Best Speculative Writing Residencies and Workshops

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You might think that there aren’t a whole lot of speculative writing residencies and workshops for writers in a specific genre. It’s true that many residencies focus on allowing all writers to focus on any project they’re undertaking. However, several outlets exist for those who write speculative fiction. Speculative writers focus on sci-fi, fantasy, and even horror and other subgenres, and these workshops below allow them to hone their craft in multiple formats.

Check out the list of speculative writing workshops and residencies below to see where your writing can take and how you can better practice writing speculative fiction!

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This non-profit organization exists to help science fiction, fantasy, and horror writers at all levels. This website provides a variety of resources and all kinds of classes, including the one-on-one “personal workshop.” This workshop pairs you with an instructor who gets to know your work first so you can improve. Additionally, Odyssey provides other services, including consultation and coaching.

Since there are multiple areas on the website you can check out, here’s the website’s homepage. This second link will take you to their personal workshop.

The Clarion Workshop began in 1968, making it the oldest workshop for science fiction and fantasy writers out there. Besides their long application period (December to March 1), the website provides plenty of information on who the instructors are and how to apply each year to their San Diego residency. Applications are taken through an application portal, and there is a relatively small application fee of $55.

Currently, applications are closed. The FAQs page provides a ton of information on how to apply, what materials to include, and how to receive financial aid. When applying, send in two stories between 2500 and 6000 words. They usually accept about 18 students each year. Keep in mind that residency lasts for six weeks. It states specifically that you need to be able to stay on campus for the entire period. Find all the information you need here.

This science fiction and fantasy workshop lasts for one week, focusing on one-on-one sessions with instructors and students. Their website states “The emphasis at first is on critiquing the students’ submitted manuscripts; later, the emphasis shifts to new material produced during the week.” Like Clarion, Viable Paradise asks that you pay a small application fee (in this case starting at $12.50). To apply, they also ask that you send in a cover letter, as well as a manuscript. This can be either short stories (up to 2), a novelette, or part of your novel that adds up to 8000 words. They ask for a synopsis if you submit part of your novel (up to 750 words).

Additional information about submitting your work and paying the application fee can be found in the portal. Applications also begin in January of next year so in the meantime, check out what you need to prepare for applying here.

Probably one of the more famous workshops on this list, this ten-week course offers a lot. The workshop includes lectures and critiques of the author’s work. Additionally, they emphasize that both beginner and advanced writers might participate. Classes for both online and in-person occur throughout the year, the dates of which you can find on their website.

This workshop allows you to work on any genre of speculative fiction if you want. They offer multiple courses for science fiction and fantasy specifically. Find out more information about classes and fees here.

Futurescapes offers HUGE workshops for those who write science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and more. Their two major workshops include their “100 Page” workshop. This workshop allows you to send in one HUNDRED pages of your manuscript! If you can’t make that, their small critique groups allow you to workshop up to 10000 words of your work.

The 100-page Workshop presents lectures and instruction from agents, editors, and other professionals in the speculative fiction community. While most workshops might be online, some are on-location. Check out their FAQs page here for more information on applying, who can apply, and any financial information you might need. In the meantime, check out this page for more information on all workshops.

You might be familiar with Locus because of their literary journal. The truth is they also have a master class workshop that occurs every year in June. Located in the Bay Area of California, there’s not a lot of information on the actual workshop. (The website states that this information will be available after you register). However, this workshop only lasts one day, with lectures by a specific instructor that’s different each year.

To find out more about what the class was like this year, check out their website here.

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