Back Row: Peter Simonson, Brad Hafford, Travis Heermann, Alex Wolfe
Second Row: Kelli Meyer, Kevin Jewell, Meg Spooner
Third Row: Arthur Dorrance, Corry Lee, Carrie Vaughn, Jeanne Cavelos, Mary Rodgers
Fourth Row: Karen McKenzie, Lisa Poh, Jason Heller
Front Row: Susan Sielinski, Sharon Sun, Jenny Rae Rappaport, Kaalii Cargill

Kaalii Cargill

Attending Odyssey has given me specific, concrete ways to address long-standing issues in my writing.

Arthur Dorrance

This workshop is a contact-high for people serious about writing genre fiction.

Brad Hafford

Odyssey is more than a journey into the art of storytelling; it makes a writer face cyclopean fears, buffeted by storm-tossed critiques, finally to find shore in a more confident structure and passionate style. It has changed me and my writing profoundly. For the better.

Travis Heermann

I would recommend Odyssey to anyone who wants to write science fiction, fantasy, or horror professionally. Your writing will make quantum leaps in quality during a challenging six weeks. Jeanne is a fantastic instructor, and her experience as a writer and also as an industry professional comes through in every class and critique. The guest lecturers and writer-in-residence add a fresh dimension and perspectives not only on how to write science fiction, fantasy, and horror, but also what it takes and what it means to be a professional writer.

Jason Heller

If you think you know what you’re doing as a writer, Odyssey will cure you of that particular misgiving. But it will replace your crutches and bad habits with real tools and techniques for obliterating ruts, breaking glass ceilings, and digging deep into yourself for motivation and inspiration.

Quite simply, Odyssey changed my life. I’ll never look at words the same way again.

Kevin Jewell

Ray Bradbury says, “Throw yourself off the cliff and build your wings on the way down.” Odyssey gives you tools and plans to build them.

Corry Lee

Odyssey taught me more than I ever knew was possible. I had to work harder than I’ve ever worked (even in grad school) but the rewards were even greater. I learned about weaknesses I never knew existed in my writing and gained practical techniques to attack those weaknesses. I made friends I will cherish for a lifetime.

Karen McKenzie

Kelli D. Meyer

Both the time and money invested in Odyssey were well worth it. I can’t imagine any experience paying bigger dividends in terms of improving my writing and my chances of publication.

Lisa Poh

Jeanne is far and away the best part of Odyssey. One element that distinguishes Odyssey is that Jeanne is our primary instructor throughout the six weeks, although we benefit from guest lecturers and a week taught by a writer-in-residence. The benefit of this is that Jeanne is like a lighthouse for us through our sometimes rocky and daunting voyage. She’s always there to guide us, give us words of wisdom or advice, or fix the broken plots that we bring to her in a panic. She brings coherence and practicality to understanding writing and publishing. She has so much compassion for struggling writers—something I’ve not experienced in the creative writing classes I’ve previously taken—and through these six weeks, makes the effort to individually meet with us to talk to us about what makes each of us unique in our voice, to affirm that we do have something special we bring to the table as writers, and to work with us using specific tools to fix the problems we didn’t know how to fix. I can’t thank her enough for her dedication and passion.

Jenny Rae Rappaport

Jeanne taught me that a plot toolbox does exist, and how to use it. She has helped me learn to describe concepts that I knew internally, but couldn’t verbalize well. It has made me a better writer and a better literary agent.

Mary Rodgers

Attending Odyssey was both a privilege and a pleasure. I am so grateful for this experience. Everything from the rigor of the coursework to the joy of bonding with my amazing classmates has been invaluable. I suppose that I could have done without my newly minted caffeine addiction, but that is at best a minor quibble. I can’t wait to go home and put all that I’ve learned into practice . . .

Peter Simonson

I’ve never worked with an instructor who was so dedicated to my personal learning. Odyssey is an extraordinary experience because Jeanne puts so much of her love of writers, the craft, and the genres into it.

Meg Spooner

Make no mistake, Odyssey will tear away all your comforting delusions about yourself as a writer. But something happens along the way, a painful—but ultimately hugely rewarding–process of discovering true worth, ability, and uniqueness that replaces those false delusions with the truth: you have a story to tell, and only you can tell it.

Sharon Sun

Odyssey really showed me who I was, both as a writer and as a person, and Jeanne did an amazing job at teaching me all I never knew about myself, and then guiding me to where I should go next.

Alex Wolfe

If a fellow writer asked if I would recommend Odyssey to him, I would do so without hesitation and as emphatically as possible. The experience was, from a craft, social, and overall developmental standpoint, a catalyst beyond anything I could have hoped for in terms of growing as a writer and as a person. I cannot recommend it enough.

Memorable Quotes from the Class of 2009

“I kept thinking of Burt Bacharach: ‘Why do birds suddenly appear, every time you are near?'”
—Kevin G. Jewell

“I hope this monkey comes down and goes nuts.”
—Jason Heller

“I don’t quite understand why Satan needs a flashlight.”
—Brad Hafford

“It’s hard not to like a guy who really likes a dog.”
—Peter Simonson

“We’re spending ten pages walking the dog.”
—Brad Hafford

“She’s a goddess. She should come and go like a goddess, not go in a row boat.”
—Travis Heermann

“I’m a sci-fi reader and I like things to either blow up or not.”
—Kevin G. Jewell

“Scientific plausibility schmausibility.”
—Corry L. Lee

“He felt real even though he was dead.”
—Travis Heermann

“It didn’t quite stick the knife in enough.”
—Kevin G. Jewell

“It made sense to me at three in the morning.”
—Arthur Dorrance

“You lost me with the ear wax.”
—Jenny Rae Rappaport

“I was expecting a palace built of spleens and human eyeballs. Deliciously horrible.”
—Meg Spooner

“I couldn’t relate to the refrigerator or his motivations.”
—Alex Wolfe

“You can’t go wrong with a fart to start a story.”
—Arthur Dorrance

“Time is of the essence. We must romp.”
—Meg Spooner

“There’s not a way she can have sex with the refrigerator—I hope.”
—Jason Heller

“I had to listen to their banter and their sexual fantasies, and I didn’t get the blood.”
—Kevin G. Jewell

“There was a big matzoh ball that you left floating out there. And I was chewing on it throughout the story.”
—Mary Rodgers

“The role of the artist is to not look away.”
—Akira Kurosawa, quoted by Travis Heermann

“I love any story that involves miniscule dragons.”
—Kelli D. Meyer

“Since it can talk, it should have explained itself.”
—Lisa Poh

“Can we ever know a zombie?”
—Peter Simonson

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
—Winston Churchill, quoted by Carrie Vaughn

“Chinese hell has eighteen levels.”
—Lisa Poh

“Even these geese are depressed in the story.”
—Jason Heller

“I want it to be more odd.”
—Karen McKenzie

“Don’t they have tails and wouldn’t that be an issue when putting on pants?”
—Kelli D. Meyer

“Don’t beat me with my baby!”
—Jason Heller

“If you don’t know what happens next, bring a man through the door with a gun.”
—Mickey Spillane, quoted by Carrie Vaughn

“They didn’t really know what to do with a short mad woman.”
—Kaalii Cargill

“I loved the spine. I really did.”
—Jenny Rae Rappaport

“She’s not a character who sits around and thinks. Maybe she sharpens knives.”
—Corry L. Lee

“I feel the coyote’s pain.”
—Karen McKenzie

“I didn’t even realize that I didn’t have to count commas until the second reading.”
—Kevin G. Jewell

“Ursula Le Guin didn’t write The Right Hand of Darkness.”
—Jason Heller

“I wish I knew what the refrigerator looked like.”
—Kelli D. Meyer

“Sorry, but I think we all want to see more carnage.”
—Sharon Sun

“Lush it up more.”
—Lisa Poh

“Kelp Desk.”
—Arthur Dorrance