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First Miskatonic Scholarship recipient Announced

May 2, 2018

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We are proud to announce the winner of the first annual Miskatonic Scholarship for horror writers. 

The Miskatonic Scholarship was founded to help a horror writer with financial need attend the new Odyssey Writing Workshop; the acclaimed, six-week residential writers training program. 

Awarded to Valerie San Filippo

Here’s a portion of the press release:

 This year’s winner is Valerie San Filippo, a poet and writer from Lindenhurst, NY. She is pursuing her MFA in Fiction from Stony Brook Southampton. Her poetry has appeared in Noble / Gas Qtrly, Typehouse Magazine, The Long Island Literary Journal, and others. She is currently a teaching assistant at Stony Brook University, and an assistant editor for The Southampton Review. 

“The best writing is that which allows its characters to be human, where character is story, ” says San Filippo. “I am very excited to be attending Odyssey and to have the chance to write what I love.” 

The panel of judges included Odyssey Director Jeanne Cavelos, New York Times bestselling author Carrie Vaughn, and Ti Mikkel. 

 Valerie’s winning story, ‘The Glow,’ builds from small, everyday details that are just a little bit off to deeply disturbing horror beyond human understanding, and it carries the reader along every step of the way. The story does a wonderful job of fulfilling the criteria George Martin set for the scholarship: ‘What we want are nightmares new and resonant and profound, cosmic terrors that will haunt our dreams for years to come. 

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. Fifty-nine percent of students go on to professional publication. 

To learn more about the Odyssey Writing Workshop visit The Odyssey site also 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. 




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  • Haley says:

    This is such a cool thing. Love that you’re so invested in helping young writers make the best of their work. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find her winning story anywhere to read online.

    Also, George, what kind of music do you like? I always find songs to be the biggest inspiration!

  • A.J. Walter says:

    Congrats to Valerie San Filippo! May the Odyssey Writing Workshop bring her closer to her writing goals.

  • Anthony says:

    I’m thankful you take as much time as you need to write. You are a great person.

    • Lavinia says:

      Congrats Valerie! And thank you for giving the world Joseph Yu, recipient of the Terran Award. I’m blown away by this man. He’s the real deal. Thank you.

  • Roe says:

    It takes a lot of time and passion to give back. Thank you for supporting others. Not everyone gets an opportunity in life but sometimes we get the opportunity to change someone elses.

  • MissMatchedEyes says:

    Congrats to Valerie!! Hoping her winning story is published so I can read it.

  • Antonio Jesús says:

    It makes me happy to see that you help young people who, like me, try to gain a foothold in the world of writing.

    By the way, George, do you think it would be possible to create a good story that would unite epic fantasy and terror? Would you recommend any work? Thank you! We adore and support you!

  • Krishna Bhargav says:

    Hi George, I am Krishna from India and I have a 2 questions

    1. Have you had any inspiration or references or incidents in any of your work that is based out of India? I would be genuinely keen to know

    2. Your references to the food on your books (Especially QSOIAF) are mouth watering (despite me being a vegetarian) I relate to “Medeval” food based on your description of the food (sans the Mareenese delicacy) Do you try your hand in cooking while you get thoughts about these?

    • grrm says:

      I am not much of a cook, but there is an excellent GOT cookbook, A FEAST OF ICE & FIRE.

      India has a fascinating history that I don’t know nearly enough about… but, alas, I have never been there, and I did not draw on India for insipration to any significant extent,

      • Krishna Bhargav says:

        Thanks George… Appreciate your time and patience on responding to the comments on the blog

  • Mark kaye says:

    Hello George, I was wondering… I’m a aspiring author. I never really read for most of my adult life. I came across Game of Thrones season 1 by accident and couldn’t get enough of it. So when I found out about the books I picked it up and couldn’t put it down until I read the all five. It really made me a fan of reading. after that I tried to find other Fantasy books that would be similar to yours and that branched out to trying all different sorts of works. That lit a match under me to try my hand at writing, I was wondering if I sent my work to your minions, and if they found it interesting… would they be able to pass it along to you to assess and give your critique?, I promise I have thick skin and my feelings wouldn’t be hurt if you found it stupid or bad writing. I would only send you the first 3 chapters of course. Either way thank you for your work.

    • grrm says:

      Sorry, no, we can’t evaluate manuscipts. Else we’d be doing nothing else.

      I do teach at workshops from time to time, but outside of that, no.

      • Joe Layden says:

        Any workshops in the near future you’ll be teaching at, George? Do you ever go to Dragoncon?

        • grrm says:

          I will be giving a talk at Taos Toolbox in June, but no other teaching gigs on my schedule.

          I attended a Dragoncon many many years ago, when it was in July. I am not likely to return so long as it remains on Labor Day, which is worldcon’s traditional weekend. If it moves back to July, well, maybe.

  • Smithy says:


    I’m curious, on a previous blog you said you enjoyed the Silmarillion almost as much as the lotr, do you have a favorite story from the Silmarillion?

  • Any chance you’ll teach a class or do a lecture for Odyssey? Might there be a fantasy writers’ scholarship in the future? Or maybe a….ahem…Neolithic fiction writer?

  • Hunter says:

    Hey i’m sorry that his has nothing to do with this post but the comments on your fire and blood post kinda upset me and i didn’t think you’d see this there. I just wanted to let you know that those shitty people are not the majority of your readers and even if they were it doesn’t matter. You are an amazing author and seeing anything asoiaf related being released makes me sooooo happy. I wouldn’t have said anything but the way some people have treated you for making content that makes you happy is really disheartening but i just wanna tell you that at least one fan will be happy with whatever you give us :).

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