Potlatch 18: Feb. 27 - March 1, 2009

Writers Workshop

2009 Potlatch Writers' Workshop

Welcome to the Writers' Workshop! The workshop is open to all speculative fiction writers, regardless of experience. It's a place to get feedback on your writing and decide what you need to work on next. You'll have the chance to hear a professional writer critique your work, along with several of your peers.

Critiques will be done in a round-robin Clarion West style. This workshop style allows all the participants to read and critique everyone's work (as opposed to seating a panel of professionals to critique one writer at a time).

The workshop will take place on Saturday, February 28th, over the lunch hour. A simple lunch will be provided. More details will be given to participants in February.


The 2009 Potlatch instructors are:

L. Timmel Duchamp, author of the Marq'ssan Cycle and founder of Aqueduct Press

Jay Lake, author of Mainspring and multiple nominee for the Hugo and the World Fantasy Award

David Levine, Hugo winner and multiple nominee for the John W. Campbell Award

Submission Guidelines

Submit a speculative fiction short story of 7,500 words or less. All manuscripts must be formatted with standard manuscript format, which among other things includes the following:

1) 12-point Courier double-spaced text
2) Author's last name, story title, and page numbers in the upper right corner of every page
3) Author's name, address, phone number, and email in the upper left corner of the first page
4) Underlines rather than italics in the text

More descriptions of standard manuscript format can be found at http://sfwa.org/writing/Vonda/mssprep.pdf and http://mzbworks.home.att.net/msprep.htm.

Submit your story as a .doc or .rtf file to workshop@potlatch-sf.org. The deadline is January 31, 2009 at 11:59 PM Pacific time.

Please also include another .doc or .rtf file that introduces you to the other group members. Just say a little bit about who you are, why you write, and (if you've been published) where your work has appeared.

You'll receive a confirmation of your submission within 2 days. If you don't receive confirmation, please query immediately.

The workshop costs $15. You can PayPal the workshop fee or send a check along with your membership. If this amount causes hardship for you, please contact the workshop at workshop@potlatch-sf.org and we'll see what we can work out.

Critiquing Guidelines

You'll receive the stories from other group members in your email by early February. You are responsible for reading all the stories and writing a critique of each one. Try to find things that are strong in the story along with things that aren't working so well.

If you've never done a critique before, here are some guides. You don't have to cover every point listed, but here's some ideas for how to think about the stories.


You can write line notes if you want to, or just a page or two of comments at the end.

Print the stories, and bring them along with your critiques to the workshop. You'll listen quietly while the others critique your story, and then you'll have a chance to ask questions and talk about what they've said.


Contact workshop@potlatch-sf.org.