Writers’ Workshop

The ArmadilloCon Writers’ Workshop has become a major event for aspiring SF/F writers. It meets on Friday before the convention opens, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The curriculum is designed for beginning and intermediate students. Workshop participants will have their work critiqued by instructors who are professional editors and writers working in the field today.

2022 Enrollments Have Closed

Keep an eye out for information on other events and resources to support your writing journey, and join us next year!

More About the 2022 Workshop

We are leaving up this information as a reference, in case 2022 faculty and students need to refer to any of it.

NEW! This year, we will also have one critique group for speculative poets! Space is limited so email to reserve one of those five spots, if interested!

The morning panel sessions will cover a wide range of topics from managing craft elements such as style, plot, theme, and characterization to the dos and don’ts of preparing your work for professional markets and different approaches to publication (e.g. traditional vs. independent).

During the afternoon breakout sessions, participants work together in small groups along with two instructors to exchange critiques in the Milford style. Each participant will receive a personal, in-depth critique of their work from both the instructors and their peers. Learning to receive – and to give – a meaningful critique of a work in progress is an invaluable skill for writers who would like to better assess and improve their own writing.

The ArmadilloCon Writers’ Workshop is Committed to Diversity

Diversity is vital to speculative fiction. A genre centered on exploration and encountering the Other must include voices and visions from writers, readers and thinkers of all kinds. For this reason, the ArmadilloCon Writers’ Workshop actively seeks to include students, faculty, visiting scholars, and volunteers from a variety of backgrounds including, but not limited to: race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, and ability.

We are pleased to offer a limited number of sponsored seats to writers of color, those who identify as LGBTQIA+, and those whose financial status might prevent their participating. If you would like to be considered for a sponsored seat, please complete and submit this form. If you have any questions contact the Workshop Director at writersworkshop@armadillocon.org.

Enroll by Friday, June 24

Pay the workshop fee, $125.00, which includes the full ArmadilloCon convention membership.

Submit your original, unpublished work of science fiction, fantasy, or horror fiction. Maximum length 5,000 words. Please read and follow the Manuscript Submission Guidelines, below!

Manuscript Deadline: Friday, June 24, 11:59:59 p.m.


We must have received all three elements (payment, plus manuscript and online permission slip, which are submitted together) before you are officially enrolled in the workshop! If you have not received a confirmation email within three days of submitting everything, please contact the Workshop Director.


Only one submission per workshop participant,

Only your own original work,


Only science fiction, fantasy, or horror, please!

Submission Guidelines

  • Complete the online form that includes your granting us permission to distribute your story to the instructors and other workshop participants for the purpose of this workshop.
  • That online form is also where you submit your electronic manuscript in WORD DOCUMENT or RICH TEXT (.doc, .docx, .rtf) only in proper manuscript format. Send any questions to writersworkshop@armadillocon.org.
  • FICTION Submissions
    • MAXIMUM LENGTH IS 5,000 WORDS. The word count limit is FIRM. No exceptions. Manuscripts longer than the maximum length will be either returned to the author for pruning, or if submitted at deadline, they will be shortened by the Workshop Director without notice.
    • You may send either a complete SHORT STORY or the BEGINNING of a novel. Short stories are preferred as they generally yield a more productive discussion of your abilities as a writer in this type of workshop setting.
    • If you are submitting a complete short story, make sure you write “The End” on the last page; otherwise, indicate that the story continues after the first 5,000 words.
    • If you are submitting the beginning of a novel, indicate on the first page that it is the prologue / chapter one. This will ensure that the instructors will be able to evaluate each manuscript properly.
  • POETRY Submissions
    • Up to 5 pages, 10 or 12pt font
    • Space is limited to five students, so if you are interested, email writersworkshop@armadillocon.org to check availability and claim a spot. 
  • Please do not use pen names for workshop submissions, as it causes confusion.

PLEASE NOTE: the workshop staff will only view the manuscript after you have paid for the workshop and signed and returned the permission slip.

What Happens When You Enroll

About two weeks before the workshop you will receive an email packet with the manuscripts of the other students in your group along with other materials concerning the workshop and the schedule. Review and critique the manuscripts in your group before the workshop meets. You will not have time to do so once the workshop begins. You are required to read and critique all student manuscripts sent to you in your workshop packet.

If you are triggered by particular content and would like to either avoid that content or have a warning included with your workshop packet, please contact the Workshop Director at writersworkshop@armadillocon.org.

You will also receive a questionnaire asking you to select a lunch option. We get lunches catered by the hotel to maximize your time in the workshop.


No refunds will be given once manuscripts are released to the instructors and other participants. If, due to unforeseen circumstances, you cannot attend the workshop, we will mail your group’s critiques to you. You will also be responsible for getting your feedback to the other students in your assigned group.


If you have any questions about the Writers’ Workshop, please e-mail the Workshop Director at writersworkshop@armadillocon.org.

See you August 5!

Denman Netherland (Workshop Director)

ArmadilloCon Writers Workshop