

Please note: this workshop is full. Send us an email to join our waiting list!

Do you write children’s or YA fantasy? Alternate history? Science Fiction? Magical realism? Paranormal romance? Fairy tale retellings? Horror? Bring it to The Whole Novel Workshop in Fantasy & Speculative Fiction!

Who should come?
This unique workshop is designed for anyone – with a complete or near-complete draft of a middle-grade or young adult novel in fantasy or speculative fiction who wants a thorough manuscript critique and help making plans for revision.

We’re using “fantasy” and “speculative fiction” as umbrella terms for all kinds of stories that bend reality. We want your dragons and space operas, your stories about real kids with strange powers, stories with monsters and ghosts and talking squirrels, apocalypses and dystopias, time travel, adventure stories with magic maps—of everything from the merest hint of magical realism to a fully invented world. If you’re wondering if something qualifies as fantasy or speculative fiction, then it probably does.

What can I expect from my critique?
The Whole Novel Workshop in Fantasy & Speculative Fiction offers writers the rare opportunity to have the entire draft of a novel read and critiqued prior to the workshop. You’ll get a detailed editorial letter from your faculty mentor along with a marked-up manuscript. We read your manuscripts very carefully and respond thoroughly in order to help you make your novel what it wants to be.

When you get to the workshop, you’ll have a one-on-one meeting with your mentor to further discuss your manuscript, and another meeting at the end of the week to map out a plan for revision.

What else happens over the week?
Mornings are free time at the workshop—you’ll have plenty of time to write, or take walks in the woods and think, or set up appointments with the faculty or grad assistants. In the afternoon, we’ll have lectures on craft and publishing, and discussions on writing and the marketplace. Evening offers more writing time. And of course, there are plenty of opportunities to sit around and talk with your fellow writers.

What else can I expect?
Awesome people, delicious food, a private cabin or room in the middle of an idyllic setting, friends for life. People who have attended the Whole Novel Workshop in Fantasy & Speculative Fiction have gone on to attend MFA programs and to publish articles, novels, and picture books. And that’s pretty magical.

About the Whole Novel Workshops
Founded in 2006, this session of the Whole Novel Workshop is specifically designed for those working in fantasy and speculative fiction. This unique program offers the one-on-one attention found in degree programs, but without additional academic requirements, lengthy time commitments, or prohibitive financial investments. Our aim is to focus on a specific fantasy, sci-fi, alternate-history, horror, or other imaginative work in progress, moving a novel to the next level in preparation for submission to agents or publishers. Focused attention in an intimate setting makes this mentorship program one that guarantees significant progress.

Our novel mentorship program includes:

  • Focused, one-on-one response to your entire novel-in-progress from an accomplished author and teacher currently working in the genre of fantasy & speculative fiction;
  • Group discussion and feedback;
  • Faculty seminars on technique, craft, query letters, and agent/editor submissions; and
  • Ample time to write and revise.

Our all-inclusive price means we provide transportation from the airport, lodging, all meals, unlimited snacks, and wireless Internet access.

Faculty & Special Guests

"The workshop--the whole experience--exceeded my expectations. I loved it!"—2014 attendee

Faculty member Laura Ruby shares some thoughts about the workshop: