Sunday, May 04, 2008


Also Ran

Back in February, I announced that my story Oh, Mallary! had been nominated for the James B. Baker Award for best short story published in a Sam's Dot Publishing publication. (can anybody say conjugate?)

I did not win.

In the category of short story, the winner is:
416175, by Laura Sanger Kelly.

This years judge was David Lee Summers, editor of Tales of the Talisman and all-around nice guy. Remind me to give him a wedgie next Coppercon. :)



My Codexian colleague Gray Rinehart, inspired by my previous two posts, has some comments on his blog that covers some of the same territory. Take a look for another perspective.


Fledgling Writer

My writers group (Creatively named SFFW for Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers) met this evening. We meet every other Sunday in a sort of three-part get-together. Part one is for news and progress reports. Part two is a round-robin critique of a designated person's work. Part three tends to be discussion where the the more experienced writers discuss some aspect of the craft with those less experienced.

This evening, we critiqued a snipet by an unpublished writer. Like most new writers, she brings raw talent and a few things she does well, along with some aspects of the craft that need work. The piece she submitted for critique was intended as an exercise in changing points of view. At 1900 words, the piece was very short for multiple points of view, but then, she intended this as an exercise.

I was pleased to see that she tried this in something short. Reason being, short fiction is a great laboratory. Any wannabe writer, even those with the most grandiose ideas for a series of novels, should write some short fiction first. It allows the writer to try focusing on a single aspect of the craft with relatively minimal investment of effort. A 3000-word short story shouldn't take a normal person more than two weeks to write and polish.

If the experiment works, the writer has product to sell. If it doesn't work, only a few hours are wasted. Wait, wasted isn't the right word because the writer leanred something along the way.

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