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Shout Out for Milford

September 2, 2019 at 3:15 pm
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Damon Knight created the legendary Milford Writers Conference in the 1960s.  It was named after Milford, Pennsylvania, where Damon lived… though it later moved on to Colorado and other distant climes.   A decade or so later, the British writers decided they wanted a Milford too, and even found a town called Milford to hold it in.   (I attended it in 1981, during my first visit to the UK).   The original American Milford expired many many years ago… but as it happens, the British version is still going strong, though they are no longer in Milford.

Just this morning, I received an email from Jacey Bedford, their current secretary, who asked for me to help spread the word about the conference, and some scholarship opportunities.   She writes:

“This will be our third year of offering funding for two SF writers of colour wishing to attend Milford for the first time. We have our two writers this year, but we are always trying to reach a wider audience to solicit applications from all over the world. So far we’ve had writers from the UK, USA, Nigeria, and the Philippines via The Netherlands. Applications have just opened for the two available places in September 2020 and we want to get the word out to as many eligible writers as possible.

“Could we please ask you to give it a shout-out on your blog? As a previous attendee of Milford, it would be great coming from you. Our bursaries cover the full cost of attending Milford (approximately £650 per person), but not the cost of travel.

“Milford has now settled at a lovely venue in North Wales, close to Mount Snowdon and the Snowdonia National Park.

“We need to publicise the availability of funding as widely as possible. The quality of our applicants is high, but we don’t get many of them. I’m happy to write a piece for your blog, or just to supply you with as many details (and Images) as you can use if you prefer to mention it yourself.

“Applications for September 2020 bursaries open in September 2019 and close at the end of February 2020. (We usually have our recipients announced at Eastercon.) It would be ideal if you could throw something onto the interwebs in September / October.

“This is Milford now: http://www.milfordsf.co.uk/
And this is our bursary page: http://www.milfordsf.co.uk/bursaries.htm

“This will be our third year of funding two writers of colour to attend Milford. Our recipients so far have been Suyi Okungbowa (Nigeria) who has just had the novel published that he brought to Milford (Yay!), Dolly Garland (UK), Nisi Shawl (USA), Rochita Loenen Ruiz (Philippina via the Netherlands), and this year we have Russell Smith (Black British), and Mbozi Haimbe (Zambia, resident in the UK). We hope to be able to continue the bursaries annually. Currently, due to the generosity of private (writer) donors and two previous Eastercons, we are funded up to 2022.”

Milford UK was a wonderful experience for me in 1981, and I don’t doubt that the current version will be as well.

Spread the word.

Current Mood: pleased pleased

DE WAAL WINS MISKATONIC AWARD

May 27, 2019 at 8:00 am
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I am pleased to announce that KYLE DE WAAL is the winner of this year’s Miskatonic Scholarship to the Odyssey Writers Workshop in New Hampshire, given each year to a student working in the area of Lovecraftian cosmic horror.

 

Here’s the press release from Odyssey:  

George R. R. Martin. . . created the Miskatonic Scholarship to provide financial support to a promising new writer of Lovecraftian cosmic horror attending the Odyssey Writing Workshop.  Martin said that, reading the works of H. P. Lovecraft as a boy, he “fell in love with monsters and scary stories.”  With the ongoing Miskatonic Scholarship, Martin would like to encourage a new generation of writers to explore Lovecraftian cosmic horror.  He hopes the scholarship “will offer an opportunity to a worthy applicant who might not otherwise have been able to afford the Odyssey experience.”

Odyssey Director Jeanne Cavelos said, “We were thrilled at the number and quality of the applications for the Miskatonic Scholarship this year.  The scholarship is definitely encouraging writers to explore the fascinating genre of cosmic horror.  Of course, that made choosing a winner more difficult.  But everyone on the judging panel was drawn to one story, which we found suspenseful, involving, intense, and frightening.”

This year’s winner is Kyle de Waal, who loves to write anything with a monster in it, especially cosmic horror with a bent towards YA-lit. He also enjoys tabletop games, mountain biking, and Greek and Roman history. He lives in Canada with his border collie who is named after a poetic device: Volta.

Of de Waal’s winning story, “What We Took from the Old Country,” scholarship judge Carrie Vaughn, a New York Times bestselling author,  said, “A great urban fantasy/horror set up.”  Scholarship judge Ti Mikkel shared this feedback with de Waal:  “Beautifully written.  You’re on solid footing with your craft and have great instincts for storytelling.”

De Waal explained the genesis of his story:  “‘What We Took from the Old Country’ draws inspiration from the works of   H. P. Lovecraft (because cults, monsters, and malevolent entities from beyond our world are cool) as well as my questions of family heritage and finding a place in the context of history.”

 

About Odyssey

The Odyssey Writing Workshop is widely considered one of the top programs for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Writers from all across the world apply to the six-week program held each summer in Manchester, New Hampshire. Fifteen are admitted.  Top authors, agents, and editors serve as guest lecturers. Intensive instruction in advanced writing techniques, in-depth feedback on manuscripts, and one-on-one guidance help students to make major improvements. Graduates include New York Times bestsellers, Amazon bestsellers, and award winners.

To learn more about Odyssey, visit www.odysseyworkshop.org.  Odyssey offers many programs and resources for writers, including online classes, webinars, a critique service, consultations, coaching, free podcasts, author interviews, writing tips, and a monthly online discussion salon.

 

 

 

Current Mood: pleased pleased