The first is a six-hour workshop in ebook production, part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks WINTERmester curriculum. Do you have a book you’ve been wanting to sell on the Kindle or Nook? On the evenings of January 7, 9, and 11 we will cover the basics of ebook production: file conversion, cover design, proofing, and uploading to Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Even if you think you’d prefer to hire a conversion service to do the conversion work for you, this course will be helpful. Your book can be fiction or non-fiction. Come with a manuscript and leave with a published ebook.
Because the course takes place between UAF’s regular semesters, there will be no computer lab open in the evenings for our use. For this reason you’ll need to bring an Internet-ready laptop to class to make the best use of the instruction. (It’s actually better this way because you’ll have all the necessary software on your own computer.) Self-support course fee is $100. (And be sure to download the course syllabus.)
The second activity is part of the 49 Alaska Writing Center Spring course lineup. In February, I will be offering a one-on-one apprenticeship program for science fiction writers. Here’s the course description:
Science fiction, outside of poetry, is the only literary field which has no limits, no parameters whatsoever.”—Theodore Sturgeon. While this characterization is certainly true, science fiction, like any genre, comes with certain built-in reader expectations that the writer must meet. These include muscular plotting, transformative vision, and freewheeling speculation. The Science Fiction Apprenticeship offers one-on-one guidance to writers working on a science fiction short story project, be it cyberpunk, space opera, hard sf, alternate history, or one of the many other flavors of the genre. You'll submit a manuscript of up to 7500 words for a critique by an award-winning science fiction author/mentor. The mentor will provide you feedback in the form of comments and a letter. After mulling these over, you will be encouraged to submit up to two revisions, each receiving additional feedback, as part of a conversation intended to guide both the work and the writer. We'll set goals for your writing and frame our conversation based on finding a path toward those goals, to include up to 60 minutes on the phone or in-person. The program is open to three participants. To apply, email up to five pages (typed, double-spaced) of your story, along with a short statement of goals for your work, to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 25.
The Spring 2013 schedule will be up at 49 Writers in the next few days. Only three writers will be accepted for my apprenticeship program, and the cost is $350 (members)/$375 (non-members).
In other news, work on my upcoming novel, Camp Tribulation, goes well. Every day I wake up eager to push it forward another thousand words. It seems to be growing in depth and resonance (at least for my own quirky taste), and I’m constantly surprised at new developments and twists I had not foreseen.
However, despite my respectable progress, the fact of the matter is that there’s another couple of unpaid years ahead before I can bring it to market. Thus the writing gigs on offer above. In addition to them, I seem to be sliding back into my old day job of graphic design, this time with a different angle: I am specializing in book and cover design. I’ll write more about this later, but in the meantime, if you’re in need of a custom-made ebook cover design, drop me a line.