Teaching

Learning to write is a lifelong process. There’s always some element of the craft you can–and should!–be striving to improve. My quest to get better, as a writer, led to my reviewing books and participating in workshops… and, eventually, teaching courses through the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and University of Toronto.

I am currently on a break from teaching and am no longer accepting new students either for classes or one on one mentorships. However, I do sometimes blog about the craft of writing, generating mini-lectures and other resources for new authors. Links to writing essays can be found here.

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Learning to write is a lifelong process. There’s always some element of the craft you can–and should!–be striving to improve. My quest to get better, as a writer, led to my reviewing books and participating in workshops… and, eventually, teaching courses through the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and University of Toronto.

I am currently on a break from teaching and am no longer accepting new students either for classes or one on one mentorships. However, I do sometimes blog about the craft of writing, generating mini-lectures and other resources for new authors. Links to writing essays can be found here.

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Nobody writes immaculate first drafts. Learning to read well and deeply, and to give honest, open-hearted critiques to your peers is the path to learning to make your own writing better.

Passions

Like all of you, I love so many things. I love the natural world, and take a lot of pictures of birds, flowers, and things seen from the trail. I enjoy art, music, dance, good food, art museums, television, film, and books by other writers. I like history, architecture, churches, and saucy grafitti:
All Imported-20
What are your passions?

Fiction

I started writing as soon as I had learned to read, beginning in kindergarten with Dr. Seuss-inspired doggerel (One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish was a particularly strong influence). At age ten, I was attempting novels. I cannot not write; I call it a benevolent compulsion.

The first story of mine that ever saw print appeared in THE RED DEER ADVOCATE when I was 17, as the runner-up in a short story contest. My first paying sale was to a literary magazine called SECRETS FROM THE ORANGE COUCH, a few years later. Since then I’ve sold about fifty short stories in a range of genres: mystery, science fiction, alternate history, and fantasy. I’ve also sold poems, articles, and cowritten one play!

I got into print young not because I was some kind of teen genius—those first stories of mine were not very strong!–but because I was trying to sell stories, bombarding magazines like Asimov’s with submissions. I believe most writers want an audience for their work, and I was actively searching for mine.

As I continued to refine my craft as a short story writer, I began to work on books, too. My first novel is the ecofantasy Indigo Springs, which was released in 2009 by Tor Books and which won the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. The sequel, Blue Magic, was released in 2011. A trilogy beginning with Child of a Hidden Sea followed, and its sequel A Daughter of No Nation won the Aurora Award for Best Novel in 2016. The final book in the series is The Nature of a Pirate.

For 2019 and 2021 I switched gears, from fantasy to near future science fiction–solarpunk, really–and changed author names, too. As L.X. Beckett, I have written Gamechanger and Dealbreaker, books that simultaneously manage to be fun romps and to be about surviving a 21st century shaped by pandemics, resource wars, climate change, cryptocurrency and the possible death of privacy.

Alyx Who?

Hello and welcome! I write novels and short fiction, mostly in the science fiction and fantasy genres, and teach writing online. I’ve posted a little information about my past and personal life here. My most recent novels are ecothrillers titled Gamechanger and Dealbreaker, written in my not-so-secret ID as L.X. Beckett. (For everything you ever wanted to know about Lex and were afraid to ask, click here!)

I am a proud client of Caitlin Blasdell at Liza Dawson Associates Literary Agency.

Please come in and get acquainted. You can hear a reading from my award-winning ecofantasy, Indigo Springs, check out the first chapter of its sequel, Blue Magic or browse for something shorter here. If you’re wondering about the virtual writing workshops I teach through UCLA, check out Teaching for information about my philosophy and my classes.

Offworld city characterized by domes and towers on a cloudy planet, with text: L.X. Beckett / Dealbreaker

Finally, if you’re wondering about what I’m up to right now, you’re very welcome to speak your mind by reaching out to me on Twitter, either as Alyx or as Lex, or by checking out my occasional newsletter, the Lexicon.

Browse the site, check out my fiction, look at my writing essays, and–as I say in all my classes–let me know if you have any questions!

Short fiction available online…

I hope to have a new short story announcement for you all very soon, but in the meantime my website is getting another revamp, and as I figure out how all this lovely WordPress stuff works and where I want to locate content, I’m also figuring out which of my online publications are still out there and available for interested readers.

Here’s the list, by venue:

Strange Horizons
Five Good Things about Meghan Sheedy
The Town on Blighted Sea

Xtra West
“What Song the Sirens Sang”

Fictionwise
A Key to the Illuminated Heretic
Faces of Gemini
Ruby, in the Storm
Origin of Species
The Dark Hour
Three Times Over the Falls
The Children of Port Allain

What’s here represents about a third of my published stories–there’s a list at Wikipedia.