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Writing the Unreal: The Whole Novel Workshop in Fantasy & Speculative Fiction 2018 | May 13 – May 20, 2018

Designed for anyone with a complete or near-complete draft of a middle grade or young adult novel in fantasy or speculative fiction.

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. Evenings offer 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, and 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.

Details about the application process:
Your application should include:

  • A writing sample: 10-15 pages from the manuscript you wish to workshop
  • A synopsis
  • Word count
  • The current status of your manuscript

Please note: application deadline is February 15, 2018. Decisions will be made after the application deadline. You will be expected to turn in your full manuscript soon thereafter.

Laura Ruby talks about what to expect at the workshop:

Please note: we are still adding faculty to this workshop!

Faculty & Special Guests