One of my mantras is that in order to be a good writer you need to be a great reader. Maybe this is not true for everyone, but for a great many I would venture that it is.

I always encourage short fiction authors to try and stay current with their favorite zines. You’ll get a good sense of the type of material they publish. You’re likely to find other great authors to follow. Reading is a great way to feed the creativity beast that resides in your sweet meat . And, finally, you probably will be entertained by what you read.

Oh, and there’s also the whole ‘Supporting the Scene’ stuff. As a publisher/editor, this is one near and dear to my heart.

At the SF/Fantasy workshop I’m leading at the Carnegie Center, I am giving the participants 3 short stories a week to read. Yes, I give homework! For the first week’s reading assignment, I gave them 3 Apex Magazine stories, because self-interest trumps all! Oh, and that the 3 stories are all fantastic.

Here are my week 1 choices from Apex Magazine:

Sister Twelve: Confesssions of a Party Monster by Christopher Barzak
Build-A-Dolly by Ken Liu
The Performance Artist by Lettie Prell

For reading and discussion in our second session, I asked Lightspeed Magazine editor and publisher John Joseph Adams if he could suggest 3 stories from his zine. See, I spread the love! And if any of my workshop participants are reading this blog post, here is a sneak peek!

Here are John’s week 2 choices (thanks John!) from Lightspeed Magazine:

I’m Alive, I Love You, I’ll See You in Reno by Vylar Kaftan
Biographical Fragments of the Life of Julian Prince by Jake Kerr
Arvies by Adam-Troy Castro

I’ll also post week 3 and week 4’s stories on my blog as well so that you can read along with us.

Okay people, go out and be great readers! Whether you want to write or not.

4 thoughts on “You must be a great reader to be a good writer

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