Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Writers Workshop FAQ, All Conventions

What's the Workshop?
The Sanctuary Press Writer's Workshop is organized to provide new and unpublished writers who attend SE Michigan's major SF/F conventions a chance to 'hit the ground running' with their SF/F work. A writers conference track is custom designed for the convention, one that both involves its core of participants from the industry, and also takes advantage of the best environment that the program coordinators of the convention can offer.

Past SP Writing Workshop Panelists have included:
Michael 'Freon' Andaluz (Ascent Stage ISBN 01-4116-0130-0)
M Keaton (Speakers And Kings ISBN 0-595-25825-5)
John Scalzi (Old Man's War ISBN 0-765-31524-6)
Nancy J Attwell (The Fool's Path ISBN 1-933142-13-8)
Elizabeth Bear (Carnival ISBN 0-553-58904-0)
Karl Schroeder (Sun of Suns ISBN 978-0-7653-5453-2)
Michael Z Williamson (Freehold ISBN 0-7434-7179-2)
William Jones (Editor of Horrors Beyond 2 978-0977987634)
David Louis Edelman (Infoquake ISBN 1-5910-2442-0)
Lillian Cauldwell (Sacred Honor ISBN 1-5928-6437-6)

How is my submission critiqued?
Sanctuary Press works with a small network of published pro, self-published, and new writers on the convention's guest list to form a critique resource for these writers, which is put into motion several weeks before the convention with online crit resources and electronic distribution of submissions. The online crit resources of the workshop grows every year; it is comprised of past submitters to earlier workshops and several participating panel authors as well. Critique for each submission is collected and given to the writers at convention time. All weekend, writers are encouraged to network with each other and the writing industry community that the convention provides, while implementing the feedback they collect for their work. Finally, they may join the core for next year as critiquers themselves.

What will you Accept?
SHORT STORY or NOVEL EXCERPTS. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror. Excerpts of a Novel should ideally be the first complete chapters. We request second draft quality works because a rewrite is generally the goal and happy result of a good workshop. A second draft is a spell-checked and proofread draft.

Who qualifies for the workshop?
All writers should be new and unpublished. Although we have no standard age requirement for submitters, the age range of attendees varies between conventions and your age may be a factor only in classifying your submission.
All submitters are expected to attend the full weekend of the convention. These events offer preregistration, which we strongly recommend.
Submitters to the workshop are accepted in THREE categories, and are seated  in this order :
NEW SUBMITTER - has submitted by email within deadline
WALK-IN SUBMITTER - has  not submitted by email
ALUM SUBMITTER - has attended past workshops.
Please refer to the convention site's schedule for workshop session times. Convention schedules update often and we make every effort to make the sessions happen at a convenient hour each day. When in doubt, SUBMIT FIRST, and contact us at the workshop email address with any of your concerns.

What's your Submission requirement?
Word length:
5000 words maximum. Because we accept electronic submissions, the workshop has several technical guidelines, along with the requirement that the submission be in Standard Format.

Submission message:
Writer's contact info i.e. legal name, mail address, email address and telephone number MUST accompany every submission. If you are writing under a pen name, use it in the manuscript but inform us of this in your submission email.
One paragraph or fifty words of writer's info may be included in the BODY of the submission email.

Your submission should ideally be a Rich Text (RTF) format document, in Courier New type 12 pt. Your submission should be a complete document which is attached to your submission email message, and not be part of the message body.

Line width:
70 characters. Any blockquote items (verse or incantation) should be fully justified instead of left-justified, with a line width of up to 60 characters.

Double spacing only. Do not add a second line between paragraphs.

Indent all paragraphs with three to five spaces. Blockquoted paragraphs are completely indented five additional spaces right. Turn off 'Orphan control' if it is offered, to make wordcount per page approximations more accurate.

Chapter/section breaks:
Section breaks can be denoted by a centered 'pound sign' # on its own line.

Emphasis is denoted ONLY by underlining. All caps emphasis and bold or italic type is not permitted.

Page numbering:
If your RTF editor does not support automatic page numbering, DO NOT add page numbers manually.

What is Standard Manuscript Format?
Standard Format is the industry-accepted form taken by written manuscripts.
We suggest visiting William Shunn's Writing Format example online.

Do you have an email list?
The SPWWCORE Newsletter for Sanctuary Press Writers' Workshops is an announcement list administered by Yahoo!Groups. A Yahoo! account is not required. New Alumni Workshop Readers subscribe to receive instructions and submissions. Writers with submissions for the workshop are added to the newsletter AFTER each convention, and add to the pool of online critique resources who we call upon to critique submissions for future workshops. The newsletter is posted rather infrequently between conventions.

In addition, commentary available on this website as well as several writing forums which will be at your disposal after the workshop, to provide continuing support of your writing endeavor.

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