Writing is solitary; workshopping is collaborative

Writing is solitary; workshopping is collaborative

The summer convention season is in full swing, and I will be appearing at two cons — ApolloCon in Houston and ArmadilloCon in Austin. I will post my schedules as soon as I know them.

I’m running the ApolloCon writers workshop and teaching at the ArmadilloCon workshop (run by the able Stina Leicht). This translates into a lot of critiquing in addition to my usual writers group critiques and so space and time to write my own words is at more than a usual premium. I am not complaining. Workshops are difficult but they are so worthwhile. If you are an aspiring writer or someone who makes time to write as part of your day, consider workshops. It may be difficult to put your work out there before your peers and pros, but the feedback is invaluable.

Writing is solitary; workshopping is collaborative. I learn a lot from reading other people’s work and having them read mine.

This year, I’m trying something new with the ApolloCon workshop. I set it up as a master class, although it was open to anyone. My focus is on getting work ready for publication. I specifically asked for only short stories or the first chapter of a novel, which is exactly what a pro editor would be looking at. I specified that work should be as polished and professional as possible. There are six students, so the class is a good size — we won’t have an overload of manuscripts so we can give everyone’s work some serious attention.

Ideally everyone will come out of the workshop with a plan of attack for making their work as submission ready as possible. Even more ideally, workshoppers will feel energized and excited about creative possibilities rather than feeling like they got a drubbing.

If you missed the deadline for the ApolloCon workshop, there’s still time to sign up for ArmadilloCon.


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