Odyssey Writing Workshops Charitable Trust



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Jeanne Cavelos, Director and Primary Instructor


    Jeanne Cavelos The creation of the Odyssey Writing Workshops Charitable Trust, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization devoted to helping developing writers of fantastic fiction improve their work, has been a dream of Jeanne's which she has worked to make a reality

    Jeanne is a writer, editor, scientist, and teacher. She began her professional life as an astrophysicist and mathematician, teaching astronomy at Michigan State University and Cornell University, and working in the Astronaut Training Division at NASA's Johnson Space Center.

    But soon her love of science fiction led her to earn her MFA in creative writing. She moved into a career in publishing, becoming a senior editor at Bantam Doubleday Dell, where she created and launched the Abyss imprint of innovative horror and the Cutting Edge imprint of noir literary fiction. She also ran the science fiction/fantasy publishing program. In addition, she edited a wide range of fiction and nonfiction. She worked with such authors as William F. Nolan, Joan Vinge, Robert Anton Wilson, Dennis Etchison, Tanith Lee, Kathe Koja, Poppy Z. Brite, J. M. Dillard, David Wingrove, Barry Gifford, Patrick McCabe, and Peter Dickinson. In her eight years in New York publishing, she edited numerous award-winning and best-selling authors and gained a reputation for discovering and nurturing new writers. Jeanne won the World Fantasy Award for her editing.

    Jeanne left New York to find a balance that would allow her to do her own writing and work in a more in-depth way with writers. She runs Jeanne Cavelos Editorial Services, a full-service freelance company that provides editing, ghostwriting, consulting, and critiquing services to publishers, book packagers, agents, and authors. Among its clients are major publishers and best-selling and award-winning writers.

    Jeanne has had seven books published by major publishers. Her last novel to hit the stores was Invoking Darkness, the third volume in her best-selling trilogy The Passing of the Techno-Mages (Del Rey), set in the Babylon 5 universe. The Sci-Fi Channel called the trilogy "A revelation for Babylon 5 fans. . . . Not 'television episodic' in look and feel. They are truly novels in their own right." Her book The Science of Star Wars (St. Martin's) was chosen by the New York Public Library for its recommended reading list, and CNN said, "Cavelos manages to make some of the most mind-boggling notions of contemporary science understandable, interesting and even entertaining." The Science of The X-Files (Berkley) was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award. Publishers Weekly called it "Crisp, conversational, and intelligent."

    Jeanne has published short fiction and nonfiction in many magazines and anthologies.

    The Many Faces of Van Helsing, an anthology edited by Jeanne, was released by Berkley in 2004 and was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award. The editors at Barnes and Noble called it "brilliant. . . . Arguably the strongest collection of supernatural stories to be released in years."
    Since she loves working with developing writers, Jeanne created and serves as primary instructor at the Odyssey Writing Workshop, the only major workshop of its kind run by an editor. Jeanne designed the workshop to combine an advanced curriculum that allows writers to improve their craft with detailed, in-depth feedback on their work. In 2010, Jeanne launched Odyssey Online Classes to help writers all over the world improve their skills in specific, targeted areas. Jeanne oversees the courses offered and teaches one online course per year.

    She is also an English lecturer at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, where she teaches writing and literature.

    Jeanne has spoken widely on writing, publishing, science, and science fiction at venues as varied as the Smithsonian Institute, the Air Force Revolutionary Technologies Division, the Intel International Science Fair, the American Chemical Society, Dartmouth College, the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, the Science Channel, Turner Entertainment, the Art Bell radio program, and many radio shows, bookstores, and conventions. More information is on her site, www.jeannecavelos.com.

2013 Special Writer-in-Residence

  • Nancy Holder

    Nancy Holder Nancy Holder is an award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of adult, young adult, middle grade, and early reader work, both fiction and nonfiction. She has sold approximately 80 novels and 200 short stories, comic books, and essays in various genres. She has taught creative writing classes at the University of California at San Diego, the Maui Writers Retreat and Conference, and other conferences and colleges, and has been on the faculty of the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing for seven years. She has also served on the boards of Clarion (San Diego) and the Horror Writers Association.

    Wicked, her young adult dark fantasy series, was optioned by DreamWorks, and she has received five Bram Stoker Awards, including Best Novel for Dead in the Water, edited by Jeanne Cavelos. As an editor, she was nominated for a Stoker for Outsiders: 22 All New Stories from the Edge, which contains work by a number of previous Odyssey writers-in-residence. She received a Pioneer Award from the Romantic Times Convention for her work in young adult literature. She also recently won a Scribe award for her novel, Saving Grace: Tough Love, based on the TV show of the same name.

    She has done tie-in work for Smallville; Saving Grace; The Hulk; Hellboy; Sabrina the Teen Age Witch; Highlander; Zorro; Kolchak the Night Stalker; The Domino Lady; The Spider; the Avenger; and Sherlock Holmes, as well two dozen novels for Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She also produced the first volume of The Angel Casefiles and the first two volumes of the BtVS Watcher's Guide. She has written material for house series such as Nancy Drew; Camp Confidential; Pretty Freekin Scary, and for packagers such as becker&meyer!

    She has also written a lot of horror, urban fantasy, science fiction and fantasy, venturing into the e-pub world as one-third of GothicScapes ™, which produces urban fantasies. She writes columns for the Science Fiction Writers of America Bulletin and the Horror Writers Association newsletter. She also edits and writes comic books, graphic novels, and prose for Moonstone Books.

    Her new work includes the young adult vampire series Crusade, and The Wolf Springs Chronicles, a young adult werewolf series. Her licensed tribute book Buffy: the Making of a Slayer will be released by 47 North (amazon) in December. She also has selections in Dear Teen Me; IDW's VWars shared world; Zombie Apocalypse: Fightback!; An Apple for the Creature, edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner; Shards and Ashes, edited by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong; and Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes. "Clockwork Airlock," a steampunk story, appeared in FutureDaze.

    She is a member of:
    The Romance Writers of America and various sub-chapters
    The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
    The International Association of Media Tie-in Writers
    The Horror Writers Association

    Her teaching philosophy is this: As the Talmud says, "Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, 'Grow, grow.'" She believes that is best done with kind, specific guidance that inspires and encourages the student to keep going. No one on this earth was born published, and yet many have managed to do it. There are definitely ways to make it more likely, and she is delighted to share her thoughts on the matter with Odyssey.

    Her literary crush is Edgar Allan Poe, and she loves the heavy metal stylings of Sir Christopher Lee. She lives in San Diego with her daughter, Belle, and they have sold two short stories together. Feel free to contact her @nancyholder or https://www.facebook.com/holder.nancy.


2013 Guest Lecturers

  • Holly Black

    Holly Black Holly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Modern Faerie Tale series, The Good Neighbors graphic novel trilogy (with Ted Naifeh), the Curse Workers series, a middle grade ghost story, Doll Bones, and her vampire novel, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. She has been a finalist for the Mythopoeic Award, a finalist for an Eisner Award, and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award. She currently lives in New England with her husband, Theo, in a house with a secret door.


  • Patricia Bray

    Patricia Bray Patricia Bray is the author of a dozen novels, including Devlin's Luck, which won the 2003 Compton Crook Award for the best first novel in the field of science fiction or fantasy. A multi-genre author whose career spans both epic fantasy and Regency romance, her books have been translated into Russian, German, Portuguese and Hebrew. She's also spent time on the editorial side of the business, as the co-editor of After Hours: Tales from the Ur-Bar (DAW, March 2011) and The Modern Fae's Guide to Surviving Humanity (DAW, March 2012).

    Patricia lives in a New England college town, where she combines her writing with a full-time career as a Systems Analyst, ensuring that she is never more than a few feet away from a keyboard. To find out more, visit her website at www.patriciabray.com.


  • Adam-Troy Castro

    Adam-Troy Castro Adam-Troy Castro is the author of the novel Emissaries from the Dead (Winner of the Philip K. Dick Award) and co-author of the novella "The Astronaut from Wyoming" (winner of the Seiun). His short fiction has been nominated for eight Nebulas, three Stokers, and two Hugos. His most recent project is a series of six middle-grade novels that includes Gustav Gloom and the People Taker and the recently released Gustav Gloom and the Nightmare Vault, which bring his total number of books well into the mid-twenties. Adam lives in Boynton Beach, Florida, with his wife Judi and a manic assortment of cats that include Uma Furman, Meow Farrow, and Harley Quinn.


  • Jack Ketchum

    Jack Ketchum Jack Ketchum is the pseudonym for a former actor, singer, teacher, literary agent, lumber salesman, and soda jerk--a former flower child and baby boomer who figures that in 1956 Elvis, dinosaurs and horror probably saved his life. His first novel, Off Season, prompted the Village Voice to publicly scold its publisher in print for publishing violent pornography. He personally disagrees but is perfectly happy to let you decide for yourself. His short story "The Box" won a 1994 Bram Stoker Award from the HWA, his story "Gone" won again in 2000--and in 2003 he won Stokers for both best collection for Peaceable Kingdom and best long fiction for Closing Time. He has written over twenty novels and novellas, the latest of which are The Woman and I'm Not Sam, both written with director Lucky McKee. Five of his books have been filmed to date -- The Girl Next Door, The Lost, Red, Offspring and The Woman, the last of which won him and McKee the Best Screenplay Award at the prestigious Sitges Film Festival in Germany. His stories are collected in The Exit At Toledo Blade Boulevard, Broken on the Wheel of Sex, Sleep Disorder (with Edward Lee), Peaceable Kingdom and Closing Time and Other Stories. His novella The Crossings was cited by Stephen King in his speech at the 2003 National Book Awards. In 2011 he was elected Grand Master by the World Horror Convention.


  • Sheila Williams

    Sheila Williams Sheila Williams is the two-time Hugo-Award-winning editor of Asimov's Science Fiction magazine. She started at Asimov's in June 1982 and served as the executive editor of Analog from 1998 until 2004. She is also the co-founder of the Dell Magazines Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing (formerly the Isaac Asimov Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing). In addition, She coordinates the websites for Asimov's (www.asimovs.com).

    Sheila is the editor or co-editor of twenty-five anthologies. The most recent are Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine's 30th Anniversary Anthology (Tachyon Publications, 2007), which received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was on the 2007 Locus Recommended Reading list, and the 2010 Enter A Future: Fantastic Tales from Asimov's Science Fiction, which is exclusively available for Amazon's Kindle.

    Sheila received her bachelor's degree from Elmira College in Elmira, New York, and her master's from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. During her junior year she studied at the London School of Economics. She lives in New York City with her husband, David Bruce, and her two daughters.


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Updated Oct 22, 2012
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