Writers Boot Camp 2019

Writers Bootcamp 2020

January 24-26, 2020

Limited to 24 participants.
Submit your work early!

Chet WilliamsonSpecial Guest Instructor
Chet Williamson

Chet Williamson has written in the field of horror, science fiction,  and suspense since 1981. Among his many novels are Second Chance, Hunters, Defenders of the Faith, Ash Wednesday, Reign, and Dreamthorp. His most recent publications are The Night Listener and Others (PS Publishing), and Psycho: Sanitarium, an authorized sequel to Robert Bloch’s classic Psycho (St. Martin’s Press).

Over a hundred of his short stories have appeared in such magazines as The New Yorker, Playboy, Esquire, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and many other magazines and anthologies. He has won the International Horror Guild Award, and has been shortlisted for the World Fantasy Award, the HWA’s Stoker Award, and the MWA’s Edgar Award. Nearly all of his works are available in ebook format at the Kindle and Nook Stores.

A stage and film actor, he has recorded over 50 unabridged audiobooks, both of his own work and that of many other writers, available at www.audible.com. Follow him on Twitter (@chetwill) or at www.chetwilliamson.com.

What Is The Writers Bootcamp?

At our one-of-a-kind Writers Bootcamp, you will be expected to log in many hours of intensive analysis and criticism from your peers and the three guest instructors who will be guiding you through all the major elements of writing fiction. You will be required to read (in advance) the submissions of your fellow workshop participants. (ALL OF THEM)

Your weekend will comprise of :

  • an eye-opening exercise
  • a writing assignment
  • lecture (not a lot)
  • round table critiques (definitely a lot)
  • analysis by the instructors
  • Q&A panel discussion
  • readings (of your work)
  • Special Guest Speaker
  • and maybe more . . .

Think you’ve heard enough?

In addition, you will receive a general understanding of the state of modern publishing—that is where and to whom to submit your material, the real deal on editors and agents, the characteristics of the genres, the perception of the difference between mainstream and literary fiction, and even a few words on marketing and publicity. Have all your questions ready!

You will learn all the basic elements of writing and the processes needed to finish your manuscript and have it ready for submission to the market place. But more importantly you will get the much needed FEEDBACK that is often the missing factor which contributes to the success (or failure) of many writers.

Each instructor has a specific area he will be emphasizing. If you’ve never experienced a piece of writing deconstructed (especially your own) and analyzed in a high-intensity workshop setting, be prepared to learn things about you, your writing, and your ability to tell a good story.

You will discover this workshop is primarily concerned with analysis and criticism—That is, learning how to give it out, and more importantly, how to take it, and apply it to your own work.

Professional writers learn early on the ability to receive and implement critical feedback is the most important element contributing to the improvement of their craft. When writers learn to EDIT their own work with a critical eye, they discover the ultimate key to their success.

We are currently scheduling ONE session that combines both SHORT FICTION and NOVEL and NON-FICTION. Any and all genres acceptable.

Here’s a sample of the works from graduates of past Writers Bootcamps!

More than 150 Bootcamp Graduates
have gone on to publish their novels
or short fiction & 3 have won
the Bram Stoker Award for
Superior Achievement!

Will you be next?


Ginjer Buchanan

Ginjer Buchanan
was Editor-in-Chief at Ace Books and Roc Books—the two science-fiction and fantasy imprints of Penguin Group (USA). She had worked at Ace since 1984, was nominated for both the Hugo and World Fantasy Awards and won a Hugo Award in 2014 for her editing. She was a Guest of Honor at OryCon in 2008, Foolscap in 2000, and ArmadilloCon in 1988. Buchanan retired in March 2014, after 30 years with Ace.

Thomas F. Monteleone

Thomas F. Monteleone
has published more than 100 short stories, 5 collections, 8 anthologies and 27 novels including the bestseller, New York Times Notable Book of the Year, The Blood of the Lamb. He is a 5-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Novel, Collection, Anthology, and Non-Fiction. In April, 2017, the Horror Writers Association presented him with their Lifetime Achievement Award. He lives in Maryland with his wife, Elizabeth.

F. Paul Wilson

F. Paul Wilson
is the award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 books and many short stories spanning horror, adventure, medical thrillers, science fiction, and virtually everything in between. His work has been translated into 24 languages. He’s best known for his continuing series character—Repairman Jack. He is also a recipient of the HWA Lifetime Achievement Award. He lives with his wife, Mary, near the Jersey shore.

Douglas E. Winter
As well as being a lawyer in Washing DC, Doug enjoys a parallel career as a horror writer and horror critic. Winter edited horror anthologies Prime Evil (1988), and Revelations (1997) as well as the interviews collection Faces of Fear(1985, revised 1990). He has also written biographies of Stephen King and Clive Barker. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

Past Writers Bootcamp Instructors

  • Gary Braunbeck
  • Mort Castle
  • Ginjer Buchanan, Sr. Editor, Berkley Putnam
  • Richard Chizmar, Sr. Editor, Cemetery Dance
  • Douglas Clegg
  • John Douglas, Sr. Editor Avon Books, William Morrow
  • Brian Keene–World Horror Convention Grand Master
  • Jack Ketchum–Horror Writers Association Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Elizabeth Massie
  • David Morrell
  • Jaime Levine, Sr. Editor, Grand Central Publishing
  • Thomas F. Monteleone–Horror Writers Association Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Melissa Singer, Sr. Editor, Tor Books
  • Thomas Tessier
  • Peter Straub–Horror Writers Association Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Chet Williamson
  • F. Paul Wilson–Horror Writers Association Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Douglas E. Winter

The Tracie Orsi Memorial Scholarship

Tracie Orsi

Tracie Orsi

Tracie Orsi first attended a Borderlands Boot Camp in 2011, and quickly established herself as a special talent. Her prose was marked by great dialogue, compelling characters, and memorable settings. In addition, her infectious personality infused the entire weekend with charm, wit, and intelligence. She absorbed the lessons of the Boot Camp like a sponge and returned the following three years with two different novels in progress and a published cook book based on the recipes of her New Jersey restaurant, Ragin’ Cajun. (She’d not only created the recipes, but did all the book’s photography, designed the layout, and did the typesetting). She enlivened our Boot Camp with her fiction as well as her insightful critiques; and became part of the Borderlands Press family.

When she told us five years ago she’d been diagnosed with bladder cancer, we were shocked, but also convinced she would beat it because of her energy and determination to succeed at whatever she attempted. She sent us updates of her treatment throughout the year and wrote a blog detailing the experience in prose both dazzling and searingly honest. As late as a week before the January 2015 Boot Camp, she promised to attend.

But it was not to be. And in less than a week, she was gone.

Tracie Orsi was an inspiration to everyone who met her, and left her mark on our Boot Camp. We will never forget her contributions to our intense weekends, and to ensure this, we have established a Scholarship in her name.

Each year, we grant a free tuition to the applicant who best exemplifies Tracie’s talent and energy and determination to improve. It is also be based on need. If you feel you have the talent, but lack the means to attend our weekend, send us a detailed letter along with your writing sample, and you will be under consideration to receive the Tracie Orsi Memorial Scholarship.


Brookshire Suites
120 East Lombard Street,
Baltimore, Maryland 21202
www    map    pics


Payment schedule:
$100 deposit when accepted
September 1st: $230
November 1st: $230
January 4th: $235

No refunds.

Accommodations are single room suites at a special convention/workshop rate.

Brookshire Suites

This past weekend I spent three days in Baltimore attending the first (2005) Writers Bootcamp put on by Borderlands Press. My evaluation of that experience? If you are serious about your writing and have the opportunity to go next year, don’t miss out. IT WAS THAT GOOD.

It’s an intense writing workshop put on by Tom & Elizabeth Monteleone of Borderlands Press. About 4 months before the weekend, you, the grunt, submit your work, whether it’s a short story or the first 3 chapters of a novel. During those 4 months, all the grunts and the instructors (Tom, F. Paul Wilson, and Doug Winter) read the submissions, line edit them, and critique them. [Read more]

Meghan Arcuri, author and poet

Submission instructions

As noted previously, you will be expected to critique your peers. This is the time when you must be honest, thorough, and unbiased. The round-table discussion format of this workshop depends upon each writer participating to the fullest extent. We cannot emphasize this enough.

You MUST submit a sample of your work (up to 1500 words) to qualify by filling out the form below.

If we select you for the Boot Camp, you will need to submit your material for the All-Day Saturday Round Table Workshop.

Your Novel / Short Fiction / Non-Fiction Book or Article should be:

  • No more than 30 pages
  • 14 point, double spaced
  • Name/Title/Page Number on every page.
  • (for novel or non-fiction book) Synopsis or Chapter Outline of remainder
  • (for novel) Brief, but encompassing bios of major and secondary characters
  • $100.00 deposit required upon acceptance to hold your spot.

NO Refunds — payment plans are available.

We do accept Personal Checks or Postal Money Orders made payable to Borderlands Press. No Paypal or Credit Cards.

Questions may be sent to: [email protected]

Submissions for Writers Boot Camp 2020 are not yet open.