Writing and Selling Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Writing and Selling Sci-Fi and Fantasy

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  • You are a writer who is having trouble staying on track
  • You are a writer who isn't sure how to describe their work
  • You are a writer who has finished a great story, and now wants to sell it
  • You are a writer who wants to get the best possible start
  • You are a writer of any SF/fantasy sub-genre, in any length


Every great work of science fiction and fantasy starts with characters, then puts those characters in conflict, and only then presents a unique world in which that story takes place. But all too often aspiring authors fail to approach their stories in that order. And even then, they can have trouble describing what they've done in a clear, concise, and compelling fashion.

Is your story or novel either failing to come together or failing to sell? In this presentation, Phil Athans talks about how to focus your writing efforts on the core of your narrative. Then he shows how to use that core concept to help you sell the finished work with a simply-stated but intriguing one-page synopsis.

Editor and author Philip Athans has worked for more than a quarter of a century in the publishing business, and almost all of that time has been spent editing and writing science fiction, fantasy, and horror. He's taught college classes and conference seminars on SF/fantasy and the query process-and those elements come together in this presentation.


  • The three essential elements to SF/fantasy stories: character, conflict, and worldbuilding
  • How to distill your work into a one-page synopsis
  • When, where, and how to use that synopsis to sell your work
  • Why the world serves the story, not the other way around
  • How to find the core of your narrative and stay focused on it
  • What makes writing and selling science fiction and fantasy different from other genres


Philip Athans is the founding partner of Athans & Associates Creative Consulting, and the New York Times best-selling author of Annihilation and more than a dozen other fantasy and horror books including The Guide to Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction and the soon-to-be-released Writing Monsters. Born in Rochester, New York he grew up in suburban Chicago, where he published the literary magazine Alternative Fiction & Poetry. His blog, Fantasy Author's Handbook, is updated every Tuesday, and you can follow him on Twitter @PhilAthans. He makes his home in the foothills of the Washington Cascades, east of Seattle.

NOTE: Writer's Digest does not offer refunds for OnDemand Webinars. All sales are final. OnDemand Webinars do NOT include a critique.

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