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IT’S BACK! Writing Improvement Month 2014 Launches Next Week!

With February just around the corner, UFOP: Starbase 118 is proud to announce its second annual Writing Improvement Month! Those of you who were with us last year will remember how many useful events, tutorials and competitions we crammed into the space of 28 days and for those of you who weren’t? Well, there’s a lot for everyone to get excited about this time around, too!

How about we start with our opening ceremony, on Sunday 2nd February at 11am PST/2pm EST/7pm GMT? It’s the perfect place for you to chat to the organizers behind the Writing Improvement Month event and to find out which parts of the month-long convention will directly benefit you! Added to that, you’ll have a chance to engage other writers from around the fleet in conversation, sharing your thoughts about what makes a good SIM and asking for advice on areas that you’d like to develop!

From there – how about daily items designed to get you thinking about your writing, such as tutorials, top SIM spotlights and quizzes? The whole month is jam-packed with these so that there’s always something new for you to wrap your inner author around! Throw into that a series of IRC chats with commanding officers from around the fleet designed to give you a chance to get tips on specific topics such as making your narrative have as much impact as possible and making your characters three dimensional and you’re not short of chances to work on any of the aspects of your writing that you feel like you want to polish up!

The Writing Challenge competition will continue throughout the month, and we’ll also be launching the second annual competition for academy training officers to design a new scenario for the training team! Surely, there are no more stops to pull out? You’d be wrong!

We’re very pleased to announce that we have confirmed two Spreecast chats with returning panellists from last year:-

On February 8th at 10am PST/1pm EST/6pm GMT, join us for an interview with TV writer, author and WGA nominee Melinda Snodgrass, author of This Case is Gonna Kill Me and Box Office Poison (as Phillipa Bornikova)!

And on February 14th at 1pm PST/4pm EST/9pm GMT, we’ll be interviewing Hugo Award winning author Peter Watts, who will be releasing the sequel to the novel we were giving away last year, Blindsight, later in 2014!

The great news? Both of these writers have agreed to spare some of their precious writing time to chat to us and share their expertise – you get to ask them questions in an interactive interview setting!

So how will you keep up with all of this? Well, we’ve taken care of that as well! Each week, we’ll be sending you a schedule on the announce list to let you know what’s planned for the week ahead! Keep your eyes open for special announcements as well – there may be one or two more famous authors in the pipeline!

Crack those pens, keyboards and typewriters out, and hold onto your hats! February couldn’t be more awesome!


Green-Eyed, Freckled Science Officer (oh wait, that’s Researcher) – The Tutorial Series, Part 2

writing-ideas-originalNo, no… not a frisky, doe-eyed Science Officer! Rather that thing a person does to learn more about any given element… whether it’s the nuts and bolts of Warp Engines, the composition of starships, the mating rituals of Betazoids, or what exactly, is the daily routine of a security officer? The second in our 2013 Writing Improvement Month of tutorials by none other than that under-the-radar Fleet Captain, turned Professor Andrus Jaxx (just how do Trills chose their hosts?), this tutorial takes you on that journey of “OH… I never knew that!” and expose us to the available resources around the 118 Fleet and the web to aid in the further development and exploration of your character and the fascinating, exciting world around him or her (or it, even!).

Whether networking major Trek sites like Memory Alpha, Memory Beta, or the Daystrom Institute. Perhaps you might be interested in reading up what your fellow crew members both past and present have developed on our very own 118 Wiki. Research, hard or soft (or both), as well choosing which references are suitable to your topic, knowing how to use keywords in search engines while bookmarking what you feel is good content, are some of the elements used in defining your writing in the world of the story and what your character does, as well as doesn’t know, while helping your character to integrate into this rather expansive universe of science fiction.

Come check it out here!