Category Archives: Announcements & News

RSS, iTunes, and other Subscription Issues

UPDATE: As of June 12th, at 21:45 EDT, the feed is working again for current episodes. The main feed only reaches back about a year, but it should keep updating your various podcast directories just fine.


OLD NEWS:

We’re aware that for the last three weeks or so, something hasn’t been working correctly with our RSS feed. We’re looking into it. We’ve tried the usual suite of togglings-off-and-on, and we’ve examined our settings in an attempt to identify a misconfiguration somewhere. So far nothing has seemed to make a difference, but we’re not giving up.

If you want to report problems, explain workarounds, or otherwise weigh in on the issue, this post’s comment thread is here for you.

Writing Excuses Conference and Retreat 2019 – Mystery Guest Announcement!

Hello Writing Excuses Folks!

The Writing Excuses Conference and Retreat 2019 is September 13 – September 22, which is FOUR MONTHS AWAY! We’d love for you to join us, and to sweeten the pot, AN ANNOUNCEMENT.

WXR MYSTERY INSTRUCTOR

We’re delighted to announce that Cory Doctorow is our Mystery Instructor this year!

Cory Doctorow (craphound.com) is a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger — the co-editor of Boing Boing (boingboing.net) and the author of RADICALIZED and WALKAWAY, science fiction for adults, a YA graphic novel called IN REAL LIFE, the nonfiction business book INFORMATION DOESN’T WANT TO BE FREE, and young adult novels like HOMELAND, PIRATE CINEMA and LITTLE BROTHER and novels for adults like RAPTURE OF THE NERDS and MAKERS. He works for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is a MIT Media Lab Research Affiliate, is a Visiting Professor of Computer Science at Open University, a Visiting Professor of Practice at the University of South Carolina’s School of Library and Information Science and co-founded the UK Open Rights Group. Born in Toronto, Canada, he now lives in Los Angeles.

We look forward to having him join us on our floating writing conference!

REGISTRATION AND NEW CABINS

There’s still time to register and we have been able to add more cabins! You know how excellent this conference is, so it’s no surprise to you that they have been going fast this year. Come join us again, and tell your friends, writers, family members, anyone who might enjoy a writing conference and retreat on a cruise ship (so, most people?). We have some exciting new things, like Costume Karaoke (optional!), punch cards for family members to attend some classes, and some surprises and would love to see you there!

Register here!

September will be here soon and cabins are running out quickly. Come learn from Mary Robinette, Dan, Howard, Brandon (on land) and many other excellent guests all on a CRUISE SHIP on the Caribbean!

Have any questions? Email us at writingexcusesevents@gmail.com.

2019 Scholarship Winners

We are delighted to report that the 2019 scholarship winners have been selected!

This is a long process that we take great care with; the applicants send us a huge submission packet, complete with writing samples, letters of recommendation, and a personal essay, and each one of those is reviewed in detail by two different juries. If anyone on the jury comes across a name they know in real life, we randomize it and anonymize it and send it off to someone else to be reviewed by them instead, to keep things as fair and above-board as we possibly can.

All of the applicants were wonderful, and we loved a lot of the samples they sent us, but after a careful review and some painful decisions we’ve selected four worthy recipients:

The 2019 Out of Excuses Scholarships:

Caitlin Jacobs
Petronella Wagner

The 2019 Carl Brandon Scholarships:

Nandi Taylor
Suyi Davies Okungbowa

Huge congratulations to them, and a massive thank you to all of the other applicants. You are all amazing, and we wish you the absolute best of luck in your writing careers.

2018 Awards Eligibility; or, The Cool Stuff We Did Last Year

It’s 2019! We didn’t want you to miss out on any of the amazing things we did last year, so we collected it all into one post.

Of course, we did Writing Excuses Season 13, our Year of Character,  which we are all quite proud of. That would be eligible for Best Related Work, if you were interested.

Mary Robinette Kowal 

Two Novels:

Six Short Stories:

Read more about what she was up to last year here!

Brandon Sanderson

YA Novel:

  • Skyward – Delacorte Press, November 2018

Novel:

Novella:

Graphic Novel:

Here is the State of the Sanderson!

Howard Tayler

Webcomic:

Check in on Howard here!

Dan Wells

YA Novel:

Middle Grade Novel:

  • Zero G – Audible.com, December 2018

Here is Dan’s website and Twitter for more of what he’s been up to!

We also want to highlight our fantastic guests:

Maurice Broaddus

Novelette:

Short Stories

Find out more about Maurice here!

Aliette de Bodard

Novel:

Novella:

Aliette has more here about what’s on her ballot this year.

Amal El-Mohtar

Short Fiction:

Fan Writer:

Best place to keep up with Amal is her Drip.

Valynne E. Maetani

You can catch up with Valynne here!

 

Writing Excuses Conference and Retreat 2019

2019 will be our seventh Writing Excuses Retreat:

Join us for a cruise in the Caribbean, September 13-22, 2019!

Liberty of the Seas Cruise Ship

Registration is now open with early bird pricing! Prices go up Jan 31st, so book soon!

The full details are available on the registration page, but here’s a quick overview:

What is this thing?

If you’ve never done one of our cruises before, they’re a kind of magical mix of class time, writing time, and screwing-around-in-a-cool-place time. We don’t know how it works, but it does, and you’ll love it. We did the math, and doing this on a cruise ship is really the least expensive way for us to give you a full week workshop. Plus, you get writing views like this.

A margarita in a restaurant, looking out at the ocean
This is from the writing date in Cozumel. We are definitely going back here.

We will board in Galveston, TX, and spend a week at sea, stopping for excursions in Cozumel, Georgetown, and Falmouth. The event actually begins two days before we board, in a Houston hotel, where we’ll register and get to know each other, and have a few classes.

We’ll have one or two classes a day, taught by our amazing guest instructors, as well as live Writing Excuses episodes with the hosts of the show. Brandon Sanderson will teach a class in Houston, and we’ll be joined by Piper Drake, Kathy Chung, K Tempest Bradford, DongWon Song, and more to be announced later. And of course, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard.

You said excursions?

For each stop, we’ll pick three “official” Writing Excuses shore excursions and announce them this Spring. You can sign up with us for one of those and know that you’ll be with our same group of awesome writers and instructors. If you want to do an excursion that’s not one of our official picks, you can arrange it directly with the cruise.

How does the pricing work?

Prices are Double Occupancy, which means you’ll share your room with another person. If you bring your own roommate, awesome! If not, we’ll put you with another writer from our group. Spouses and significant others who want to come with you but are not writers will get a discounted rate. Children get a hugely discounted rate. Imaginary friends are FREE.

As before, we will have a number of scholarships available. The application process will be announced in January.

I have a registration question. Should I leave a comment here?

The best way to contact us for WXR 2019 purposes is to use the “Contact Writing Excuses” link at the bottom of the Registration page. Scroll all the way down to “Contact the Organizer”. We’d have linked it directly here, but it’s an embedded thingy. You can also email questions to writingexcusesevents@gmail.com.

I’ve already been on your cruise thingie. Why should I come again?

First off, I’m suspicious of your claim. Folks who HAVE been before are eager to come back, in large part because the single biggest benefit of WXR are the connections you make with the other attendees. But since you asked:

    • Family Punch Card: Anyone with a family ticket will get a punch card that will allow them to attend 3 classes with their writers. These classes are normally for writers only, but we’ve found that having a common language can help both writers and family members, and this is a good way to build that language.
    • Two nights at the hotel: We have added an extra day on the front end, which lets us do stuff like have a class with Brandon at the hotel, have the option to tour NASA with Mary Robinette, and other secret awesome stuff that I can’t tell you about yet, cause all the details aren’t worked out. Mwah ha ha!
    • Costume Karaoke: The theme for the costume party this year is Costume Karaoke. As always, this is a very loose theme. Maybe your costume is from a musical! Maybe it’s Karaoke related! Maybe it just comes with an excellent theme song! Whatever the case, we have the Karaoke bar on board reserved for our use after dinner on Costume night, and we’ll be curating a list of the kinds of songs YOU want to sing. In costume. (Neither signing or dressing up is required, but if that’s your jam, bring it on!)
    • Other Exciting Announcements to come: We’ve got some new stuff in the works, and it’s going to be quite excellent. We’ll announce as soon as we can.

I’m an introvert who doesn’t do well in big groups of people. Will I survive an event like this?

One Of Us! One Of Us! Honestly, most of our attendees are introverts too, including all of the hosts and most of the guest instructors. Some of us are better at faking it than others, but we know where you’re coming from, and we feel your pain. We’ll make sure to have lots of quiet little hidey-holes all over the ship where you can go when it all gets too much. It’s not called a “retreat” for nothing.

You keep saying it, but will I really have time to actually write while on this cruise?

You will definitely have time, but it’s up to you how to use it. We give prizes every year for the Most Words Written, and last year the winner had more than 40,000. We also have a proud history of board game nights, dancing, karaoke, and impromptu martial arts demonstrations. Whatever you want to do with your free time, you can probably do it at this event.

What level of writing expertise should I have attained prior to attending?

Level of expertise” is far less important than your desire to improve. The workshop is structured to be accessible and useful for new writers with a passion for learning, and to be challenging and rewarding for seasoned professionals looking for refinement, or additional perspectives. Different classes will be designed for different levels of experience.

Come join us!

WXR 2019 Cyber Monday/Tuesday Sale!

Today only! Get $100 off your ticket to WXR 19 with the code CyberMonday. (Yes, it’s Tuesday.) This code is good until 11:59pm Central on Tues, Nov 27, because that’s how we roll.

Looking for a holiday gift for your writer? Or yourself? How about a writing workshop and retreat wrapped inside a Caribbean vacation?

The 2019 Writing Excuses Conference and Retreat is now open! WXR19 will be from Fri, Sep 13 to Sun, Sep 22. We’ll leave out of Galveston, TX on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas, and we’ll travel to Cozumel, Georgetown, and Falmouth before returning home. Come join us!

 

Writing Excuses Conference and Retreat 2019

2019 will be our seventh Writing Excuses Retreat:

Join us for a cruise in the Caribbean, September 13th-22nd, 2019!

Liberty of the Seas Cruise Ship

Registration is now open with early bird pricing! Prices go up Jan 31st, so book soon!

The full details are available on the registration page, but here’s a quick overview:

What is this thing?

If you’ve never done one of our cruises before, they’re a kind of magical mix of class time, writing time, and screwing-around-in-a-cool-place time. We don’t know how it works, but it does, and you’ll love it. We did the math, and doing this on a cruise ship is really the least expensive way for us to give you a full week workshop. Plus, you get writing views like this.

A margarita in a restaurant, looking out at the ocean
This is from the writing date in Cozumel. We are definitely going back here.

We will board in Galveston, TX, and spend a week at sea, stopping for excursions in Cozumel, Georgetown, and Falmouth. The event actually begins two days before we board, in a Houston hotel, where we’ll register and get to know each other, and have a few classes.

We’ll have one or two classes a day, taught by our amazing guest instructors, as well as live Writing Excuses episodes with the hosts of the show. Brandon Sanderson will teach a class in Houston, and we’ll be joined by Piper Drake, Kathy Chung, K Tempest Bradford, DongWon Song, and more to be announced later. And of course, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard.

You said excursions?

For each stop, we’ll pick three “official” Writing Excuses shore excursions and announce them this Spring. You can sign up with us for one of those and know that you’ll be with our same group of awesome writers and instructors. If you want to do an excursion that’s not one of our official picks, you can arrange it directly with the cruise.

How does the pricing work?

Prices are Double Occupancy, which means you’ll share your room with another person. If you bring your own roommate, awesome! If not, we’ll put you with another writer from our group. Spouses and significant others who want to come with you but are not writers will get a discounted rate. Children get a hugely discounted rate. Imaginary friends are FREE.

As before, we will have a number of scholarships available. The application process will be announced in January.

I have a registration question. Should I leave a comment here?

The best way to contact us for WXR 2019 purposes is to use the “Contact Writing Excuses” link at the bottom of the Registration page. Scroll all the way down to “Contact the Organizer”. We’d have linked it directly here, but it’s an embedded thingy. You can also email questions to writingexcusesevents@gmail.com.

I’ve already been on your cruise thingie. Why should I come again?

First off, I’m suspicious of your claim. Folks who HAVE been before are eager to come back, in large part because the single biggest benefit of WXR are the connections you make with the other attendees. But since you asked:

    • Family Punch Card: Anyone with a family ticket will get a punch card that will allow them to attend 3 classes with their writers. These classes are normally for writers only, but we’ve found that having a common language can help both writers and family members, and this is a good way to build that language.
    • Two nights at the hotel: We have added an extra day on the front end, which lets us do stuff like have a class with Brandon at the hotel, have the option to tour NASA with Mary Robinette, and other secret awesome stuff that I can’t tell you about yet, cause all the details aren’t worked out. Mwah ha ha!
    • Costume Karaoke: The theme for the costume party this year is Costume Karaoke. As always, this is a very loose theme. Maybe your costume is from a musical! Maybe it’s Karaoke related! Maybe it just comes with an excellent theme song! Whatever the case, we have the Karaoke bar on board reserved for our use after dinner on Costume night, and we’ll be curating a list of the kinds of songs YOU want to sing. In costume. (Neither signing or dressing up is required, but if that’s your jam, bring it on!)
    • Other Exciting Announcements to come: We’ve got some new stuff in the works, and it’s going to be quite excellent. We’ll announce as soon as we can.

I’m an introvert who doesn’t do well in big groups of people. Will I survive an event like this?

One Of Us! One Of Us! Honestly, most of our attendees are introverts too, including all of the hosts and most of the guest instructors. Some of us are better at faking it than others, but we know where you’re coming from, and we feel your pain. We’ll make sure to have lots of quiet little hidey-holes all over the ship where you can go when it all gets too much. It’s not called a “retreat” for nothing.

You keep saying it, but will I really have time to actually write while on this cruise?

You will definitely have time, but it’s up to you how to use it. We give prizes every year for the Most Words Written, and last year the winner had more than 40,000. We also have a proud history of board game nights, dancing, karaoke, and impromptu martial arts demonstrations. Whatever you want to do with your free time, you can probably do it at this event.

What level of writing expertise should I have attained prior to attending?

Level of expertise” is far less important than your desire to improve. The workshop is structured to be accessible and useful for new writers with a passion for learning, and to be challenging and rewarding for seasoned professionals looking for refinement, or additional perspectives. Different classes will be designed for different levels of experience.

Come join us!

Additional Berths for WXR 2017 in the Baltic Sea!

We have more berths for the 2017 Out of Excuses Workshop and Retreat, this July 28-August 5! That’s just seven-and-a-half weeks away. If you’d like to join us in the Baltic Sea for WXR 2017, registration is open again.

There is a hitch, of course. We don’t yet know how much the rooms cost. On the registration page, select “I want to come but you’re sold out!” That option is at the top of the list on the registration page.

Registering for this means that our cruise liaison will find out the price and let you know. You can then decide if you want to book the spot. Note that these berths will not cost less than the spots that have already sold out. Also, these berths are limited, and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

This process does lack the hassle-free convenience we prefer to offer, but it is the only opportunity we have for more of you to come along, and we’re happy to be able to extend it. We’d love to have you join us.

(If this is the first you’ve heard about the event, the full description is here.)