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Useful links for SF Writers

SF Writers' Groups

Spectrum: London Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Group
A hybrid online/in-person critique group for writers of speculative fiction, ranging from high fantasy to hard science fiction—and everything in between. We welcome aspiring and published writers working in short story, novel and similar formats.

The Montpelier Writers Group,
(Founded by the late and much lamented Peter Garratt.)
The Montpelier Writers Group is centered on Brighton but has members from Surrey and Kent and meets approximately monthly at members' houses. They use "Milford Rules" to discuss their  work in the SF and Fantasy genres, including YA/children's literature. They are actively recruiting new members as several have moved away (including their own Liz Williams, lately of that parish!)  They have a Live Journal blog: Anyone interested in joining should contact Liz Counihan <

Northwrite SF
(Though members currently travel from Scotland, Glos and Lancs as well)
For writers unable to get to all the lovely southern-based groups. Run on Milford lines for published writers of SF who are serious about writing for publication. Strictly limited to ten members, so places only become available if someone drops out. Contact: jacey(at) Held close to Huddersfield - four times per year. The winter meeting is often online.

Courses and Workshops

  • Arvon Foundation runs writing courses and these are sometimes SF based. See their website for details.
  • Clarion — well-known residential workshops in the USA with intensive 6-week training by a variety of guest lecturers.
  • Odyssey US residential fantasy writing workshop

Writing Business Links

  • Agent Query — searchable database of literary agents
  • Ansible — David Langford's multiple Hugo-winning newsletter: responsible for there being more Hugos per capita in Reading than in any other town in the UK.
  • Codex — online group of "neopros" (writers who have made at least one pro sale, but are still in the early stages of their careers).
  • Critters — the pre-eminent online workshop for spec-fic writers.
  • Duotrope — market listings and response tracking - subscription required.
  • Evil Overlord List — a kick up the cliché
  • ISFDB — The Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  • Preditors and Editors - A guide to publishers and publishing services for serious writers since 1997
  • Query Shark — how to write query letters that work
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America — the main organisation of professional spec-fic writers open to writers from outside North America, too..
  • The Submissions Grinder - free searchable database of fiction markets
  • Submitting to the Black Hole — market response-time tracker.
  • Turkey City Lexicon — Things to avoid in your writing plus a few to grasp with both hands. Includes explanations of 'plot coupons', 'as you know bob', 'deus ex machina', 'said bookism' plus the apparently highly desirable 'eyeball kick'.
  • TV Tropes — be prepared to lose several hours if you visit this website. It's another great kick up the cliché
  • Writer Beware — exposing scams against writer

Hints and tips for writers by writers:

Places to take a break and write

  • Gladstone's Library - the only residential library in the UK
  • Trigonos - open to private bookings through the year for individuals or for groups. Wonderfully scenic and peaceful.


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