Underwords reflects my passion for literature, reading, and writing within the popular fiction world. When I first began writing, I needed something or someone to help me figure out what I was doing. By chance, I attended a Boskone panel on workshops and learned about Viable Paradise. There are many terrific workshops out there and VP is one of them. So, if you’re thinking about attending a workshop for science fiction and fantasy writers, be sure to consider Viable Paradise on Martha’s Vineyard.
From the website:
Viable Paradise is a unique one-week residential workshop in writing and selling commercial science fiction and fantasy. The workshop is intimate, intense, and features extensive time spent with best-selling and award-winning authors and professional editors currently working in the field. VP concentrates on the art of writing fiction people want to read, and this concentration is reflected in post-workshop professional sales by our alumni.
Before choosing a workshop, be sure to do your research (Clarion, Odyssey, Taos, etc.). There are a wide variety of programs distinguished by length, process, genres, and instructors. VP is the one I chose, and I will always be glad that I made that decision because it was the right fit for me at that time given my skill level, my time available, and the amount I could afford to spend. Although workshops will affect everyone differently, Viable Paradise set me on the path that I wanted to pursue. In short, it changed my life.
The submission period for Viable Paradise 15 (aka VP XV) opened on January 1st and will close on June 15, 2011. The instructors for VP XV include Elizabeth Bear, Debra Doyle, Steven Gould, James D. Macdonald, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Jay Lake, and Sherwood Smith.
I asked a few of the VP alumni for testimonials, and here is what they said:
“I went to Viable Paradise to find out if I had what it took to be a writer. Along the way, I met new friends and got to work on my writing with authors who I admired. I sharpened my skills, learned new tricks, and found out how to take what I had to the next level. In the end, I learned that, yes, I do have what it takes to be a writer and writing is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”
– Matt Hughes, VP XIII
“Attending Viable Paradise is easily the smartest thing I’ve ever done for my writing career. It’s like I skipped over years of solo practice in a single week, while making a number of very good friends among the students, staff, and instructors in the process. I highly recommend VP to anyone who is serious about writing good SFF.”
– John Murphy, VP XIV
“Simply put, VP changed my life. Not just my writing but how I look at everything. Not only do write differently, I read differently, think differently and act differently because of it. VP broadened my horizons, put me in close proximity with many great people and made me think hard about what it is I want to do which is write science fiction.”
– Chang Terhune, VP XII
“If you’re looking for my testimonial this post is it. This isn’t an ad, it’s my expression of how valuable I found my Viable Paradise experience.”
– Erin Underwood, VP X