Fantastic Friday: Writers of the Future

This week was spring break, and while last week’s summer weather took a turn toward winter, I was still able to tackle the indoor elements of my to-do list. (The house now looks like it was hit by a normal storm rather than a metaphorical tornado, so—progress!) But after installing a very stubborn ceiling fan (the battle was epic: it involved going into the attic, balancing on beams, straddling ducts, trembling muscles, feats of glory…), I decided to do something for myself.

Last summer, I had started the free online workshop from the Writers of the Future contest, which takes writers through the steps of taking writing to the next level. The workshop is designed for intermediate writers—those who have the basics but are looking to make them stronger.

The workshop is based on the contest’s sponsor, L. Rob Hubbard, and his essays on writing, but it is facilitated by three powerhouses in the speculative fiction world: Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game), Tim Powers (On Stranger Tides), and David Farland (The Runelords). What I liked the most was that interspersed among the videos were activities participants were asked to do. Taken together, the activities would help the participant (me!) write an original story.

While the workshop forced me to think “out of order” compared to my normal way of writing, I ended up with a solid story when I went to type the different elements together. I left with some fantastic reminders and pointers about what makes compelling writing.

When I was younger, I used to enter the Writers of the Future contest from time to time with the sole goal of being invited for the in-person workshop. I was excited when the contest opened the workshop to the general public, for free. It felt great to finish the week having accomplished something for myself, and I look forward to the live Q&A session next week.

If you’re an aspiring writer, give it a shot. There’s nothing to lose.


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