Category Archives: Uncategorized

The 2015 Alpha Worry Thread

It’s a few days late, but here’s a thread for people to fret, commiserate, encourage, and generally talk about worries. Feel free to talk about your application story, too– the judges don’t read this one. Stay calm!

New Strange Horizons editor… me.

Since 2011 I’ve been a first reader for Strange Horizons. It’s a good job and I recommend it to anyone who wants to understand what editors look for in a story– you read a lot of fiction, rate it, and send some of it to the senior fiction editors. Reading submissions has taught me quite… Read More »

The 2014 Worry Thread

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… Read More »

Writing Prompt 6: Chuck Wendig

Chuck Wendig has flash prompts each week. Find one you like in the archives, or use this one. The story includes a botanical garden, fatherhood, and something talking that doesn’t normally talk. Online writing prompt generators and lists can be very useful, particularly for practicing ideas rather than writing entire stories. One exercise I did… Read More »

Writing Prompt 4: The Lost City

Pick a lost or abandoned city. Set the story there, but maybe not in its last days. Atlantis, Port Royal, Pompeii, Machu Picchu, Helike, Camelot, El Dorado, Troy, Songo Mnara, Angkor, Great Zimbabwe, Tikal, pick a place and run with it. Or write about sunken New Orleans, the lost city of Tokyo, or the tiny… Read More »

Writing Prompt 3: Immortality

What happens when humans figure out immortality, but you can’t get younger and you can’t have kids afterward? No, really. A lot of immortality schemes involve eternal youth, but as Tithonus discovered, that’s not always how it works. Fictional immortality often frustrates me because characters sticking around forever unchanging isn’t nearly as interesting as characters… Read More »

Writing Prompt 1: They Fight Crime!

This is not the original They Fight Crime!, but it’s still amazing. Spend a little while clicking through until you find a pair– or a solo hero, or a trio– that makes you want to write that story. You don’t have to stick with the format, either. “He’s a fast talking skateboarding cat burglar possessed… Read More »