“A High-Octane Triumph of the Human Spirit”
Odyssey Class of 2003
Back Row: Michail Velichansky, Alec Hutson, Natalia Lincoln, John Bowker, Hannah Strom-Martin, Roger Bagwell, Jessica Thomas, Wes Alderson, Sarah Totton, Ron Sering
Middle Row: Laurie Marhoefer
Front Row: Paco Ruiz, Philip Arena, Kim Gillett, Jeanne Cavelos
Not Pictured: Diana Price
Odyssey is the flower garden from which the best future writers of science fiction and fantasy will sprout, prosper, and achieve full bloom.
If you’re looking to be anointed, go elsewhere. If you’re willing to tear it all down and start over, you will be happy you did.
Absolutely improved my writing and sent me in the right direction.
Jeanne Cavelos is an amazing, tireless critiquer and lecturer who really put the whole craft together for me. Her incisive and clear commentary illuminated the darker areas of my knowledge—I feel that she has helped me take my writing ahead by several years in the six weeks of the workshop. I would highly recommend Odyssey to any genre writer who wants to break out of the promising’ category into the ‘published’ category.
Before I came to Odyssey, I thought I knew what I was doing. I didn’t. Run, do not walk, to Jeanne’s workshop. Jeanne’s knowledge of the craft of writing is extensive, and her attention to student work is enormous—she writes two to three single-spaced pages on every story. Having an experienced editor’s eye on your work for six weeks is invaluable.
Not only did Jeanne Cavelos give me the tools to improve my craft, but the entire Odyssey experience renewed my commitment to—and enjoyment of—the art of writing, itself.
I liked this so much that I think I’m going to copy it somewhere. Only a notch below having your personal devil whispering in your ear about what you need to improve your writing. I came in wondering whether (and half wishing that) this was going to be my writing’s death, and I leave with the disturbing knowledge that the writing muse is going to keep on walking my house’s corridors every night, forever and ever. I’m cursed. My only unfulfilled wish is not having been given an opportunity to bond with Jeanne’s iguana.
I came in here thinking I knew how to write, but it soon became clear that I had a lot to learn. Jeanne’s canny knowledge of the fiction process and her editor’s eye were extremely educational. Now I have the whole tool set. What I do with it is up to me.
Come to Odyssey and you will sweat and bleed and cry and rip yourself inside out. But you will meet people here who share your passion and your pain, who strive as earnestly as you strive, and with whom you will no longer need to journey toward that elusive goal alone.
Intense, frustrating, agonizing—this is not a vacation. This is not a fun time. This is years of struggle crammed into six weeks, and it shows. When you leave, you will have gone through the fire: charred, barely standing, and a better writer.
Memorable Quotes from the Class of 2003
“They sounded like they were from Jersey or something.”
“A duck is too goofy for a vampire story.”
“I think the number 24 lacked motivation.”
“You can make your prose less voluptuous.”
“My experience of lesbians is very limited.”
“Jordan can’t describe anything without the words steel, ice, fire, and honey.”
“I found myself filling in details from my own central props department.”
“I think ‘Three-Bump’ is more of a girl’s name.”
“What about his anatomy said dark power seat in the north?”
“This is kind of like The Breakfast Club except we’re all Anthony Michael Hall.”
“Keep the funk level as high as you can.”
“A modular pseudonovel collection.”
“Reptillian passion center…”
“I really didn’t like Jantin, mostly because he sweated a lot.”
“And now we form the Circle of Carnage…”
“Seem like he was running around too much without taking the time to be an asshole.”
“I didn’t get the flower’s motivation.”
“It still has the same problem, though, Mike. Flowers can’t talk!”
“You can get away with whatever you can get away with.”
“The tension is forced.”
“Being in Asia really burns out your weirdness filter.”
“That’s the most creative use of a cucumber I’ve ever seen.”
“I kept thinking this was like if Raymond Chandler had been a science geek.”
“You seem to have comma issues.”
“My verb is feeble.”
“I want you to crack my chest open and rip out my heart.”
“Mike is cancelled.”
“I don’t want to stink up your story, but . . .”
—Roland J. Green
“People are always wearing ears on their belts in fantasy.”