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. Also be sure to read older posts here that provide lots more detail. I've posted here so you can easily find this info wherever you are, I can update it, and y'all can respond in a single place. I've also created Google Groups for the various Workshops; if you haven't yet gotten an invitation, 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.)
Short Story Workshop: We're fast approaching the June 14 deadline for submitting the last of your three stories, so be sure to finish them soon and upload them to our Google Groups site so your fellow workshoppers can begin reading!
Internet Access: Housing provides wireless internet access in the downstairs lobbies. Otherwise, many cafés, bars, coffee shops, and bookstores in Lawrence have free wireless access. Here is a pretty complete listing.
For those of you without a laptop, the Technical Writing program of the English Department can lend a sort of old but fully 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.
Novel Workshop: Kij and y'all should have your chapters and outlines now. Be sure to watch the Google Groups discussions!
Meeting Schedule and Location: We'll meet in the lobby on our Lewis Hall dorm floor (either 5th or 6th Floor) at 1:00pm - 4:00pm (sometimes later, sometimes earlier) each weekday. However, James Gunn, Kij Johnson, Chris McKitterick, and many of the Workshoppers will first lunch togther at noon in Mrs. E's, an all-you-can-eat style cafeteria just down the road. If you want to buy a discount ($1/off each meal) meal card, contact Lydia Ash. 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.
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 the bottom of these pages:
Short SF Writer's Workshop page here (meets after lunch).
Novel Workshop page here (meets before lunch). By the way, bonus: Kij (kijjohnson) is staying in the dorm with y'all!
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 me know in advance so we can get a number for you. I will also supply one or two phones. Bring a cell phone!
Sheets: You'll need to bring your own long twin sets as well as towels, a pillow, and wash clothes; alternately, you can rent these from the dorm for more than buying them, ahem. Also bring a a blanket 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…. I'll supply a few sets of sheets, blankets, and several pillows, but they're strictly first-grabbed, first used! Most years, one or more participants leave behind a set of these, so pretty soon we'll have enough for everyone.
Lunches: We aren't required to buy lunch meal plans this year, though the café is in our building or right nearby, so we usually lunch together at noon (right after the first part of the novel workshop, right before the short-fiction workshop). It's not terribly cheap, but it is an excellent and diverse all-you-can-eat style dorm cafeteria. I think the salads are super-tasty.
Dinners: In recent years, we've been doing an "around-the-world" restaurant tour of Lawrence. We have a million great eateries in town (see this page for info about many of them), and the majority of the workshoppers get together every night for dinner with the rest of folks. If you prefer to eat more economically, plan to bring your own cooler and/or dorm fridge. Lawrence also has many supermarkets within a few minutes drive of the dorms - including a whole-foods place just a few blocks away - so you can stock up once you get here.
Beverages: I'll bring a single dorm fridge (which Kij will keep in her room), plus a couple of ice chests - and I'll supply a couple of 12-packs of soda-pop. Beyond that, it's up to you to keep it stocked with ice (from the dorm basement) and beverages! Please, no food in the ice chests; when the ice melts, it only ends in tragedy. Trust me.
Dorm Check-in: If you arrive during the daytime, check in at the front desk of our dorm, which will have your name and room reservation info... except for those who haven't yet sent us that info. If you check in early or late, you'll have to check in at the dorm across the street (Templin, I think it's called, where your mail is also delivered). Check-in begins at 2:00pm on the day you reserved. On the evening of Sunday, July 4, we'll have a get-together at 5:00pm 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 have soda and such on hand. Bring $5 for food and we'll call it good! I'll also invite some local SF writers to hang with us if you'd like.
Plan to stay through July 18th, when the Center hosts the Campbell Conference. That Sunday morning, we'll have time to listen to our guest authors (Campbell and Sturgeon winners) talk about writing. 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 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.
Entertainment: Lawrence, being 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 am happy to bring them (and a DVD player) to the dorm. Interested? Bring your favorite movies if you want to do this (a couple of years ago, Jean provided the complete, original Flash Gordon!). 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 an old one that was 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 Confernece 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 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. Be sure to read and mark up the work 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." I recommend it highly.
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. Here's the page with full info on the Conference, our special guests (to be updated soon), and more. Often, several of the year's special guests 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.
Getting Around: Kij is driving to Kansas, so there's at least one car that can carry 4-5 people in style. Who else will have a vehicle here? If you're driving, you might find the University of Kansas map useful: http://www.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. 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:
- 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.
We have all manner of stores in Lawrence, so if you don’t have something that you'll need while here (including sheets, pillows, 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. Sounds fine. Use
Intensive English Institute
1530 Engel Road
Lawrence, KS 66047
Anything else? Let us know!
I'm very much looking forward to meeting those of you I haven't yet met and seeing old friends again!