Links to Writers’ Workshops

Online Workshops

  • Critique Circle is an online writing workshop for writers of all genres. It has both free and paid memberships and is populated by aspiring writers. (Note: SFWA does not endorse paid writer services.)
  • Critters Workshop is an on-line workshop/critique group for serious Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror writers. Several thousand members, from aspiring to award-winning pro, with a friendly atmosphere and in-depth critiquing. Conducted by email and/or web. Free, open to anyone willing to critique (you critique work to earn the right to be critiqued). Instant critiques for Active members of SFWA/HWA.
  • Hatrack River Writers Group Founded by Orson Scott Card, run by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury. Also home to the Hatrack Young Writers Groups for those under 18.
  • Holly Lisle’s Forward Motion Community for Writers and Readers: “We’re a group of often insanely dedicated writers, and a smaller group of obsessive readers; we challenge each other to write better, to reach higher, to never give up on our dreams. The community’s motto is Write here — write now, which defines us well; the writers in the community talk about writing, but more importantly, we write. “
  • Other Worlds Writers’ Workshop is an online workshop. Our members are invited to join based on their love of and understanding of the requirements of good speculative fiction. We have programs geared to varying skill levels.
  • SFNovelist writing workshop Focus workshop for writers of hard science SF novels. “We don’t do short stories or fantasies. Just believable science SF novels.”
  • Zoetrope Studios is Francis Ford Coppola’s company, and is home to a writers’ workshop — though it’s
    harder to find than it used to be. Register as a member, then look for “The Writing Building” in the member’s area. The workshop is not specific to speculative fiction but to any kind of fiction. (Don’t be misled by the link to the in-person workshop in Belize; there is indeed an on-line workshop hidden in here.)

Workshop by Snail Mail

Annual Workshops

  • ArmadilloCon (August,Austin, TX) has been holding a one-day workshop annually since 1998. Several SFWA members read, critique, and teach at it. In 2004 it had 12 instructors and about 40 students. Submission of manuscripts is typically between April and July.
  • Clarion, an intensive six-week workshop for writers preparing for professional careers in science fiction and fantasy, held annually at Michigan State University, in East Lansing, MI, USA. “Clarion Ex Machina” is a nifty guide to things Clarion.
  • Clarion West, an intensive six-week workshop for writers preparing for professional careers in science fiction and fantasy, held annually in Seattle, Washington, USA
  • Conjecture (October, San Diego) has added a writer’s workshop which will be coordinated by Joy Oestreicher. Membership in the convention is required, plus a $10 materials fee.
  • David Alexander Smith organizes private writers’ workshops for Boskone and ReaderCon, where the works of 3-5 amateur writers are critiqued by the participants and by 2-3 professional writers who are members of the Cambridge SF workshop. For more information, email David A. Smith, Dsmith@recapadvisors.com.
  • Odyssey Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers Workshop is a demanding six-week workshop for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror held annually at Southern New Hampshire University. Director Jeanne Cavelos is a former senior editor at Bantam Doubleday Dell and winner of the World Fantasy Award. Guest lecturers include some of the top writers in the field.
  • VIABLE PARADISE: SF on Martha’s Vineyard–Annual, in the fall: The Viable Paradise Science Fiction Writers’ Workshop is a one-week intensive immersion in the craft and business of writing science fiction and fantasy. Instructors are Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden, James D. Macdonald & Debra Doyle, Steven Gould, and James Patrick Kelly. See the workshop’s website at http://www.sff.net/paradise/, or write to mvsfa@mail.com for further details. Enrollment is limited to 20.

Local Opportunities

  • The CritFinder — help you locate or announce a local, in-person workshop (operated y Prof. Andrew Burt of Critters).
  • “Apogee” is primarily a SF and Fantasy novel writing group in Utah County, Utah, and we are looking for more serious writers to join. By “serious” we mean people who are submitting regularly (more than once a year) to paying markets. Email Mette Ivie Harrison
  • From Mountain View, California: Hi! We meet once a month. Our group includes award-winning writers, Clarion grads, and the publisher and editor of Speculations, the speculative fiction market guide. E-mail susan@speculations.com with your background info and two stories.
  • Northern Colorado Writers’ Workshop: The NCWW is one of the oldest SF workshops, founded by Ed Bryant after he attended the first Clarion. It has been home to the likes of Connie Willis, Dan Simmons and numerous other award-winning authors. Meets monthly (3rd Saturday, all day). Members are either professional SF writers or nearly so; apply to the current president via the web site or visit the public session held at MileHiCon in Denver in October.
  • The San Diego Workshop is always on the lookout for new members. The current membership consists of sf and dark fantasy writers. We meet every month or so. Contact Mitch Wagner.
  • The Slugtribe is an historic and long-lived SF/F/H writers group in Austin, Texas.
  • Sorrento Circle is a very small critique group in the San Diego area with an emphasis on publishing. Email Christy.
  • Wordspinners–Meets monthly, SF Bay Area. Serious group of professional and semi-pro F/SF/H writers. There is a screening process for new members. If you are interested, contact Kevin Murphy at: Kevin.A.Murphy@sff.net
  • Write or Die (WorD) is a SF/F/H writing/critiquing group operating out of the Monroeville Public Library outside of Pittsburgh, PA, USA. It is free and open to the public.
  • Writeshop is based in Columbus, Ohio, and has been running for several years. The group includes some Clarion graduates and some writing instructors.
  • Wrought Iron Jellyfish is comprised of writers who have been around the block a time or two. We have made a long-term commitment to our writing, and we are looking for others who have done the same. We meet in downtown Toronto on alternate Saturday afternoons. For further details about the workshop, please contact us at boilyl@rogers.com

Resources for Critiquing

  • The Critters Library has many articles on how to critique (how to start, what to say, how to say it politely, etc.) and other general resources for writers.

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