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Walter's Toolbox Opens Again

New Mexico is the Land of Enchantment, and the little mountain city of Taos is one of its most enchanting spots... and a great spot for aspiring authors to sharpen their literary skills.

Taos is where my friend Walter Jon Williams hold his annual "graduate level" writing workshop, the Taos Toolbox. There are a number of great workshops for writers just starting out -- Clarion, Clarion West, and Odyssey, to name three -- but the Toolbox is a little different, intended for writers who have already gone to one or more of those and maybe made a few sales. The next step in building a career in our genre.

This year's faculty includes Walter Jon himself -- author of DAYS OF ATONEMENT, HARDWIRED, The Praxis series, and many many more, and creator of Golden Boy, Modular Man, Black Shadow, and Gordon the Ghoul for the Wild Cards series -- and Nancy Kress. Guest lecturers and scheduled visitors will include E.M. Tippetts, Steven Gould, and myself (Walter has promised to buy me dinner).

Further information at http://www.taostoolbox.com

Taos Toolbox will make you a huge bestselling author. Or not. But what the hell, Taos is lovely, and the food is really really good.


Dec. 15th, 2016 02:34 am (UTC)
'Writing', particularly fiction writing, is one of those fields that so many talk about wanting to get into that I feel pessimistic about even imagining myself succeeding at it. And by 'success' I don't mean 'Stephen King success' or 'George RR Martin success', where you're drowning in money and have lines queuing up around the block for fans to get their books signed, but simple 'I can use the money I made writing to pay my rent and buy food' success.

Nevertheless, I feel I should try to fight my innate pessimism, at least enough to do justice to that fantasy/sci-fi universe I've had bouncing around in my brain for ages. Stephen King has talked about how he kept his rejection letters on a nail when he was a kid until that nail was ready to fall off the wall, then replaced it with a spike and kept on writing. That's the kind of determination you need, I suspect.

Edited at 2016-12-15 02:35 am (UTC)
Dec. 15th, 2016 10:38 pm (UTC)
Too true.

A great many talented writers 'fail' (depending, of course, on one's definition of that term) simply because they give up.

My own career has crashed and burned at least twice. But I kept going, and eventually things turned around.
Dec. 16th, 2016 11:38 pm (UTC)
Words of wisdom I'll keep in mind. I've set aside a couple of hours each night to write, and still more throughout the rest of the week for research and reading when I'm not working (another piece of King wisdom to would-be writers: a good writer of fiction is a prolific reader of fiction).

I wish I had the time and money for Taos Toolbox, but alas, that may have to wait. But if my work ever amounts to anything, well...I'll come back and say so on this blog, along with thanks for the encouragement when I was still new and doubting.


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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