Ten years ago …

… I attended the One Step Beyond writers’ workshop in Torquay, a one-off event for would-be SF writers. 

I think it was actually early October 1998, but can’t quite remember the date, though some details of that week are still crystal clear: the initial sense of panic when our tutor, writer and teacher Liz Holliday, gave us our first exercise, telling us we had an hour to write (in public! to time!) and then we’d all read out what we’d got; the walk by the sea when I realised just how much I had to learn, and resolved to learn it; my first critique, and the only one that’s ever made me cry – not because I was hurt that no-one understood my genuis (!), but because, coming as it did at the end of the week, I now knew how awful what I’d written was, and was massively embarrassed and chastened.

Seven of us attended One Step Beyond. Two, Mike Lewis and Vaughan Stanger, are now semi-pros. Two (the only women, I feel compelled to mention), Karen Traviss and myself, are now ‘Filthy Rotten Pros’. I call that a pretty good hit-rate. So, here’s to Liz, who put me on the right path – and who still gives me savage critiques to help keep me on it.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Designed by Martin Reed

@JaineFenn

  • Go right ahead there you guys. Just remember you don't have free healthcare, and new retinas are *expens… ,
  • RT : As in ages past, I look forward to meeting thousands of cultists today as darkness violates the sun.… ,
  • Got more work on than I can possibly do this week. So obviously I'll be checking Twitter for distractions...,
  • ... the commandant's oppo *spoiler alert* declaring his undying love for his CO as they plunge to their deaths. Classic bathos.,
  • ... The Blues Brothers while I digest. There's a fine, vintage example of how to deflate Nazi pr*cks, especially that final scene with ...,