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Workshop – Start at the Start: The Best Words Get You Read with Arley Sorg


Story openings – first words, first lines, first paragraphs, first pages – can make the difference between a story sale and a form rejection. Most stories sent to pro venues will be rejected on the basis of the first page or two. A solid opening can buy you a few more pages of read, and maybe even land a personal rejection, if you don’t make the sale. Come share your short story openings and get personal feedback on the first page or two: find out where I’d stop reading and why, or if I’d keep going to the end!

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Arley Sorg is co-Editor-in-Chief at Fantasy Magazine. He’s also an associate editor at Locus Magazine, where he’s been on staff since 2014. He joined the Lightspeed family in 2014 to work on the Queers Destroy Science Fiction! special issue, starting as a slush reader. He eventually worked his way up to associate editor at both Lightspeed and Nightmare. He reviews books for Locus, Lightspeed, and Cascadia Subduction Zone and is an interviewer for Clarkesworld Magazine. Arley grew up in England, Hawaii, and Colorado, and studied Asian Religions at Pitzer College. He lives in Oakland, and usually writes in local coffee shops – when coffee shops are a thing. He is a 2014 Odyssey Writing Workshop graduate.


Participants should bring one unpublished short story (in any genre) which they are seriously working on. Short stories should be “done” or “almost done” – in other words, worked on and edited to where they think it’s ready for submitting. Documents should be .rtf .doc or .docx and formatted as they would for submission. The session will start with a brief Q&A and then we’ll get to it, so feel free to bring a question or two. Please be prepared to have your work discussed in a group setting.

Event Details

Start date: October 17, 2020

End date: October 17, 2020

Start time: 14:00 EST

End time: 03:00 EST