I loved the critiques and the talks by authors and other professionals I’ve admired for years, but what I loved the most was the casual atmosphere. It was so easy to walk up to these big names, say hi, and just start chatting. Actually, it was easy to talk to everyone there. I’m a major introvert. At Cascade Writers, it was like I found my tribe. I laughed and talked until my voice was hoarse. I made dozens of new friends, people who are going to be the “who’s who” of writers in the coming decades. We bonded over rejections, cake, and plausible methods to destroy the Earth. Good times.
— Beth Cato
I had a great time at the conference and feel honored to have been invited. Without fail, the other participants were both warm and professional, and I feel I made some genuine friendships that I hope to carry forward.
— Michael Carr
Superbly fantastic weekend. I couldn’t have had a better first conference experience and I know I am not alone.
— Eva Rieder
I’m going to pile on here and add my immeasurable gratitude to Karen (and the CWW board) for making this remarkable weekend happen, to Jay and all the instructors for being so generous with your time and knowledge, for Camille, who added so much by her presence and for all the writers who shared something of themselves in and out of the workshop sessions — especially you brave souls who were doing it for the first time.
— Manny Frishberg
The quality of pro interaction and pro advice here is the kind of thing you usually have to get through audition and hefty tuition at super-prestigious workshops.
— Spencer Ellsworth
So, I just received an acceptance letter from Penumbra for a short story that had its genesis on the beach at the Cascade Writers Workshop last year. It will be featured in their September 2012 issue. Thanks, Karen, for putting this together. If I hadn’t been in that place at that time, I’m not sure I would have discovered this story.
— Rebecca Birch
Tor editor Beth Meacham gave me some excellent feedback on the opening of my YA fantasy novel (as did the other wonderful writers in her group). We also chatted about other topics writerly and not, and she was very generous with her time and feedback in general. She managed a perfect balance of blunt and gracious. However, while she is indeed bionic, the rumors of her extendable fingernails that bleed red ink as they shred your manuscript are greatly exaggerated. [Read more from Randy here.]
— Randy Henderson
Critique groups, the core of the workshop, were outstanding. The group instructors were of the highest caliber, and each one was focused on helping workshop participants. On that basis alone, I would strongly recommend the workshop to someone who has been writing for a while and has begun submitting stories, or to someone who is getting published but wants to move up to the next level.
— Karen G. Anderson
I learned a lot about some of my weaknesses in writing and how to move forward. I also had the chance to feel like that fourth grade me, the girl who wore coke bottle glasses, elastic waist neon green pants, and traded tater tots for stories of the the paranormal. The feeling of acceptance and community in the end were worth more to me than anything else.
— Katie Cord
I found the atmosphere that Ken created within the group very comfortable and that made it easier for me to discuss my manuscript. Since this was the first time I had ever gotten feedback outside of family and friends, I came prepared to be beaten severely over any weakness in my writing, which did not happen. All of your insights were intelligent and well thought, so thank you all for reviewing my work.
— Alaina Ewing
It’s my third year at the event, and again I took back important tips on improving my writing and polishing the story I submitted. Better yet, the time with other writing folk put a fire under me. Thanks to Karen Junker and her family, who give so much to make the event happen. Lots of work, much appreciated.
— Amanda Clark