VCON 2021 Writers workshops FAQ & Status

WHEN– October 15, 16, & 17th 2021

WHERE – Online. The in-person VCON has been cancelled. It will be a virtual con. The workshops will be held via zoom. So you don’t need to “go” anywhere but can participate from the comfort of your home.

I did this when VCON 43 was cancelled. The zoom workshops went well.

WHAT – A novel writing workshop from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Friday Oct 15. The two short story writing workshops have been cancelled.

WHO – Three professionals and 4 participants per workshop, plus moderators.

PURPOSE OF WORKSHOPS – To determine if your manuscript as presented is professional enough not to be automatically rejected by editors on the basis of the first page or even the first paragraph. In other words, is your MS entirely devoid of tiresome “newbie” errors and instead handles plot, characterization, theme, etc. in a refreshingly original and professional manner such that an editor would find it worthy of serious consideration? If not, perhaps the critiques you receive will move you in that direction.


Novel workshop: Author Guest of Honour Mur Lafferty, Michael Dean Jackson, Rissa Johnson, and 4 participants (No openings left.) Novel workshop is full. No further applications to submit manuscripts will be accepted.

Short Story Workshops:  Nobody applied. the short story workshops are cancelled.

HOW DOES IT WORK? – Each workshop is 3 hours long (with breaks) and will consist of four people who have submitted manuscripts and three pros. Each manuscript will receive 6 verbal critiques from the 3 pros and the other 3 participants. Each critique will be limited to a maximum of five minutes (to ensure every participant receives a full set of critiques).

WHAT DOES IT COST? – The workshops are free and available on a first come, first serve basis. However, you must have purchased supporting memberships for the virtual VCON 2021 by the time you workshop is held.

DEADLINE TO APPLY – As Soon as possible, since applications will be accepted on a first come, first serve criteria, with overrun being placed on a waiting list in case anyone drops out before the submission deadline.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION – Midnight, Wednesday, September 15, 2021.

HOW TO SUBMITSend your MS to rgraemecameron @ (close spaces when using e-address).

You submit a Word doc to me by email, and I redistribute to all the other participants and the pros by email ASAP to allow everyone a month to read and critique the manuscripts for their particular workshop.

The Friday Novel workshop submission should consist of the first 3,000 words of the first chapter of a novel in the SF, fantasy or Horror genres (or any subgenre within those three such as Steampunk, Urban Fantasy, etc.).

The Saturday and Sunday short story submissions must be stories complete in themselves at no more than 3,000 words in length in the SF, Fantasy, or Horror genres (or any subgenre within those three such as Steampunk, Urban Fantasy, etc.).

Standard format required for the manuscripts submitted:

  • Word doc format
  • Courier or Times Roman font
  • Point 12 font size
  • Lines double-spaced
  • Author name, title & page number at top of every page.
  • No need to include address.
  • No need for introductory letter. MS Will speak for itself.

For those who have never experienced a Clarion-style workshop before, it is my custom to send a document detailing how to critique and what to watch out for to every participant along with the manuscripts appropriate to their workshop.

Three hours may sound like a lengthy workshop but in my experience they have proven fast-paced, exhilarating, inspiring, and a heck of a lot of fun!

ANY QUESTIONS? – Contact me at rgraemecameron @ (close up spaces when using e-address).

WHAT ABOUT VCON 2021? – For latest info go to: