I co-ordinate the writing workshops at FOGcon. These are small critique groups, led by published authors who volunteer to provide their insights. This year, we had a great line-up of leaders: Cassie Alexander, Jed Hartman, Ellen Klages, Rachel Swirsky, and Mike Underwood.
HOW IT WORKS
We get the manuscripts from participating writers about six weeks in advance. The writers are split into groups of three or four, and we put them in touch with each other by email and each group gets all the manuscripts for that group. At the Con, they meet for a roughly one-hour session (which can sometimes go to two hours!) There’s a workshop fee of $20.
The workshops look to be increasingly popular. About half the participants return. The number’s been growing, and so we’ve been experimenting with ways to accommodate them. This year, we had 19 participants. Instead of having all groups meet over Saturday lunch hour in the programming space like last year, we had it in a room behind the Consuite, spread out through Saturday and part of Sunday. We also tried to set it up so if a group wanted to run over the hour and fifteen minutes allocated, they could do so.
It was also an experiment with the new format. We got positive feedback about this, and I think we’re going to run with it. That means we can actually add some more participants next year, though it’ll still be limited.
If you think you’ll be coming to FOGcon 5 (It’s March 6-8, 2015 at the same hotel), and would like to join the Writers’ Workshop – we’ll have a late January deadline for manuscripts (under 10,000 words and in rtf format). We don’t have any experience requirements (though if you’re under 18, we’ll need parental approval because you could encounter work aimed at older people). Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know!