Specfic writing workshops in the Midwest
September 19, 2013 5:27 AM   Subscribe

Are there any speculative fiction writing workshops in the Midwest?

I live in Chicago. I'd like to attend a workshop like Clarion or Odyssey, but given the length of these workshops, I'd probably have to quit my day job to make a six-week workshop happen. So attending one or more week-long workshops is probably more realistic for me. I'm going to apply to Viable Paradise, but given the cost of travel, are there workshops like Viable Paradise that are closer to me? I thought for sure there would be one or two in the Midwest, but I'm having a hard time finding them. Is anyone aware of a week-long (or even weekend or two week) workshop within a half day's drive of Chicago?
posted by deathpanels to Society & Culture (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The Iowa Writers Workshop offers summer courses that I think anyone can apply to. They are 3 weeks long, so don't know how that will fit. They also do not have their 2014 summer schedule up yet, but in general the IWS is pretty respected.

(I hear what you are saying about time limitations and I may be wrong, but I'm not sure how beneficial a week long writers workshop would be, seems like an awfully short time frame)
posted by edgeways at 5:50 AM on September 19, 2013

I was going to say you might be out of luck--the closest I could think of off-hand is Taos Toolbox--but here you go: a two-week writing workshop through the University of Kansas/the Gunn Center.
posted by xenization at 6:09 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

None of this is specifically spec fic, but it's all genre-friendly:

Get on the mailing lists of the UW-Madison Writing Center and the Midwest Writers Workshop. That way, you may get notice of shorter, one-time programs. I attended, at zero cost, a fantastic weekend mentoring program sponsored by the MWW. Admission to that program was competitive, but I don't think many people had applied because it just went on for a few years and it was under most people's radar.

You might also want to try Story Studio Chicago. Finally, Mary Anne Mohanraj's site too. In the past, Mohanraj has offered workshops and she doesn't seem to any more, but she does seem to give notice of relevant events still.
posted by BibiRose at 7:42 AM on September 19, 2013

Response by poster: I think IWW is a little out of my league. I've done Story Studio in the past and enjoyed it but I want to find a workshop that is more focused on my genre.
posted by deathpanels at 9:46 AM on September 19, 2013

Windycon always has workshops during their conventions.
posted by JJ86 at 9:54 AM on September 19, 2013

The University of Kansas houses the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction, and it looks like they have a variety of courses and workshops throughout the year. It looks like most of their short-term workshops take place over the summer, but they also have some online courses and their faculty would probably be pretty knowledgeable about other SF-focused workshop opportunities if you wanted to shoot them an email.
posted by augustimagination at 12:07 PM on September 19, 2013

The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis has classes and conferences.

The Midwest Fiction Writers workshop is in a couple of weeks.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:38 PM on September 19, 2013

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