Six years ago I stumbled upon a mention of a fantasy/sci fi conference on the website of one of my favorite authors. Curiosity piqued, I checked out the con and discovered one of the best surprises of my writing career thus far: the ArmadilloCon Writers' Workshop. That summer (and the two following) I attended, and the three days I have spent workshopping with that con have taught me more about writing than any other three days of my life.
Six years ago I was six years less skilled at writing and had a much larger ego, the combination of which (as you might guess) is an ego deflation waiting to happen. I expected to go into that con with the first chapter of my beautiful book and be fawned over by fellow attendees and professional mentors alike. I was wrong. Instead I came away a bit more humbled than I hoped. But I also came away with a new critique partner, a lot more knowledge, and several connections to authors I still keep in touch with today.
Unfortunately I haven't been able to return the past three years (though I've had good reasons... such as giving birth!), and sadly I won't be able to go again this year. But ArmadilloCon will always have a very special place in my heart, and I will be back, if it takes me another three years to make that happen!
But if I can't go, I hope maybe one of you can. The workshop is one of the best values you'll find. And it's a quality experience! In the past authors like Scott Lynch, Paolo Bacigalupi and Martha Wells have been among the workshop mentors. I'm telling you, if you're an unagented writer hoping to publish one day, this experience is not one to miss!
So head over to the website and sign up now. The deadline for manuscript submissions is June 15th. And if you do go, tell me all about it when you get back!