February 2024 Update: News, Events, and More

Note: If you’d prefer to receive this monthly update in your email inbox (along with additional content, like my cat’s latest conversations), you can sign up for my newsletter here.

It’s my birthday month! 

Every year on my birthday (February 8th) I post a party favor to my website. Be sure to visit the website tomorrow to see what goodies I’ve put together.

In other news, the window for HugoNebula, and Locus nominations is open. I’m no stranger to the recent controversy surrounding last year’s Hugo awards, and I’d like to offer my thoughts.

In short, I’m pissed. What happened this past year to the folks ruled ineligible without being given a reason is a travesty. Each year, a different committee makes these decisions, so another group may have reached entirely different decisions.

I’ve written a more thorough breakdown of my thoughts here, and you can expect to see me at the WSFS meetings in Glasgow.

Thankfully, I do have a very deep trust in the Glasgow Worldcon team. Everyone in charge has a track record of being transparent and inclusive.

With that in mind, I do have one short story available for nomination, Cold Relations, published in Uncanny Magazine last year. If you’re so called to nominate it for the short story category, I would be honored.

(Public Classes, Awards, and More)

On-Demand Writing Classes

A big part of the reason I teach is because I believe learning to understand the process gives you the ability to level up. These classes are self-paced and will help you to understand the craft behind writing, so technique doesn’t get in the way of making art.

Join Me at an Upcoming Writing Retreat

The Writing Excuses team (myself included) is gearing up for this year’s retreat schedule! We have three different retreats planned in 2024—two on land and one at sea:

  • June 2024 Minnesota Retreat: Unlock Your Creative Process – Take time to rest, recharge, and build up your writing momentum at a serene retreat center in Minnesota.
  • August 2024 Scotland Retreat: Historical Research & Writing – Just ahead of WorldCon, improve your writing skills while swinging swords, enjoying excellent food, and learning traditional Scottish dances.
  • September 2024 Writing Excuses Cruise: Mexican Riviera – Join the crew for their annual cruise aboard the Navigator of the Seas, departing from Los Angeles, California. 

All three retreats are open for registration.

Additionally, you can find me offering critiques and classes at the inaugural Sandia Starforgers Writers Retreat and Workshop for sci-fi, fantasy, and other speculative fiction writers in Albuquerque, NM this spring. There are just a few more tickets remaining for this intimate event.

Make Me Write Sessions

One of the areas where I’ve been seeking stability is my writing. Between the pandemic, several big losses, and mental health… it’s been difficult to make words happen.

And I know I’m not alone in this. Which is how Make Me Write Sessions were born.

This Patreon tier is dedicated to those who want to make tangible progress in their writing, but need a little push to get there. It’s a recurring, weekly block of time where we sit down together and write.

If you’re looking for an extra nudge of accountability around your writing in 2024, consider joining my Patreon at the Make Me Write tier.  


February Patreon Class: Creativity and Care Giving with Sandra Tayler

You understand how creativity impacts your writing, but may be unaware how many other places you use your creative skills. 

Join me as Sandra Tayler shows us how we use creativity and problem solving in care work, in grief, in community building and the creation of a life that allows your creative processes to cross connect and provide support for each other as you move forward toward your goals.

In addition, Patrons at the Class level are given access to all past class recordings—over 70 hours worth of instruction.

January Patreon Schedule


I would love to see you at an upcoming event.


Elsie is making her merchandise debut through notebooks, pins, t-shirts, and more.

Because sometimes “rude litterbox” is the only appropriate response.

If you’d prefer to receive this update in your email inbox (along with additional content, like my cat’s latest conversations), you can sign up for my newsletter using the form below. I’ll also send you a short story in thanks.

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