Writers Workshop

FenCon XVII has been postponed to September 17-19, 2021. We are rolling over all memberships and workshop registrations. Kevin Ikenberry has agreed to return next year.

If you would like to request a refund, please contact members@fencon.org. We request that you do so by September 1.

For further information, please visit our home page and/or follow us on Facebook. We truly appreciate your support of FenCon.

We are pleased to announce our instructor for our 2020 workshop is Keven Ikenberry. Check out his bio under the Guests tab. In addition to writing and being a teacher at Superstars Writing Seminar, Kevin is a former manager of U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama!

Workshop Rules and Regulations

Participants must electronically submit their own original, unpublished works of fiction (science fiction, fantasy, or horror) for critique. No erotica, please. Students will be required to participate in peer critiques of other participants' submissions. Kevin will also provide a written critique of each submission.

  • The Writers Workshop registration period will end on July 12. 2020, or when all participant slots have been filled, whichever comes first.
  • This year the workshop is limited to 15 participants. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Each participant must be a paid attending member of FenCon XVII. Either a full Regular Membership or Friend of the Fen Membership meets this requirement. See the membership page for details.
  • There is a $40 registration fee for participating in the workshop in addition to the FenCon XIII membership fee. The fee must be paid at the time of registration.
  • Workshop sessions begin at 7 pm on Thursday, September 17, 2020 at the FenCon hotel and will continue through Sunday, September 20th. Expect Thursday's session to last until 9 P.M. while the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday sessions will start at 9 A.M. and end at noon. Participation in all workshop sessions is highly encouraged. Please plan your personal schedules accordingly.
  • Short stories are encouraged, but the beginnings of novels are okay. The maximum work count is 4000. No shared-worlds or "fanfic" is allowed.
  • The deadline for submissions will be Sunday, August 16th.
  • Each participant will have access to a online forum in a private Facebook group where they can ask questions, interact with each other prior to the workshop, and post their submissions and critiques. Therefore, membership in Facebook is a requirement!
  • Submissions must conform to standard manuscript format and be sent as a Word *.doc.

THURSDAY Night: What Have I gotten Myself Into?

Even if you've wanted to be a writer since the age of eight, you likely weren't ready for everything the writing life has thrown your way. This two-hour lecture and discussion will introduce the participants to each other and facilitate group discussion regarding the life and times of being a writer. From creativity to discipline and from querying to contracts and everything in between, writers face a variety of challenges they likely never expected. We'll discuss strategies, resources, and support writers need so their creativity can flourish.

FRIDAY Morning: It's All About Characters and Their Conflicts!

We know that most stories revolve around a protagonist, an antagonist, and the occasional stakes or dynamic characters. What those characters want and why are a critical component of storytelling that has to be considered before writing the very first page. Conflict makes a good story great - so we'll break down the main characters and their conflicts while playing special attention to the other cast of characters, too. Every character in a story plays a role, after all. What they do and why they do it are critical aspects of storytelling that showcase emotional resonance and draw readers to your characters.

SATURDAY Morning: Finding The Perfect Story Structure

One of the most confusing aspects of designing a story revolves around structure. From its earliest days as the simple three-act structure to the methods of today, the concept of story structure has morphed and developed over time. While all of these structures appear different, their similarities are striking and, ultimately, confusing. We'll delve into the history of story structure and discuss several different methods including three-act structure, Freytag's pyramid, the Hollywood Formula, Archetypal Structure, and Save The Cat. This is a master class in structure - be prepared to take copious notes!


Peer Critiques in Small Groups - Participants will be split into small groups for a discussion lead by professional authors to give you not only feedback from your peers but also from another set of experienced eyes.

If you have any questions or comments about this workshop, e-mail workshop@fencon.org.

Copyright © 2021 Dallas Future Society