This is a quick detour from the Writing Combat thread, which I'll come back to with my next post. I got an email today from an aspiring local writer who's been reading the Wyrdsmiths blog. It was a very nice note and I wanted to point him toward a bunch of Twin Cities area resources for fantasy and science fiction writers. Then, once I'd put the list together (all stuff I had in my head, but it took a bit of digging around to get all the urls right) I realized I should probably post the resource list here where others could also make use of it. So, here's the info with the personal bits redacted:
At the top of the list for F&SF writers is the Twin Cities Speculative Fiction Writers Network which has an associated workshop. And for writers in general The Loft Literary Center where both Lyda and I teach speculative fiction courses from time to time.
This is followed closely by the Minnesota Science Fiction Society (Minn-StF) and the Minnesota Society for Interest in Science Fiction and Fantasy (MISFITS).
And by the numerous Twin Cities science fiction conventions of which MarsCon, MiniCon, Convergence, and Diversicon are the largest. I'd also add that WisCon in Madison is one of the best cons in the midwest if you're interested in writing.
Another important resource is the local speculative fiction magazine TOTU run by Eric M. Heideman who is himself an absolute treasure for the Twin Cities area F&SF community with his deep involvement in numerous cons both in running them and in running tracks of literary programming. Numerous professionals have sold one of their first stories to TOTU, myself included, and it publishes many more on an ongoing basis.
I know I've missed lots, so please feel free to add things in comments and I'll post an update with more links in a couple of days.