Another SCWC success. Mary G. Thompson’s scrumptious Wuftoom is now out from Clarion. Booklist hails it, “Impressively unappetizing and absolutely unique.” And like so many of today’s best work in the YA genre, Mary’s novel skews well into adult market appeal. It tells the story of young, sick Evan, for whom everyone is convinced that science will find a cure. Thing is, Evan knows he’s not sick. He’s transforming, and his metamorphosis keeps him confined to his bed, constantly terrified, and completely alone. Alone, except for his visits from the Wuftoom, a wormlike creature that tells him he is becoming one of them. How cool is that? Mary will be at LA10 and we’re delighted.
Bridget Hoida is also aboard. Recipient of an Anna Bing Arnold Fellowship and the Edward Moses prize for fiction, finalist in the Joseph Henry Jackson/San Francisco Intersection for the Arts Award for a first novel and the William Faulkner Pirate’s Alley first novel contest, her short stories have appeared in the Berkeley Fiction Review, Mary, and Faultline Journal, among others, and she was a finalist in the Iowa Review Fiction Prize and the Glimmer Train New Writer’s Short Story Contest. Of So L.A., Bridget’s debut novel just out, Shawna Yang Ryan (Water Ghosts) raves, “Bridget Hoida has crafted that rarest of books: intelligent, gorgeously written—and, best of all, fun.” And Chris Abani (The Virgin of Flames and Song For Night) declares, “This is a book Joan Didion will wish she’d written!” Her path to publication is a story in itself and we look forward to hearing what she’s learned and why she made the choices she did.
The working schedule is now posted for perusal. As usual this far out, it’s an amorphous thing that will continue to evolve over the next several weeks while we tailor the individual tracks to better serve the current needs of writers. Also, as usual, while the primary emphasis remains on story & execution workshops, the transmedia track, which the SCWC pioneered way back in 2005, will again focus on the myriad, rapidly evolving developments in the digital realm, and we don’t mean strictly social media–just because someone has a Facebook page and Twitter account doesn’t make them a social media guru.
In the Digital Age, even for the most entrepreneurial author, the choices writers have to make with regards to their books and career can be overwhelming: legacy publishing, indie press, DIY or straight to e-book? Will the marketing efforts that are successful for one author prove so for another? Will spamming Facebook walls and friends with unsolicited, un-evocative announcements about your e-book’s availability translate into actual sales? What are the challenges of going with Kindle, Nook, Smashwords or any other e-book platform and how do you overcome them? More importantly, what are the risks? Are agents becoming irrelevant? And what exactly is “agent-assisted publishing?” All this and plenty more will be dealt with in September.
Meanwhile, the advance submission readers are now open for selection. More will be added as we begin finalizing the remaining authors, agents and editors who’ll be joining us. Please let Michael know if there’s any specific topics you’d like addressed. Things are moving fast out there. The more current information we all have, the better prepared we all are to make informed decisions.
And if you haven’t watched it already, here’s author John Vorhaus (The Albuquerque Turkey) addressing one reality writers face with regards to e-books at last year’s LA9.