Critique and Pitches June 2017!

June 23, 2017 @ 9:00 am – June 25, 2017 @ 3:00 pm

WHERE:La Quinta Inn & Suites Tacoma
1425 E 27th St
Tacoma, WA 98421

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 ClarkePatrick Swenson, and Jaym Gates, agent Michael Carr, and authors Carol BergEva ElasigueSpencer EllsworthLiz 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 InformationProgramming

** Programming may change as leaders and speakers need hours shifted, but these are the topics.**


9am – 10am Check in and Welcome/Meet and Greet! – Cedar room

10am – 10:50am Compare-and-contrast Revision Methods Workshop – Oak room (With Spencer Ellsworth)

10am – 10:50am Keeping Your Sanity as a Freelancer – room (With Jaym Gates)

11am – 1pm – Lunch on your own

1pm – 1:50pm Visual Mapping Techniques & Synaesthetic Processing – Cedar room (With Eva Elasigue)

1pm – 1:50pm Pitch to Agent Michael Carr (Done by appointment assigned at start of the event) – Oak room

2pm – 2:50pm Writing First Person – Cedar room (With Carol Berg)

2pm – 2:50pm Pitch to Agent Michael Carr (Done by appointment assigned at start of the event) – Oak room

3pm – 5pm Critiques

Carol Berg – Cedar room

Jaym Gates – Cedar room

Neil Clarke – Oak room

5pm – 7pm – Dinner on your own

7pm – 7:50pm Editor-author Relationships – Cedar room (With Jaym Gates)

7pm – 7:50pm The Journeyman Period For a Writer – Oak room (With Spencer Ellsworth)

8pm – 8:50pm Writing Proper Consent in Sex Scenes (and keeping it sexy) – Oak room (With Sienna Saint-Cyr)

9pm – Midnight Open Time – Oak room

This is an optional time to work on writing or gather as a group and talk about writing or play games!


8:30am Morning meeting

9am – 11am Critiques

Carol Berg – Oak room

Jaym Gates – Cedar room

Neil Clarke – Cedar room

11am – 11:10am Picture

11:10am – 1pm – Lunch on your own

1pm -1:50pm Writing Mentally Ill Characters Sensitively – Oak room (With Liz Coleman)

1pm – 1:50pm What’s Your “Good Enough” & How To Reach It – Cedar room (With Eva Elasigue)

2pm – 4pm Critiques

Carol Berg – Cedar room

Jaym Gates – Oak room

Neil Clarke – Cedar room

4pm – 4:50pm Query Letter Workshop – Cedar room (With Michael Carr)

4pm – 4:50pm Author Q&A Session (might change) – Oak room (With Ken Scholes)

5pm – 7pm – Dinner on your own

7pm – 7:50pm  Worldbuild Without Falling Into A Vortex ­– Cedar room (With Spencer Ellsworth)

7pm – 7:50pm  Pitch to Agent Michael Carr (Done by appointment assigned at start of the event) – Oak room

8pm – 8:50pm Workshop Feedback and Questionnaire– Oak room (With Ken Scholes)

9pm – Midnight Night Owl Writing, Writing Talk, or Gaming! – Oak room


8:30am – Morning meeting– All in Oak room this day

9am – 10am One on One Meetings (times will be announced at event)

9am – 10am Workshop feedback continued (With Ken Scholes) in Cascade Suite

10am – 11:30am Write a Story in an Hour and a Half! With Patrick Swenson

11:30am – 1pm – Lunch on your own

1pm Agent Q&A Session (With Michael Carr)

2pm – Board Meeting

All are welcome to stay for this. Listen to our annual Board Meeting. We will also be electing a new Vice President, Treasurer, and Programming Chair.Go to top


Click the names below for photos and information.Carol Berg, Author

CarolBerg -hires

Carol Berg’s fifteen epic fantasy novels have won the Prism Award, the Geffen Award, and multiple Colorado Book Awards.  Her duology, Flesh and Spirit and Breath and Bone, won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature, and she is a regular panelist/presenter at writers conferences and science fiction conventions. She is a two-time Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Writer of the Year.  All amazing for one who majored in math atRice University and computer science at the University of Colorado to avoid writing papers.  Her latest novel is Ash and Silver from Penguin Random House.   A former software engineer, Carol calls writing “the hobby that ate my life.” She lives in Colorado in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.Go to topJaym Gates, Author, Editor, Publicist


Jaym Gates is an author, editor, and publicist. Her anthology titles include War StoriesGenius Loci, Rigor Amortis, Strange California, Endless Ages, Tales from the Age of Sorrows, and more. She’s also managed to get over 50 pieces of short fiction and nonfiction published, some of which are being rereleased in her upcoming collection Shattered Queen. She was the Communications Director for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and has consulted for creative companies big and small. You can find more about her at, or on Twitter as @JaymGates.Go to topNeil Clarke, Editor, Publisher

Neil Clarke is the editor of Clarkesworld Magazine, Forever Magazine, and The SFWA Bulletin; owner of Wyrm Publishing; and a five-time Hugo Award Nominee for Best Editor (short form). His anthologies include UpgradedGalactic Empires, several Clarkesworld annuals, and the Best Science Fiction of the Year series. He currently lives in NJ with his wife and two sons.Go to top


Michael Carr, Agent

Michael Carr Author Photo

Michael Carr is a literary agent with a background in editing and writing, working from a home base in New England. He represents writers in a variety of genres, with a special emphasis on historical fiction, mystery and suspense, and science fiction and fantasy. Michael works carefully with clients to produce the cleanest, most professional manuscripts and enjoys teaching at workshops and conferences to help develop emerging writers. He speaks Spanish and conversational French and before joining Veritas had professions as diverse as programming simulators for nuclear submarines and owning an inn in Vermont.Go to topPatrick Swenson, Editor, Author, Publisher

Patrick Swenson edited Talebones magazine for 14 years, and he still runs Fairwood Press, a book line, which began in 2000. A graduate of Clarion West, his first novel The Ultra Thin Manappeared from Tor in 2014. The sequel, The Ultra Big Sleep, appeared last summer. He has sold stories to the anthology Like Water for Quarks, and magazines such as Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy MagazineFigment, and others. He runs the Rainforest Writers Village retreat every spring at Lake Quinault, Washington. He is a high school teacher and lives in Bonney Lake, Washington with his fifteen-year-old son Orion.Go to topSpencer Ellsworth, Author


Spencer Ellsworth writes. His work has been published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Michael Moorcock’s New Worlds, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show and many other places. He has won several awards that you probably haven’t heard of, and eaten things he really shouldn’t have. He lives in Bellingham, Washington with his wife and three children.Go to topKen Scholes, Author

Ken Scholes is the award-winning, critically-acclaimed author of five novels and over fifty short stories.  His work has appeared in print for over sixteen years.  His series, The Psalms of Isaak, is published by Tor Books and his short fiction has been collected in three volumes published by Fairwood Press.

Ken is a winner of the Writers of the Future Award, France’s Prix Imaginales, the Endeavour Award and a scattering of others.  His work is published internationally in eight languages.  Ken’s also a public advocate for people living with C-PTSD and speaks openly about his experiences with it.

Ken’s eclectic background includes time spent as a label gun repairman, a sailor who never sailed, a soldier who commanded a desk, a preacher (he got better), a nonprofit executive, a musician and a government procurement analyst.  He has a degree in History from Western Washington University.  His nickname is Trailer Boy in homage to his childhood home on the outskirts of a small logging town.

Ken is a native of the Pacific Northwest and makes his home in Saint Helens, Oregon, where he lives with his twin daughters.Go to topLiz Coleman, Author

Liz Coleman has been published in Lightspeed Magazine and Beneath Ceaseless Skies and is a graduate of Viable Paradise. She has an MA in Existential Phenomenological Psychology and uses that extremely pretentious degree to work in community mental health.
Go to topEva L. Elasigue, Author

Eva L. Elasigue combines recognized writing talent with scientific & empirical backgrounds to create the mythic intergalactic space opera Bones of Starlight, as well as works from poetic to humorous for internet and stage.  She writes from her home in the Pacific Northwest US, where she lives with her dog in an island town.  She is currently continuing her debut series, Bones of Starlight, and manages Primal Spiral, an imprint-events collective-studio.  Among many things, she enjoys music, the wilderness, and these things together.