Hello, everyone -
Welcome to the Center for the Study of Science Fiction's Summer Workshops! This post should give you all the info you need to be ready for the Workshops; if you need anything more, let me know and I'll add it. Feel free to read older posts here to get an idea of how things have gone in the past. I've posted here so you can easily find this info wherever you are, I can easily update it, and y'all can respond in a single place as opposed to digging around in the Google Groups messages. I've also created Google Groups for the Workshops; if you haven't yet joined yet or the invitation got lost, let me know.
(If you don’t already have a LiveJournal account - and why wouldn’t you? - you can sign up and get one for free by just going to the LJ main page. You can also use some other online profiles to post here.)
Short Story Workshop: We're fast approaching the June 14 deadline for submitting the last of your three stories or second novella, so be sure to finish them soon and send them to everyone via our Google Groups site so your fellow workshoppers can begin reading!
Novel Workshop: Kij and y'all should have your chapters and outlines now. Be sure to watch the Google Groups discussions!
Internet Access: To get internet access in the dorms, bring along an ethernet cable; you can purchase access once in the dorm (the University has outsourced internet access, so there's no longer free wireless access in any of the dorms). If you can't live without internet in your room (and the added productivity of being internet-free!), you might consider working with others and setting up a wireless router to share. Otherwise, many cafés, bars, coffee shops, some campus locations, and bookstores in Lawrence have free wireless access. Here is a pretty complete listing; go here for another.
For those of you without a computer, the Technical Writing program of the English Department can lend an old but functional one to you. You'll need to sign a waiver that states you are responsible for any damages. Bring any special software you might need, and when you're done, please remove anything you've loaded onto them. Please don't download anything that could cause problems! Be sure to write to me in advance of your arrival so I can have one ready for you.
Meeting Schedule and Location: We'll meet in the lobby on our new facility, Krehbiel Scholarship Hall at 1301 Ohio Street at 1:00pm - 4:00pm (sometimes we wrap up a little later, sometimes earlier) each weekday. However, James Gunn, Kij Johnson, Chris McKitterick, and many of the Workshoppers often first lunch togther at noon at (TBD now that we moved).
In the evenings, we usually head downtown for dinner and a stroll through the streets; at night, people usually gather in our lobby space to talk, write, watch SF movies, watch thunderstorms... you can be as deeply immersed as you want in either writing, connecting, or both.
If you're staying in the hall, you'll get an access card; if you're a local, we'll either get you an access card or make sure you can get into the dorm a few minutes before 1:00pm.
Friday afternoon is our "Secrets of Successful Science Fiction" chat with our attending guest authors and editor as the professional conclusion to the Workshops. That evening is the Campbell Conference Sturgeon and Campbell Awards Ceremony.
Workshop Web Pages: What follows is all kinds of information to help you prepare. You'll also find lots of useful info about travel, restaurants, and so on at these pages:
Short SF Writer's Workshop page here.
Here's our Facebook page.
Novel Workshop page here.
By the way, this year you enjoy two bonuses:
1) Three-time Nebula Award winner Kij (kijjohnson), who runs the Novel Workshop, is staying in the dorm with y'all!
2) Same deal with two-time World Fantasy and Sturgeon Award winner Andy Duncan!
Phone: There should be an active phone jack in every room, but I can't guarantee it. Bring a phone if you want one, and let Lydia know in advance so we can get a number for you. I will also supply one or two phones. Bring a cell phone!
Sheets and linens: You'll need to bring your own long twin sets as well as blankets, towels, a pillow, and wash clothes; alternately, I have a bunch of sets that I store - they're available on a first-grabbed, first-taken basis. The blanket is for if you get chilled at night; the rooms have their own thermostats, but it's a good idea just in case. Yeah, I know it's summer in Kansas, but just ask some previous years' participants about over-active AC... (though this year, we can control our thermostats). Most years, one or more participants leave behind a set of these supplies, so pretty soon we'll have enough for everyone.
Lunches: You aren't required to buy lunch meal plans this year, though restaurants are nearby, so we usually lunch together at noon (right before the workshops).
Dinners: We usually do an "around-the-world" restaurant tour of Lawrence. We have a million great eateries in town (see this page or this page for info about many of them), and the majority of the workshoppers get together every night for dinner. If you prefer to eat more economically, plan to bring your own cooler and/or dorm fridge. I'll supply a small fridge for use in the lobby, but that is not always enough. Lawrence also has many supermarkets within a few minutes' drive (or a long walk) from the dorms - including a whole-foods place about a mile away - so you can stock up once you get here.
Beverages: I'll bring two dorm fridges, one of which Kij will keep in her room, plus a couple of slightly larger dorm fridges you can keep in the lobby area or in designated rooms - and I'll supply a starter supply of a couple 12-packs of soda-pop. Beyond that, it's up to you to keep it stocked with your preferred beverages! There are vending machines in the basement of the dorm, near the full-featured laundry room (uses quarters - at least last year they did).
Hall Check-in: If you arrive during the daytime, check in at (TBD - watch your email), which will have your name and room reservation info... except for those who haven't yet sent us that info. Be sure to let Lydia know when you plan to check in so they can have staff on hand. On the evening of Sunday, June 24, we'll have a get-together at 6:00pm in the lobby of our floor of the dorm (the same place where we meet for the Workhops), and we'll order pizza or sub-sandwiches and such and have soda and such on hand. Bring $5 for food and beverages and we'll call it good! I'll probably also invite some local SF writers to hang with us.
Plan to stay through late afternoon of July 8th, becausse the Center hosts the Campbell Conference right after the Workshops. That Sunday morning, we'll have time to listen to our guest authors (Campbell and Sturgeon winners) talk about their work, and starting at noon, local paleontologist and SF fan Larry Martin hosts one of his "Science Fiction Sundays" - everyone's invited. Haven't yet registered? Do it now! And if you were planning to leave early and registered saying so, feel free to change your registration ASAP to reflect staying through Sunday.
Many of the dorm rooms have a kitchen area with cupboards, sink, and counter tops. There's space for a microwave, too, and I'll provide one. Beyond that, it's pretty basic. I have several boxes of additional stuff that I store for y'all to use: coffee pot, toaster, ice chest, hangers, etc. plus I'll bring a great magazine rack full of SF and idea-generation magazines.
Looking for a room-mate? I suggest you write to the Google Group or post here ASAP so you can make proper housing arrangements with Lydia.
Entertainment: Lawrence, a college town, is full-up with entertainment. You'll find live bands aplenty (see this page for info), and much more. If people are interested, I'm happy to host movie nights. I own dozens of SF movies and will bring them (and a Blu-Ray/DVD player) to the dorm. Bring your offbeat favorite movies if you want (a couple of years ago, Jean provided the complete, original Flash Gordon!), but let's try to stay away from big-budget films. We also have a multiplex theater in town, plus an art-house theater (theater listings here). It's a college town, so there are many bars of all types if that's your thing, plus multiple restaurants of every type, several bookstores (new and used), museums, bicycle paths, lakes, rivers.... Check out Lawrence.com for listings of these attractions.
Printing: Is anyone bringing a printer? Would you mind sharing it with the others while you're here if, say, they provide a toner or ink cartridge? We have a good Office Depot that should carry what you need. I have a couple of old ones that were donated a few years ago, but I can't guarantee operation. There is a Kinko's downtown, and the dorm occasionally has a computer lab open (but don't rely on it).
Clothing: Dress is whatever you find comfy! Be aware that outside temps will likely be in the 90s most of the time, but might dip into the 60s at night or during thunderstorms. Sometimes, our dorm A/C has gone crazy and we've been cold, so if you get cold easily, bring a sweatshirt and long pants, just in case. If you're going to the Campbell Conference Awards ceremony, many of the attendees use it as an opportunity to dress up. But it's your choice!
Short-Fiction Workshop Readings: Please submit your work ASAP to the Google Groups file-sharing space, preferably in basic .doc format or Rich Text Format (.rtf) for ease of reading by multiple programs and operating systems - so everyone in the Workshop has a chance to critique them before we get started.
Short-Fiction Workshop Critiques: Read and mark up the works well before you arrive so you can enjoy your stay and get some work done (and enjoy your time here) rather than having to stay up late crazily reading. James Gunn wrote a fine essay on "How to Be a Good Critiquer and Still Remain Friends." It's required reading! I recommend writing up and printing out formal critiques for the other authors to take away after the discussions. I'll send more detailed critiquing guidelines via email.
Campbell Conference: If you plan to partake of the full Campbell Conference and haven't yet registered, let us know ASAP. It will be really amazing this year and well worth it - more special guests are planning to come than just those on the website right now. Here's the page with full info on the Conference, our special guests (to be updated regularly), and more. Sometimes, the year's special guests even stay in the dorm with us, so you'll have a chance to spend one-on-one time with some of our genre's finest authors and sometimes editors while you're here. At the very least, it's a cozy event where you'll have the opportunity for more elbow-rubbing with the pros than pretty much anywhere else.
Getting Around: Kij, recently hired as the new Fiction Writing Prof at KU, is staying with you and will have her car, so there's at least one car that can carry 4-5 people in style. Who else will have a vehicle here? Now that we've been moved to the scholarship hall, we're close enough to walk most places downtown. If you're driving, you might find the University of Kansas maps page useful: http://admissions.ku.edu/visit/maps.shtml
Also, if you haven't already worked out transport from the Kansas City airport to Lawrence, now's the time to do so. The airport is about 50 miles from the dorms. If you're driving, or if you would like to share a ride or a shuttle, drop a note to the group on our Google Groups site.
The shuttles most people use to get to and from the Kansas City International (MCI) airport to Lawrence are:
- There's a new, low-priced shuttle service now running. However, it's only low-priced if you share a ride with others. Check 'em out! More travel information here.
- KCI Airport Shuttle (also known as the "Roadrunner Shuttle"). Full information here (scroll to the bottom of the page for rates). Toll-free phone contact number: (800) 747-2524 or call your travel agent.
- Ground Transportation, Inc. (a local Lawrence business) 888-467-3729 or 785-838-4500. See a schedule here.
- Finally, here's the Yelp airport-transport list.
Of course, if you arrive via train or bus, you'll need to get a taxi or arrange something with a local. Here's the Yelp taxi list.
We have all manner of stores in Lawrence, so if you don’t have something that you'll need while here (including sheets, pillows, scuba gear, and so on), it's a short drive to go get it.
Some people like to send a box of stuff to me rather than carry things on an airplane. That's fine. Use my home address:
c/o Chris McKitterick
1809 Indiana St.
Lawrence, KS 66044
Please no signature-required boxes! Be sure to mail enough in advance so things arrive before you do.
Tuition and Housing Checks: Tuition for all the Workshops should be in the mail to Lydia by now. If it isn't, hop to it! When we get this year's dorm housing prices (this week), we'll send a request for those. (Locals not staying in the dorm and taking the Workshop for KU credit only need to give Lydia the $100 guest-author fee, unless it was waived as a partial scholarship.)
Campbell Conference: If you haven't yet registered for the Conference (and why wouldn't you take the opportunity to rub elbows with lots of authors and editors?), do so ASAP - especially for the Awards banquet on Friday.
Anything else? Let us know and I'll add it here!
I'm very much looking forward to meeting those of you I haven't yet met and seeing old friends again!