The 2014 Worry Thread

By | March 1, 2014

Step 1) Send in a complete application to Alpha, including a story.

Step 2) Freak out.

Step 3) End the freakout by posting here!

This is a thread for your worries. The application committee will not read any of your comments, so you can talk about your stories as much as you want. Feel free to share your concerns, your enthusiasms, and anything else with other people who applied to Alpha.

It’s a stressful thing to do. Let yourself feel the stress.

26 thoughts on “The 2014 Worry Thread

  1. Diane

    Notifications that we got your stories will go out in the the next day or so. There’s always a lot of back and forth (for instance, someone put the body of their text in the email instead of sending an attachment — that will have to be fixed), and then there’s the taking off of names, so the judges won’t get the stories for a couple more days yet.

    We got some faraway applications, China, Australia, South Africa, Canada, and lots from the West Coast of the US, too. Mostly females, mostly from Scott Westerfeld and Tamora Pierce’s websites, from general Internet searches and from Tumblr. Jameyanne wins–if this is a contest: “How did you learn about Alpha?”

    John will let us know specifics (like numbers) soon. I’m pleased. Another Alpha year has begun.

  2. Getty

    I’ll start the conversation, since no one else seems to be.

    If I get in, this will be my second year at Alpha. It’s a great experience, for all those who haven’t gone yet. I really hope y’all do well.

    My application story’s horror, but usually I to write more science fiction and fantasy (in about even measure).

    @Diane: I always like statistics. It’s interesting that Scott Westerfeld and Tamora Pierce’s websites are the most popular of all the authors who posted about Alpha.

  3. Evan

    I suppose I’ll contribute. If I get in this will be my second year at Alpha (the first time I went was one of the best experiences of my life) so I did my best to write a story I could edit a lot of times.

    Not sure if that worked, but it’s a horror/alternate history type thing, the kind of story that you don’t put much worldbuilding into.

    I’ll say that GRRM pointed me to Alpha originally, though you still haven’t got him to come, shame on you! Anyway, I suppose I’ll have to read some of the authors that will be coming this year if I do get in.

    Best of luck to the rest of you!

  4. Mallory

    Also a hopeful second-year. The first time I went to Alpha, I was extremely shy and sort of a stick-in-the-mud (going to bed early, whaaat?). I plan on changing that if I get in this year. My goal is to be gloriously sleep-deprived by the end of it.
    I mostly write fantasy, but a little sci-fi too.

  5. Emma

    This is a hopeful first – and only – year at Alpha for me. I’ll be too old next year. I wish I’d found out about it a few years ago. I’m super nervous though!

    My application story was science fiction with a dash of horror. I was pretty pleased with it, but ahhhh I just hope it’s good enough.

  6. Sarah

    Like Emma, I’m a hopeful first year who will be too old next year, so this is my only shot… Weird mixture of hope and nervousness. My application story was fantasy. I made a lot of weird choices, woops, hopefully that works in my favor instead of against me? Aaah who knows.

  7. Noella

    Hey all! I’m a hopeful second year as well. I’m much less stressed than I was the first few years I applied (I got rejected the first two times I applied) mostly because I have a lot of other stuff going on right now. But I’m really excited as well!

    My story was actually kinda hard to describe (because that’s such an original description) but I would describe it as a futuristic urban supernatural.

  8. Getty

    @Emma and Sarah: Actually, if I remember correctly, one of the things we learned is that once we’re accepted and go one year, we can submit any future year, even if we’d be too old otherwise (I got that right, right, Noella/Evan or Mallory if it came up when y’all were there?)

    I’m still WAAAAY within the age limit, though. I’m only fifteen (sixteen when Alpha rolls around, but still).

  9. Noella

    @Getty yeah you can go another year even if you’re technically above the age limit once you get in? Because I’m old.

  10. Sarah

    @Getty and Noella oh okay, that’s pretty cool! I’m gonna be nineteen by the time Alpha is this year. I still don’t feel like even close to an adult though so I can’t really be that old right. right. (oh god I’m so old) (whatever I’m gonna continue reading YA fiction forever anyway)

  11. Diane

    Decisions will go out later today. We’re still tallying. It’s a slow, careful procedure — sorry to keep people hanging, but emails will be sent before midnight.

  12. Cassandra

    I’m really excited but also pretty nervous. Good luck to all my fellow applicants – I hope to meet you all if I get in.
    I’m a first-time applicant.

  13. Anneliese

    I’ve been obsessively checking my email since this morning. First time applicant, and next year I’ll be too old. Good luck to everyone! I wish we could all get in 🙂

  14. Sarah

    also obsessively refreshing my e-mail–good luck to everybody!

  15. Em

    Refreshing email? I have no idea what you guys are talking about -refreshes email again, wonders if they send declines as well – First time applying, also will be too old next year. It looks so amazing though. I’m crossing my fingers so hard. Fantasy is my life and Tamora Pierce is my hero (and I admire the other 3 too!)Good luck everyone!

  16. Noella

    @Em they do send out declines so you’ll get something.

  17. Sarahjane

    I’m a first time applicant and really hope to get in. Tamora Pierce is one of my favorite authors and I also love Bruce Covills books.
    Good luck all!

  18. Amanda

    Hi guys!

    Missed this post when I reapplied back in March. I attended Alpha last year – most fantastic experience of my life. My friend and I both applied this year, her for the first time. I don’t know which of us is more nervous!

    Good luck everybody! (Now I need to stop checking my email every thirty seconds!)

  19. Mallory

    I can’t believe they’re still not sent! I’m going insane!
    I have over half a research paper to write before tomorrow, but how can I focus until I know?

  20. Cassandra

    @ Mallory, I feel your pain – I have way too much homework but I’m glued to my email.
    At least they’ve proven they know loads about suspense!
    Best luck to everyone

  21. Anna

    Agh I’m going crazy! I applied to Alpha last year and didn’t get in, but this program seems awesome and I’m really nervous for this time ’round too… Well we only 4 more hours max to wait, so at least the waiting will be over soon.

  22. Anneliese

    Today was supposed to be a beautiful productive experience but every time I start to write I end up checking my email instead. It’s hard enough focusing without this suspense!

  23. Cassandra

    Just wanted to let you guys know that I believe the e-mails are out(at least, I got mine!)
    Good luck!

  24. Cassandra

    Hey, I was just wondering if anybody else got an invitation to join the 2014 Discussion thread?

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