FICTION WRITERS (free residency) / by Bear Guerra


“Writers wanted! We're gathering fiction writers at our beautiful writers retreat center in Northern California in June for Mary Shelley Month - and we'll publish some of the short novels people start with us that month. Apply now - and spread the word.

TOPICAL: We’re intrigued by fiction that starts with a mind-bending question or setup – call it “What if?” fiction – like Orwell’s 1984or Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tail.

NARRATIVE-DRIVEN: We’re not looking to pursue overtly literary fiction, or self-consciously postmodern, for example; for this project we’d like writers to emphasize character-driven story with a strong narrative pull. Popular fiction with an edge?

FRESHLY CONCEIVED: We want the ideas pursued with us during Mary Shelley Month to have originated with us. That leads to questions about when an idea becomes an idea. It’s fine to have kicked different general notions around before. But if you’ve devoted more than a writing day or two to a new manuscript, that would count as an already existing project.

EXAMPLES: Books that focus on a narrow time frame – a day, a week – are a good fit for what we have in mind – challenging as the narrow time frame is, it tends to help generate suspense. Near-future imaginative takes could work well for this project – for example, a novel set in the world of professional sports, in the near future, taking off on current trends written by someone with detailed knowledge of the world of sports; or a novel looking at trends in how political candidates are launched; or a novel imagining climate change a decade into the future, all against a nuanced depiction of world political bodies.”

DEADLINE: April 1.