Free Online SF+F Writing Course

In the best news ever for people learning to write science fiction and fantasy, the Writing Excuses podcast have decided that this year they’re going to run the show as a writing course.

Regular readers of this blog, along with anyone I’ve talked writing with for more than five minutes, will know that I’m a huge fan of Writing Excuses. It’s a brilliant show in which professional genre writers Mary Robinette Kowal*, Brandon Sanderson**, Howard Tayler and Dan Wells*** dish out weekly writing advice. This week they started season ten of the show, which will be a carefully structured year long course with themed lessons, writing exercises and Q&A at the end of each topic. If you’re not already listening to the show, and you want to hear some high quality writing advice, this is a great place to start.

Go forth, my happy writing minions, and listen to the wisdom. And if you do, then let me know – maybe we can share our work on the exercises.


* See my previous posts on her Glamourist Histories.

** Yes, the Wheel of Time guy.

*** I use his seven point story structure for everything.

A few self-publishing resources

I’ve received a lot of advice on self-publishing since my blog post asking for help last week. It’s all good stuff, and very useful for me as I prepare to dip my toe into the self-publishing pond. The advice has included many suggestions for other resources to read and listen to, so I thought I’d combine those here, both for my own ease of reference and for anyone else looking for a list of beginner’s self-publishing guidance. I haven’t had time to read most of these yet, but they all come recommended by folks with more experience than me:

A starting point

An interesting article from an experienced indie author on what she would do if she were starting out now.


Write. Publish. Repeat. by Sean Platt & Johnny B Truant

Let’s Get Visible by David Gaughran

Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran – PDF available free here

Authot 2.0 Blueprint by Joanna Penn – available for free if you sign up to Joanna’s mailing list – I’ve read some of Joanna’s other advice and it’s probably worth being on that mailing list anyway.

Blogs and websites

The Creative Penn – Joanna Penn again, pay attention class because her name’s likely to come up a lot over the next few months.

The Passive Voice

BookBub Unbound

The Book Designer

Kobo Writing Life


The Self-Publishing Podcast

Rocking Self-Publishing

I love podcasts. They’re a great way to learn and be entertained while doing the housework. Just by going audio these folks have got my attention.


Thanks to Dylan Hearn, Graeme Cumming and especially Russell Phillips for your invaluable advice.