September Update: Events, Workshops, and More

Note: 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 here.

As you read this, I’m enjoying the 2023 Writing Excuses Retreat. This year, the core Writing Excuses staff is cruising to Alaska with a crew of writers and two incredible guest instructors, Mahtab Narsimhan and Fonda Lee.

These retreats were what inspired the setting of The Spare Man, and I look forward to them every year.

This year, my father will be joining us. I’m excited for him to partake, particularly because Writing Excuses Retreats may not exist if he and Mom hadn’t opened their house to the inaugural event over a decade ago.

We’re also traveling with Captain, my mom’s service dog. He’s trained to assist those with Parkinson’s and will soon be transferred to a new owner. In preparation, we’re bringing him on board the ship to ensure his training is intact.

If you want to join me, well, that ship has sailed (hah!) for 2023.

But hope is not lost. Next year, Writing Excuses will host several events (more on that in a future newsletter). In addition, this April I will be a guest instructor at The Sandia Starforgers Writers Retreat and Workshop in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

It’s three and a half days of connection and collaboration, designed to help you get your next science fiction, fantasy, horror, or other speculative fiction piece closer to publication.

Tickets are limited, and they’re on sale now. I hope to see you there!

Deeper in this newsletter, you’ll find:

  • Noteworthy News
  • Patreon Events
  • Event Updates
  • Elsie’s Corner (including FOUR foster kittens!)

    (Public Classes, Awards, and More)

    Endings: How to Wrap Things Up

    Upcoming Class: Endings, How to Wrap Things Up

    September 17th at 3:00PM Eastern

    Very often, writers get to the two-third or three-quarter mark in a work and bog down, sometimes abandoning it to move on to something shinier.

    Why does this happen? It’s a place at which we move from raising questions for the reader to needing to answer them.

    This change in mode requires a different set of tools than the beginning of a story, while needing to appear part of a seamless whole. In this workshop, we’ll look at how to wrap up loose ends, decide which things we can leave dangling, and what elements make a strong closing sentence.

    Unable to attend live? Don’t worry, a recording will be made available to all registrants.

    Looking for additional learning opportunities? 

    Explore my on-demand writing courses.


    Monthly Q&A and Co-Working

    September 12th at 8:00PM Eastern

    Join me for a group Zoom session with a half hour of Q&A followed by quiet co-working.

    During this time I’ll be writing, and you can work on whatever you like. At the end, we’ll break for a bit of social time. I’ll take questions about books, general writing topics, talking cats, and more.

    Want to join the Q&A for free?

    Click here to try a 7-day trial of my Patreon at the Q&A + Co-Working Level.

    Book club with Fonda Lee

    September Book Club: The Untethered Sky with Fonda Lee

    September 19th at 8:00PM Eastern

    Mary Robinette is hosting a book club discussion with Fonda Lee’s latest book, The Untethered Sky. 

    I’ll be interviewing Fonda, and you’ll have a chance to ask her your burning questions about her recent novella.

    Grab your copy, join Patreon at the Book Club level, and come meet the author!

    Unlocking Session with Mary Robinette Kowal

    Patreon-Exclusive Class: Unlocking Session

    September 26th at 8:00PM Eastern

    Each month, I host a private writing class for Patrons at the Class Level. In September, I’ll pick four volunteers at random to help unlock a thing that the writer is stuck on. It can be anything currently blocking you. Popular questions revolve around plot, character, voice, and writer’s block. 

    Our volunteers will have the chance to talk through their problem in a safe setting, while receiving guidance to get past the barrier. Whether your problem is chosen or not, these sessions are a great opportunity to gather new tools for your toolbox.

    (Upcoming Events and Appearances)

    You can view my entire event calendar here, but below are some highlights.

    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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