Novelette & Novella Writing Workshop with Nisi Shawl (New Date!)

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Refunds up to 7 days before event

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In this 8 week workshop for long-form short fiction, beginning and intermediate writers will receive in-depth critiques on stories up to 45,000 words from peers and published authors.

Novellas and novelettes are experiencing a renaissance, and opportunities for publishing fiction that's longer and more complex than a short story but more compact and smaller in scope than a novel are growing. However, opportunities for workshopping these in-between lengths are not as numerous as those for shorts and novels. This eight week workshop provides a supportive environment for analyzing and discussing novellas and novelettes. Each writer's manuscript will be critiqued by their peers as well as authors Nisi Shawl and K. Tempest Bradford.

Participants will read one manuscript per week, turning in critiques and participating in discussions about each story on the weekends. In addition, we will study how novelettes and novellas work by reading and analyzing three published works during the course of the eight weeks. During the week students will discuss aspects of writing craft related to the long short story form and fiction in general.

There are no set meeting times for this workshop— all participation will take place via an online forum/mailing list and Google Drive. Students can log in at any time, but must complete critiques and discussions within a set time frame.

To participate in this workshop, you must have your manuscript ready for critique by June 1, 2018. Manuscripts must be no less than 8,000 words and no more than 45,000.

We are committed to providing a safe and respectful writing workshop environment, especially for writers from marginalized backgrounds. We work with critique guidelines that prioritize analysis and craft-based observations, and every student must abide by a class Code of Conduct that emphasizes respect and takes a no-tolerance stance on harassment.


We are offering one scholarship spot for writers who do not have the financial means to take this workshop. We have a broad definition of financial need that ranges from writers who do not have the money at all to writers who have the funds but can’t afford to use them for a writing class. Please don’t hesitate to apply wherever you exist on that spectrum.

To apply, send an email by May 1 to with the subject Novella Workshop Scholarship Applicant, and include in the body:

  • A brief (300 or fewer words) statement of financial need
  • A brief (500 or fewer words) bio that includes your background, writing class/workshop experience (if applicable), and publications (if applicable). You do not need to have published anything to get the scholarship.
  • A writing sample of 1000 or fewer words. This can be an excerpt from a longer work or flash fiction, from something published or unpublished, as long as it represents what you feel is your best work.


June 1 – All Stories Due

June 9 - 10 – Week 1 Story Critique

June 16 - 17 – Week 2 Story Critique

June 23 - 24 – Week 3 Story Critique

June 30 - July 1 – Week 4 Story Critique

July 7 - 8 – Week 5 Story Critique

July 14 - 15 – Week 6 Story Critique

July 21 - 22 – Week 7 Story Critique

July 28 - 29 – Week 8 Story Critique


Nisi Shawl is an award-winning author, editor, and reviewer. Her short fiction collection, Filter House, was nominated for the World Fantasy Award and won the James Tiptree, Jr. Award. Her first published novel, Everfair, was nominated for the Nebula Award. She is the editor of Stories for Chip, Strange Matings: Octavia E. Butler, Feminism, Science Fiction, and African American Voices, and People of Color Take Over Fantastic Stories of the Imagination. She edits reviews for The Cascadia Subduction Zone, The Seattle Times, and The Washington Post, among other outlets. She is a founding member of the Carl Brandon Society and has served on the board for the Clarion West writing workshop. Nisi developed the Writing the Other workshop with Cynthia Ward, and has taught it for over a decade in person, at conventions, and in a retreat setting.

K. Tempest Bradford is a speculative fiction author, a media critic, and podcaster. Her short fiction has appeared in several anthologies and magazines, including In the Shadow of the Towers, Diverse Energies, Federations, Strange Horizons, Electric Velocipede, plus many more. Tempest's articles, media criticism, and reviews can be found on NPR, LitReactor, the SFWA blog, io9, and various other media outlets. Currently she serves on the board of the Carl Brandon Society, an organization dedicated to increasing racial and ethnic diversity in the production of and audience for speculative fiction.

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