Announcing (…drum roll…) the 2016 Scholarship Winners!

We have processed the applications, read the submissions, and made the extremely difficult decisions, and the dust has cleared to reveal the four incredible scholarship recipients for this year’s Writing Excuses Retreat.

I called them winners in the title, but that’s misleading: this is not something they drew in a lottery, or stumbled over in a random contest, this is an award that they have earned, and we could not be more delighted to have them with us on the cruise. Please join us in congratulating the 2016 recipients of the Carl Brandon scholarship and the Out of Excuses scholarship.

Carl Brandon Scholarship Winners:

Nilah Magruder
Jacquline Hopson

Out of Excuses Scholarship Winners:

Joseph Balanzategui
Rachel Seamount

A million thanks to everyone who applied. You gave us a ton of amazing applications this year–more than we’ve ever had–and it was very hard to pick only four.

Registration for the retreat—which, let’s not forget, is taking place on a cruise ship in the eastern Caribbean—is open until the final day of June, or until we reach 150 students, whichever comes first. If you want to join us, sign up today!

11.20: Horror as a Subgenre

Steve Diamond joins us again to talk horror, this time about using elemental horror as part of our stories’ elemental ensemble. We discuss how the sense of dread can be a page-turning motivation, and how it can complement the other “keep on reading” motivations we set out to invoke.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Daniel Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson. 



Write a scene twice: first, write it so that there’s humor, and then horror. Then write it so that the horror comes first, and the humor is last.

Swan Song, by Robert McCammon, narrated by Tom Stechshulte