Talking up the Blogs!
Shortly after my last post, I realized that some of you are probably a lot like me, by which I mean, are unlikely to click on a link in a blog. And that made me sad, because that would mean that you are missing out on AWESOME Alpha related material. So, without further ado, some salient quotes from Alpha alumni!
From the website of Sarah Brand!
“It’s difficult to accurately capture the overflow of creativity that energizes the workshop, or the validation of being unconditionally accepted by one’s peers for the first time. Alpha will always rank among the best experiences I’ve ever had.”
“That’s just how Alpha is – everyone there is a storyteller, and everyone there is willing to take an idea and run with it. And that’s what I love about Alpha: even the mundane things become magic because of the people you’re with.”
“You’ll meet some unbelievably cool people. You’ll play Ultimate Frisbee in the dark. You’ll visit mysterious graveyards and explore fairy castles and learn from some of the greatest authors around. And then you’ll go to lunch and chat with those authors about anything you want, along with a bunch of other brilliant, engaged, fascinating writers your age.”
“Alpha works so hard to keep their prices low, between an all-volunteer staff and intense alumni support. But without your help, they can’t afford scholarships for all the students who want to go.”
“You can do it because there are a lot of young people out there, all over the world, dreaming of an opportunity like this, and money should never be the reason they can’t.”
“I’ve now sold enough science fiction and fantasy short stories to qualify for SFWA, the professional organization for science fiction and fantasy writers. Alpha made that happen. Alpha will make you a better writer, and it will teach you how to turn those words on your screen into a professional sale.”
“I am trained as a statistician and so I can assign significant confidence to this statement: for many of the people who go it will be the greatest thing that ever happened to them.”
From the website of Sarah Hollowell!
“At Alpha, do not expect to sleep. But DO expect to get into the best and weirdest conversations you’ve ever had, with people who meet you right on your nerdy, book-loving level. You will not have to explain to these people the anatomy of a hippogriff, or the concept of the singularity. You can get right down to arguing about whether androids do or do not dream of electric sheep.”
“But expect, most of all, to sink into a warm, welcoming community of people just like you. With your classmates around you, I can guarantee you will actually ENJOY sinking into the insanity.”
“I have written most of my body of work at Alpha. This is because of my own work ethic and stress levels – I’ve been in school for most of the time I have not been at Alpha – but I find myself at my most creative when I am around other creative people. By bouncing ideas of of each other formally and informally, sometimes by just being silly, Alphans inspire each other. I’ve seen and experienced first-hand the way these working relationships and friendships last years and span miles. Alpha provides young writers with the kind of support network every writer should have.”
“Before Alpha, I hadn’t had any writing instruction. A few years later, I took a couple creative writing courses in college. Nothing in those college classes stuck with me. Every college writing course is different of course, but the ones I attended were not useful to me. At Alpha, we gave critiques and learned how to respond to constructive criticism. In my college writing classes, I risked Glares of Doom from the class at large if I criticized a story when it was time for feedback. Students at Alpha aren’t writing for a grade, they’re writing because it’s their passion. It was a big difference.”
“I’d love to return as staff someday — I’d love to be a resource for young writers and a friend and source of support, just as people I met at Alpha were (and still are!) for me. I’m part of the workshop alumni Google group where former students I’ve met and many more I haven’t keep in contact, share news, and critique stories. I still keep in contact with people I met through the workshop. And I suppose I should mention I’m now married and co-authoring books with Mike, who eleven years ago was some kid I met at Alpha. (No, I’m not saying go because you’ll find True Love. But you’ll definitely find some true friends!)”
“Hello future Alphan. You are a cool person, you will meet other cool people, you will have fun and learn things and it will be awesome. Don’t stress. Okay? Cool.”
There’s more where that came from! Click those links!