Story Workshop

Take your idea from an outline to a publication-ready short story.

Are you tired of receiving rejections? Do you struggle to turn an awesome premise into a satisfying story? Are you new to writing and in need of support, guidance, training, and community? 

Apply to participate in the Strikethrough Story Workshop, a rigorous month-long program for speculative fiction writers. In this comprehensive program facilitated by Tim Burkhardt and Tina Alberino, you will learn how to develop a proper outline, collaborate with professional magazine editors, and polish a draft into a publication-ready short story. Once your story is finalized, you’ll learn how to write a cover letter and create a publication strategy.

Accelerate your career by gaining the foundational skills every writer needs to succeed in the publishing industry, and learn what it feels like to receive a well-earned acceptance.

Price: $400
Next Start Date: July 1st, 2023

Individual Coaching

Meet with your editor once each week to review your draft, ask questions, and discuss next steps.

Professional Edits

Receive thorough editorial attention while gaining valuable production collaboration experience.

Writing Exercises

Complete short, weekly exercises to  elevate your writing and deepen your understanding of story.

Weekly Check-Ins

Meet weekly with workshop participants to discuss your project and any challenges you’re facing.

The Process

Each week begins with a group session (held virtually, on Saturday mornings), where you’ll meet with all workshop participants and receive your assignment. These assignments are due every Wednesday at 5 p.m. Eastern. You’ll receive your reviewed assignments every Thursday, and will meet with your editor every Friday.

Week 1

Create an outline and refine it with your editor’s guidance.

Week 2

Turn your outline into a rough draft with a beginning, middle, and end.

Week 3

Polish your rough draft and create a submission strategy.

Week 4

Finalize your story and execute your submission strategy.

Join Us!

Our next session begins July 1st, 2023.

To provide the most value to participants, attendance is limited to four total writers per session.


Our clinic is a combination of short-term coaching and personal instruction designed to help you become a better writer.

No. Stories created as part of Quasar’s Short Story Clinic and those edited by any of The Dread Machine staff cannot be considered for publication in The Dread Machine.

We will help you craft the best story you’re capable of writing, and we’ll teach you how to sell it, but we cannot guarantee that it will be purchased. At all stages of this workshop, you can expect honest insights and actionable feedback. We desperately want your story to sell (because it makes us look real good), so we can guarantee that we’ll do our best to ensure you leave the workshop with a marketable, polished piece of fiction that you’ll be proud to add to your portfolio of work.

Participants are curated each session to ensure group cohesion and project compatibility. 

No. Participants share their personal experiences and observations with each other once a week.

This provides participants the experience of speaking to other writers about their work-in-progress. These discussions are designed to give you practice articulating your thoughts, so you can speak confidently to agents, publishers, and other writers about your work. You will learn how to clearly and concisely answer questions about your plot, characters, and process.

Unlike coaching, The Strikethrough Story Workshop has a start and end date, a singular project focus, and provides the opportunity to network with other attendees. Story Workshop participants focus on a singular project for the duration of the event. Each week, workshop participants receive:

  • two editorial passes,
  • a 30-minute meeting with their editor, and
  • a group meeting with all workshop participants.

Coaching clients often work several projects simultaneously, cycling through them each week.

Coaching clients receive:

  • two editorial passes,
  • a one-hour meeting with their editor,
  • access to their editor throughout the week via email,
  • the weekly Monday Kickstart email. 

If you prefer (or require) experience speaking about your work with other professionals, consider the Story Workshop.

If the thought of speaking about your work to a group makes you anxious, or if you’d prefer a more intimate, ongoing relationship with your editor, coaching would probably be a better option.