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Whew, it’s been a busy summer so far. Fortunately, I’ve been making time for writing. I want to take a minute to acknowledge a few awesome events that have happened in the last couple of months, and then I’ll give a recap of what I’m working on.

Read on for Part 1: Write to Publish (Ooligan Press at PSU) and Open Source Bridge…

Write to Publish (Ooligan Press)
May 21-22, 2011

Write to Publish is a two day conference that aims to “demystify the publishing process for writers”, put on by the folks at Portland State’s student-run publishing house, Ooligan Press. I attended W2P last year and found it to be extremely informative, so I had to make it again this year. They do one day of workshops and one day of open house, with readings and talks by authors, editors, agents, and so on.

Jason LaPier reading "Closing Loops"
Reading "Closing Loops" at W2P

This year I entered the flash fiction contest at W2P and won first prize, and I got to read my piece before the “new authors” panel came on stage. You can read my story, “Closing Loops”, here on the W2P site.

W2P 2011 also featured a special offer where an author could submit fifty pages of their novel for developmental editing by graduate student editors for fifty bucks. I had just (as in the week before) finished my first draft of the novel I’m currently working on, and so I took a shot at going through the developmental editing process. Unfortunately, it was just a bit premature for me because it really was just a first draft and I hadn’t even looked over those first fifty pages that I sent in to the editors.

Nonetheless, it was a fantastic experience. The grad student editors wrote up a great summary that included their interpretations of the characters and the plot and revealed any potential problems. I got to sit down with one of them and talk some things through. She explained that what we were doing was really more of a “global edit” rather than a “developmental edit”, mainly because it was such an early draft. It was well worth the $50 – I learned a lot and developed a plan for what to do next with the manuscript.

Open Source Bridge
June 26-29, 2011
OSB is “a conference for developers working with open source technologies and for people interested in learning the open source way.” My day job is web development and system administration, and I’m a big fan of open source software and the open source philosophy. This year, I was able to combine my love of writing and my love for open source by presenting a talk about the EPUB ebook file format at this conference.

You can check out my session info  and the materials and samples  I used for the talk. It’s definitely geared toward developers, but if you’re interested in the guts of the EPUB format it might be worth a look.

That’s it for today, but in a couple of days I’ll post Part 2 and talk about the rest of my summer, including workshops by Indigo Editing, the Willamette Writers Conference, and the upcoming Sledgehammer writing contest.

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Thanks for reading!

Jason LaPier is the author of Unexpected Rain, an interstellar murder mystery that reviewers have called "unexpectedly unique" and an "homage to past masters". Learn more about this noir SF novel that kicks off a trilogy.

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Jason W. LaPier is a multi-genre writer, delving into science fiction, speculative fiction, horror, slipstream, literary fiction, and surrealism. Originally from Upstate NY, Jason now lives in Portland, OR with his wife and their dachshund. By day, he is a software engineer at Elemental Technologies, where he creates the kinds of virtual worlds that actually do something. He is always in search of the perfect Italian sandwich.

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