Monday, November 16, 2015

Do you know the way to San Jose?

I spent Saturday in San Jose, Calif., leading "Write Short Fiction for Fun & Profit," a one-day writing workshop for South Bay Writers, a branch of the California Writers Club. Not everyone had arrived yet when I took the somewhat blurry photograph of the venue from my position behind the podium.

Though I didn't have a chance to count the number of attendees, there were 36 pre-registered, a handful of walk-ins, and the organizers, so I'm guessing about 44 writers participated.

We worked our way through plotting, characterization, description and dialog, and wrapped up the day with random writing tips, a discussion of copyright, and a participant-driven Q-and-A.

Andrew MacRae, editor/publisher of Darkhouse Books, provided a copy of And All Our Yesterdays, an anthology containing my story "Beneath Still Waters," and a coffee mug with the anthology cover printed on it as door prizes. He joined us toward the end of the day with calls for submissions for two anthologies he's currently working on, so participants learned the basics of writing short stories and met an editor actively seeking stories to publish.

Brian Evankovich, whose first story I published in Fedora II and who now writes as Brian Drake, was one of the participants. Also participating was Madeline McEwen, a writer I know from the Short Mystery Fiction Society. Dick Yaeger first contacted me about leading the workshop, Vice-President Jenni Everidge negotiated the details with me, and she, President Patrick McQueen, and his wife Jennifer welcomed me at the airport the evening before the workshop.

I had a chance to speak with all—or nearly all—of the participants one-on-one before, after, or during the lunch break, and I wish I could remember all of their names so I could list them here.

I hope the participants enjoyed themselves and learned something about writing short fiction.

I certainly enjoyed myself, and I look forward to the next time I have the opportunity to lead a writing workshop.




3 comments:

Maddy said...

I had a brilliant time. Thank you, Michael. This would be a great workshop for all writers from the novice to the expert--there's always something new to learn.

Brian Drake said...

You may remember asking if I was learning anything during your lecture--I wound up taking four pages of notes, so I guess I found a few things I hadn't thought of before!

Michael Bracken said...

Thanks for attending, Maddy and Brian!