Our calendar includes a wide range of literary events.
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Untangle Your Novel – November 2018 @ Queen Anne Baptist Church
Nov 17 @ 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Right smack in the middle of November, Cascade Writers is here to help you work through your novel troubles. If you’re feeling stuck in the middle, stuck on the rewrite, or unsure of how to be respectful and diverse and marketable, this is the place. Novelists Fonda Lee & Nisi Shawl, and submissions wrangler Cory Skerry, will talk about the best ways to draft, revise and get the novel out the door and into publication.

Register Here!

Scholarships are now closed.


Fonda Lee is the author of Jade City (Orbit), the first book in the Green Bone Saga, which was a finalist for the Nebula Award and the Locus Award, and named a Best Book of 2017 by NPR, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s Books, and Syfy Wire, among others. Her young adult science fiction novels Zeroboxer (Flux), Exo and Cross Fire (Scholastic) have garnered numerous accolades including being Junior Library Guild Selections, Andre Norton Award finalists, and Oregon Book Award finalists. Fonda is a recovering corporate strategist, black belt martial artist, Eggs Benedict enthusiast, and action movie aficionado living in Portland, Oregon. You can find Fonda online at and on Twitter @fondajlee.


Nisi Shawl wrote the AfroRetroFuturist novel Everfair, a Nebula Award finalist set in an imaginary Utopia in the Congo; and the James Tiptree, Jr. Award-winning story collection Filter House. invited her to expand her “Crash Course in the History of Black Science Fiction” essay into a monthly column, and she is obliging.  She co-edited the anthologies Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany; and Strange Matings: Science Fiction, Feminism, African American Voices, and Octavia E. Butler.  Shawl lives in Seattle, taking walks with her mother June and her cat Minnie at the pace of an entitled feline.


Cory Skerry has worked at a handful of magazines, including Shimmer, Nightmare, and He divides his workday between writing the impossible, illustrating the outrageous, and assisting individual authors and small presses who want their manuscripts to exceed reader expectations. When his current meatshell begins to decay, he’d like science to put his brain inside a giant killer octopus body, with which he’ll be very responsible and not even slightly shipwrecky. Pinky swear. For more, visit


• 10 – 10:30: Introductions!

• 10:30-12:00: Cory and Fonda talk about their own methods, touching on common places that people flounder and offer some tools to wrangle their free range plot threads and character arcs back into the barn, using real life (and fake life) examples! (10:30-11:15 Cory, 11:15-12:00 Fonda)

• 12 – 1:30: Lunch with assignment! Cory and Fonda will ask participants to describe their biggest issues on 3×5 cards they will turn in after lunch

• 1:30-2:15: Nisi talks about her own methods for writing, and how she combats the points where she flounders and ways she wrangles and untangles plot

• 2:15-4:30: Cory/Fonda/Nisi uses the index cards to do more tool-giving, less generally and more specifically depending on individual problems (chiming in with some of the devices and methods they learned or were reminded of earlier.) Participants will split off into a group or partner assignment of 25 minutes or so–10 minutes discussion and 15 minutes targeted writing

• 4:30-5:00: 30-minute break to buy books from University Bookstore table.

• 5 – 6: Q-and-A on craft/publishing/author’s works.

Create Your e-Book – from start to finish @ Queen Anne Baptist Church
Feb 2 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
You’ve finished the final edits and proofreading of your manuscript – now, how do you get your finished work into the hands (and the reading devices) of your readers?


During this hands-on workshop, Tod McCoy will walk you through the process of actually turning your manuscript into a publishable e-book. We will start with a Word/Text document, and through a combination of lecture discussion and lab exercises, you will use the software tools necessary to transform your manuscript into an e-book which is ready to upload. Following lab exercises, Kiki Burrelli and Tom Wright will review various practical aspects of self-publishing once your e-book is ready.
Each student will need to bring:
– A laptop – Mac, Windows PC, Linux (or whatever else might run the required software)
– An installed, working version of Sigil (download links for this free software will be provided ahead of time)
– An installed, working version of Calibre (download links for this free software will be provided ahead of time)
– Manuscript file you will convert into an e-book (recommended specs for your document will be provided ahead of time)
– An e-book cover (specs will be provided) is optional, practice covers will be provided to work with


Tod McCoy: Converting Your Manuscript
– Sigil overview
– e-book formats
– Converting your file
– Understanding e-book structure
– Labwork – converting your file and reviewing the results


Kiki Burrelli: Fundamentals of e-book Selling
– Keywords and categories
– Importance of the summary
– Significance of also boughts/also views
– Why you don’t want to ask your friends and family to run out and get your book
– Amazon algorithms
– Managing expectations


Tod McCoy: Adjusting the HTML code
– The use and placement of images
– When/how to use table of contents
– Labwork – adjusting your e-book and reviewing the results


Tom Wright: Amazon Essentials & Partnering with an Artist
– Amazon KDP options, reports and promotions
– Amazon KDP Select; i.e. why and why not, and what to expect
– Importance of e-book covers
– Options for finding an artist, and when to do so
– What you need for your ebook cover


Tod McCoy: Uploading & Testing your file
– Device/Reader differences
– Testing
– What can go wrong and Best Practices
– Calibre overview
– How to upload
– Labwork – testing your e-book and (if you already have an account) uploading


Tod McCoy is a Seattle-based writer whose work has appeared in Asimov’s, Starward Tales II, The People’s Apocalypse, Bronies: For the Love of Ponies,,, and The Gloaming. A Clarion West graduate and current board member, he’s the publisher behind Hydra House, whose catalog includes Telling Tales, edited by Ellen Datlow, two collections by Cat Rambo: Near+Far (which generated a Nebula nomination) and Neither Here Nor There; and Godfall & Other Stories by Sandra M. Odell. He has been converting books into digital format and working with authors and small presses since 2010.


Kiki Burrelli began writing for a living in 2016 after jumping, eyes closed, into the world of self-publishing. She mainly writes LGBT romance, though really, she writes the books she likes to read, with characters she wants to spend time with. Since beginning her self-publishing journey she’s written several series including Wolf’s Mate and The Den and over twenty novels and novellas. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and like a true stereotype, loves coffee and the rain. She is endlessly shocked by how many non-writing related tasks there are in writing for a living and absolutely loves to talk shop, trends and tips. For more info check out her Facebook page: or website: (Kiki writes on the steamier side so please use your own discretion.)


Tom D Wright is a science fiction author in the Pacific Northwest, whose work includes several self-published books. He graduated with a Masters in Psychology from Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland and is on the Board for Cascade Writers.
Three-day Writing Workshop 2019 @ Fairfield Inn & Suites Seattle Bremerton
Jul 19 @ 8:30 am – Jul 21 @ 3:00 pm

Current speakers for the 2019 workshop include editor Diana M. Pho, agent Jennie Goloboy (of the Donald Maass Agency), editor Carl Engle-Laird, author Cat Rambo, author Wendy Wagner, author David Levine, author Curtis Chen, editor and author Jaym Gates, author John Pitts, and author Randy Henderson!


Apply for Scholarship


Submissions: This is a Milford-Style critique. You will be critiqued by your fellow group members and leader, and you’ll be critiquing their submissions as well. Word count of 4k max, submissions need to be in standard manuscript format, and if you submit a chapter that isn’t the first, please include a brief synopsis. Novel chapters or short stories welcome. Submissions due by June 20, 2019. Registration will be in touch with how to submit closer to the due date.

Location: Fairfield Inn & Suites Seattle Bremerton, 239 4th St, Bremerton, WA 98337, USA (360)-377-2111

Hotel Reservations

2019 Group Leaders

Group 1

Diana M. Pho
Group 2
Jennie Goloboy

Group 3

Curtis C. Chen
Cat Rambo

Group 4

Wendy N. Wagner
David D. Levine

Group 5

Carl Engle-Laird

2019 Speakers

Jaym Gates
Randy Henderson
John J.A. Pitts