WisCon Workshops Presents How To Sessions

Marianne Kirby

Stretch your writing craft skills with these sessions, offered on a first come, first served basis — as with our other special sessions, there’s no guarantee these will be repeated!

Got a suggestion for a WisCon Workshops How To you’d like to see next year? Email workshop@wiscon.net any time!

To sign up for a session

  • Register for WisCon!
  • Email workshop@wiscon.net
  • Deadline:  April 25, 2017, 11:59pm Central Time

Sessions offered

How to Write Comics with Kelly Sue DeConnick — Saturday, 2-3:45pm

Hey, comic book friends! Have you been looking for a chance to dip your toe into the world of writing specifically for comics? Have you written a little for comics but been hoping for a chance to learn some tips and tricks from someone seriously in the know? WisCon 41 Guest of Honor Kelly Sue DeConnick, Eisner-nominated author of Bitch Planet, Pretty Deadly, Captain Marvel, and more, will be leading writers interested in the comics industry through a special two-hour session devoted to the fundamentals of writing for comics. She’ll break down how writing for comics differs from writing prose or from writing for screen or stage. You won’t need to prepare anything ahead of time but do be ready to take some notes and ask some questions. You’ll leave with a greater understanding of how scripting comics works, plus valuable industry insights. However, please keep in mind that this is not a pitch session. Because this is a one-time-ever (unless she decides to come back!) session, 25 participants will be accommodated.

Writing the Other with Nisi Shawl — Saturday, 10am – 12:45pm

During the 1992 Clarion West Writers Workshop attended by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward, one of the students expressed the opinion that it is a mistake to write about people of ethnic backgrounds different from your own because you might get it wrong – and so it is better not even to try. This struck Nisi as taking the easy way out and spurred her to write an essay addressing the problem of how to write about characters marked by racial and ethnic differences. In the course of writing the essay, Nisi realized that similar problems arise when writers try to create characters whose gender, sexual preference, and age differ significantly from their own. Nisi and Cynthia collaborated to develop a workshop that addresses these problems with the aim of both increasing writers’ skill and sensitivity in portraying difference in their fiction, as well as allaying their anxieties about “getting it wrong.” In this special session, Nisi will guide writers through a focused, though abbreviated, version of her Writing the Other workshop. This session will accommodate 16 people.

How to Write Video Games — Saturday, 11am – 1:45pm

Last year, Ceri Young walked folks through the basics of creating their own scripts for video games. This year Ceri is back. If you love the feel of a controller in your hand then you’ll want to sign up for this session – not only will Ceri teach you about scripting and pitching a story in the video game world, she’ll review a basic rundown of how games work and how to apply that knowledge to game design. No video game writing experience is required and you’ll hear about anything needed for your session directly from Ceri before the session meets. This session will accommodate 8 people.

How to Write About Mental Health — Sunday, 4-545pm

It’s easy to fall into cliche or paint people with mental health issues as villains when you’re writing. But inaccurate portrayals cause real harm to people living with mental illness. In this session, JoSelle Vanderhooft will take writers through the various pitfalls of writing about mental health – and how to avoid those pitfalls in order to deal honestly and engagingly with mental health as a characteristic.

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