Pocket Workshop

Pocket Workshop

Edited by Tod McCoy & M. Huw Evans
Hydra House Books

Pocket Workshop collects 28 essays by instructors of the Clarion West Writers Workshop which illuminate their experiences of writing and of living as professional writers.

Essays include advice for handling writer’s block, working with voice, and using allegory, insights on mentoring, methods for scene-setting, landing a good finish, and writing in spite of distractions, and so much more.

Since 1984, the six-week writers workshop has provided resources to more than 600 science fiction, fantasy, and horror writers, many of whom work today as professional and award-winning authors and editors.

Publication date: February 9, 2021

* Limited-edition hardcover available only through the Hydra House Books website

Copyright 2021 Clarion West Writers Workshop. Originally published in 2021. Published by Hydra House Books in 2021. Cover design by John D. Berry. Illustrations by Cory Skerry.

Table of Contents

  • “Introduction” by Neile Graham
  • “Being and Becoming a Writer” by Karen Lord
  • “We All Have to Start Somewhere: Finding Your Process and Making it Work for You” by Tina Connolly and Caroline M. Yoachim
  • “Setting the Scene” by Nancy Kress
  • “Thickening the Plot” by Samuel R. Delany
  • “Some Thoughts on Exposition” by Tobias Buckell
  • “The Devil Is in the Details” by Connie Willis
  • “Coincidentally . . .” by Stephen Graham Jones
  • “Channeling Voices” by Andy Duncan
  • “Status” by Helen Marshall
  • “Neowise” by Paul Park
  • “The Old Marvellous” by John Crowley
  • “The Three Laws of Great Endings and My Two Shameless Hacks” by James Patrick Kelly
  • “Diversity Plus: Diverse Story Forms, Not Just Diverse Faces” by Henry Lien
  • “Researching Imaginary Worlds” by Ken MacLeod
  • “Something to Cry About” by Nisi Shawl
  • “The Narrative Gift as a Moral Conundrum” by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • “Tapping the Source” by Elizabeth Hand
  • “Feed Your Engine” by Jack Skillingstead
  • “Congratulations on Learning to Juggle — Now Get on the Unicycle” by Daryl Gregory
  • “Writing in the Age of Distraction” by Cory Doctorow
  • “Going Through an Impasse: Evading Writer’s Block” by Eileen Gunn
  • “On Mentors and Mentees” by Cat Rambo
  • “Pitfalls of Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy: General Useful Information & Other Opinionated Comments” by Vonda N. McIntyre
  • “Positive Obsession” by Octavia Butler
  • “* Take As Needed” by Hiromi Goto
  • “Matters of Life and Death” by Susan Palwick
  • “Proverbs of Hell for Writers” by Ian McDonald