Well, it’s been a crazy week – and a good one, full of lots of little triumphs. I found out on Thursday I made it to the second round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards (yay me!)…. which puts me competing against only a thousand people instead of ten thousand. Here’s hoping I make it the next three rounds and whittle down my competition even further 🙂
I also heard this weekend that I was accepted into the Odyssey Fantasy Workshop, a six week super-exclusive professional-level science fiction/fantasy workshop on the level of Clarion. (*Happy Dance!*) Their application process is so intense they require three references from people familiar with your writing. The written statement and writing excerpt were no walk in the park either. But I’m in!
But today I found out I made it into the KU Novel Writer’s Workshop, a two-week novel intensive – that happens the same month as Odyssey! So I’m in the tough but enviable position of having to choose between the two workshops.
The KU Novel course leader, Kij, has already been amazing. She recommended a few students for me to talk to (two of which have already gotten back to me), has responded to all my emails promptly, and seems like a genuinely nice person who knows her stuff. Plus her students rave about her, which is always a major plus.
In the other corner, Odyssey is a longer workshop, goes more in depth into the components of good writing craft, and more people report a “leaps and bounds” improvement at the end of six weeks. They’ve also been known to break writers, though, and we have to sign a form that says we’re healthy enough to manage the intensive workload. Which frankly makes me nervous.
But Odyssey has the reputation too. I can claim them on my writing resume for nearly as much street cred as an MFA at a fraction of the cost. I can call myself “neo-pro,” a new professional writer, after graduating from the program. That means I can get into a neo-pro writing group to be surrounded by people who are better than me. Which is the only way you get better. But there’s that lingering question of how intense is their six week program really? I’d be halfway across the country for a month and a half.
If you can’t tell, I’m in the grip of a big dilemma. Admittedly, it’s a nice problem to have. But it’s still a dilemma!
P.S. Today also starts the first week of class for my six-month intensive Steampunk novel class. Whew – what a week!