Taos Toolbox, a Two Week Master Class in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Taos Toolbox, a Two Week Master Class in Science Fiction and Fantasy

My project this month was to put together a promo video for Taos Toolbox, which is run by my longtime friend, Walter Jon Williams, and Nancy Kress. It will run from July 10-23rd this year. I remember when Walter put the first session of this workshop together, and right from the start, it has helped authors turn rough draft manuscripts into traditionally published novels.

A non-exhaustive list of Toolbox novels includes:

Saladin Ahmed’s Throne of the Crescent Moon
Alan Smale’s Clash of Eagles Trilogy
Gail Strickland’s Night of Pan, the Oracle of Delphi Trilogy

Fran Wilde’s Updraft
Will McIntosh’s Soft Apocalypse
Jeb Kinnison’s Shrivers
Scott Hawkins’s The Library at Mount Char
Lawrence Schoen’s Buffalito Contingency

Each year features guest lecturers; this year’s will be James S.A. Corey, the author of The Expanse Series and producer of the television series on SyFy. Actually, that should be plural, as James S.A. Corey is two people. One, Daniel Abraham, will definitely be there. The other, Ty Franck, may or may not, depending on this year’s production schedule for the show.

And then I’ll be guest lecturing there as well, as I have for the last few years. I’m “E.M. Tippetts” in the promo, as that’s the name I self-publish under, and that’s what I do a Q&A on at the workshop, self-publishing. My talk is the only one on this subject; my goal is to provide a window into that world, should anyone be crazy enough to want to try it. It’s how I make a living, so I can provide a good contrast with authors who’ve gone the traditional route.

If you have the time and the resources, I highly recommend Taos Toolbox!


Emily Mah is a writer and the owner of E.M. Tippetts Book Designs, a company that provides formatting, cover design, and editing services for independent authors and publishers. Her last interview for Black Gate was with author Patrick Samphire.

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