The Blue Heaven Workshop

Over on twitter  last night, @paolobacigalupi was answering questions about his first published novel, The Windup Girl, which he workshopped at Blue Heaven. Someone asked how people got invited to the workshop and it reminded me of this quote:

"The workshopping experience does not require any shepherding by experts. Like a bad rock band, an SF-writer's workshop can be set up in any vacant garage by any group of spotty enthusiasts with nothing better to occupy their time. No one has a Copyright on talent, desire, or enthusiasm." ~ Bruce Sterling (found here among other places)

When we started Blue Heaven, most of us were unpublished novelists, little more than "a group of spotty enthusiasts." I invited myself, and then recruited other aspiring novelists who hadn't been published yet. It included writers I knew from real-life workshops, writers that I knew on-line (mostly from the Online Writing Workshop), and then writers I had read but never met, just because I loved their stories. 

In addition to my first novel, we also workshopped first novels by Paolo Bacigalupi, Christopher Barzak, Tobias Buckell, Deborah Coates, Paul Melko, Sarah Prineas, Ian Tregillis, and Greg van Eekhout, as well as many second and subsequent books by those writers and others. So it worked for us.

Workshopping is definitely not for everyone, but the great thing about it is that there's nothing stopping you from trying it and finding out. I explain the Blue Heaven model here for other writers who want to copy it.  

© C.C. Finlay 2018