Viable Paradise Application Period Is Open

Just a friendly reminder that applications are now being accepted for Viable Paradise 15, to take place this coming October in scenic Martha’s Vineyard. SF/F writers should seriously consider applying.

Why? As a VP student you’ll make use of five important resources:

  1. The instructors. Award-winning writers and editors who will read your story and tell you what they think and offer suggestions for fixing it. These are talented, thoughtful people. Their lectures and your conversations with them will be incredibly valuable to you.
  2. The staff. Think of them as the embodiment of the accumulated wisdom and well-wishing of the fourteen previous years. When you stagger away from a one-on-one with an instructor and need a cookie, they’ll have cookies. (Or better — you will eat very well that week.)
  3. Your classmates. Two dozen talented young writers who are all fired up about writing SF/F, who will also be reading your story and thinking very hard about it, and who have nothing else to do for a whole week but geek out about writing.
  4. The location. When I first looked into VP, I groaned and complained about the location. I live in New England, so for me, Martha’s Vineyard is nice, but nothing special. It’s a pain in the ass to get there. And therein lies its chief benefit: you’re there for a week, disconnected from your everyday life by ocean and spotty cell service. For me, at least, that was the first time in my thirty-odd years that I’ve ever taken a full week to focus on nothing but writing and learning about writing. That alone would have helped my writing considerably.
  5. The network. Long after the workshop itself is over (*sniff*) you’ll still be talking to your classmates and students of previous years. You’ll be sitting there rooting for new students, excited for them. It’s a tight-knit group. You’ll see others succeed, and it will give you the impetus you need to push yourself harder, because you’ll know that you have it in you to.

Compared to all that, the price of admission in blood, toil, tears, sweat, time, and gold is astonishingly cheap.

To those applying, good luck. I do offer one piece of advice: when you think you’re ready to submit, give it one last read for typos, submit it, and then do not look at that manuscript again, lest you discover a typo and freak out about it until summer. Er, not that I did that or anything.

Oh, and tell Teresa that you’re at great risk of developing scurvy. She can help.

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