Viable Paradise 2009
Posted on January 12, 2009 Posted by John Scalzi 22 Comments
Last year I taught at Viable Paradise, the one-week speculative fiction writing workshop in scenic Martha’s Vineyard, and I had such a good time that I thought a second helping would be groovy. And even better, the folks running the joint invited me back. So, I’ll be teaching at Viable Paradise again this year, from October 4th through the 10th. Indeed, the entire teaching line-up from last year is repeating: Me, Elizabeth Bear, Jim Macdonald and Debra Doyle, Laura Mixon and Steven Gould, and Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden. That’s quite a lot of quality speculative fiction knowledge for you, all under one New England roof.
I mention this to you now because, as it happens, the application season for Viable Paradise 2009 has newly opened, and if you want to vie for one of the maximum of 28 slots open this year, it’s time to get cracking. The links above have all the information you need to get your application together. Selection is always competitive, and for good reason (see: teacher line-up above; also see VP alumni sales track record), so send along your best stuff. Good luck!
Oh… *want*… but ain’t going to happen (and not because I use “ain’t” in casual conversation, either).
Ooo, second chance.
VP was the single best week of 2008 for me. It was concentrated, deep-fried awesome topped with awesomesauce, and the feedback and instruction I received there would have made VP a bargain at twice the tuition.
Anyone out there even considering sending off an application: do it. It will be one of the most fun, intense, rewarding, and enlightening weeks of your life. The instructors are all top-notch, the island is beautiful in the fall, you’ll get to hang out with some of the most talented and intelligent people in the SF/F field, and you’ll make twenty-odd new friends.
Woot! Now I get to tell everybody I slept with John Sclazi TWICE.
(Want the upstairs bedroom this year?)
(And maybe by october I will have learned to type your name without transposing letters.)
I thought we had enough to deal with just with John Scalvi…
For the record, Marko’s IMs and emails appeared to glitter with an eldritch light for months after he went to VP. I think that’s a good thing.
Sleeping with you is one of the highlights of my year!
Another VP alum here. I loved it an I highly recommend it.
I’ll second (or is it third now) the alumnus feedback.
Lemme join the alumnus bus and tell all you writers sitting on the fence… DO IT! It’s been, what, 4 months? and I’m *still*processing all I learned at VP. Oh, and the tribe of fellow writers/friends you make is almost as valuable as the memories of Scalzi and eBear doing a ballet lift. (and did we mention sparky jellyfish?)
It’s been over two years, and I’m still unpacking what I’ve learned from VP. Part of my problem is that the unpacking tends to happen at odd moments, and never when I expect it. Also, I didn’t go into VP with any sense of what I wanted to get out of VP. That was probably a mistake. OTOH, so far, it’s been the workshop that keeps on giving.
In any case, VP is absolutely worth it.
The temptation, oh, the temptation. I’ll have to see if my current WiP is polished enough to submit.
VPXII Was the bomb. Learned so much there form everyone. I went because Scalzicce and BEar were going to be there but I got so much from EVERY one of the instructors and the other participants.
Apply. Love it. You will not regret it.
I fear I’ve once again failed to get my anatomy in gear to do this. Sniff. Maybe next time.
(I have to replace some half-written stories with completed ones, my desktop computer with a lap top, and my hip with a titanium one. That last is actually the first thing I need to do this year, and then I’ll worry about the rest.)
Sclazi? Hmm, another misspelling of Scalzi…
OH NOES! I smell INTERNET MEME!!
Working hard on my ap right now, trying to get it out by the end of the month.
It’s cool that all the teachers are coming back. I always teach better the second time around. And it was a good line up the first time.
Another VP XII alumnus, just chiming in to say “Just do it!” along with Katrina, Marko and Chang. (Hi, Katrina, Marko & Chang!)
Matt – you’ll never know unless you submit. So submit!
Xopher – plenty of time, man. Do it!
Catherine – go for it! Best of luck!
Though I missed out on ScLazi (Bear knows all), I know the other five are awesome and Scalzi is surely awesome by association. VPXI is a writerly-life-changing experience. It’s that simple.
– yeff (VPXI)
Yet another VPXII alum reporting in…
I’ll second Marko’s sentiment that if you have any inkling of interest in the workshop, you should get off your butt and APPLY. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
For the record, I submitted my application on the last possible day in 2008 and got accepted. Which is not a great example for you to follow, but don’t be discouraged if it’s Flag Day and you’re still working on your story. Just, um, pick up the pace a little.
Please note, however, that VP is a B.Y.O.B.* affair.
Go Lucky Thirteen!
* Bring Your Own Bacon
Hmmmm…. since this big law firm thing isn’t working out, time to dust off a couple of story ideas and put in.
Just want to add to all the other comments:
For a writer, it’s a life-changing experience. The sheer amount of info, drive and writer chutzpa you’ll walk away with is staggering. Instruction is *excellent* and will laser-focus your skills in a major way on pieces you don’t even know you’re missing yet.
It’s also a blast. Just discovering that there are that many other people who share your goals is empowering all on it’s own. The island is very pretty, but don’t plan to see too much of it, you’ll be busy.
As fellow VPer Lisa said, they could have had it at a hotel in Ohio near a taco bell, and it’d still be an awesome vacation.
Christian VP XII