Follow this link to the current Viable Paradise Appication page.
Viable Paradise: A Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers' Workshop

How to Apply


Applications open January 1, 2014, and close June 15, 2014
  • Class limit: 24 students
  • Submissions should be no more than 8,000 words, including outlines or synopses, although less is fine if it serves the purpose, and can consist of one or two short stories, a novelette, or a novel portion with outline. This should not be material currently on submission to a professional publisher. If you send chapters from your novel they should be the first chapters, (e.g. Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three, etc.) to the word limit. If you find the end of chapter three falls just a bit over the word limit, please finish the chapter.
  • Your submission manuscript will be the manuscript that we workshop.
  • Other things that you create during the week may also be presented and commented on.
  • Enclose a cover letter describing your background and your reasons for wishing to attend the workshop. Include your name, address, and phone number. If you have an email address, let us know that, as well.
  • Enclose a $25 non-refundable application fee, payable to the Martha's Vineyard Science Fiction Association (MVSFA). This will be applied toward your tuition if you are accepted.
  • At the same time send an electronic copy of your manuscript as an e-mail attachment to

Send the items listed above to:

P.O. Box 177
Danvers, MA 01923

Direct any questions to

Manuscript Formatting Guidelines


Manuscripts should be:

  • Typed/printed using a fresh ribbon in a monospaced 12-point serif font such as Courier 10. Your manuscript should be double-spaced, with approximately 1" margins, on one side of the page. Please don't staple your manuscript, though a clip is fine to hold it together.
  • The first page of each manuscript should contain basic information (name/address/Email/phone) in the upper left corner, and an approximate word count in the upper right corner. The title should be centered about a third of the way down the page, with the byline two lines below the title. Each subsequent page should have your name, an identifiable portion of the title, and the page number in the upper right corner.
  • Do not skip lines between paragraphs. Indent the start of each paragraph.
  • More guidance on manuscript format is available on the SFWA webpages here and here.


RTF format only. Not .doc, .txt, .wpd, or anything else. Most wordprocessors allow a "save as" function with Rich Text Format (.rtf) as one of the choices.

Turn off "Smart Quotes." Replace all curved quotes with straight quotes. Replace all curved apostrophes with straight apostrophes. Please indicate italics with underlines. Replace the elipsis character with three periods in a row (...), not with a true elipsis (…). Indicate an em-dash (long dash) with two hyphens (--) not a true em-dash (—). Scene breaks should be indicated with a single hash mark (#) alone on a line.

Strange Horizons magazine gives detailed instructions on how to carry out these steps with MicroSoft Word (turning off default options, etc.).

The filename should be a keyword from your story's title and your name. For example, "Dragons Over Detroit" by Marty Winecap might be saved as dragons_winecap.rtf. (Calling your submission "submission.rtf" is right out.)

We look forward to seeing your manuscript.

Workshop Fees

The tuition is $1100, and is due on July 15th. Upon acceptance, please make out your check or money order (US funds only, please) to MVSFA for $1075 ($1100 minus the $25 submission fee), and send it to:

P.O. Box 177
Danvers, MA 01923

  • Customary communal dinners are offered. If you have special dietary needs, you may need to make your own arrangements.
  • Those accepted as students will be notified shortly after the deadline.
  • Applying early really does improve your chances of being accepted.
  • Acceptances may be revoked, at our discretion, if the tuition is not received by July 15th.
  • There will be no refunds.

Cost of Lodging
We will all be staying at the Island Inn (the same as last year). Cost of rooms is extra.

Below are the room rates for 2013:

Condo Units: $155.00/night + tax

These consist of a bedroom, a living-room, a kitchenette and a bathroom. Depending on the particular room, there may be additional sleeping capacities (such as beds in a low-partitioned space adjacent to the living-room, a convertible couch, that kinda stuff). Since all of them are slightly different, you'll have to ask for specifics when you call to book a room.

Townhouse Units: $175.00/night + tax

These are duplexes with a master bedroom and half bath on the upper floor, and a bedroom, bathroom, living-room and kitchen on the lower floor. These also vary, so some may not have full kitchens, etc. Again, ask for specifics when you call to book a room.

Most students share rooms. The rooms easily hold two, three, or even four. If you want to share a room with another student, let us know before you book a room and we'll try to connect you with any other students of like mind.

The phone number for the Island Inn is 1-800-462-0269. Please mention that you will be a student at the Viable Paradise Writers' Workshop to get these special rates. If there's any problem (I don't expect any, but hey) ask to talk to Derek Tipton, who is the manager and is familiar with the arrangements. If there are any problems let us know; we can help work things out.



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