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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


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.