Five Questions about Finishing School with Julia Patt

Curious about The Storied Imaginarium’s newest workshop, Finishing School? Instructor Julia Patt is here to answer five of your most pressing questions.

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What is Finishing School?

Finishing School is a brand new workshop Carina and I have designed to help writers who have a pile of unfinished stories. Some writers have no trouble pulling neglected work out of the drawer and getting it ready for submission. The rest of us often need a little encouragement and incentive.

Finishing School will provide an opportunity for just that. Participants will have monthly deadlines, a supportive group of classmates, a forum for blowing off steam, and time to revise their work. The goal is for everyone to have at least three polished stories ready for submission by the end of the course.

How is Finishing School different from other online workshops?

In my experience, many workshops focus on producing first drafts or developing ideas, which is great and helpful in its own right. But we’re looking at the other end of the process: finishing stories. We’ve also built time into the class to talk about revisions and allow students to resubmit work. This will give writers the rare opportunity to have classmates and an instructor look at a story twice.

You’re new to The Storied Imaginarium. What’s your teaching philosophy?

I’m a strong believer in addressing each story on its own terms. Because no two stories are the same, the dictums we hear about showing and telling, switching points of view, breaking the fourth wall, etc., are not universal. I’m much more interested in discussing what a writer is up to and why than in handing down absolutes.

My own educational background deals with a lot of formalism, so I’m personally interested in how structural choices such as tense, perspective, syntax, and lyricism echo and reinforce thematic elements. In other words, we’ll talk a lot about how different stories (both workshop submissions and published examples) are put together and how they work.

You’ll see some nods to structure in how we’ll deliver critique, too. I’m especially interested in building space for evolving discussions and giving writers room to ask questions, get direct feedback, etc.

Beyond that, everything that’s true of previous Storied Imaginarium workshops is true here–Finishing School will be an inclusive, supportive space.

57b851e9937792179fb01309bac06448--bullet-bra-maria-callasDo I need an MFA or published work to enroll in Finishing School?

No, of course not. While we consider our workshops most appropriate for intermediate writers, what that means can vary significantly. Perhaps you’ve taken other online workshops or you have a writing group that meets twice a month. Maybe you have a few published stories–or more than a few. Do keep in mind that if you’ve never taken a workshop before or done any critiquing, Finishing School might be a bit daunting in terms of workload. But we’re open to writers of diverse backgrounds who are committed to finishing their stories and participating fully in the workshop environment.

Are we really going to talk about etiquette?

Yes! Or rather, we’re going to talk about the challenges of the writing life–submitting your work, writing cover letters, establishing a social media presence, attending conventions, joining critique groups, etc. These will be roundtable discussions where people can share their experiences and exchange ideas.

Finishing School will begin in late January 2018.

REGISTRATION: To save a seat for Finishing School, send an email request for an invoice to Carina Bissett at cmariebissett@gmail.com. The fee to attend the workshop is $600 (discounted to $500 until December 15th), payable to cmariebissett@gmail.com via PayPal. There is a $100 non-refundable deposit required to hold your spot with payment in FULL prior to the first class. Returning students receive a 10% discount. Registration packet includes detailed information on each module, expectations and etiquette, and educational materials. Space is limited.

ca. 1900 --- Woman Reclining at Desk Next to Typewriter --- Image by © CORBIS

Submission Roundup

Themed Calls

Lackington’s
This online market is open for submissions of speculative fiction aligning with the theme of Gothics (Issue 17). “If you know your eighteenth-century Gothic fiction, send us your homage, pastiche, subversion, or reinvention of a much-loved movement. If you’re of a more modern bent, show us what you got, so long as it’s uncanny. If you write proto-Gothic—which has roots the world over and deep into ancient times—celebrate it. And if you happen to have a story about any of the eponymous Goths (Visi-, Ostro-, or other), we’d love to see that, too, because we don’t get enough historical fiction sent our way.
Word Count: 1,500-5,000 words
Deadline: Rolling
Payment: $.01 CAD per word

India 2049 – Utopias and Dystopias
Mithila Review is seeking submissions for India 2049: Utopias and Dystopias, an anthology of short stories and comics devoted to the exploration of Indian futures, utopias and dystopias, set in India, South Asia or beyond. “We are looking for excellent stories that show in vivid details, through exciting plot and sensitive characterizations, the Indias of the future. This anthology project seeks to represent the multiple imaginations of India and South Asia. We ask writers from around the world to engage in the present to imagine a future, to draw on the problems and possibilities of existing Indian or South Asian societies to think of a future with its own set of problems and possibilities.”
Word Count: 4,000-12,000 words
Deadline: April 30, 2018
Payment: $25 + a digital copy (epub/mobi) of the book. Additional payment contingent on Kickstarter campaign.

NonBinary Review
The editors are looking for fiction (all genres) for the upcoming themed issue on the The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. (NOTE: All submissions must have a clear and obvious relationship to some specific aspect of the source text: a character, episode, or setting. Submissions only related by a vague, general, thematic similarity are unlikely to be accepted.)
Word Count: up to 5,000 words
Deadline: January 31, 2018
Payment: $0.01 per word

Spring Song Press
The editors of the upcoming Shards Anthology (Noblebright, Grimbright, Nobledark, and Other Oddities) are seeking speculative fiction in the noblebright tradition. Submitted stories must address the “Shards” theme in some way; “Shards of lives, shards of a broken heart, shards of broken pottery or glass, shards of myth and memory… be creative! We don’t require “happy” endings, but as a noblebright anthology, we prefer to see hope and generosity rather than nihilism and cynicism.” (NOTE: Fantasy and science fantasy are preferred.)
Word Count: 1,000 to 10,000 words
Deadline: February 1, 2018
Payment: $0.01 per word

Markets of Interest

Liminal Stories
The editors are searching for stories of a particular tone and tenor, regardless of form. “We like stories that are strange and unsettling, sharp-edged and evocative.  Although we will consider any genre, we have a soft spot for weird fiction, magical realism, soft science fiction, and those uncategorizable stories that straddle the line between genres.” Opens for submissions on December 15, 2017.
Word Count: up to 10,000 words
Deadline: January 15, 2018
Payment: $0.06 per word

Metaphorosis
This online magazine is looking for beautiful writing showing engaging characters in science fiction or fantasy settings. (NOTE: Vegan bonus points.)
Word Count: up to 10,000 words (preferred range 1,000 to 6,000)
Deadline: revolving
Payment: $0.01 per word

Contests

Everything Change Climate Fiction Contest 2018
Hosted by the Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative at Arizona State University, this contest is seeking submissions in all genres of short fiction, including speculative, realistic, literary, experimental, and hybrid forms. Guidelines include Imagining Climate Futures, Scientific Accuracy and Understanding, and Climate Challenges, Human Responses. (NOTE: The contest will once again be judged by science fiction legend Kim Stanley Robinson, award-winning author of many foundational works in climate fiction, along with other climate fiction experts from ASU.)
Word Count: up to 5,000 words
Deadline: February 28, 2018
Entry Fee: None
Prize(s): The winning story will receive a $1,000 prize. Nine finalists will receive $50 each.

Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest
This contest is for new and amateur writers of fantasy, dark fantasy, and science fiction. Entrants retain all publication rights. NOTE: The contest is open only to those who have not professionally published a novel or short novel, or more than one novelette, or more than three short stories, in any medium. Professional publication is deemed to be payment of at least six cents per word, and at least 5,000 copies, or 5,000 hits.
Word Count: up to 17,000 words
Deadline: December 31, 2017
Entry Fee: None
Prize(s): Quarterly awards of $1,000, $750, $500 with an additional Grand Prize of $5,000 awarded annually.

 

Workshop Discount Offer

John_William_Waterhouse_-_The_Crystal_BallRegistration is currently open at The Storied Imaginarium. This Spring there are two generative, themed, online writing workshops available: Monstrous Women and Intersections: Science Fiction, Fairy Tales and Myth. In addition, The Storied Imaginarium will also be offering Finishing School for writers. If you have unfinished or unpolished stories that need an intensive round of workshops, Finishing School might be the ticket. All courses run for 16 weeks and meet weekly via Skype. Both workshops and Finishing School are currently being offered at the reduced rate of $500 through December 15th. In addition, previous students are eligible for an additional 10% off.

There are six modules that will be explored in Monstrous Women including The Shifting Shapes of Animal Brides, The Seductive Allure of the Femme Fatale, Weeping Women and Tearful Prophecies, The Female Descent into Hysteria and Madness, Women’s Vengeance Unleashed, and Mayhem in Numbers and the Sacred Three. Weekly meetings alternate between discussions and workshops. Module materials include introductory information, select excerpts, resource links, popular re-tellings, quotes & trivia, writing prompts, and discussion questions. At the end of the workshop, participants will have written a total of six stories and will have the opportunity to present a portfolio for a second round of critique.

elvesFairy tales and myth are the focus of Intersections: Science Fiction, Fairy Tales and Myth. This Spring, participants will be working through the following pairings as source material for short story generation: Elves and the Shoemaker & Wearable Technology; Sleeping Beauty & Science of Dreams; Nuada of the Silver Arm (The Mabinogion) & Cyborgs; The Goose Girl & Future of Facial Recognition; Trickster Tales & Military and Spy Technology; The Nightingale & Artificial Intelligence; Hansel and Gretel & Genetic Trauma; Arachne Myth and Spiderwoman Stories & Cosmic Web; Diamonds and Toads & Earth’s Dwindling Resources; Maenads & Science of Addiction. By the end of the semester, participants will have written a total of up to ten stories and will have the opportunity to present a portfolio for a second round of critique. Past participants in this workshop have placed stories in numerous anthologies and magazines including Apex, Daily Science Fiction, Clarkesworld, and Escape Pod.

Finishing School is the newest offering at The Storied Imaginarium. This intensive, online workshop provides a space for writers to complete unfinished projects and share them with their peers in a supportive critiquing environment. In addition to critique, this workshop will serve as a platform to discuss issues of craft, the writing life, submissions, networking, and netiquette. Over the course of sixteen weeks, participants will submit four stories for review, receive feedback, and have further opportunities to revise. Assigned reading will include published stories that address specific questions of craft, as well as essays and editorials in the field. While some conversations might bend particularly toward speculative fiction, experimental and realist writers are also welcome to join Finishing School.

REGISTRATION: To save a seat, send an email request for an invoice to Carina Bissett at cmariebissett@gmail.com. The fee to attend the workshop is currently available for the reduced rate of $500 through December 15th, payable to cmariebissett@gmail.com via PayPal. There is a $100 non-refundable deposit required to hold your spot with payment in FULL prior to the first class. Returning students receive a 10% discount. Registration packet includes detailed information on each module, expectations and etiquette, and educational materials. Space is limited.

Spring Workshops Announced

intro3The Fall semester is coming to a close and it’s time to announce the Spring schedule! Monstrous Women continues with more in-depth modules featuring the fabulous and the frightening. Participants do NOT need to have taken Monstrous Women I prior to taking Monstrous Women II. In Spring we will be exploring the following modules: The Shifting Shapes of Animal Brides, The Seductive Allure of the Femme Fatale, Weeping Women and Tearful Prophecies, The Female Descent into Hysteria and Madness, Women’s Vengeance Unleashed, and Mayhem in Numbers and the Sacred Three. This course meets weekly online via Skype with weekly meetings alternating between discussions and workshops.

carse_nightingale Intersections: Science Fiction, Fairy Tales and Myth is moving away from the self-paced course and will be returning to the weekly, online generative workshop model with a series of ten modules designed to prompt story generation over the course of 16 weeks. Participants will explore fairy tales, folk tales, and world myths with links to scientific themes ranging from climate-based studies to technological advances. The Spring modules for this course are as follows: Elves and the Shoemaker & Wearable Technology;  Sleeping Beauty & Science of Dreams; Nuada of the Silver Arm (The Mabinogion) & Cyborgs; The Goose Girl & Future of Facial Recognition; Trickster Tales & Military and Spy Technology; The Nightingale & Artificial Intelligence; Hansel and Gretel & Genetic Trauma; Arachne Myth and Spiderwoman Stories & Cosmic Web; Diamonds and Toads & Earth’s Dwindling Resources; Maenads & Science of Addiction.

Both Monstrous Women and in Science Fiction and Myth will meet weekly from the end of January through mid-May. Each class is limited to 5 participants and runs for 2-2.5 hours each week. Class times will be determined according to instructor and participant availability. Module materials include introductory information, select excerpts, resource links, popular re-tellings, quotes & trivia, writing prompts, and discussion questions. In addition to writing stories for each module, participants are expected to critique their peers’ work and to read discussion materials.

finishingschoolIn addition to these classes, The Storied Imaginarium will also be offering Finishing School for writers. If you have a stack of drafts and you need the incentive to complete and polish them, Finishing School is for you. In short, these workshops will be devoted to craft, discipline, revision, marketing, and networking. Participants will workshop four manuscripts over the course of 16 weeks with the intention of polishing these pieces for submission.

The cost for each of this 16-week courses is $600*. A 10% discount is available for returning students and there is an additional 10% discount for registration paid in full. Payment plans are available upon request.

*A percent of each registration will go towards a scholarship offered to students without the financial means to participate in courses at The Storied Imaginarium.

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Workshop Schedule for Fall 2017

​Monstrous Women I: A Feminist Approach to Myth and Magic 

This intensive, online writing workshop explores the theme of monstrous women in literature and myth. Participants will explore goddesses and queens, monsters and mothers, soothsayers and shapeshifters. From the familiar to the obscure, these monstrous women seduce and beguile, pushing writers to take a closer look at the labels pasted on women who behave badly— whether they are supernatural or not.

Monstrous Women I includes the following modules: Great Goddesses of Death and Destruction, Matriarchal Monsters and First Females, Wicked Queens and Bloody Crowns, Witchy Women and Enchanted Attacks, The Monstrous Female Unveiled, & Lesbian Vampires and Lost Souls.

“I am happy only in that I am a monster.” — Angela Carter

NOTE: Monstrous Women II will be offered in Spring 2018 and will include the following modules: The Shifting Shapes of Animal Brides, The Seductive Allure of the Femme Fatale, Weeping Women and Tearful Prophecies, The Female Descent into Hysteria and Madness, Women’s Vengeance Unleashed, and Mayhem in Numbers and the Sacred Three. Registration will open in September.  Space is limited.

Intersections I: Nature and Myth

This self-paced class explores the theme of the Intersection of Nature, Humanity, and Myth in a series of modules designed to prompt story generation over the course of 10 weeks. Participants will explore fairy tales, folklore, and world myths with links to scientific themes primarily in the fields of natural history, ecological news, and climate-based studies.

Intersections I: Nature & Myth includes the following modules: “The Firebird” & Bioluminescence,  “Aristaeus, the Bee-keeper” (excerpt from Bulfinch’s Mythology) & Colony Collapse Disorder,  “Fisherman and his Wife” and Climate Change & Our Warming Oceans, “The Swan Maiden” & Migratory Pathways, “Johnny Appleseed” and GMOs & the Changing Face of Food, “Isis and Osiris” (excerpt from The Osiris Myth) & Fracking/Agriculture, The King of the Wood” (excerpt from The Golden Bough) & The Internet of Fungus, and “Pied Piper” & Viruses.

“Cli-fi is a truly modern literary phenomenon: born as a meme and raised into a distinct genre by the power of social media.” — “Climate Fiction: Can Books Save the Planet?” at The Atlantic Monthly