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A Taste of Viable Paradise Writer's Workshop

Debra Doyle and James Macdonald of the Viable Paradise writer's workshop will host a one-day writer's workshop at Arisia 2011. Five finalists will have their work critiqued by Debra and James with helpful suggestions on how to improve their stories. The deadline for submissions is January 1st, 2011. Submissions are to be emailed to: [email protected] with the heading Arisia Workshop Submission for consideration.

The following manuscript guidelines must be followed in order for your story to be considered for the workshop:

Manuscript Formatting Guidelines

  • Minimum 2000 words, max 5000 words (or 8-20 pages in standard MS format) including outlines or synopses, although less is fine if it serves the purpose, and can consist of one or two short stories, a novelette, or a novel portion with outline. This should not be material currently on submission to a professional publisher. If you send chapters from your novel they should be the first chapters, (e.g. Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three, etc.) to the word limit. If you find the end of chapter three falls just a bit over the word limit, please finish the chapter.
  • The first page of each manuscript should contain basic information (name/address/Email/phone) in the upper left corner, and an approximate word count in the upper right corner. The title should be centered about a third of the way down the page, with the byline two lines below the title. Each subsequent page should have your name, an identifiable portion of the title, and the page number in the upper right corner
  • Do not skip lines between paragraphs. Indent the start of each paragraph.
  • RTF format only. Not .doc, .txt, .wpd, or anything else. Most word processors allow a "Save As" function with Rich Text Format (.rtf) as one of the choices.
  • Turn off "Smart Quotes." Replace all curved quotes with straight quotes. Replace all curved apostrophes with straight apostrophes. Please indicate italics with underlines. Replace the elipsis character with three periods in a row (...), not with a true elipsis (…). Indicate an em-dash (long dash) with two hyphens (--) not a true em-dash (—). Scene breaks should be indicated with a single hash mark (#) alone on a line.
  • Strange Horizons magazine gives detailed instructions on how to carry out these steps with Microsoft Word (turning off default options, etc.) here.
  • The file name should be a keyword from your story's title and your name. For example, "Dragons Over Detroit" by Marty Winecap might be saved as dragons_winecap.rtf. (Calling your submission "submission.rtf" is right out.)
  • NOTE: Participation in this workshop should in no way be considered as an entry for the standard Viable Paradise workshop. Any participant in the workshop intending to apply to the Viable Paradise proper should do so through the channels indicated on the Viable Paradise web page, and should do so with a different manuscript than the one they submit to the Arisia workshop.