FOGcon is offering its members a writing workshop with Clarion-style critique of short stories 10,000 words or less. The participants will be divided into small groups, each moderated by an instructor. Participants will submit manuscripts to be read and critiqued both by the instructor and by people in their group. The workshop will be held Saturday over the lunch period (we’ll provide a sandwich lunch). There will be a registration fee of $20.
You would need to do the following if you wish to attend the Workshop:
- Email us to reserve a place. (Places are limited, and you should get confirmation that you are enrolled before registration and payment.)
- Register for FOGcon if you have not done so already.
- If your enrollment is confirmed, register for the Workshop and pay the $20 fee. Please use the same email address you used for Registration, so the membership and workshop can be correlated.
- Send your manuscript to email@example.com by February 1. You’ll receive your fellow students’ manuscripts as soon after the deadline as possible so that you can prepare a critique by the workshop date.
Here’s what we’ll need:
- Rich text file. If you are working in other formats, please try to convert it to rtf if possible.
- Manuscript format. You can learn proper manuscript format here if you need: http://www.shunn.net/format/
story.htmlWe’re not terribly fussy for this workshop, but you at least need double spaced Courier or Times, and numbered pages, and your name on the manuscript.
- A few sentences about your experience level and any publications. (We don’t have a minimum; all levels are welcome.) This is to help arrange the groups so that participants have the best possible experience. You can introduce yourself to other participants later.
Q: Do I need to be published to participate?
A: No. We’re fine with all levels of expertise.
Q: Does my manuscript have to be speculative fiction?
A: No, but you’ll probably get more out of the workshop if it’s genre-related.
Q: Short story or novel chapters?
A: Either, but please let us know. The other readers will want to know which they’re reading. If a novel, please provide a very short synopsis so readers are not left hanging and have a context.
Q: Do I have to critique the other manuscripts? How many?
A: Yes, all participants have to read and critique manuscripts for their group (typically around 3 or 4 people). It’s usual to make notes as you read the manuscript, and give that to the author after the discussion. If you’ve never critiqued a manuscript, here’s one approach:
Summarize the story in 1-4 sentences.
Describe what worked for you in the story.
Describe what didn’t work for you.
If a story doesn’t work for you at all, there’s a formula Greg Frost used at Clarion 2007: “Every story has an idiot reader, and I’m it for this story.” Some stories really work for one kind of reader but not at all for others. The workshop is meant to provide constructive criticism. (More critiquing resources here.)
Q: Food allergies/ restrictions?
A: We’ll try to work around food allergies, but please give us the information in advance. Tell us if you’re vegetarian, wheat-intolerant, allergic to tomatoes, or whatever. (It helps if you’re clear about the level of restriction; there’s a difference between “I hate broccoli” and “peanuts will kill me.”)