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Bad Horse


Beneath the microscope, you contain galaxies.

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Feb
17th
2018

Announcements: Clarion deadlines, Pittsburgh Writing Workshop · 11:35pm Feb 17th, 2018

Clarion Writing Workshops

The deadline for applying to Clarion is March 1, 2018, at 11:59 pm Pacific Time.
I checked, and that's the end of the day (Pacific time) on March 1.
Apply to Clarion 2018


The deadline for applying to Clarion West is Feb 28, 2018, at 11:59 pm, probably Pacific Time.
That's before March 1.
Apply to Clarion West 2018


The deadline for applying to Odyssey is April 7, BUT your application must ARRIVE by then, in the MAIL.
Apply to Odyssey 2018


Thanks to Southpaw for letting me know that Clarion West will be doing a Reddit AMA this coming Tuesday:

Hi /r/writing! We're Clarion West, one of the oldest writing workshops in the US, and we'll be doing an AMA here next Tuesday (2/20/18) at 1pm PST/4pm EST.

Reddit Link

Also: I would really appreciate it if somebody with artistic skill would cut & paste something from the Clarion websites and make a banner ad for the fimfiction Clarion scholarship, which I could then run on fimfiction & EQD.

Also also, I'd appreciate finding out how to place fimfiction ads that will show up for people who have the Mature filter on (no "mature" content).


Pittsburgh Writing Workshop: March 24, 2018

This is a 1-day workshop on “How to Get Published”, by an organization that travels around the country giving this workshop. Locations:

Indianapolis: Feb. 10, 2018
St. Paul: Feb. 17, 2018
Atlanta: March 10, 2018
Pittsburgh: March 24
Detroit: April 14
Seattle: April 28
Chicago: June 23, 2018
Cleveland: July 14, 2018
Arlington: July 28, 2018
Tampa: Aug. 4, 2018
San Francisco: Aug. 25, 2018
Boston: Sept. 29, 2018
Philadelphia: Nov. 17, 2018

I am probably not going to this workshop, because

  • I need to write something to send out more than I need to hear more about how to send out stuff I haven't written, and
  • I'm bothered by this type of workshop, which has become more popular in the last few years, in which most of the people presenting are agents.

The problem with workshops given by agents is that it's a sneaky way around the "never pay an agent to read your work" rule. First, let's review the "never pay an agent to read your work" rule:

Never pay an agent to read your work.

Writers made this rule decades ago, because there have always been shady "agents" who charge money to read your work, then don't read it, and wouldn't have any ability to sell it if they did. If agents charged for reading, there would be a glut of agents, most of whom would be fake. So writers have long told each other to hold the line and not submit their work to any agent who charged for reading it. The agent is supposed to make money when she sells stuff, not when she reads it.

But now we have these "workshops" where you pay a fee to go to the workshop, but the main reason to go is that you get to pitch some agents--who get a lot of the money you paid to attend the workshop. I think it's shady. The more agents who do it, the less they're going to be willing to read stuff sent to them for nothing--because who's going to go to their $200 workshops if they can just send the same agents manuscripts to read for free?

It is, though, already standard practice in the movie industry, where getting an agent (or anybody) to read your work is even harder. It's probably in our futures. In fact, the publishing industry seems to be going the way of Hollywood, where beginners just can't get people to read their work unless they do an internship with a studio, work a few years as a gofer for a writer, or have sex with a producer.

What do you think? Is it okay to go to a $200 workshop where you get the chance to pitch to one or more agents, or is that crossing the picket line?

Comments ( 15 )

"...where beginners justcan'tget people to read their work unless they do an internship with a studio..."

I suspect that is an unpaid internship, since my son has been having a similar issue finishing up his college degree. "Ok, you've managed to suffer through five years of college by working 80 hour weeks and busting your hump, so now all that's left is to go work for XYZ company for a year without being paid or any guarantee of being hired at the end of the year."

That strikes me as barely a step above vanity press publishing.

These workshop class topics are pretty similar to the same stuff covered in Bronycon writing panels.

Thirty bucks to talk to an agent for 10 minutes? they're making $180 per hour! how do I get this job?

I notice the bios for these agents rarely mention how successful they are, just how much they enjoy reading certain genres.

4799244
Strictly speaking such internships are against labor laws but good luck getting that to stick. What, I suspect, is the actual reason is half the beancounterish glee at getting something for free, and half a workaround of the fact that they aren't allowed to advertise for class membership. So instead they make you, i.e. live without pay in New York for a year which you can generally only manage if you come from a fairly particular background.

4799560 I suspect that politicians, who use unpaid interns too, react rather poorly to the suggestion that they should actually pay the slave labor that they employ.

4799583
I knew a company whose business model was exclusively to sucker people into internship positions, promise them jobs, and keep them on working for nothing/peanuts until they got fed up and left and then hire more people using the same ruse. Admittedly, that was in Redactedstan (where it is also against the law, might I add) but I can't imagine there isn't a few such in America.

Dammit. I totally spaced on Clarion and I'm not going to slam something together at the last second for them. I need top-line stuff (especially since you need to apply). Next year, that thing is MINE.

4799604 You've written, like, half a million pony words? Pick your best short stories and send 2 in. You might rewrite them to be non-pony, but technically you don't have to.

Comedy is a good choice if it's funny. They don't get much comedy.

4799705

Yeah, but the notes do recommend not to do fanfiction. That being said, ancient stories about dragon and phoenix culture might do the trick.

Also also, I'd appreciate finding out how to place fimfiction ads that will show up for people who have the Mature filter on (no "mature" content).

I believe they use Google Adsense for "filtered" FimFiction and Project Wonderful for "Mature" FimFiction due to Google's terms and conditions. So you'd have to get it in through them.

They say a sucker is born every minute. Is it better to shield them, or stop them from being suckers in the first place? Is either even possible? I dunno. Personally I wouldn't pay anyone for any advice. Yet if someone wants to take that route they're certainly free to. Accordingly, I can't tell someone their knowledge isn't worth money. That doesn't mean there are no slippery slopes, either. *shrug*

Thanks for the heads up! I don't think I'll go, mostly because I'm not as interested in learning about publication, though I could certainly stand to learn something about it. $150? Naaah.

4801643
I don't think that policy is ideal, though it may just be that we find disagree on what's worthwhile. I've found that the two things most worth sinking time and money into, outside of necessities, are (1) my sanity, and (2) knowledge. Advice, if I can reasonably trust it and use it, falls into the second category.

4801643 4802689

I've found that the two things most worth sinking time and money into, outside of necessities, are (1) my sanity, and (2) knowledge.

And Patreon pledges to Bad Horse, of course.

4802692
I've recently started trying to write down how I model everything. One of the sparser sections is labeled "Mythos". It's sparse because I have too many thoughts on the topic. Your Those blog posts actually help me pick out coherent and manageable subsections.

Just one example of how your those posts are being used for nefarious purposes.

... Damnit, NBH. What did you do with BH?

4802689
Pfft, who needs sanity! :pinkiecrazy:
You certainly make a good point, and I wasn't being entirely honest. I mean, I pay for books right, mostly nonfiction, and I shelled out 1400 last month to take two college classes. I do believe a person's knowledge is worth money.

And yet, I have a streak of something in me which, if you act like a gatekeeper or a holder of Special Knowledge, makes me want to prove how much I don't need you. I suppose it depends on how pretentious you are about it. It's a personal thing, really. Though I do believe it's important to be self-reliant in educating yourself. Simply so you aren't fooled.

However, there's no man wise who forsook humility.

In the end, the real hard and fast rule is...do they like princess Celestia??

4802692
There exists a universe wherein I give all my money to Bad Horse. :)

You know, Not Bad Horse, I find it interesting you define yourself solely in terms of another user. I think it's a bit of a shame, and a loss to the broader fimfic community. You should be your own person.

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