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Worldcon in Denver

This may be repetition for many on my f-list, but I'm preaching. If I'm preaching to the choir, you know who you are.

denvention3 has posted a response to a question from mallory_blog where they state that they have no intention of organizing and holding a Milford-style Writers' Workshop as part of Worldcon this year. They respond as follows: "Sorry, but Denvention3 is not planning to hold a writer's workshop. There will however, be various program items on writing and publishing."

I'm sorry, but it's not the same. Not one little bit. Before LA, I attended several of those panels at previous worldcons. They are for a different audience.

I sold a story to Analog because it was critiqued at LAConIV in the Milford-style Writers' Workshop. I went to panels AFTER my workshop to hear what the writers had to say that had critiqued me. I never would have picked those panels to attend otherwise. I bought books by writers I had not previously heard of, writers that critiqued my work in that workshop. I never would have found these writers otherwise. I met Stan Schmidt of Analog (granted, for one minute) and I would not otherwise have been at his panel on Analog or have been introduced to him by name, had there not been a Milford-style Writers' Workshop in LA, organized by the very skilled Adrienne Foster. And I won't even go into the friendships I made, the ones I value highly, that never would have happened because our paths would not have crossed.

They have a programming survey here: http://www.denvention.org/programming/index.php

At LAConIV both short stories and novel excerpts were critiqued. I entered two short stories. I realize that the experience may have been different for other participants, the critiquers, the moderators. But if somewhere out there someone else agrees with me that it was/is a valuable opportunity, please tell Programming.

Frog Out


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 22nd, 2008 05:02 pm (UTC)
Maybe you could help me? I'm looking for someone to head up a Writing Workshop track. Any idea who might be interested?
Jan. 22nd, 2008 05:02 pm (UTC)
sorry, at Anticipation at 09.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 11:20 am (UTC)
This is the way it works. Worldcon is run entirely by volunteers. Generally Worldcons do their best to cater for everyone, but if they can't find people to do the work, or they don't have the money, then some things don't happen. Putting on a Writing Workshop is not expensive, but it does require someone like Adrienne to organize it, and experienced writers prepared to be tutors. So my guess is that Denver is not offering a workshop because it doesn't have the staff to put one on. If that is the case then no amount of complaining to their programming people is going to change that.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 11:44 am (UTC)
You are absolutely correct, worldcons are run by volunteers, by very good ones who do incredible work.

This is not complaining. This is a programming request on their survey site. If they know there is a large group asking for a Milford-style critique workshop, there are volunteers out there to organize one, though maybe not at this late date. If no one expresses the desire to have a workshop, it won't happen.

The worst thing people who want to participate in a workshop can do is stay silent now when they're taking requests and then complain after the fact that a workshop wasn't organized. It's not a fannish event, after all. But there's a huge pool of talented pros in one location at a worldcon and many of them are willing to take 3 hours out of their schedule to do a crit circle.

Thanks for posting your thoughts.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 01:08 pm (UTC)
Well, good luck. My gut feel is that the Denver folks know that there are plenty of people out there who would love to have a workshop. But you never know. By posting about such things you may flush out someone willing to run it.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 01:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks again. I did contact by email the people I know...one can only suggest. And nefariously lay plans for Montreal, but that's another story, isn't it?

Jan. 23rd, 2008 01:27 pm (UTC)
Montreal is a much better bet. You have much more time, and you have the head of programming already taking an interest.

But actually what this really needs is persistence. Masquerades wouldn't happen if a bunch of people didn't keep coming back year after year to act as staff, tech crew and contestants. Not exactly the same people every year, of course, but enough overlap for the folk memory of how to do it to be handed down from year to year. There are many other areas of Worldcon running that work in the same way. If there was a solid group dedicated to doing workshops each year then they'd be less vulnerable to the vagaries of individual committees.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 02:59 pm (UTC)
Your response has been rattling in my head for an hour or so. Masquerade is the one Worldcon event I never miss. My sister and I have a tradition of going together, no matter how separated we are at the rest of the con. It's an integral part of the Worldcon experience for me. That there's a persistence, a recurring group makes sense. And your comments for the workshops makes sense as well. If we writers want this to happen, there has to be a persistence from year to year.

Jan. 23rd, 2008 03:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

Firstly on behalf of all of us who work on the Masquerade. There'd be no point without an appreciative audience.

And secondly on behalf of the entire Worldcon community. These days we get far too many people who take the attitude that it is the responsibility of "them" to make things happen. It is a real pleasure to find someone who understands that it is actually the responsibility of "us" to do so.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )