ApolloCon, Houston's Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Conference, will host a Writers Workshop in which participants' stories are critiqued by their peers. Applicants will submit short stories or novel excerpts (maximum length 7,500 words) three weeks before the con. Accepted stories will be distributed to participants two weeks before the con to allow time for thorough critiques. (Participation is free with an ApolloCon membership; however, workshop space is limited and participation is not guaranteed.)
- Have your SF/F story critiqued by your peers
- Develop your own critiquing skills
- Learn how a regular writing/critique group can operate effectively
- Network with other writers who may be interested in forming a writing/critique group.
Submissions should be e-mailed as a Word (.doc) or rich text (.rtf) attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than May 29. Applicants will be notified of their status no later than June 5. Participants will receive manuscripts for critique no later than June 12. Stories must be science fiction, fantasy, or horror (this will be interpreted generously - if in doubt, feel free to ask) in standard manuscript format (for example). Maximum length is 7,500 words. Novel excerpts should be identified as such, and an additional summary of the plot (maximum 500 words) is encouraged.
Participants are expected to have mastered basic grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. Manuscripts that do not meet this standard may be rejected. If the workshop receives more submissions than it can accommodate, individuals who have not previously participated in an ApolloCon Writers Workshop may be given preference.
Each critique group will be limited to a maximum of six participants plus a facilitator/moderator. The workshop can accommodate up to two groups. If necessary, a waiting list may be established.
For the actual critique sessions, we plan to use what people often refer to as "critique circle," "Milford style," or "Clarion style." With this method, the group critiques one story at a time. Participants have a set time limit to give their verbal feedback, taking turns around a circle. The author of the story being critiqued does not verbally respond until all critiques have been given. Because of the time limit, verbal critiques tend to address general response and major issues, with smaller mechanical and line-level issues addressed in manuscript mark-up.
Participants are expected to provide thoughtful, thorough critiques of the manuscripts for their group. In addition to the verbal critique, each participant will provide a typewritten summary of their comments (to ensure legibility) to each of the participants in their group. Since there will be a maximum of six participants per group, this means that each participant may be required to provide five critiques. If you cannot complete five thorough, typewritten critiques during the two-week period between June 12 and June 26, please do not apply for the workshop.
Additional detailed instructions will be provided to participants no later than June 12.