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Online Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Courses with Cat Rambo


Writer Cat Rambo has recently been offering online classes and workshops that have proved fairly popular. Cat is a highly accomplished writer of fantasy and science fiction. Her work has appeared in top pro venues like Asimov’s Science Fiction, Clarkesworld, Weird Tales, and Strange Horizons, and from there a number have made their way into year’s best anthologies. My experience is that she’s personable and insightful. If you write or are interested in writing science fiction or fantasy and want to improve your skills, the classes below might be just what the doctor ordered. They run from one to six sessions, are priced in the $100-$250 range, and are described in detail with schedule and price list at .

(Note: I don’t get a cut of any of this; I’m just mentioning it because I think Cat is an unusually good source of writing knowledge.)

About the class format, Cat says “I do them on Google Hangouts, which means that people can participate via video (or if they are shy, by audio only). The format allows for a class that is conducted both during the class time and also outside of it via discussions on Google+. I’ve been very happy with this – I feel as though the combo of in and out of class exchanges has let me connect with students in a deeper way than in a once a week face to face class, weirdly enough.”

Here are the current offerings:

Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction Stories: A six week workshop focusing on the basics of writing speculative fiction short stories, including plotting, creating believable and engaging characters, world-building, what to do with a story once it’s finished, dealing with editors and markets, and other necessities. Students will have the opportunity to workshop two stories over the course of the class.

Editing Basics: This three week workshop targets editing both other people’s works as well as your own. Topics include how to edit at both the sentence and story/book level, working well with writers, theory of ToCs, electronic publishing, copyright, and making a living as an editor. Each session is two hours and includes in-class editing exercises, with week one focusing on developmental editing, week two on copyediting and fact checking, and week three on publishing.

Bring On The Flash: A three-hour session focusing on writing flash fiction and consisting of a mixture of lecture, in-class writing exercises, discussion of how to turn fragments into flash, and an overview of flash fiction markets.

Your First Page: Co-taught with Louise Marley. Louise and I have done this workshop several times with great success – we thought we’d try an online version. You give us the first page of your novel and we’ll critique and discuss it in a way that will be helpful with the overall work as well as talking about agents, and editors and how important the first page is when engaging them. More than one students had told me this was the single most useful workshop they’d ever had.

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