Writers' Workshops

A Place to Secede... er, Succeed

Texas, once a sovereign nation, and always an independent state, is a great place to showcase your unique genre fiction worlds. Whether you're writing an alternate history where Texas remained unannexed, or an urban fantasy featuring San Antonio river sprites, or science fiction set at the Johnson Space Center, Texas offers inspiration as big as the largest state in the lower 48.

LoneStarCon 3 invites members who are also writers to spend some of their convention time as part of the Writers Workshops. We're looking for new writers, budding writers, journeyman writers, and seasoned professional writers to fill our workshop sessions.

Reserving a Workshop Slot

Update, August 3, 2013. We have had great interest in the workshops and all slots are now taken. We also have a long waiting list in the event of cancellations. Hence we regret that we cannot accept any further applications from this point on.

Writers' Workshop slots are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. In the past, we've been able to provide slots for about 60 people. We will maintain a short waiting list. Capacity depends on the number of professional writers who volunteer to read and critique for us, as well as available convention space.

At the time you apply, you must have a manuscript ready to send in (but please wait until we ask for it).

Workshop Format

The Writers' Workshops in San Antonio will be small-session workshops for either experienced or beginning writers based on manuscripts submitted in advance. These workshops will provide Worldcon members the opportunity to have their manuscripts evaluated by selling writers and industry professionals who enjoy helping them grow as writers. Many of these professionals have taught at residency workshops or in creative writing programs.

Ideally, each session will consist of submissions from three participants to be critiqued by the other participants and two professionals. The manuscripts will be circulated in advance to both the participants and the professionals. A workshop session lasting two hours will critique all three submissions, or provide a critique with directed instruction, at the discretion of the professionals in each session.

Workshop Leaders

Each section will be led by two professional writers. The following professional writers have volunteered their time as workshop leaders this year.

Madeleine Rose Dimond
Nora Fleischer
Eileen Gunn
Laurel Anne Hill
Walter Hunt
K. G. Jewell
Matthew Johnson
Keffy R. M. Kehrli
Linda King
Terra LeMay
David D. Levine
Alastair Mayer
Jack McDevitt
Mike Shepherd Moscoe
Jaime Lee Moyer
G. D. Nordley
John A. Pitts
Julia Rios
Matthew Rotundo
Rebecca Roland
Diana Rowland
Lawrence M. Schoen
Bryan Thomas Schmidt
Alex Shvartsman
Amy Sundberg
Rachel Swirsky
Martha Wells
Rick Wilber
Fran Wilde
Walter Jon Williams
Gregory Wilson

Entry Arrangements

All manuscripts must be submitted in advance. There will be no on-the-spot reading for critiques. You will need to be prepared to attend your session, which can be assigned on any day of the convention, from Thursday, August 29, through Monday, September 2. Sessions will most likely be at either 10 a.m. or 1 p.m. and will last for two hours. The distribution of sessions depends on the programming schedules of the critiquing professionals. The more open your schedule is, the better we can match you with a section with similar types of submissions, and with professionals familiar with your type of speculative fiction.

You must be a member of LoneStarCon 3 to participate in the workshop. There will be a nominal fee of $15 to cover workshop expenses. We will email specific payment instructions once your workshop place is confirmed. Payment secures your slot.

Please note the following guidelines.

  • Submissions must be electronic in .doc or .rtf format.

  • Fiction manuscripts may be either short stories or novel excerpts.

  • Stories must be science fiction, fantasy, gothic/horror, alternate history, or have a fantastic element of some kind.

  • Manuscript submissions may have up to 8,000 words, but shorter lengths are encouraged.

  • If your manuscript is a novelette or novella, please let us know at the time of submission.

  • Manuscript format should conform to general professional submission standards. We recommend the OryCon Writers Workshop standards as a good place to start - you can find a Word fiction template and worked example there as well. The Writer's Digest Guide to Manuscript Formats by Dian Dincin Buchman and Seli Groves also contains submission standards information.

  • Longer pieces or novels must also include a synopsis covering the entire plotline. The synopsis counts as part of the 8,000 words.

Due to the critical nature of this workshop, it is not recommended for anyone under 18 or anyone who is sensitive to criticism.

The organizers for the LoneStarCon 3 workshop sessions are Oz Drummond, Lou J. Berger and Traci Castleberry, with the experienced backstage assistance of Richard Chwedyk, long-time organizer of the Windycon workshops. Email us at writersworkshops@LoneStarCon3.org with any specific questions not answered here.