Young Writers Workshop

The Millennium Philcon will be sponsoring a three-hour workshop for young writers, aged 13-19. Depending on your age, you will be assigned to a group of four young writers and two pros. 13 to 15-year-olds will be grouped together and the16 to 19-year-olds will also be grouped together. You must be a member of the Millennium Philcon in order to participate; however, you may plan to buy a daily membership for Sunday, September 2, the day of the workshop.

You must write an original short story about one of the following topics:

  • The main character is forced to make a decision s/he feels is right while the others around her/him argue against it.
  • The main character is given knowledge (scientific or magical) that could do great harm or great good (or even both, a la radioactivity).
  • The main character knows a secret that others want and will do anything to get.
  • The main character is given a charge (animal, human child, alien) that s/he must care for and keep safe until people (parents, a new home, proper caretakers) take it off her/his hands; to make things richer, the charge is not at all cute or loveable, or only becomes so after the main character has been looking after it for a while.
  • If possible, use the following keywords in your story: metamorphosis, escape, greed, disapproval, courage, independence, thought, pettiness.

By July 25th, six paper copies and a disk of an original 2,000 to 5,000-word story must be sent to:

MilPhil Teen Writing Workshop
Diane Turnshek, Administrator
504 Donatello Drive
Irwin, PA 15642

A $10.00 fee will cover processing. We'll choose the groups (geographically, where possible) and mail each group and the pros copies of the four stories they'll be critiquing in a bound booklet. Workshop groups can be held in different corners of the same large room on Sunday afternoon. The teens will be responsible for attending a selection of writing panels before the workshop.

Mary Soon Lee has description of standard manuscript format. We will post a page about how to critique (with as much humor injected as we can muster) before the workshops takes place.

At the con, the students will vote for the best story title and we'll give out a small prize. We will provide a CD of all the stories submitted to be given to workshop participants, with an art logo label and a jewel-tone case. After the con, the young writers will have until December 31st to read all the collected stories and vote on the best one (for another small prize).

Anything I can do to encourage participation, esp. among Philly teens? About 5000 people are expected to attend MilPhil, we're hoping for at least 25 teen writers.

Pro writers who will lead the workshops include:

We will be awarding The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Science Fiction and Fantasy to the story with the best title. Cory Doctorow and Karl Schroeder sure went all out--they've included things in the book that I consider private SFWA in-jokes. It's a hoot!