Our calendar includes a wide range of literary events.
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Remember, remember the 5th of November! @ La Quinta Inn & Suites
Nov 5 @ 10:00 am – 6:00 pm


Remember, remember the 5th of November! This seems like the perfect theme for a Mystery/Crime/Noir and all mix of cross genres event! Even if you’re writing Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Paranormal, or another genre, knowing how to twist a plot and create tension through crime can make the difference between a best-seller and humdrum novel. Or taking a romance and adding a noir flair gives a fresher voice to the genre. Whether you’re writing straight crime or a mix, join pros Kat Richardson, Brian Thornton, and Tom D. Wright for this mysterious event!

Registration is now full. 


KatRBWAug16Kat Richardson is the bestselling author of the Greywalker novels, featuring paranormal PI Harper Blaine, as well as numerous short SFF and Mystery stories. She’s taught writing workshops for Clarion West, Cascade Writers, PNWA, Mystery Writers of America, ArmadilloCon, and Foolscap, been a panelist and speaker at numerous genre and writing conventions, and helped design convention programming for Norwescon, PNWA, and Romantic Times. Kat has worked as a magazine and technical editor, gemology course writer, and actor. She’s been a theater brat, Ren Faire actor, whiffler, dancer, singer, sound and lighting technician, costumer, and game writer. Currently, she lives in the wilds of Western Washington, writing, and working as a freelance editor, in between flying kites, chasing her dogs, making paper automata, playing computer games, and working in her garden.

Brian Thornton Author Bio 2014 (1)Brian Thornton is the author of nine books, including THE BOOK OF BASTARDS and THE BOOK OF ANCIENT BASTARDS, in addition to serving as collection editor for the crime fiction anthology WEST COAST CRIME WAVE. His short fiction has appeared in such venues as ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE and the Akashic Books anthology SEATTLE NOIR. A native Washingtonian, he lives in Seattle with his wife and son, and is currently serving his second tour as Northwest Chapter president for the Mystery Writers of America.

TomTom D Wright lives in the Puget Sound area with his wife. When he’s not writing, he works in IT for a prominent IT company in Seattle.

He graduated from Bowie State University with an M.A. in Psychology, so when people call him with an IT problem, he can ask them “And how does that make you feel?”

Tom is also privileged to serve on the board of the Cascade Writers, a writer’s conference dedicated to providing educational seminars and workshops for those interested in writing and publishing original works.



9:45-10 Check in/registration

10-10:45 Intro/Segment 1: What is Mystery? Expectations of various subgenres and cross genres and discussion of students’ favorite books and goals in their chosen subgenre. Workshop leaders will tailor/adjust focus of content to meet the needs of students based on this discussion.

11-11:45 Segment 2: Nefarious Plots! Structuring clues and conflict. Work segment: delineating student’s plot, structure, clues, and conflict points both a bullet list and chronological plot map. Developed material will be used again later in workshop—keep those worksheets! Outline styles discussed.

12-12:45 Segment 3: Like an Onion. Layering information context for plot and clue development and world building. Work segment developing context and compact information. Work to be used again later in workshop.

12:45 -1:45 Lunch break – attendees are responsible for their meals.

2-2:45 Segment 4: Character and conflict—the fuel of plot. Work segment on character development and conflict in protagonist/antagonist relationship. Special issues in cross-genre mysteries. Character trajectory and minor character development. Will be used again later.

3-3:45 Segment 5: POV and Character voice. Difference in POVs, developing character voice and POV expression, and utilizing it in creating mood and context as well as addressing plot development and character arc. Work segments on voice and POV. Will be used later.

4-4:45 Segment 6: Build a Scene. Use the information, worksheets, and lists developed in earlier segment to write a model scene for the students’ projects. Revise in differing POVs or Character voices.

5-5:45 Segment 7: Open discussion and questions about mystery and cross-genre, keeping your momentum, writer’s block, submissions, the business of publishing, traditional and indie publishing approaches.

5:45-6 and beyond (as available)—optional extended small group discussion.

Switch It Up! with Tina Connolly, Alex C. Renwick, and Kate Ristau @ Taborspace
Apr 29 @ 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Switch It Up! with Tina Connolly, Alex C. Renwick, and Kate Ristau

Fall in love again… with your manuscript.

Got a piece of writing you’ve been looking at so long you’re not sure what you’re doing anymore? Find yourself stuck at a literary impasse? Maybe you’re just feeling burnt out in general and wondering where the good times went. Bring your literary darlings for a play date with Tina, Alex, and Kate and have a little fun with form and function. Refocus on what you really love about your storyline, characters, or plot by building castles with us for a day in a whole different sandbox than the one you’ve been working in. Turn your elevator pitch into a haiku, your short story into song lyrics, your novel into a comic strip. Rewrite your hardcore urban fantasy novel synopsis as a gritty western, or pretend your space opera is a furry love story. We’ll free up those creative juices and find you a new way of looking at, thinking about, or honing your writing. Business, branding, rules — blah, blah, blah. Let’s make creating stories fun again and bring back the joy. This is a day to remember how much we love what we’re doing, and why.


10-10:40 – intro, icebreaker exercise
10:40-10:45 – 5 minute break
10:45-12:15 – presenter #1 – Alex Renwick
12:15-1:30 – lunch
1:30-3 – presenter #2 – Tina Connolly
3 – 3:15 – 15 min break
3:15 – 4:45 – presenter #3 – Kate Ristau
4:45 – 5 – 15 min break
5-6 – sharing

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 10.32.21 AMTina Connolly is the author of the Ironskin trilogy from Tor Books, and the Seriously Wicked series from Tor Teen. Her books have been nominated for the Nebula and the Norton. Her stories have appeared in Women Destroy SFLightspeed,, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and many more, and are collected in On the Eyeball Floor and Other Stories from Fairwood Press. Her narrations have appeared in audiobooks and podcasts including Podcastle, Pseudopod, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, John Joseph Adams’The End is Nigh series, and more. She is one of the co-hosts of Escape Pod, and runs the Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast Toasted Cake.

She is originally from Lawrence, Kansas, but she now lives with her family in Portland, Oregon.


Alex-C-RenwickAlex C. Renwick has written dozens of short stories as Camille Alexa, including her award-nominated collection, Push of the Sky. She has edited fiction and poetry for anthologies and magazines, and is a senior reviewer for The Green Man Review. Her noir, weird lit, and cross-genre stories have appeared in the Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazines, Fantasy Magazine, and inImaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing.


Kate Ristau is an author and folklorist who writes young adult and middle grade fiction. Her novels, Clockbreakers and Shadow Girl are now available from Indigo Sea Press. In her ideal world, magic and myth combine to create memorable stories with unforgettable characters. Until she finds that world, she’ll live in Oregon with her husband, her son, and her dog.


Critique and Pitches June 2017! @ La Quinta Inn & Suites Tacoma
Jun 23 @ 9:00 am – Jun 25 @ 3:00 pm

Milford-Style critiques, agent pitches and query information, panels on writing, editing, self-publishing, and more! Join us for our three-day event this June with editors and/or publishers Neil Clarke, Patrick Swenson, and Jaym Gates, agent Michael Carr, and authors Carol Berg, Eva Elasigue, Spencer Ellsworth, Liz Coleman, and Ken Scholes! Many of our guest speakers and group leaders edit, write, publish, and do other industry related work, making them highly valuable when it comes to the ins and outs of the publishing world!

The Reed Marginalized Voices Scholarship has been awarded! Congrats to the winner!

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 May 30, 2017. Registration will be in touch with how to submit closer to the due date.

Location: La Quinta Inn & Suites1425 E. 27th Street Tacoma, WA  98421 –  (253) 383-0146 (Ext. 6 for reservations) La Quinta Tacoma.

Hotel Information


Click the names below for photos and information.

Carol Berg, Author
Jaym Gates, Author, Editor, Publicist
Neil Clarke, Editor, Publisher


Michael Carr, Agent
Patrick Swenson, Editor, Author, Publisher
Spencer Ellsworth, Author
Ken Scholes, Author
Liz Coleman, Author
Eva L. Elasigue, Author