What we’re about
The Writers of the Weird is the author group of the Science Fiction Association of Bergen County. Its focus is the craft and business of fiction writing in the genres of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Script writing, comic book writing, and poetry lie outside the purview of WOTW as these areas of writing have their own specialized criteria.
The Writers of the Weird supports the work of its members by organizing critique sessions, scheduling talks by authors and other experts in publishing and related fields, sharing news and information of interest to its members, organizing discussions and presentations, and promoting the work of its members.
Most of our sessions are held online through zoom due. We have to reopened a Sunday session as an in-person activity. This is subject to change depending on fluctuations in the pandemic. Critiques are capped at 10 participants.
WOTW critique sessions operate differently than most groups. The stories are read aloud by someone who is not the author. This is a cold read. Participants offer a first-impression reaction, not a deeply-pondered analysis. It is a format we find useful, but it is not everyone's cup of tea.
We currently run four critique sessions each month. As of February 1, 2021 we have closed the Monday and Tuesday Night Sessions to newcomers because of the high demand. The Thursday and Friday night sessions still accept new members.
First Thursday Critique Session from 7:30 - 9:00 PM. This is moderated by Matt McHugh and generally workshops one piece.
Third Monday Critique Session from 7:30 - 9:00 PM. This is moderated by Carol Gyzader and usually workshops one longer (to 5K / 20 standard mss pages) work.
Third Friday Critique Session from 7:30 - 9:30 PM. This is moderated by Philip De Parto and workshops 2 - 3 pieces.
Fourth Sunday Critique Session from 4:00 - 6:00 PM. This is moderated by A J Bartholomew and workshops 2 - 3 pieces.
Last Sunday Critique Session from 4:00 - 7:00 PM. This is an in-person event held at the home of moderator Philip De Parto and workshops 3 or more pieces. Note that the last Sunday is normally the fourth Sunday and is usually held at the same time as A J's online session, but there are some months when they are held on different days because the month has five Sundays.
TALKS & DISCUSSIONS
The Writers' Space Saloon is a zoom event held from 7:30 - 9:00 PM on the first Wednesday of the month. Most discussions are led by members with an expertise of interest to the group. Sometimes we bring in someone from outside WOTW. Recent (2020) discussions / talks / demos have included Mapmaking Programs, Psycho-Linguistics, and Fencing / Sword-Fighting.
The Writers' Space Salon is a zoom event held from 4:00 - 5:30 PM on the first Sunday of the month. This is a member discussion of various aspects of the craft of writing such as characterization, plotting, voice, etc.
PRESENTATIONS BY WRITERS AND OTHER PEOPLE OF INTEREST
The General Meeting of the Science Fiction Association of Bergen County, the parent organization of Writers of the Weird, is held on the second Saturday of the month. These meetings feature talks by writers and other experts in the field. They had been held at 8:00 PM as live gatherings for many years before the pandemic. They now run from 7:30 - 9:30 PM as zoom video conferences.
ON THE WEB
WRITERS OF THE WEIRD FACEBOOK GROUP
Tips for Writers and news about our authors appear on the Writers of the Weird FaceBook Group here:
Anyone can view the material, but posting privileges are restricted to members of the SFABC / WOTW who have paid the $ 10.00 Annual Membership Fee.
WRITERS OF THE WEIRD PUBLIC WEBSITE
Information about the Writers of the Weird can be found on its public website, Here are some highlights.
WOTW Home Page:
Books written by our members appear here:
A list of our members appears here:
WRITERS OF THE WEIRD GOOGLE GROUP
This is a Private Group restricted to members of WOTW which shares news and information.
One becomes a member of the Writers of the Weird by joining the Science Fiction Association. The Association sponsors book groups, movie nights, astronomy programs, and other activities in addition to the WOTW events.
The Association also creates custom events for the Writers of the Weird from time to time.
We expect members of this group to be active participants. If you do not attend our critique sessions, general meetings, talks, or other events you will be removed from the group after three months of non-participation. An exception is made for active members of the Science Fiction Association of Bergen County who may be supporting the parent organization in some other capacity.
Upcoming events (4+)See all
- SFABC General Meeting: SF Author Jonathan Nevair & Pre-Meeting Christmas CafeBergen Highlands United Methodist, Upper Saddle River, NJ
Science Fiction Writer Jonathan Nevair will speak and answer questions at the monthly General Meeting of the Science Fiction Association of Bergen County. Our speaker writes character-driven space opera and spy-fi adventure. Our speaker is an art historian and college professor in Pennsylvania.
The meeting proper starts at 8:00 PM. There is a pre-meeting Christmas Cafe of coffee, tea, and desserts from 7:00 - 8:00 PM. If you plan to attend the cafe, please bring a dessert.
Our speaker's website is: https://www.jonathannevair.com/.
- Writers Friday Zoom - Two Story SessionLink visible for attendees
This zoom critique session is moderated by Philip De Parto and held on the third Friday of the month.
Each session will workshop two pieces. One will be a story by Phil. The second will be from someone else in the group.
Stories are given a cold read by someone other than the author. Works should generally be limited to 3000 words / 12 standard pages. It is possible we can stretch this, but contact Phil ahead of time.
The zoom link for this event is sent via email. You must contact Phil De Parto at SFABCPhilmu (at) gmail.com with your email address if you are new and he does not have it.
- Writers Monday Zoom - One Longer StoryLink visible for attendees
THIS EVENT IS CLOSED TO NEWCOMERS. DUES-PAYING MEMBERS OF THE ASSOCIATION MAY CONTINUE TO PARTICIPATE, AS MAY ANYONE WHO HAS PREVIOUSLY ATTENDED A MONDAY NIGHT OR SUNDAY AFTERNOON CRITIQUE SESSION.
(The text which appears below is for informational purposes.)
Carol Gyzander will facilitate the critique of one longer (5K Word) story via Zoom Video Conference. This will be done in the same format as our live critique sessions, a cold reading by someone who is not the author. The story will be emailed ahead of time to allow people to print a hard copy if they so desire. However, the work should not be read and annotated until the start of the session..NOTE: We limit this session to ten people.
If you click GOING and do not show, you will be depriving someone else the opportunity to participate. If you marked that you were GOING and your plans fall through at the last minute, please notify Carol and Phil.
If your story is scheduled to be critiqued at this session, please send it to Carol by Saturday.
- Writers Space Saloon - Effective Social Media for WritersLink visible for attendees
Writer Hank Quense will speak and answer questions about how writers can best utilize Social Media.
Hank is the author of a number of humorous science fiction and fantasy works, as well as nonfiction books about indie publishing and marketing.
Newcomers welcome, but they must contact Philip De Parto at SFABCPhilmu (at) gmail.com with their email address to be sent the zoom link.