The workshop is, for all intents and purposes, over. Tonight is the awards banquet for the Campbell Conference, which then continues through the weekend.
This week of the workshop has been a little different from the first week. We had a new attendee that couldn’t make the first week, and two of our writers only had two stories each. It made the dynamic a little different. The new person had attended the workshop in the past, but we didn’t have a chance to get to know him like we did the others in the group. So it was sometimes awkward.
Monday and Tuesday we did the last round of new short stories for those who had a third story, and a new story from the newcomer. I got lots of really good critiques for With Fans Like These, so I need to decide how to I want to take the story.
Wednesday and Thursday we covered revisions. I revised It’s All Fun and Games, and got pretty good feedback. I need to tighten up the middle more, but otherwise it’s pretty solid. I’m going to try and send it out to pro-markets.
Last night our award winning authors (Paolo Bacigalupi and James Morrow) got into town and we took them out for dinner. After that some of us went and did “cosmic bowling” at the Kansas Union Building. Which mean there were black lights and a disco ball. Then we were up late socializing with the guests and each other until the wee hours of the morning.
This morning I begged my way into going to breakfast with Kij and Paolo. Mainly because I was tired of eating bagels for breakfast. As part of my “I’m clueless about SF fandom,” I hadn’t heard of either of our guests before. But it was nice to hear Kij and Paolo talk about their writing work.
In today’s last workshop day, we got to ask questions of James and Paolo about working as writers. It was less than our usual three hour block, but very informative.
Overall I have had a wonderful time. I feel like I’ve learned a lot from the workshop and, if I can manage the vacation and money, I’d like to do it again next year. I’d like to try Kij’s novel workshop, but Chris has talked about running the short story workshop differently next year with more writing exercises and stuff. I’m also grateful to have met the people I did. I’ve made a lot of friends and hope to stay in touch with them.
I’ve also got at least two novels I’ve been challenged to write.
Not everyone shared my enthusiasm for the workshop. There were some personality conflicts. I know of at least a few people who were dissatisfied with their experience. Hopefully they got something out of the experience.
For those who are curious about the local cuisine I’ve tried, this is the list of places I’ve hit:
Sunday: Ingredient. This was a “hip” pizza/sandwich/salad place with a chocolate fondue bar. Generally good.
Monday: Yokohama. Sushi, which was good enough to ease my fears of sushi in the Midwest.
Tuesday: Biemers. Excellent local BBQ.
Wednesday: Dondon. A cheap noodle/teriyaki place.
Thursday: Ingredient again.
I’ve been thinking about doing a separate post summarizing the general advice I’ve learned for short stories. But I think that deserves it’s own post later.