What’s Happening at Foil & Phaser

Hello everyone. As we pass the second anniversary of this site, I thought I would give everyone a heads up on what was happening.

When I first envisioned a blog for Sword & Laser writers, it was with the support and contributions of the community. It was to be a place to share short genre fiction and writers resources, as well as opinions and expertise. Stories, feedback, advice, support.

As time wore on, however, the few people who had signed on drifted away leaving only me to administer the blog. At the same time, authors were very reluctant to post on the site out of embarrassment or due to a desire to publish elsewhere. Recently, Sword & Laser began running their own feature reviews, further cutting into our pool of potential posts.

The most successful part of Foil & Phaser would have to be the workshops, but even they have had severe problems as of late. Enrollment has stagnated, and the latest NaNoWriMo project failed to attract more than a handful of people, most of whom disappeared without even submitting any work, causing me to abandon the project entirely.

Taking all these factors into consideration I’ve found it difficult to justify the time and effort needed to keep running the site. It cannot continue as is, so that leaves me with the choice of either letting it die, or redoubling my efforts and investing more resources, including my own money, into promoting and managing the site. To be honest, that may be more than I am able to do given my current circumstances.

So before I make a final decision, I am going to ask the people of this community whether there is even any desire to continue operating Foil & Phaser as a place for workshopping short fiction and as a writers resource. Please let me know in the comments below, and thank you for your patience and understanding.

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This is the home of the Foil & Phaser writers workshop, a spin-off community website for fans of the Sword & Laser book club and podcast who want to develop their writing skills.

Posted in Announcements
8 comments on “What’s Happening at Foil & Phaser
  1. Joanna says:

    I really enjoyed the workshop I did with Foil and Phaser, but the experience nailed home for me that I don’t want to put in the work to actually improve my writing. So thanks tons for the experience, but I wasn’t planning to participate again.

  2. Ken Peleshok says:

    Thanks for all your hard work. I really enjoyed the workshops I’ve participated in and I think my writing has strengthened as a result. I’ve also met some good friends and read some great stories.

    An editor once told me that you’ll know you have the commitment necessary for being a professional writer if you consistently outlast your writing groups. As one who’s addmitadly fallen away, I salute the dillagence of those who remain.

    That said, if you do decide to do another one, keep me posted.

    • Matt says:

      Hey Ken, disappointed to hear that you’ve lapsed. I really enjoyed your stuff, and still think about the Pratchett-esque chapter you posted. Hope you can get back into it.

  3. Matt says:

    The site was a great idea, and really hard to do single handedly. You tried to cover so many bases, and you did it with a polished, clean site.

    While the NaNoWriMo project didn’t suit me, I did enjoy the writing workshop. For those to really work in the long run, though, people need to comment on stories posted. When the trickle of posts/feedback dried up, the workshop ceased being useful. Sorry.

    I would still participate in a workshop behind a password. I’m not sure how you’ll know if the people will actually show up and participate, but I think it’s valuable enough to give it a shot if such a thing were to happen.

    Good luck, whether or not you try again with this, and thanks for the stuff you gave us over the last two years. 🙂

  4. Stopher Thomas says:

    I’d like to second what Ken said. I enjoy the workshops as well as met some great people through participating in them. They have also helped me fix some bad writing habit and find the confidence I needed to start submitting my writing. Please keep me post if you continue with them.

  5. Dustin says:

    I have missed the workshops. My authorial education benefited far more from one S&P workshop than it has from years on the various writing websites I’ve tried out.

    I’m on the fence for the Nanowrimo project. I didn’t like the result of the first year and being a perfectionist and overly sensitive, I was distressed over publishing something I considered a second draft in quality. I was far more pleased with my attempt for Vol 2 and would have liked to see it conclude. It’s undeniable that the stress of completing something in time increased my productivity and though I have come to loathe volume one, the fact that I produced a story of 8k (about 15k if you include the edits and cuts I made) in a few weeks remains my greatest word count in years.

    I hope the workshops continue, even with a smaller group. Either way, I appreciate the effort you’ve put forth into overseeing and managing it all.

  6. Bren Lee says:

    A great shame and I’m sorry to hear that it’s fading fast. I was there in the early days and tried to cooperate in the Cellar Door project…I killed it though, despite trying to get it back on track. Best of luck with your other projects.

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Divide and Conquer: A collection of short stories from the workshops of Foil & Phaser for your Kindle or ePub reader.
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