Hello, everyone -
Welcome to the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction's Summer Workshops! This post should give you all the info you need to have the best possible time during your stay here; if you need anything more (which isn't covered in your specific Google Group discussion forum), let us know and we'll add it. Feel free to check out older posts here to get an idea of how things have gone in the past, as well as other Center news stuff. We've posted this here so you can easily find this info wherever you are, so we can easily update it, and y'all can respond in a single place as opposed to digging around in the variouis Google Groups' messages. If you haven't yet joined the appropriate Google Group(s) or the invitation got lost, let us know.
Hall Check-in: If it's like in prior years, go to Rieger Scholarship Hall, just south of 13th St, to check in (a student-worker is often on hand the first day). There you'll get your keycard, key, and internet password IF YOU ASK. Sometimes they make us go up the hill to another building to check in, so watch your Group messages for details and updates
If you arrive during the daytime and no one's around, call the number on the door to check in. They'll have your name and room reservation info... except for those who haven't yet sent us that info. Be sure to let Kij know when you plan to check in so Housing can have staff on hand. On the evening of Sunday, June 9, we'll have a get-together at about 6:00pm in the kitchen or lobby of Rieger Scholarship Hall (also where we'll meet for the Workshops), and we'll order food and have soda and such on hand. If you'd like to contribute to costs, dinner usually costs us about $10/person. We'll probably also invite some local SF writers to hang with us so you can get to know some other "Young Gunns" (Workshop alums).
Many of the scholarship-hall rooms have a kitchen area with cupboards, sink, and counter tops. There's space for a microwave, too, and there's one for the main kitchen area. Beyond that, it's pretty basic. We have several boxes of additional stuff we store for y'all to use: coffee pot, toaster, ice chest, hangers, some sheets and pillows, etc., plus I'll bring a pile of SF books, magazines, movies, and other goodies.
Looking for a roommate? Write to your Google Group or post here ASAP so you can make proper housing arrangements. It will soon be too late to make room changes, so if someone decides they’re rooming together, Kij needs that by then.
Short Story Workshop: We're fast approaching the deadline for submitting your three stories or two novellas, so be sure to finish them soon and send them to everyone via our Google Groups site (email or post to web) so your fellow workshoppers can begin reading!
Novel Workshop: Kij and y'all should have your chapters and outlines soon. Be sure to watch the Google Groups discussions!
Advanced (aka "Repeat Offenders") Workshops: These are custom-tailored to the attendees, so stay involved in your Google Group.
Internet Access: The scholarship hall is equipped with WiFi, so you’ll have internet access if you ask. Information on login procedures will be provided to you at check-in IF YOU ASK - if you want internet access in the schol-hall (and you might not; freedom from distraction has a lot of value), don't leave check-in without your login information. Also, 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.
Workshop Meeting Schedule and Location: We'll meet in various spaces in the same place where our out-of-town attendees live, Rieger Scholarship Hall at 1323 Ohio Street, from 1:00pm - 5:00pm (sometimes we wrap up a little later, sometimes earlier) each weekday. However, some of the Workshoppers often first lunch together at noon at the KU Memorial Union, just up the hill.
Evenings: We usually gather in the lobby or front porch at 6:00pm and head downtown for dinner and a stroll through the streets of Lawrence. At night, people usually gather in our lobby space to talk, write, watch SF movies and discuss them afterward, have Nerf battles, watch thunderstorms... you can be as deeply immersed in connecting and events or as focused on writing as you wish - 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 hall before 1:00pm.
On one of our last evenings, we're hoping to set up a local public reading as a professional way to conclude to the Workshops.
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:
Speculative Fiction Writing Workshop page here.
Here's our Facebook page.
SF/F/H Novel Workshop page here.
By the way, this year you enjoy spending time with these great folks:
- Founding royalty of Cyberpunk, "queen of modern science fiction," and Hugo Award-winner Pat Cadigan returns to the Workshop for week two, critiquing each workshopper's final story and revision. She's also staying on-site at the schol-hall.
- SF Grand Master James Gunn hopes to join the Workshop during the first week, as health allows.
- Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award (among others) winner Kij Johnson, who runs the Novel Workshop, will be dining downtown with the gang and hanging out most evenings.
- In addition to leading the short-fiction critique sessions, AnLab Award winner Chris McKitterick will also be on-hand for dinner, evening activities, and so forth.
Sheets and linens: We have a bunch of sets of sheets, pillows, and blankets that we store, available on a first-grabbed, first-taken basis (in the 2nd floor hallway). However, until we have enough sets for everyone (mostly via donations!), it might be best to bring your own long-twin sets as well as blankets, a soft mattress pad, towels, a nice pillow, and wash clothes. 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.... 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, though restaurants are nearby, so many lunch together at noon (right before the workshops) at the KU Memorial Union, only two blocks up the hill.
Dinners: We usually do an "around-the-world" restaurant tour of Lawrence. We have a million great eateries in town (see this page, this page, or this page for info about many of them), and the majority of the workshoppers (plus the writers-in-residence) get together every night for dinner. If you prefer to eat more economically, plan to bring your own cooler and/or dorm fridge. We'll supply a small fridge or two for use in the lobby, but that is not always enough. The schol-hall has an ice/water machine, a microwave, and a large fridge; we supply a hot-water pot for things like tea, plus a coffee-pot or two. Lawrence also has many supermarkets within a few minutes' drive (or a long walk) from the hall - including a whole-foods place about a mile away - so you can stock up once you get here.
You're responsible for cleaning up your own dishware (and messes).
Beverages: We'll bring a dorm fridge you can keep in the lobby area or in designated rooms - and we'll supply a starter supply of soda-pop, tea, and such. The main kitchen area has a large refrigerator, ice machine, and teapots. Beyond that, it's up to you to keep it stocked with your preferred beverages!
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'll bring dozens of SF films (and a Blu-Ray/DVD player) to the dorm. Bring your own offbeat favorite movies if you want (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 you'll find 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: We don't require printouts, but they can be handy. 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. We store a couple of old printers that were donated years ago, but can't guarantee operation. There is a FedEx Kinko's downtown, too.
Clothing: Dress is whatever you find comfy! Be aware that outside temps will likely be in the 80s and 90s most of the time, but might dip into the 60s at night or during thunderstorms or 100s during a heatwave. 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. Other times, the space doesn't get enough cooling. Plan for what makes you most comfortable! There also a full-featured laundry room on-site (looks like it might use a card system this year; check your Google Group for updates).
Getting Around: Kij and I both have cars and scooters, so we'll have at least one car that can carry 4-5 people. Who else will have a vehicle here? On the plus side, the scholarship hall is a short walk downtown for those able to walk. 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 KU. 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. There's a lot of ways to get here listed on the Workshop pages, and we'll discuss in emails as well.
Of course, if you arrive via train or bus, you'll need to get a taxi or Uber, arrange something with a local, or plan to walk a mile or so with all your stuff. 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
(contact me for details)
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: Fees for all the Workshops should be in the mail soon if you haven't sent them already. If you've made other arrangements for payment, bring it with you to hand off when you arrive. (Those taking the Workshop for KU credit need only give us the $100 guest-author fee, unless we agreed to waive it as a partial scholarship.)
Anything else? Let us know and we'll add it!
We're all very much looking forward to meeting those of you we haven't yet met and seeing old friends again!
PS: If you don’t already have a LiveJournal account - yes, some people weren't online when it was big - 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 if you wish, but the Google Group should have all the info you need.