Untangle Your Novel – November 2018

November 17, 2018 @ 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

WHERE:Queen Anne Baptist Church
2011 1st Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

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 Tor.com submissions wrangler Cory Skerry, will talk about the best ways to draft, revise and get the novel out the door and into publication.

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 www.fondalee.com 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.  Tor.com 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 Tor.com. 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 inkshark.net.


• 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.