Monday, August 18, 2014

Accessing the Future: Disability in SF

Every now and again I come across a project I really want to support. Here's one: Accessing the Future, an SF anthology exploring disability and how it intersects with other factors, edited by Kathryn Allan and Djibril al-Ayad.

Disability—and those other factors—is something that concerns me deeply.1

Kathryn and Djibril are raising money at Indiegogo. They need your help. I hope you'll get behind and push. Meanwhile, here's Djibril to tell you a bit more about their goals (note: the footnotes are mine).

Disability in SF: support a new anthology
Djibril al-Ayad
Accessing the Future will be an anthology of disability-themed science fiction stories, co-edited by Kathryn Allan and Djibril al-Ayad for Futurefire.net Publishing. We want your help to raise the funds to produce it. 

Why a disability-themed anthology?
Disability has always been one of the axes of privilege in fiction that Futurefire.net cares about. Issues around disability are poorly treated not only in fiction but in most aspects of our society. People with disabilities are still among the most marginalized and financially disadvantaged, and are often smeared as "malingerers" or "spongers."

In too much science fiction, especially cyberpunk or space opera, we see disabled characters "cured" by the miracle of modern technology (or "escape" their body into the freedom of cyberspace2). We can do better than this. Along with other, intersecting oppressions, disability needs to be addressed in science fiction.

Why address these issues via scifi?
Speculative fiction has freedom to be "unrealistic," utopian, imagine futures or alternate realities where prejudices and rules of our own world do not necessarily exist. In a secondary world, with invented laws of physics or magic, lines between realistic narrative and parable or “message” are blurred and multivalent. Every literary image has a cacophony of possible readings, conditioned by reader expectations via the shared perceptual filters of our society and genre. When you see a protagonist in mirrorshades talking about meatspace, you know what’s coming. Or you think you do, until the author slips you a queer ball.

These decisions impact the story we want to tell, whether in a subversive postcolonial agenda or a conservative "apolitical" romp. This may mean being overtly political, but the alternative is to be covertly so, and audiences aren’t stupid. If this means we find ourselves preaching to the choir, that's okay. People who already agree with us, especially when we’re talking about under-represented voices, deserve to read good, politically palatable stories too, to be reminded that they’re not alone, and the good fight is worth fighting.

And hey, having a choir at all in these circumstances is a good problem to have, right?
____

Support Futurefire.net’s latest anthology of disability-themed SF by pre-ordering or picking up one of the perks at igg.me/at/accessingfuture

1 It's a rant, yep. I do that sometimes.
2 Turns out I've ranted about this, too, in "Writing from the Body."

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Splendid full-page review in BBC History Magazine

Wow, the September issue of BBC History Magazine has a splendid full-page Nick Rennison review of Hild:

This is a powerful, clever novel. Griffith illuminates the so-called Dark Ages, reconstructing an often alien historical world with great precision, and in Hild has created a sympathetic, complex character to act as a guide. 

If anyone recognises the stained-glass image used in the magazine please let me know. I can't place it. Sorry for the poor quality; I don't have a link and this is a grab from a scan.

While I croon and chortle over Hild's splendiferousness you could do worse than amuse yourself with one of the three other novels they mention in the review sidebar: Conscience of the King (Alfred Duggan), Credo (Melvyn Bragg) and The Bone Thief (V.M. Whitworth). Or you could get the magazine itself, stuffed (apparently—I haven't seen it) with information on Northumbrian kings. Enjoy.

ETA: The stained-glass is from Sneaton. (Thanks, Barbara.)

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

A list of bookshops in the UK

I've pointed readers before to this international list of independent bookstores. Now I've finally got around to a UK-specific list.

These are booksellers in the UK, including mini-chains, where you should either be able to find Hild or they'll order it for you. (I'm assuming you all know where your local Waterstones is: they'll order the book, too.) The organisation is a little eccentric (especially the London section). I decided not to break things up by country or county, just alphabetically by city. Theh links are eccentric, too: some bookshops seem to have been taken over by a mini-chain but not changed their URL—assuming they'd bothered with a website in the first place (I've had to resort to Twitter and Facebook links here and there).

There are some lovely-looking bookshops here. No doubt I could add more. This list is far from complete: a mix of info from friends, readers, and my publisher. I'm relying on you to help me fill in gaps. What's your favourite bookshop in the UK?

* Aberdeen: Blackwell's

* Abbingdon: Mostly Books

* Aldeburgh: Aldeburgh Bookshop Ltd.

* Banchory: Yeadons

* Bath: Topping and Co Booksellers Ltd

* Brighton and Hove: City Books

* Bristol: Blackwell's
* Bristol: Foyles

* Cambridge: Heffers Academic and General

* Carlisle: Bookends

* Chepstow: Chepstow Bookshop

* Chipping Norton: Jaffe and Neal Ltd

* Colchester: Red Lion Books Ltd
* Cochester: Wivanhoe Bookshop

* Edinburgh: Blackwell's
* Edinburgh: Word Power

* East Grinstead: The Bookshop

* Elgin: Yeadons


* Exeter: Blackwell's



* Haverfordwest: Victoria Bookshop Limited

* Hebden Bridge: The Bookcase

* Hexham: Cogito

* Ilkley: The Grove Bookshop

* Keswick: Bookends


* Leeds: Blackwell's
* Leeds: Radish

* Liverpool: News From Nowhere

* London: Blackwell's (x2)
* London: Forbidden Planet 
* London: Gay's the Word
* London: Foyles Ltd (x many)
* London: Daunt Books (x several)
* London: The British Library Bookshop 
* London: Barnes Bookshop
* London: Village Books

* Lowdham: The Bookcase

* Ludlow: Castle Bookshop

* Lytham-St-Anne's: Plackitt and Booth Booksellers

* Manchester: EJ Morton

* Monmouth: Rossiter Books

* Newcastle: Blackwell's

* Norwich: The Book Hive
* Norwich: Jarrold and Sons Limited

* Nottingham: Five Leaves

* Oxford: Blackwell's

* Penarth: Windsor Bookshop

* Penzance: Edge of the World Bookshop

* Petersfield: One Tree Books

* Petworth: The Petworth Bookshop Ltd

* Plymouth: University Bookseller

* Richmond: Kew Books Ltd

* Ross-on-Wye: Rossiter Books

* Saltaire: Salt's Mill

* Sheffield: Rhyme and Reason
* Sheffield: Blackwell's

* Sherborne: Winstone Books

* Spalding: Bookmark

* St Peter's Port: The Lexicon Ltd

* St Ives: The St Ives Bookseller

* Stockport: Simply Books

* Tetbury: The Yellow Lighted Bookshop

* Totnes: Totnes Bookshop

* Whitby: Whitby Bookshop

* Woodford Green: Village Bookshop

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Essay, review, coming soon...

Two more blog tour things:

There have been other reviews on the web but as they're neither from the official blog tour nor from a major journal I'll spare you. Some are a bit, hmmm, grumpy: not queer enough, not medieval enough, not plotty enough, etc.

Coming soon: a post about a crowd-funding campaign for an anthology worth supporting, Accessing the Future. Access matters to me.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

If you crossed Arya Stark with Thomas Cromwell...

In black and white for change because change is good...
More stuff's gone up in support of the UK publication of Hild. Enjoy!

10 things about Hild, the woman

What we do and don't know. What I made up...

Hild's Voice
How I figured out how to write this book.

"If you crossed Arya Stark with Thomas Cromwell and Julian of Norwich, you would have an approximation of Hild." No link. I just really liked this quote from Hodderscape.


Hebrew "Gods and Genre"

The Hebrew translation of my post about Thor is up at Israeli Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy website

The Tattoed Book interview
"What's gratified me most is hearing from readers how real it all felt..."

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Monday, August 4, 2014

New post up at my research blog

I've just posted a long piece over at my research blog about Anglo-Saxon origin stories

It was a real challenge to write one particular scene in Hild because I had to allow her to believe something that today we don't think is true. But to be true to the experiment I'd set myself—to find out who Hild really was by recreating the seventh century as she would have known it and then growing her inside—I had to let her believe it and behave according. 

The Yffings told themselves a story of how and when they came to England. In my blog post I point out all the ways in which this story isn't true. Hild will figure this out in Book Two...

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Stay as an ebook in the UK

From: Laura

I'm looking for the ebook version of Stay but it doesn't appear to be listed on Amazon UK. Is it only available in paperback?

Sadly, yes, Stay is only available in the UK in paperback. The Aud books have never been officially published there, just imported from the US. Clearly HarperCollins (who published The Blue Place) and Riverhead/Penguin (Always) feel able to offer the Kindle version but Vintage/Random House (Stay) don't. Why? I don't know. A lot about publishing does not make sense to me

Being able to get two of the books in digital form but not the third is so far from ideal it approaches the bizarre. This is currently out of my control. There's nothing I'd like more than to get the rights back to all three and publish them properly and as a coherent package all over the world. I'm working on it. As and when I get my own way on this I'll post the news here.

I am very proud of the Aud books but their publication has been a great frustration to me. One day I'll fix it. I'll probably fix it faster in the UK because here in the US it will require more money than I currently have available to buy back the territorial rights from three different publishers. But I have no idea of timeframes in either case.

Meanwhile, hey, at least there's the paperback.

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Essays, rants, interviews, news

As Hild came out in the UK last week I've been busy writing stuff for other people's blogs. Here's a selection:

There's more goodness scheduled. I'll keep you updated. 

Meanwhile, Hild's made the Guardian's Not the Booker Prize longlist. (Operative word: loooong...) Go take a look.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

HILD on Not the Booker Prize long list

Hild is on the Guardian's Not the Booker Prize long list. And i's a very long list. I'd say over 90. There's some good stuff, also some rubbish—mileage really does vary—including a couple on the official Booker Prize long list.

Only six books will be shortlisted. And here's the thing, you, yes you, the readers, get to decide which. To vote, you choose two of the long-listed novels (make sure they're from different publishers) and write a review for both in the comments on the post linked above. The more thoughtful the review, the better; the Guardian wants "something over 100 words."

The deadline is midnight (UK time) on Sunday, August 3.

As my publisher says: this will help build conversation around all the good books out there. Her favourite part of the terms and condition is 12. The author of the winning book will receive a Guardian mug. They may not want it, but there's nothing we can do about that. So go take a look. I wouldn't mind one of those mugs...

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

HILD is out today in the UK!


From Blackfriars/Little, Brown — 24th June

Hild is out today. You can buy it in hardback or ebook in the UK:


and paperback or ebook in the rest of the English-speaking Commonwealth:


If you still haven't got your US copy then, hey, you could wait for the paperback, due October 28, or see this long and luscious list of where to buy Hild, which includes many fabulous independent bookshops.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Blog tour schedule

In honour of Hild's UK publication, I have lots of stuff—essays, interviews, reviews—going up this week on other people's blogs, starting today:
If you like anything, especially something someone else has written, do please leave them a comment.

I'll do my best to post links on Twitter and Facebook as things go up, but I might miss a few. So, just in case, here's the schedule:

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Bishops in high heels

Thanks to a reader I've finally got around to reading yesterday's New York Times Op-Ed about the Church of England's General Synod decision to permit women bishops.

Hild would have been glad. I imagine she essentially functioned as a bishop anyway—even without being a priest—but she would have welcomed anything that made her position as leader of her church easier.

I look forward to future bishops in frocks. Who knows, given the inevitable changes we're seeing around gender: some of them might be men...

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Coming soon: I am everywhere...

...But in the next ten days or so perhaps not here a lot. On Thursday, 24th July, Hild will be published in the UK (and fifty other territories: India, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand...). The hardback is available for pre-order from fine bookshops such as Foyles and Word Power, and giant online retailers like Amazon and Waterstones. You can get the ebook now from the online giants in all English-speaking territories (Amazon UK | Apple UK | Apple ANZ | Amazon ANZFlipkart | JB Hi-Fi). If none of those take your fancy, take a look at this comprehensive list of where to buy Hild.

I'll be guest-blogging in at least a dozen different places. 

I've already started over at Charlie Stross's Antipope with "Gods and Gender," ostensibly a piece about Thor but really about sex and gender and the sf genre, especially comics. Drop by. The comment thread is very well moderated and the conversation good. Next week I plan to start discussion on a topic very dear to my heart: Who owns sf? That is, who gets to define it? How is that changing?

Some of the articles I've written are starting to appear. See, for example, "To Come Back Increased" in Shiny New Books.

I've been delighted by the response of professional medievalists. See, for example, this long and thoughtful review in Medievally Speaking.

But what I'm currently pleased as punch about are the two blurbs from well-respected historian/author/academic Alex Woolf and the writer and archaeologist Max Adams:
  • "Hild is the best fictional attempt to recreate Dark Age Britain that I have ever read. Alex Woolf
  • "I was impressed—as a fellow-writer and a Northumbrian archaeologist. Hild is a great piece of work."  Max Adams
I won't be in the UK until October. That visit will include bookshops, literary festivals, at least one university, and perhaps more. The last I heard the publisher was talking to a company about a special batch of mead... Details to come but, essentially, if you can get to London or to Yorkshire we will have a good time!

Also, with luck, I'll be travelling in the US in November. That's all still TBD, though, so if you want to me to come to your city and/or your bookshop, do please let me know. Right now I've no idea what the paperback publisher, Picador, has in mind, so vote early, vote often, and you never know...

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hild's sexuality, redux

Over at Goodreads I've been answering questions, most recently on whether, in Hild's time, sex between women was or was not frowned upon.
______
Simon asked Nicola Griffith:

I absolutely loved your book _Hild_. Thanks so much for writing it! You depict a fairly open attitude to homosexual relations. In your research for the book, did you come across any evidence on attitudes to homosexuality, or was this part of what you "made up"?

Nicola Griffith said:
Thank you!

Hild isn't lesbian/homosexual. She's bisexual. I doubt they had such terms back then, though. I've seen no evidence that who you did or did not have sex with defined how women thought of themselves.

Actually, there's no evidence for anything, sexually, in early seventh-century northern Britain. Nothing. No material culture and no text.

I'm guessing that Roman Christians, being Pauline to the core, would have disapproved. Indeed, Breguswith says as much in the book: be careful around the priests. But that was as much about having sex with anyone as having sex with women. Monks and priests like Bede (if we go purely by written evidence) thought women were more holy if they didn't have sex at all; being a virgin was better than being married, for example.

The way I see it, at the time, before widespread conversion to Roman Christianity, no one much cared who you did and didn't have sex with. Sex wasn't a moral issue. All royal women before the founding of nunneries (I think--though I'm wary of the words 'always' and 'never' in any context, never mind a time we know so little about) got married, and that if they then wanted to have sex with other women no one would much care as long as they were discreet. After all, the point of marriage was alliance, household management, and the provision of heirs. Married girls loving other married girls wouldn't have any impact on any of these points.

I talk about that a bit here: http://gemaecca.blogspot.com/2008/08/...

There again, there's this incident from Ireland from the 8th century that makes sex between women sound rather jolly and uncomplicated:

Make of that what you will...
_______
More questions and answers here. I'll be stopping soon so carpe forum. Or you could just send me email (see sidebar) with a question and I'll answer here.

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

I'm Guest of Honour at Readercon 26, July 2015

One hour ago:

So it's official. Next year, July 2015, I and Gary Wolfe and the fiercely missed Joanna Russ will be the Guests of Honour at Readercon 26, Burlington MA. Mark your calendars! It's going to be an amazing four days.

More info when I have it.

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Friday, July 11, 2014

What is it about mothers?

From: Sally

This is more of a request than a question, actually! More Hild and more Aud, please!

Hild is so brilliant! I can’t wait for what happens next. It is such a beautiful book, so well written. You have a gift, your characters are so vivid. In your writings, while depicting a lot of violence and evil, you write with such love and compassion. In a time of small people you fill your books with super large people and lots of exciting action.

What is it about your mums? Both Hild’s and Aud’s are fascinating.

Aud is larger than life, her faults are frightening, she is so flawed but so lovable I think! Super Aud. She grows quite wonderfully in your trilogy.

I would love to know more about Aud’s mother, it is such a loaded relationship. You leave out and your reader fills in the spaces.

I love the way you bring science and nature into your books, reminding me of Robert Macfarlane’s wonderful books.

Thanks for your lovely books. I wish you well in your writing and in your health. God Bless.
Oh, there will be more Hild. I'm working on Book II now and researching for Book III. (Current reading: Nunneries and the Anglo-Saxon Royal Houses by Barbara Yorke, and Anglo-Saxon Art by Leslie Webster). One day there might be more Aud; I think of her now and again.

Hild and Aud do have some things in common: height, for one thing. And a concern for and attention to the physical world. They are bright, of course--I've never been interested in writing about people who aren't--but the body matters as much as the mind.

I've just realised that both, too, have absent fathers. Neither, though, has Daddy Issues. (Unlike 99.9% of Hollywood product. Don't get me started on The Lego Movie...)

The mothers of Hild and Aud are strong, smart, and accomplished. They're also political, ruthless, and occasionally selfish. And they love their daughters, though sometimes their daughters don't love them back. In other words, they're parents and they're human.

If you're going to have an interesting protagonist it helps if she comes from an interesting background. And the font of all background is family.

So the mothers of Aud and Hild are towering figures. Aud's is largely an absent one as she was growing up because that's the nature of modern diplomatic work. Hild's, on the other hand, is with her most of the time. Not always, though; I needed Hild to be able to find her own way, become her own person, and I suspect this isn't possible if a parent is constantly hovering.

I'm delighted Hild reminded you of Robert Macfarlane's work. I discovered his books not long after I started working on Hild and felt instantly at home with his appreciation of the natural world. His descriptions have the same sensibility. Last year, when he was chairing the Booker judges, I sighed over the fact that Hild wasn't eligible.

As for my health, it's good. Very good actually. But a truly terrible six months of iatrogenic horrors--November through May--has left me with some serious catching up to do. More on that another time because it will be a rant. Let me just put it this way: the FDA has been informed.

Now, though, I'm strong as a horse, engaged with Book II, and looking forward to the UK launch of Hild. Life is good.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Some basic thoughts on query letters

I often find myself helping first-time novelists with query letters. Here are my thoughts distilled.1

A query letter is not a teaser. It's not jacket copy or an artist's statement. It's a selling document. It's a list of specs for an agent who doesn't know you from Eve: this is what the book is, this is what it does, this is who I am. 

The sole purpose of a query letter is to tell the agent what s/he needs to know in order to decide to invest the time to read the novel. This means you have to make the book and you, the author, seem interesting and sellable:
  • to an editor
  • who will be thinking of how to pitch it to marketing and sales
  • who will be looking for something one reader can describe to another
Your novel doesn't have to be simple but the one-line description does.

So, for example, the one-line description for an imaginary novel The Burnt Man could be "Set in a ninth century in which the Fall of Rome coincided with the fall of something nasty from the sky: an alien slow virus that has destroyed what remains of civilisation and set the world on a new path."

Tell the agent:
  • about the book: setting, characters, basic plot arc, the big emotional knot at the heart of things (if there isn't one, you have a problem), length (don't query an agent about fiction that isn't complete)
  • about you: a thumbnail of why only you could have written this, who you are (have you won awards for short fiction? did you go to Breadloaf or Clarion West? are you a juggler or CEO or Olympic athlete?), what your social media numbers are like (if they're good; otherwise don't mention them)
Be clear and matter of fact. Don't overstate.

Tell the agent a little about the story:
  • the protagonist: name, occupation, age
  • the protagonist's essential struggle: the major turning points
  • their real risk around this choice--what are they afraid of?
  • how does it begin, how does it end? (Does it start in one country and end in another? How long does it take--a day, a year, a lifetime?)
Avoid the whiff of dog-whistle flap-copy (the signals that only those in the know will get) and just say it. Be straightforward.

Never hint at more than you can back up. So don't say, "The Burnt Man has been called Hild meets Nightwings" because the first thing an agent will do is ask "By whom?" If you're really married to the Hollywood-style mashup2 say, rather, "I think of Burnt Man as Hild meets Nightwings." This not only gives the agent a window into your ambition and how you think but avoids the impression that you're trying to claim more than you should.

Make the agent want you as much as the book: if you have plans for--or, even better, have already begun--more novels, say so. (Agents like the idea of a steady stream of stuff they can sell; they like knowing you're a worthy investment of time, energy, emotion.) Give a couple of personal nuggets that they could use to sell the book to an editor; that is, that an editor could sell to marketing and sales--something PR could hang personal interest stories on.

Tell the truth.3 Good luck.

1 I'm assuming you know the basics: keep it to a page, address an agent by name, explain why you're approaching that particular agent, etc. If you don't, visit Query Shark or AgentQuery or Nathan Bransford.
2 Some agents love them, some hate them. It depends what you're writing. And be warned: if you do ever refer to your novel that way, even jokingly, you could get stuck with it: "Game of Thrones without the dragons," anyone?. Choose your comparisons carefully.
3 I have been known to indulge in, ah, aspirational statements--"Oh, yep, I'm working on two novels, actually; here's a paragraph about each." But I back them up. In this instance, I actually wrote Ammonite and Slow River after I'd lied and said I was already working on them. But when the editorial director of HarperCollins UK tells you he likes your short fiction and asks you if you're working on a novel I think it's okay to say Yes and make it true later. But much better to be actually doing the work already.

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Monday, July 7, 2014

A new kind of teaching

In April I taught The Magic of Immersive Fiction, a one-day workshop for Clarion West. The workshop sold out within 90 minutes of announcement. We were all startled (at least I was, and if CW was expecting that kind of stampede they kept it quiet). As an experiment, I offered to teach the same workshop again six weeks later. Within a day that one too had sold out, and had a waiting list.

Participants, it turned out, came from all over the country, and from Canada. I was surprised by that. It seems like a huge investment to fly thousands of miles to attend a one-day workshop. Three days of absence from home life, two nights' stay, food, flights... I didn't feel responsible, exactly, but I did want to be able to offer more than a single six-hour workshop: go out for beer, talk, eat. Something. But because I simply hadn't expected anyone but locals for the first, and because of the last-minute nature of the second, my schedule wouldn't permit it. (I can't remember what I had booked for the evening after the first but after the second it was a talk to a book club about Hild). 

The workshops were wonderful. It was a delight to meet and work with such committed people. I wanted to keep going. I was only just beginning to figure out what everyone needed, how they thought, how they learnt best. And they were just beginning to understand each other and work as a group. And there was so much I wanted to teach.

Clearly there's a demand for focused workshops. I've been considering ways to address it. Kelley and I have done a lot of thinking and talking.

We've both done a fair amount of teaching, both writing and other things. One of the many things we agree on is that writing concepts are better absorbed over time. It doesn't have to be a lot of time, a long weekend say, just enough to think and test and question alongside others, formally and informally.

So we're pondering a workshop for a small number of writers. At this stage we're not sure how many because we've only just started thinking. (12? 15? 18? Something like that.) We're not sure of venue. We're not sure of structure or of admission principles. (Selective? First-come basis?) But here's what we do know. 

  • Genre doesn't matter. Story is story. I don't care whether you call it science fiction or literary fiction or crime fiction, the same concepts apply. Good writing is good writing.
  • Kelley and I would both teach. We have a similar understanding of how writing works, both at the basic and expert level. We'd teach different segments of the (say) weekend: I'd teach, for example, setting. Kelley, for example, story structure.
  • There would be time to socialise. One of the things we both love to do is bring people together: to hold parties, give readings, talk about everything from business to creativity to life. Such weekends would be an opportunity for writers to become part of a lasting and growing network.
Given that Kelley and I live in Seattle, Seattle might be the best place to do this. At least at first. Once we've figured it out we might be able to occasionally take it on the road, either as an independent workshop or to run concurrently with a convention or conference. Not sure yet.

So what we're looking for now is input.
  • Is this something you'd be interested in? 
  • What time of year works best for you? 
  • Would you prefer a holiday or regular weekend?
  • Is coming to Seattle workable for you?
I'm serious about this. We'd really like to hear from you.

ETA: If you're interested in staying in the loop on this, there are two ways to do it.
  1. send me email at asknicola2@nicolagriffith.com
  2. sign up for email updates of this blog

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

There are no tourists here

Lifted from Kelley's Instagram feed--with permission of course
Last night I went to a Clarion West party. I talked to several of this year's students and found myself saying to them, over and over, "There are no tourists here."

What I meant was everyone at the party mattered to the Clarion West ecosystem. No one present was a dilettante. Every single party guest had given time, money, or attention--most all three; many over decades--to the organisation.

Clarion West is one of the best writing workshops in the world. It is sustained by love: love of the written word, love of the genre, love of community, of generosity, of cooperation.

Kelley and I met at a Clarion workshop. We have both taught the six-week workshop. I've taught the one-day workshop three times. Kelley was Chair of the Board of Trustees for three years and is still a member of that board. I've run the Twitter account a couple of times in support of the Write-a-thon. Kelley has participated in the Wat many times. We've given countless parties in support of the workshop and its community. I could go on...

The last year or so has been a hectic one for me, so CW has not been top of my list of things to talk about. But last night reminded me of just how much these people, this idea, matters to me.

As I've said, CW is sustained by love. But it also needs money. And the biggest fundraiser of the year, the Write-a-thon, is now in gear: 263 writers from 16 countries writing their hearts out, writing like the wind, to fill CWs coffers so it will stay healthy for the future. Thanks to some generous donors, every participant now has a sponsor. This is good. More is better.

So, do you love fiction of any kind? Do you love f/sf in particular? Will you help? Please make a pledge to support a writer today.

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Monday, June 30, 2014

Three weeks three days

Just got back from Washington DC. So no mega-post today. But here's a picture of the UK hardback and paperback of Hild, which I took late last night because, well, I'm excited. I know, I've been talking about this book for a year now, but this is publication in the country where I grew up. Publication where old friends and family can see it on the shelves. Publication in the same place it's set. This is what I've been waiting for. Just 24 days to go. 

With luck, I'll be in the UK in early October for a couple of literary festivals and some other things. When I get those details I'll post them here. I'll be the one beaming like a lunatic.

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