Here’s some links I find helpful, in no particular order

Brooklyn Speculative Fiction Writers Group – The writing group that I joined in 2015.  It’s a very large group, with several different subgroups within.  There’s a few different novel-based groups, at least two short story based groups, a prompt-driven group, groups for sitting together and writing in silence, as well as various writing career based group outings.  Several of us went together to see Patrick Rothfus do a reading as part of Nerds and Music with Paul and Storm and Joel Hodgman in Oct of 2015.  I adore the people I neet with monthly to critique stories together, and I adore the organizers who put it all together.  Every experience I have had with this group has been positive and helpful.  I hope any writers reading this page will be lucky enough to find a writing group as supportive and helpful as BSFW.

Writing Excuses – a great podcast for beginning writers, from Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Howard Tayler – Tor is a fabulous publisher, and their blog community is a great place not just for fans, but for people interested in the business and craft of writing

Forward Motion Writers – my first two novels were both started and developed while working from their 2 Year Novel (2YN) course.

Donald Maass Literary Agency – A friend of a friend is an agent here.  I’ll let you know if having a mutual friend has any influence or bearing on my ability to get an agent – my gut reaction, a foot in the door is great, but the writing has to be there to warrant any interest.

Writer Unboxed – They have good articles.


Writing workshops are, to paraphrase one of my writer friends, like sleep-away camp for writers.  They are intensive, live-in round-the-clock courses where you attend lectures by professional writers and editors, you write, and you critique each other’s writing.  They are less like sleep away camp though and a lot more like boot camp.  And I really want to go to one.  Many are six weeks long and expensive, either of which can be prohibitive to people with day jobs, or small children, or both.

Clarion Writers’ Workshop – The first of this type of boot-camp workshop, Clarion started in 1968 and is (as of 2007) held on the West Coast, though not to be confused with Clarion West (below).

Odyssey Writing Workshop – Odyssey started around 1996, and is held in New Hampshire every summer.  It is the workshop I am the most familiar with (mostly through their podcast, and the fact that I’ve pored over their website a few dozen times).  Odyssey is unique in that it’s the only one run full time by an editor.  Also, instead of all of the guest lecturers popping in, teaching, and leaving, one of them actually stays for a full week.  I guess for them, it is a sleep-away camp.

Clarion West Writers Workshop – Held annually in Seattle since the 80’s.  Another writing workshop.

Viable Paradise – VP is a week-long course in Martha’s Vineyard in the Fall, which itself is a marvelous thing.  Also, I hear the workshop is fantastic.

Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction – This is a two week course held every summer in Kansas City.  My friend Marcy went, and speaks incredibly highly about it.



No one needs me to describe or list cons for them.  This is for my own reference.  That said, I’ve never been a Con-type person, as a fan.  As an author, we’ll see how I feel once I start getting published!  I think ReaderCon sounds the most appealing to me in terms of structure.

WorldCon – Home of the Hugos!

WorldFantasy Con

Dragon Con – every year in Atlanta

I-Con – I attended this once or twice while it was held on Stony Brook University’s campus and I was simultaneously working there.  Fun times.  Now morphed into LI-Con

Reader Con – Held in the Boston area.  A Con minus all non-written-based media.  Can’t wait to go!

NY Comic Con

…more links to come, as I think of and remember them.


Matthew Shean is the author of the story “Sylvia and Larry” in the Lazarus Risen anthology, due in Oct. 2016 from Bundoran Press, and several forthcoming novels and short stories. He has a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology and spent 20 years as a research scientist throughout the northeastern United States.  He now lives in Long Island (against his will), with his loving family and disdainful cats.


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