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The Wordos is a writing workshop based in Eugene, Oregon, United States. Its members meet once a week to critique stories and discuss the art, craft, and business of writing. It is a long-running speculative fiction critique group, and has a high concentration of published authors. However, having prior publishing credits is not a prerequisite to joining. The group has produced winners of the Galaxy Press international Writers of the Future contest six years in a row.[1]

The group promotes itself as a means to help writers produce fiction of salable quality, and to continually improve their writing abilities. The workshop's primary focus is on short speculative fiction, but members have had fiction of other lengths and genres critiqued.


Founded in 1987, "The Wordos" was originally called "The Eugene Professional Writers Workshops, Inc." The name was changed in 1995, to make it "shorter and friendlier." They kept the original name for business purposes, however.[2] The group meets weekly in a local bookstore.[1]

Notable members

The membership over time has included, young adult and fantasy novelist Nina Kiriki Hoffman, surrealist short story writer and novelist Ray Vukcevich, science fiction writers Kathy Oltion and Jerry Oltion, Bruce Holland Rogers, Patricia Briggs, fiction and non-fiction writer Leslie What, Jay Lake, Eric M. Witchey, Devon Monk and many others. Deborah Layne, a long-time member, is also the founder of Wheatland Press, the award-winning[3] publisher of the Polyphony anthology.


The Wordos follow the Clarion Workshop model of critiquing. A member reads a submitted story, writes comments on it, and then, on the evening of the workshop, speaks for one to three minutes offering those and other comments aloud. At the end of the evening the critiqued story is given back to the author.[2]

Members also report on news over the previous week, including accepted stories, rejections, and re-write requests from publishers.


A member of the Wordos has won or placed in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest consistently since 2001. There have also been several Nebula Award-winning workshop members and members who have been nominated for or won the Endeavour Award, World Fantasy Award, and Philip K. Dick Award. One member, Marshall Moseley, was a finalist in the Bravo television series "Project Greenlight".

Partial list of award-winning stories

The following is a partial list of award-winning stories written by members of the Wordos:

Author Story Title Award Year
Bruce Holland Rogers "Hollywood Considered as a Seal Point in the Sun" Muse Medallion for Short Story 1995
Lifeboat on a Burning Sea Nebula Award for Novelette[4] 1996
"Thirteen Ways to Water" Nebula Award for Short Story[5] 1998
"The Dead Boy at Your Window" Bram Stoker Superior Achievement Award for Short Horror 1998
Pushcart Prize 1999
N/A Individual Artist Fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission 1999
"Bitter Pills" SF Age Readers' Poll; Best Short Story 1999
"Don Ysidro" Winner, World Fantasy Award for Best Short Fiction 2004
Jerry Oltion Abandon in Place Nebula Award for Novella[6] 1997
The Astronaut from Wyoming (with Adam-Troy Castro) Analog Readers' Choice Award for Novella 2000
Seiun Award for Best Foreign Language Short Story of the Year 2007
Leslie What "The Cost of Doing Business" Nebula Award for Short Story[7] 1999
"Why I Wash the Dead" 1st Place, Oregon Writers Colony Essay Contest 2000
Eric M. Witchey Echo New Century Writer Awards; 9th Place Novel 1999
"Dreams and Bones" 2nd Place, Writers of the Future Contest[8] Q3, 2001
"Life and Death and Stealing Toads" 1st Place, Ralan's Spectravaganza "Grabber" Contest[9] 2003
Leon J. West "Memoria Technica" 2nd Place, Writers of the Future Contest[8] Q4, 2002
Jay Lake "Into the Gardens of Sweet Night" 1st Place, Writers of the Future Contest[8] Q4, 2003
John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer[10] 2004
Ken Brady "Asleep in the Forest of the Tall Cats" Published Finalist, Writers of the Future Contest[8] 2004
Marshall Moseley "Wildcard" 3rd Place[11] Project Greenlight 2004
Stephen R. Stanley "Mars Hath No Fury Like a Pixel Double-Crossed" 1st Place, Writers of the Future Contest[8] Q3, 2005
Blake Hutchins "The Sword from the Sea" 1st Place, Writers of the Future Contest[8] Q2, 2006
Damon Kaswell "Our Last Words" 3rd Place, Writers of the Future Contest[1] Q2, 2007
John Burridge "Mask Glass Magic" 3rd Place, Writers of the Future Contest[1] Q4, 2007
Stephen R. Stanley Illustrator Winner, Illustrators of the Future Contest[8] Q1, 2008
Grá Linnaea "Life In Steam" 3rd Place, Writers of the Future Contest Q3, 2009
Jacob A. Boyd "Lost Pine" 3rd Place, Writers of the Future Contest Q3, 2011


  1. ^ a b c d McCowan, Karen (March 21, 2007). "Eugene's bunch of Wordos continues to find success". The Register-Guard. Retrieved 2007-09-20. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b "The Wordos FAQ". The Wordos. Retrieved 2007-09-20. 
  3. ^ "2006 World Fantasy Awards Ballot". World Fantasy. Archived from the original on 2007-07-22. Retrieved 2007-07-17. 
  4. ^ "1996 SFWA Nebula Award(TM) Winners". SFWA. Retrieved 2007-07-17. 
  5. ^ "1998 SFWA Final Nebula Ballot". SFWA. Retrieved 2007-07-17. 
  6. ^ "1997 SFWA Nebula Winners". SFWA. Retrieved 2007-07-17. 
  7. ^ "SFWA Nebula Awards(R): 1999 Winners". SFWA. Archived from the original on 2007-07-09. Retrieved 2007-07-17. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "Winners and Awards". Writers of the Future. Archived from the original on 2007-09-09. Retrieved 2007-09-21. 
  9. ^ "Spectravaganza 2003". Ralan.com. Archived from the original on 21 August 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-22. 
  10. ^ "Author Biography and Bibliography". SciFi.com. Archived from the original on 2007-04-01. Retrieved 2007-09-21. 
  11. ^ "The Backstory: Blogs from the Inside". Project Greenlight. Archived from the original on 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2007-08-31. 

External links