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Odyssey SF workshop announces its program for next year

29/12/2006. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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The program is held every summer on Saint Anselm College's campus in Manchester, NH, USA. The six-week sci-fi writing workshop combines an intensive learning and writing experience with feedback on student manuscripts.

Jeanne Cavelos, Odyssey's director, founder, and primary instructor, is an author and a former senior editor at Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing, where she won a World Fantasy Award for her work.

"I give the same unflinchingly honest, concrete, detailed feedback to students that I provided to professional authors," Cavelos said. "Along with that, Odyssey offers an advanced, comprehensive curriculum through in-depth lectures, providing the tools and techniques students need to improve. Receiving feedback on your work and learning your weaknesses doesn't help unless you also have the tools to strengthen those areas. I'm constantly told by graduates that they learned more at Odyssey than they learned in years of workshopping and creative writing classes."

The workshop runs from June 11th to July 20th, 2007. Class meets for four hours in the morning, five days a week. Students spend about eight hours more each day writing and critiquing each other's work. Prospective students, aged eighteen and up, apply from all over the world. The application deadline is APRIL 13th 2007.

This year, Odyssey host's Nina Kiriki Hoffman. Over the past twenty-four years, she has sold novels, juvenile and media tie-in books, short story collections, and 200 short stories. Her works have been finalists for the Nebula, World Fantasy, Sturgeon, and Endeavour awards. Her novel The Thread That Binds the Bones (Avon) won a Bram Stoker Award for first novel. Her other long works include The Silent Strength of Stones from Avon, A Red Heart of Memories, Past the Size of Dreaming, A Fistful of Sky from Ace, and A Stir of Bones (young adult fantasy) from Viking.

2007 guest lecturers are: Michael A. Burstein, Rodman Philbrick, Michael A. Arnzen, Elizabeth Hand, John Clute, and George Scithers. Lecturers share their insights both in class discussion and through group and individual manuscript critiques.

Lane Robins, graduate of the class of '99, will have her first novel, Maledicte, published by Del Rey this May. She said, "I still consider attending Odyssey the best step taken in my writing career. Odyssey taught me I was writing instinctively instead of thoughtfully: I never stopped to ask why I was putting this scene here, why this character cared, or even what the ultimate point of my story was. . . . Odyssey taught me about story structure, about asking myself questions, and about understanding the reader's expectations as well as my own."

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