First Draft and Beyond

Free eBooks and Short Stories

After writing 50K words and winning NaNoWriMo 2012, I had resolved to finish the manuscript for my latest fantasy novel, “The Wayward Way” by the end of December. I’m four days late, which I’ll blame on the holidays ;), but it is accomplished. I have a completed first draft. It’s a huge mess, but it’s something I can work on, polish, greatly improve and hopefully get published.

I opened my email and saw that a writer friend, Nicole LeBoeuf, had just published an Examiner post on New Year’s resolutions for the working writer. The article has all kinds of great, pressure-free suggestions. One that particularly caught my eye was the suggestion to apply to attend Viable Paradise.

Viable Paradise is a one-week, intensive workshop for speculative fiction writers, limited to 24 participants. The list of instructors is jaw-dropping and include big guns in the genre such as Steven Brust, Elizabeth Bear, Teresa Nielsen Hayden and Patrick Nielsen Hayden. This year, the workshop will take place from October 13 through October 18 on Martha’s Vineyard. The application period runs from January 1 through June 15. The cost to apply is $25.

It’s been on my mind for a while to apply to attend this workshop. The overall cost is not cheap. How could it be with such great instructors and at such an awesome location? But if you don’t invest in yourself, who will? I’ll give it some deep thought and if I do decide to apply, you’ll be the first to know.

For those who may not know, Patrick Nielsen Hayden is the manager of the science fiction and fantasy line at Tor Books. Teresa Nielsen Hayden is a consulting editor for Tor. I’m a huge fan of Tor and attending workshops taught by them would be spectacular!

What is Tor Books looking for in terms of writing? One of the best ways to figure that out is to read what has already been published. Today, I found a couple of free YA speculative fiction anthologies called Fierce Reads. These are available for most eReaders. You can find the download options near the bottom of each page. publishes original short fiction which can be read free on their website. Each story also includes a fabulous illustration. You can find the stories here.

  The Fierce Reads Anthology
This anthology includes short stories from five fierce young adult authors! Inside, you’ll find a magical mermaid tale from Anna Banks, a fantastical Russian-influenced story from Leigh Bardugo, an electric thriller from Jennifer Bosworth, a post-apocalyptic drama from Emmy Laybourne, and a cybernetic fairytale from Marissa Meyer. This free anthology will give you an exciting taste of the fierceness of these authors’ debut novels.

  The Fierce Reads Anthology: Volume 2
This anthology includes short stories from six fierce young adult authors! Inside, you’ll find a futuristic zombie tale from Ann Aguirre, a science fiction thriller from Gennifer Albin, a nautical mermaid story from Elizabeth Fama, a story full of unicorns from Lish McBride, a postapocalyptic story from Caragh O’Brien, and a paranormal alternate future from Marie Rutkowski. This free anthology will give you an exciting taste of the fierceness of these YA authors’ novels.

Descriptions provided by Macmillan

Disclaimers and Disclosures

These free books are potentially limited time offers. There is no guarantee either of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.

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