Vol. 34 (2018) -- Anthology, Workshop, & Gala

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jficke13
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Re: Vol. 34 (2018) -- Anthology, Workshop, & Gala

Postby jficke13 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:57 am

Here's a downside to the workshop: Eventually it ends and you have to fly home. Grrr.

I'm going to go through my notes once I settle back into real life and hopefully will be able to parrot some of the wisdom we heard along.

If you ever get a chance to talk to Tim Powers seize it with both hands. That guy is awesome.
HM x2, Vol. 34 Q4 - 3rd. http://www.jonficke.com

Wulf Moon
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Re: Vol. 34 (2018) -- Anthology, Workshop, & Gala

Postby Wulf Moon » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:26 am

jficke13 wrote:Here's a downside to the workshop: Eventually it ends and you have to fly home. Grrr.

I'm going to go through my notes once I settle back into real life and hopefully will be able to parrot some of the wisdom we heard along.

If you ever get a chance to talk to Tim Powers seize it with both hands. That guy is awesome.


This is one of those good "I told you so's." : ) Glad you got to spend time with him, Jon! I've chatted with Tim at several conventions, and remember an incredible interview that was done with him at a World Fantasy. His life is as crazy as his novels, and his stories are hilarious to listen to. Charismatic, and filled with a love of life and all its oddities that he culls for story ideas. When you look in his eyes, you really do see worlds spinning there, and know you are sharing a moment with a humble genius.

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Re: Vol. 34 (2018) -- Anthology, Workshop, & Gala

Postby jficke13 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:17 am

Good morning all,

I'm still kinda getting my feet under me in the real world, and have only just begun trying to record thoughts/impressions/experiences from the conference. I'm going to put some stuff up at my site rather than drop huge walls of text over here, because I think the reading experience will be a little nicer.

Anyway, so the tale of the 24 hour tale is here. https://jonficke.com/2018/04/15/24-hour-story/

And the Reveal is here. https://jonficke.com/2018/04/14/sidneys-illustration-the-reveal/

That's pretty much all I've gotten to thus far.
HM x2, Vol. 34 Q4 - 3rd. http://www.jonficke.com

Wulf Moon
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Re: Vol. 34 (2018) -- Anthology, Workshop, & Gala

Postby Wulf Moon » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:12 am

jficke13 wrote:Good morning all,

I'm still kinda getting my feet under me in the real world, and have only just begun trying to record thoughts/impressions/experiences from the conference. I'm going to put some stuff up at my site rather than drop huge walls of text over here, because I think the reading experience will be a little nicer.

Anyway, so the tale of the 24 hour tale is here. https://jonficke.com/2018/04/15/24-hour-story/

And the Reveal is here. https://jonficke.com/2018/04/14/sidneys-illustration-the-reveal/

That's pretty much all I've gotten to thus far.


Thanks, Jon! We look forward to reading your accounts! Nice of you to do this!

Cheers,

~Moon~

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Re: Vol. 34 (2018) -- Anthology, Workshop, & Gala

Postby vjalrik » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:08 pm

jficke13 wrote:Good morning all,

I'm still kinda getting my feet under me in the real world, and have only just begun trying to record thoughts/impressions/experiences from the conference. I'm going to put some stuff up at my site rather than drop huge walls of text over here, because I think the reading experience will be a little nicer.

Anyway, so the tale of the 24 hour tale is here. https://jonficke.com/2018/04/15/24-hour-story/

And the Reveal is here. https://jonficke.com/2018/04/14/sidneys-illustration-the-reveal/

That's pretty much all I've gotten to thus far.

I enjoyed these - thanks for sharing!
V33 (-- HM SHM R), V34 (SF R R HM), V35 (HM R Q3-Pending)
Latest sold stories (9 total):
"The Right Decision," Digital Science Fiction, Dec. 21, 2016
"Fossil Fuel," Helios Quarterly Magazine, Dec. 13, 2016

jficke13
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Re: Vol. 34 (2018) -- Anthology, Workshop, & Gala

Postby jficke13 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:28 am

Hey all, over the next week or so I'm going to be posting about each of the individual stories. So if you haven't gotten a copy of the book yet, you can get a glimpse of the art and a bit about each story. I won't post every link here, but they'll all be at jonficke.com
HM x2, Vol. 34 Q4 - 3rd. http://www.jonficke.com

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Re: Vol. 34 (2018) -- Anthology, Workshop, & Gala

Postby jficke13 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:44 pm

Okay, since today was Thursday, these are two relevant pieces of judge wisdom (Abbreviated for the moment):

1. Rob Sawyer said: Write ambitious fiction. Don't try something ambitious, get rejected, then see [thing you don't hold in high esteem] being successful and think to yourself "I'll bring my fiction down because only [unambitious stuff] sells." Aim for Nebula-worthy quality. It's worth it in the long run.

2. Tim Powers said: Make a list of markets. Rank them from best to worst, most prestigious to least, the ones you want to be in most to least. Figure out what the worst market you want to be in is, then draw a line beneath it. Every market below that line, discard. Never submit below your line. Start at the top, sub. If the story's rejected, send it to the next market down... until you hit your line. If you hit your line and it still hasn't sold, retire it. It's not worth putting your name on something of inferior quality simply to get it "published."

Why do I share these?

Because all but 8 people are out for Q1. We're on to Q3. So write ambitious fiction for Q3. AND, re-read your submissions, see if you see a glaring hole, a missed typo, did you get SF critique? Work it in maybe, but then send it to the next market on your list. You have no idea why DF didn't put it in the Finalist pile, and the next market might buy it.

Remember, pro-ing out is a GOOD outcome too. Send it to Clarkesword, Lightspeed, F&SF, and so on.
HM x2, Vol. 34 Q4 - 3rd. http://www.jonficke.com

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Jeremyteg
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Re: Vol. 34 (2018) -- Anthology, Workshop, & Gala

Postby Jeremyteg » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:12 pm

jficke13 wrote: You have no idea why DF didn't put it in the Finalist pile, and the next market might buy it.

Remember, pro-ing out is a GOOD outcome too. Send it to Clarkesword, Lightspeed, F&SF, and so on.


I'll echo this and say that two of my four professional sales in the last year were stories that got HMs. Just because Dave didn't buy it doesn't mean someone else won't!

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preston
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Re: Vol. 34 (2018) -- Anthology, Workshop, & Gala

Postby preston » Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:40 pm

So I just finished reading Volume 34, and I gotta say, it's very good. The WOTF anthologies never disappoint. They always contain stories that are just a bit quirkier and more inventive than other venues.

***SPOILER ALERT*** I'm going to talk a little about the stories. Not going to give anything away, so don't worry, but if you hardcore DO NOT WANT TO KNOW ANYTHING, perhaps skip the rest of this post.

My favorite story was "Mara's Shadow," by Darci Stone. It won 1st place and the Gold Award and I can see why. It's a refreshingly traditional hard SF story about a mysterious plague. Great characters. A real thriller.

My second favorite story in anthology was "A Bitter Thing" by N.R.M. Roshak. It won 3rd place in the 3rd quarter. It's a short, edgy ET-romance story. It's racey and readable and has the incredible inventiveness and originality that's a trademark of WOTF winning stories. Loved all 21 pages of it.

My third favorite was 2nd place winner, "Miss Smokey" by Diana Hart. Way to take the were-trope and make it roar! Poignant, original and delightfully written. 16 pages of great story.

Lots of other great stories. "The Face in the Box," by Janey Bell (3rd place winner) is soooo cute and really clever and vivid. It's not quite 8 pages long. "The Howler on the Sales Floor," by Jonathan Ficke is wickedly funny, interweaving ancient and modern elements into an urban fantasy piece that really made me wonder about some of my co-workers in the office! It is less than 7 pages long. It won 3rd place. "Turnabout" (2nd place) by Erik Bundy took the very common Djinn trope and did amazing things with it.

I enjoyed pretty much all the stories. They all are very well-written, with a strong voice, vivid imagery, great characters. All of them have highly original tropes or take an old trope and make it new. I am a bit surprised that the fantasy stories out-number the sci-fi stories two to one. Really only about four of the stories would qualify as science-fiction, the rest I would categorize as fantasy. I love that very short stories can win. Most of the stories are pretty short, only two go anywhere near the 17,000 limit.

I've read all the anthologies and this one is definitely worth the price of admission. Congrats, authors! It's always fun to read the stories that beat out so many others, my own included.

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preston
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Re: Vol. 34 (2018) -- Anthology, Workshop, & Gala

Postby preston » Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:53 pm

Loved your story too, Jeremy, "The Minarets of An-Zabat." It was so suspenseful and original. Loved the vivid imagery, and your characters are so real.

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Re: Vol. 34 (2018) -- Anthology, Workshop, & Gala

Postby Jeremyteg » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:48 pm

preston wrote:Loved your story too, Jeremy, "The Minarets of An-Zabat." It was so suspenseful and original. Loved the vivid imagery, and your characters are so real.


Thanks! wotf007 Glad you enjoyed it.

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Re: Vol. 34 (2018) -- Anthology, Workshop, & Gala

Postby amyhg » Mon May 14, 2018 7:58 pm

The Workshop in a Nutshell

Disclaimer: I'm not writing this to make y'all jealous or add salt to the wound. I want to fuel your ambition.

The Workshop was INCREDIBLE. The cameras and interviews sucked, but having comrades-in-arms made it bearable. I spent nearly every night in the lobby talking with writers and artists and fellow winners. The friendships you build in such a short amount of time is astounding. It's like reuniting with your best friends--people who just *get* you--when you've never met them in your life. It's crazy and it's awesome.

The pros are great. Their opinions and backgrounds are so diverse. Dave and Tim are completely opposite when it comes to their approaches to writing and their tastes in books. Then there's the whole range of lectures, from Rob Sawyer's fight-tooth-and-nail-for-every-right-possible to Bill Fawcett's the-editor-is-your-best-friend. We got writing advice. We got marketing advice. We got advice on etiquette, agents, book covers, and taxes. Then, in the evenings, we argued over whether quotations are necessary for good writing, debated the current state of the American education system, and cursed the ridiculously loud live music. During the days, we went out to lunch with Dave and Tim and Jody Lynn Nye and just talked and bounced ideas for projects around and learned about the market and who does what and what editor said this and which publisher did that. Oh, and Jody became our liege lord. That was great.

The feeling of *family* is incredible and intense. It's like this forum but times a bajillion. That, and the gossip is hilarious. We spec-fic people are one big gossipy family.

I guess what I'm saying is you've got to get there. You might do it by winning; you might do it Brandon Sanderson's way and just become a judge. Heck, you may not even join up with the contest at all, but JOIN THE SPEC-FIC FAMILY. =D Keep writing. Keep submitting. If you keep going, it doesn't matter what state you're in right now, you can only get better. It may not happen as quickly as you want it to, but if you keep going, you will get better. (I keep telling that to myself because it's been a month since the Gala, and I've received seven rejections. >_<)

Love the writing. Hate the writing. Do the writing.

Good luck, all, and write on!
Amy
v33: Q3 - R; Q4 - R
v34: Q1 - R; Q2 - SECOND PLACE! Q3 - HM (oops...?)
http://www.amyhenriegillett.com

jficke13
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Re: Vol. 34 (2018) -- Anthology, Workshop, & Gala

Postby jficke13 » Tue May 15, 2018 7:51 am

preston wrote:S[...] "The Howler on the Sales Floor," by Jonathan Ficke is wickedly funny, interweaving ancient and modern elements into an urban fantasy piece that really made me wonder about some of my co-workers in the office! It is less than 7 pages long. It won 3rd place. " [...]


Thanks man! I can't wait to get a look at yours. I like to think that each volume gets incrementally better than the one before it, so I'm expecting you and your fellow 35s to dethrone us wotf001
HM x2, Vol. 34 Q4 - 3rd. http://www.jonficke.com

jficke13
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Re: Vol. 34 (2018) -- Anthology, Workshop, & Gala

Postby jficke13 » Tue May 15, 2018 7:53 am

amyhg wrote:The Workshop in a Nutshell

[...] we argued over whether quotations are necessary for good writing [...]



What I said was just use them! They make prose more intelligible!

That being said, Jeremy schooled me badly on this, and I obviously missed the entire point of the book I was trying to read (The Sympathizer) that did not use quotation marks.

But for non Pulitzer Prize winning novels, use your quotation marks kids!
HM x2, Vol. 34 Q4 - 3rd. http://www.jonficke.com

Wulf Moon
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Re: Vol. 34 (2018) -- Anthology, Workshop, & Gala

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue May 15, 2018 7:59 am

Thanks for the insights into the workshop and gala, Jon and Amy! Nice posts!

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Re: Vol. 34 (2018) -- Anthology, Workshop, & Gala

Postby RSchibler » Tue May 22, 2018 5:35 pm

I've been busy and overwhelmed but I read each of these posts and wanted to say thank you for the advice and the play-by-plays. I watched the awards ceremony in a hotel while my kids slept and had to stop myself from squeaking when I recognized fellow forumites. Congratulations once again to all involved!
Trying to refute entropy with words.

Vol34: Q2 R, Q3 HM, Q4 R
Vol35: Q1 HM, Q2 R, Q3 pending

Blogging about my writing journey at: http://www.rebeccaetreasure.com/blog


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