Tag Archives: workshops

Drabble Challenge at WisCon 41!

Jess Adams
WisCon Workshops

In the fanfic world, the word “drabble” has at times been applied to a work of any length, provided it is very short. More traditionally, “drabble” is a term that designates a work of fanfiction that is precisely 100 words long. [See Fanlore: https://fanlore.org/wiki/Drabble ].

For the WisCon FanFic Drabble Challenge, we’ll be accepting works that are 100-250 words long, from any fandom. (Though, the challenge would be to create a work that’s exactly 100 words long — bonus points toward your No Prize if you can manage this!) These will be collected and included in a collection on the Archive of Our Own.

The challenge is open from Saturday, May 27, at 12pm through close of con on Monday at 4pm to Monday, June 5, at 11:59pm Central Time (extended!).

Eligible works will be those that meet the following parameters:

  • Fanfiction based in any fandom
  • 100 – 250 words (You may also have a title that’s up to 15 words long)
  • Written during WisCon weekend

Works can be submitted directly through AO3:

Works can also be submitted to moderator Jess Adams by email at drabbles@wiscon.net, or in hardcopy by visiting the Open Writers’ Salon!

If submitting by email/hardcopy, be sure to include:

  • Your name OR desired pseudonym
  • A means of contact (email address, twitter handle, etc)
  • Name of fandom work is under
  • Ratings and relevant warnings (If necessary, the moderator will apply a rating/warning.)

You are welcome to join us at the Open Writing Salon if you need a space to compose your drabble, or want to drop it off to us!  The Open Writing Salon is in the Private Dining Room in CIRC on the 1st floor.  We’re open:

  • Saturday:  8-10p
  • Sunday:  9-11a
  • Sunday:  8-10p

Friday Morning Special Topics

Marianne Kirby

WisCon Workshops will be offering sessions all weekend long — but we haven’t forgotten about our Friday morning crowd. That means we have some very special offerings for the early arriving folks at WisCon 41.

Got a suggestion for a WisCon Workshops offering you’d like to see next year? Email any time!

To sign up for these sessions

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

If you have any questions, email workshop@wiscon.net ASAP!


  • Friday, 9am – noon

The sessions

  • Each of these special sessions is capped at four participants (unless otherwise noted) plus the facilitator and is first come, first served.
  • NOTE: Some of these sessions do not necessarily follow the critique format. Please pay attention to any special deadlines and requirements listed for a session!

Genrequeer Writing: Contrary to what purists might tell you, “genre” and “literary” are not distinct categories, but a Venn Diagram with plenty of overlap. Lots of us cross boundaries and write from the interstices, tossing forms and genres into a blender and seeing what comes out. Bring your weird, liminal, slipstream, offbeat, hybrid Frankenstein experiments to this session. Nino solemnly swears that nobody will tell you it’s not “___” enough.

Essay, Creative Non-Fiction, Academic Paper Workshop: Are you working on a piece about feminist science fiction/speculative fiction on which you would like some feedback and critique? Want to have in-depth conversations about non-fiction writing using science fiction texts? Are you looking for space for some small group critique of your manuscript in process? Need help trying to get past an academic publishing hurdle or essay submission? This session is for WisCon participants who write non-fiction about science fiction/speculative fiction and who want an opportunity for manuscript critique and creative collaboration. Given our current political moment and the need to recognize the diversity of lives in this world and beyond, this session will prioritize work that does not center white Western narratives. Preference will be given to writers of color or those with other often marginalized voices. Submit your 3,000-5,000 word piece; focus on brevity and clarity; and, if necessary, submit a part instead of the whole paper. Participant limit for this session is 5 people. Please include an abstract in your cover letter and otherwise follow the guidance offered on the WisCon Workshops page.

Adding Romantic Elements to Your Speculative Fiction: Almost any fiction is better with a dash of romance and/or sexual tension. So what are the key writing tools you need to convey “all the feels” to readers? How can you write dialogue that sizzles on the page like it does in your head? How should romance work in tandem with speculative fiction to make your writing even more engaging? What if you want to say “Screw romance!” and provide deliciously perverse elements of gender, sex, or obsession in your writing instead? This session will address all of these questions – plus Madeline will provide great tips for writing query letters and back cover blurbs that will stand out to agents, editors, and readers.

​Our awesome facilitators

Nino Cipri is a queer and nonbinary trans writer. Their work has been published or is forthcoming from Nightmare Magazine, Tor.com, Fireside Fiction, Interfictions, and other fine venues. Nino is a graduate of the Clarion Writing Workshop, and is currently working toward an MFA in fiction from the University of Kansas. A multidisciplinary artist, Nino has written fiction, essays, reviews, plays, comics, and radio features, and performed as a dancer, actor, and puppeteer. One time, an angry person on the Internet called Nino a verbal terrorist, which was pretty cool.

Laurie Fuller is a life-long science fiction fan who knows that we need imagination to figure out ways to create a more just world. She is a professor of Women’s and Gender Studies who uses speculative and science fiction in the classroom. She believes in the power of these texts, and the academic essays written about them, to mobilize readers to consider how to transform the contemporary conditions of oppression and to engender new ways of being in radical, free and accountable societies. She has published articles in journals such as Radical Pedagogy, Radical Teacher, Frontiers, and the Journal of International Women’s Studies.

Madeline Iva got through a particularly gruesome adolescence with the help of romances that not only swept her away but gave her hope for a better future. Her Wicked Magic fantasy romance series focuses on smart women learning to wield their powers for the greater good – and the brooding heroes who are drawn to them. Madeline blogs every Thursday at LadySmut.com (think Jezebel for romance fans), where she writes about SFF romance, pop culture, and her #VALoveFest, a day of romance panels at the Virginia Festival of the Book.

Friday Morning Critique Sessions

Marianne Kirby

Finding someone who understands your genre is priceless — that’s why WisCon Workshops is proud to offer Friday morning critique sessions for writers seeking feedback on short and long-form fiction. We are so pleased to announce the facilitators for this year’s sessions and we hope you’re as excited as we are.

Aren’t sure if the critique sessions are for you? Check out more information on our WisCon Workshops page. Or check out our other offerings via the blog’s WisCon Workshops tag!

Aren’t sure who some of our facilitators are? No worries – check out their websites (linked above) and their bios below.

To sign up for a critique session

  • Register for WisCon!
  • Prepare your manuscript (10k or less – more instructions on the WisCon Workshop page!) — complete instructions are on the critique sessions submission guidelines page.
  • Choose your workshop facilitator preference (if you have one).
  • Email all of that to workshop@wiscon.net
  • Deadline:  April 25, 2017, 11:59pm Central Time

If you have any questions, email workshop@wiscon.net ASAP!

Each critique session is capped at four participants plus the facilitator and is first come, first served.


  • Friday, 9am – noon

Our awesome facilitators

Charlie Jane Anders is the author of All the Birds in the Sky (Tor 2017). She is a raconteur, a bon vivant, a wild and perilous soul. She is always willing to be a bad influence for a good cause.

Eugene Fischer is a writer from Austin, Texas whose work has won the James Tiptree Jr. Award, won place for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, and has been nominated for the Nebula Award. He is a graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, and has an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. While at Iowa he created and taught the course “Writing and Reading Science Fiction,” the university’s first undergraduate course for genre fiction writing. In addition to his teaching at the University of Iowa, he has run workshops at Armadillocon and led a science fiction writing summer camp for children. He is currently serving as a member of the Tiptree Award jury for 2017.

Mikki Kendall is a writer, diversity consultant, and occasional feminist who talks a lot about intersectionality, policing, gender, sexual assault, and other current events. Her nonfiction can be found at outlets like the Washington Post, Ebony, Essence, Bustle, and more. Her fiction has been published through Revelator magazine and Torquere Press. Her comics work can be found in the Swords of Sorrow anthology, the Princeless charity anthology, and in the CCAD anthology of 2016. She is working on an independent project to be announced later this year.

Marianne Kirby is the author of Dust Bath Revival (Curiosity Quills 2016), book one of the Feral Seasons trilogy. She writes about bodies both real and imagined and plays in the liminal space between vanishing and visibility. Marianne is a long-time writer, editor, and activist; her nonfiction has been published by the Guardian, xoJane, the Daily Dot, Bitch, and others. She is at least semi-professionally fat.

David D. Levine is the author of the novel Arabella of Mars (Tor 2016) and over fifty SF and fantasy stories. His story “Tk’Tk’Tk” won the Hugo, and he has been shortlisted for awards including the Hugo, Nebula, Campbell, and Sturgeon. Levine’s stories have appeared in Asivmov’s, Analog, F&SF, on Tor.com, and in numerous Year’s Best anthologies, as well as his award-winning collection Space Magic.

David J. Schwartz (he/she/him/her) is a Nebula-nominated novelist, essayist, and short story writer who has attended the Odyssey workshop and the Sycamore Hill workshop. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his partner and so. Many. Books.

JoSelle Vanderhooft is a dramaturg and something of a lapsed playwright. She works as a freelance journalist, poet, and fiction writer. Her work has appeared in print and online in such venues as Aofie’s Kiss, Byrarium, Cabinet des Fees, Jabberwocky, Not One of Us, MYTHIC, Mythic Delirium, Reflections Edge, Star*Line, and many others. To date, she has published seven books of poetry. Her first novel, The Tale of the Miller’s Daughter, was released in 2006. She has edited several anthologies, including Sleeping Beauty, Indeed (a book of lesbian fairytales) and Bitten By Moonlight (a book of lesbian werewolf stories).