Last week I waxed poetic about the Writers Digest Conference and other similar events. One of the things I love about live events is not that I get a chance to stand up there and spout off, or be spouted off to, but because I get a chance to interact with attendees and other speakers. I get to ask and answer questions.

Not long after saying this in pretty much the same way to the crowd at WDCW, I started thinking about the one-way nature of Fantasy Author’s Handbook and all the responses I’ve gotten to tweets about my ongoing classes at Bellevue College—a bunch of people tell me they’d love to take the class but live in some city (or country) too far away from the Seattle area. I want to go to as many of these conferences as I can and will be redoubling my efforts to get out to more of the country in the year ahead, but who says a blog like Fantasy Author’s Handbook has to be a one-way conversation or monologue?

Today I premiere the newest page on Fantasy Author’s Handbook: ASK PHIL.

Got a question about writing fantasy, science fiction, or horror; or writing, editing, and publishing in general? Go over to ASK PHIL and leave a comment. I’ll respond in the comments section so everyone can join the conversation. Your question not only might, but probably will inspire a post or two as well. What’s on your mind? What’s holding you up? What are you struggling with? And what tips do you have for all of us who might have hit a rock in the stream of our current work-in-progress?

If you have questions on other subjects, find a blog or web site that covers that. This will not be one of those online “communities” that descend into politics, religion, bullying, shameless self-promotion, reviews, and so on. I have political opinions, to be sure, and I assume you do, too. But this is a blog about WRITING (specifically SF, fantasy, and horror), so that’ll be what we talk about.


Now, go ahead and ASK PHIL!


—Philip Athans


About Philip Athans

Philip Athans is the New York Times best-selling author of Annihilation and a dozen other books including The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Writing Monsters. His blog, Fantasy Author’s Handbook, ( is updated every Tuesday, and you can follow him on Twitter @PhilAthans.
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