2019 Writing Workshop

Futurescapes in the Aspens

The 2019 Deer Valley Workshop

April 11-14, 2019

The Workshop

The Futurescapes in the Aspens workshop offers writers the chance to work with top authors, editors, and agents in speculative fiction (science fiction, horror, fantasy, paranormal, graphic novels, etc.). Each participant will be paired with three faculty mentors (usually an author, editor, and agent).

Small Critique Groups (7:1 Student-Faculty Ratio)

Meet with a top Agent, Author AND Editor

Hours of One-on-One Time with Faculty Mentors

Edgar, Locus, Campbell, Hugo, Nebula, World-Fantasy Award Winning Authors

Agents & Editors clients include: Neil Gaiman, N.K. Jemisin, Greg Bear, Nalini Singh, and Scott Lynch Among Others

Highly Selective – You Must Apply & Be Accepted

International – Attendees from As Far Away as Brisbane, Australia and Venice, Italy

Learn Worldbuilding while Exploring One of the World’s Most Remarkable Spots

Apply Early – Seating is Limited & Highly Competitive

The 2019 Workshop Faculty

Navah Wolfe (photo by Ellen B. Wright) (002) Cropped

Navah Wolfe is a two-time Hugo and Locus Award-nominated editor at Saga Press, where she edits a list that includes Catherynne M. Valente, Daveed Diggs, Theodora Goss, Elizabeth Bear, Ursula Vernon, Mishell Baker, and more. She is also the co-editor of The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, and Robots vs Fairies. She loves tea, Eurovision, and gorgeous storytelling. Find her on Twitter at @navahw

Navah Wolfe
Editor | Saga Press (Simon & Schuster)

Ted Chiang’s fiction has won four Hugo, four Nebula, and four Locus awards. His debut collection, Stories of Your Life and Others, has been translated into twenty languages, and the title story was adapted into the motion picture Arrival starring Amy Adams. His second collection, Exhalation, will be published in April 2019 by Knopf.

Ted Chiang
Author | Stories of Your Life and Others
Alison Fisher

In 2016, Ali began acquiring and editing YA and middle-grade fiction for Tor Teen. She is especially interested in epic fantasy, supernatural horror, psychological thrillers, and stories that combine clever comedy and the paranormal. She's looking for provocative, atmospheric, and emotionally-authentic stories with a supernatural element. Ali is a fan of, ``whatever makes me laugh—crow’s feet for days over here—so I’d love to see anything told in a smart, funny voice. Bonus points for insightful social politics, underrepresented characters, and Pacific Northwest-like settings.``

Alison Fisher
Acquisitions Editor | Tor Teen

Nephele Tempest joined The Knight Agency in January, 2005, opening the Los Angeles office. As an agent, she works with a number of talented writers, assisting them to hone their skills and build their careers. In addition, she spends time developing the agency’s Hollywood film and multi-media contacts. Nephele comes from a diverse publishing and finance background, having worked in the editorial department at Simon and Schuster, as a financial advisor, in the marketing and communications departments of several major New York investment firms, and as a freelance writer. Her experiences in sales, marketing, and writing provide her with insights into multiple aspects of the publishing industry.

Nephele belongs to the Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). She continues to actively build her client list, and currently would love to take on some new contemporary and romantic suspense projects, with well developed characters who make you fall in love along with them; a young adult project with a fresh, compelling voice, whether that’s contemporary, historical, or has a fantasy element to it; contemporary middle grade projects that deal with real life issues; fantasy that takes place primarily in a secondary world; and speculative-type science fiction that makes her think.

Nephele Tempest
Agent | Knight Literary Agency
Dan_Wells_-_2015_National_Book_Festival_3 Squared

New York Times bestselling author Dan Wells is best known for his horror series I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER, of which the first book is now an award-winning movie through IFC Midnight. His other novels include THE HOLLOW CITY, a supernatural thriller about schizophrenia, EXTREME MAKEOVER, in which a beauty company destroys the world, and two young adult science fiction series: the post-apocalypse PARTIALS and the cyberpunk MIRADOR. He cohosts the Hugo-winning podcast for aspiring writers called Writing Excuses. He also writes short fiction and game fiction, and edited the anthology ALTERED PERCEPTIONS to help raise funds for and awareness of mental illness. Dan lives in northern Utah with his wife, 6 children, and more than 400 boardgames.

Dan Wells
Author | I Am Not A Serial Killer
Ben Grange

Before joining the L. Perkins Agency, Ben worked all over the publishing industry. He started out at a small publishing company in Salt Lake City and proceeded to do internships at three literary agencies before his most recent position as the assistant at JABberwocky Literary Agency.

His tastes gravitate towards middle grade fiction of all types. He has a penchant for young adult science fiction and fantasy, particularly weird or slightly dark stories (à la The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater). Thanks to his time at JABberwocky, he loves epic fantasy and science fiction, and although his focus is on middle grade and young adult, he won't say no to a great fantasy or sci-fi.

Ben Grange
Agent | L. Perkins Agency
DongWon Song-Formatted

DongWon Song has worked in the publishing industry for the past ten years, as an agent, an editor, and a digital bookseller. He is an agent at Howard Morhaim Literary Agency representing science fiction, fantasy, YA, science, food, and pop-culture. He also likes making things out of wood. He lives in Portland, Oregon where it does not rain nearly as much as people say.

DongWon Song
Agent | Howard Morhaim Literary Agency

Hugo-award winning author, Mary Robinette Kowal is a novelist and professional puppeteer. Her debut novel Shades of Milk and Honey (Tor 2010) was nominated for the 2010 Nebula Award. In 2008 she won the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, while three of her short fiction works have been nominated for the Hugo Award: “Evil Robot Monkey” in 2009 and “For Want of a Nail” in 2011, which won the Hugo for short story that year. Her stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Asimov’s, and several Year’s Best anthologies.

Mary Robinette Kowal
Author | Glamourist Series, Ghost Talkers
Kickstarter CreatorsPhoto by Bryan Derballa

Fran Wilde’s novels and short stories have been finalists for three Nebula awards, two Hugo awards, and a World Fantasy Award, and include her Andre Norton- and Compton-Crook-winning debut novel, Updraft (Tor 2015), its sequels, Cloudbound (2016) and Horizon (2017), Riverland (Abrams, 2019), and the novelette “The Jewel and Her Lapidary” (Tor.com Publishing 2016). Her short stories appear in Asimov’s, Tor.com, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Shimmer, Nature, and the 2017 Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror. She holds an MFA in poetry, an MA in information design and information architecture, and writes for publications including The Washington Post, Tor.com, Clarkesworld, io9.com, and GeekMom.com. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, and at franwilde.net.

Fran Wilde
Author | Bone Universe Series
Thao Le

Thao represents Children’s and Young Adult across genres and in the adult realm is looking for romantic leaning Fantasy and Light Science Fiction.

In YA and Middle Grade, she's especially drawn to stories about family and friendships from the POV of diverse protagonists. She’s a fan of young characters who are passionate about the arts, sports, STEM, activism, and geeky fandoms. She adores stories with a touch of magic and whimsy, and is a fan of mythology and fairytales.

In the Adult SFF realm, she’s a fan of character driven contemporary fantasy, near future science fiction, and romantic space operas. She is particularly excited about stories with fresh twists to common genre tropes, such as what Seanan McGuire’s Every Heart a Doorway does with portal fantasy. Some of her favorite authors are: Diane Wynne Jones, Neil Gaiman, Robin McKinley, Naomi Novik, and Juliet Marillier.

Thao Le
Agent | Dijkstra Literary Agency
Matthew Kirby Square

Matthew J. Kirby is the critically acclaimed and award-winning author of the middle grade novels The Clockwork Three, Icefall, The Lost Kingdom, Infinity Ring Book 5: Cave of Wonders, and The Quantum League series, the Dark Gravity Sequence, and the Assassin’s Creed series, Last Descendants. He was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start, he has won the Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery, the PEN Center USA award for Children’s Literature, and the Judy Lopez Memorial Award, and has been named to the New York Public Library’s 100 Books for Reading and Sharing, and the ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults lists. He is also a school psychologist, and currently lives in Utah with his wife and three step-kids.

Matthew Kirby
Author | Assassin's Creed, Icefall

Lucienne Diver joined TKA in 2008, after spending fifteen years at New York City’s prestigious Spectrum Literary Agency. With her sharp eye and gift for spotting original new voices, Lucienne is one of the most well-respected agents in the industry.
Over the course of her dynamic career she has sold over seven hundred titles to every major publisher, and has built a client list of more than forty authors spanning the commercial fiction genres, primarily in the areas of fantasy, science fiction, romance, romantica, suspense and young adult. Her authors have been honored with the RITA, National Readers’ Choice, Hugo, and Romantic Times Reader’s Choice Awards, and have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. A publishing veteran, Lucienne has superb industry knowledge, numerous editor relationships, and a keen understanding of the foreign rights market. She is a member of the Association of Authors Representatives, RWA, MWA and SFWA.

Lucienne Diver
Agent | Knight Literary Agency

Bio Coming Soon

Guest Announcement Coming Soon
Matt Bialer

Matt has been in the publishing community since 1985, and worked at two major literary agencies before joining the Greenburger team in 2003. He represents fantasy, science fiction, thrillers, and mysteries as well as a select group of literary writers, and also loves smart narrative nonfiction including books about current events, popular culture, biography, history, music, race, and sports. While his list includes many veteran authors, he also enjoys finding unique new voices.

His clients include Patrick Rothfuss, Tad Williams, Tracy and Laura Hickman, and CJ Cherryh.

Matt Bialer
Agent | Greenburger Associates

Bio Coming Soon

Guest Announcement Coming Soon

Cost – Workshop*

Shared Room (dorm style with one or more other participants) $625
Private Room $795
Local (No Room Provided) $545


REGULAR RATE (Nov. 25 – March 9):
Shared Room $785
Private Room $995
Local (No Room Provided) $645
Price includes tuition for regular workshop, two-night room stay (if applicable) at Chateaux Deer Valley, and all meals except dinner on Friday. If you are bringing a spouse, partner, or friend, they can participate in meals and programs for a registration price of $195.
Game Night w/Dan Wells (Th/F/Sa Night) $50
Early (April 11) Mini-Workshops with Individual Faculty $89 Each
April 12 (Morning) Mini-Workshops with Individual Faculty $89 Each
Bonus Space Exploration Conference (April 10-11) $40
Week-Long Full Manuscript Workshop w/ Mary Robinette Kowal & Ali Fisher of Tor (4 available) $1495
All-Inclusive Pass (2 available) $1940


10% Discount if you have attended a writing workshop in the past 12 months.
*Receipt or other evidence required in most cases. Discount applies to applicable registration rate ONLY, discount WILL NOT be applied to workshop add-ons.


Need-based scholarships (Full, Half, and Quarter Tuition) are available. Those wishing to apply for scholarships need only complete the appropriate portion of the application below.

Apply to Workshop

Applications open October 8, 2018. Workshop is highly competitive. Apply early. Admissions on rolling basis.

Writing Contest

2019 Theme

For 2018, the Futurescapes Contest theme is “Cities of Promise.” We’re seeking stories set in a near-future city where significant strides have been made toward addressing the complex intersection of homelessness, mental health, and drug and sex trafficking.

This topic is both more narrow and more convoluted than themes chosen in the past. As such, beginning towards the end of April, we will provide links here to a set of articles that explore the complex dynamics involved. It is highly recommended that contest entrants review these articles before starting their story in order to ensure they are covering new ground, and working from the best information we have today.

We want to see your vivid ideas and concepts, but don’t forget the basics of story: strong voice, compelling characters driven by real desires, facing serious obstacles that sum to an engaging plot and story. Also, please avoid making a message story. If it feels to “on the nose,” then it is. We want a great story rather than a moralizing essay with some story elements.

You need not paint us a utopia – we don’t really believe in those. We believe that at any given time, depending on individual perspective, every city has dystopian and utopian aspects. The key is to show us a solution, but don’t strip it of realistic political, scientific, or logistical obstacles, and don’t neglect the possibility and ramifications of unintended consequences from even the best solution.

Dan Wells will serve as judge and lead contributor to this year’s anthology

Dan Wells

New York Times bestselling author Dan Wells is best known for his horror series I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER, of which the first book is now an award-winning movie through IFC Midnight. His other novels include THE HOLLOW CITY, a supernatural thriller about schizophrenia, EXTREME MAKEOVER, in which a beauty company destroys the world, and two young adult science fiction series: the post-apocalypse PARTIALS and the cyberpunk MIRADOR.
He has written for television, and wrote and produced the horror comedy stage play A NIGHT OF BLACKER DARKNESS. He cohosts the Hugo-winning podcast for aspiring writers called Writing Excuses, which has expanded to include its own writing conference. He also writes short fiction and game fiction, and edited the anthology ALTERED PERCEPTIONS to help raise funds for and awareness of mental illness. Dan lives in northern Utah with his wife, 6 children, and more than 400 boardgames.

What We’re Looking For…


Works of short fiction up to 8,000 words, written in accordance with this year’s theme.


Compelling stories that explore the nuance of technology, science, politics, and/or policy, without forgetting about plot and character!


Stories that show us both the positives and negatives of this possible future.


Stories that can provide a road-map for cities, states, and nations to follow.


Stories that may be built in a rich and full world, but that manage to show us the reality of a single city, neighborhood, and/or life.


Stories worthy of the $2,000 prize for first place, and  $500 prize to each of the five runners-up.


Stories that, when placed in the hands of a mayor or governor, could change the course of the future.

Contest Rules






  1. No entry fee is required to submit one (1) entry to the contest. However, an author may opt to submit a second story for consideration in the contest for a fee of twenty-four dollars ($24).

  2. By entering the contest, contestants acknowledge that they have read the instructions.

  3. Prize money constitutes compensation to the winning authors in exchange for the purchase by the contest of exclusive print and electronic rights of the story for a period of one (1) year following the first date of publication of the story.

  4. All entries must be original works written in English. Plagiarism of any kind will not be tolerated.

  5. Professional authors are not eligible to enter the contest. A professional author is defined as someone who has accepted payment and/or signed contracts for published fiction in the amount of either; a) four paid published works of short fiction at a minimum average compensation rate of 6 cents per word with a total compensation of at least $1,000; or b) a work of long fiction (40,000 words or greater) for which the author was paid at least $2,500 in compensation.

  6. Entries must be works of prose not to exceed 8,000 words in length.

  7. Excessive or gratuitous violence, language, or sexual content will not be tolerated.

  8. The story must be written on and conform to the official theme of the contest year. The theme for the 2018 contest year is: Cities of Promise.

  9. All entries must be submitted electronically through the submission form available on the contest website.

  10. Entries must be double-spaced, follow standard manuscript format, with the title and page number on each page. The entry should include a cover page listing the author’s name. The author’s name should appear nowhere else in the document.

  11. Each contestant may submit only one entry per contest year.

  12. The prizes for the contest shall consist of one (1) first place prize in the amount of $2,000, and five (5) runner up prizes in in the amount of $500 each. As noted, prize money is considered compensation in exchange for the purchase of story publication rights by the contest. As such, compensation will consist of a minimum amount of $.0625 (6.25 cents) per published word.

  13. Winners will be individually notified by contest staff.

Enter the Contest

Contest Deadline is December 31, 2018