Award-winning author
Unusual times, remarkable places

The "Standard of Ur" from ancient Mesopotamia

The "Standard of Ur" from ancient Mesopotamia

19 December 2012

Amber Kallyn's Birthday Bash blog-hop contest

From author Amber Kallyn:

I love the holidays, but not necessarily having my birthday fall smack dab in the middle of them. But this year, I’d like to do something special for my readers. Over 25 authors and bloggers have come together to celebrate my 24th birthday (I won’t mention how many years I’ve turned 24 again).

We have some wonderful prizes, and all you have to do is leave a comment at the participating blogs to win. Easy.

Also, my novel Bloodstorm (Heart of a Vampire, Book 1) is free right now for an early present:

Grand prize 

One commenter will win their choice of a NOOK Simple Touch™ with GlowLight or a Kindle Paperwhite (up to $140 value).

Other prizes

Ebooks from the following authors:

  • Paloma Beck (Coming Home, contemporary romance)
  • Jami Grey (Shadow’s Edge and Shadow’s Soul, urban fantasy)
  • Zrinka Jelic (paranormal romance)
  • Christine Fairchild (An Eye For Danger, romantic suspense)
  • Marian Lanouette (If I Fail, mystery)
  • Sylvia Hubbard (five ebooks)
  • Kenra Daniels (Safe Heart and Kassern, paranormal romance)
A $40 Gift card to either Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Some of the other blogs taking part will have additional give-aways.

How to win

The contest is open from Wednesday, December 19, to Saturday, December 22. Hop to all the blogs. The winner will be chosen from among those who comment on participating blogs. Leave a comment at each blog for additional entries to win. The winner will be drawn on Sunday, December 23.

Participating blogs

Amber’s information
Bloodstorm (Heart of a Vampire, Book #1) currently free
Hungerstorm (Heart of a Vampire, Book #2)


Happy birthday, Amber, and thanks for including my blog in your contest.

06 December 2012

Clarion Writers' Workshop opens to applications

As of 1 December, the Clarion Science Fiction and Writers' Workshop opened to applications for the class of 2013.

campus of the University of California at San Diego
Clarion is widely recognized as a premier training ground for aspiring writers of fantasy and science fiction short stories. The 2011 writers in residence Andy Duncan, Nalo Hopkinson, Cory Doctorow, Robert Crais, Karen Joy Fowler, and Kelly Link. (Learn more about the great faculty at Each year 18 students are selected from applicants who have the potential for highly successful writing careers. Students are expected to write several new short stories during the six-week workshop, and to give and receive constructive criticism. Instructors and students reside together in University of California at San Diego campus apartments throughout the intensive six-week program.

Application period: December 1—March 1. Applicants must submit two short stories with their application.

Workshop: June 23—August 3, 2013.

For more information, please visit

Why should you consider applying?
  • You'll learn how to critique other people's writing and thus your own.
  • Your writing will improve amazingly.
  • You'll make several friends for life.
  • You get to spend six weeks on a tree-filled campus immersed in writing—no cooking, no chores, no noisy children or demanding pets, nothing at all to prevent you from living and breathing writing.
  • You'll have the most fun one can possibly have while being severely sleep deprived.
  • You'll find out whether you truly want to be a writer.
  • Being a Clarion grad opens doors for you and gives you a professional connection to dozens of professional sf/f writers (and writers in some other genres as well).
  • Your life will change forever.
Yes, Clarion is pricey—nearly $5000 this year. (That includes tuition, private room in a three-person apartment with kitchen, Internet service, and three meals per day at the dining hall, as well as a parking pass if you take your car.) Some scholarships are available, including the Leonard Pung Scholarship initiated by my own class of 2009 for students over 40.

However, if you truly want to be a professional or semiprofessional writer, Clarion is worth the money. In essence, it leapfrogs you and your career several years ahead of where you'd be otherwise. And if you discover that the writing life is not for you, then you can stop wasting time writing and get on with what you should be doing with your life.

If you have any questions about Clarion, feel free to post them in the comments or email me at ShaunaRoberts [at] ShaunaRoberts [dot] com.