What should I bring to the conference?
Definitely bring your manuscript, and do not hesitate to bring a work-in-progress. For many this is the only opportunity to receive authoritative feedback on a manuscript before sending it out to agents and editors. Our workshops are geared solely to help pinpoint possibly problematic issues of character, structure, and prose in order to facilitate your ability to market a commercially viable manuscript. As each conference we have an SCWC Topic writing contest (the Topic is announced Friday night), you should also have the ability to write during the weekend.
What if I haven’t written anything yet, and don’t quite know where to start?
You will. There are many workshops geared to writers just starting out– as well as those of every level.
What awards are given at the SCWC?
The conference recognizes notable accomplishments in Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Screen. These awards are given only when work is deserving of such recognition. Such work is discovered during Read & Critique Workshops and one-on-one consultation, and is determined through a consensus of the workshop leaders. We also bestow an SCWC Flash Fiction Award for the best piece, in any form, of 250 words or less based on the one word subject named Friday Night. Recipients are awarded Sunday. As a result of their being honored, several SCWC award-winners have had their recognized manuscript go on to publication.
Is the SCWC Banquet a formal affair?
While not quite formal, it is semi-formal, or at the very least “business casual.” Figure it as the one chance we have all weekend to shed our grubbies and look less like writers!
Can I attend more than one workshop during a session?
Yes. If you find that a particular workshop is not for you, or if you’d prefer to simply tap into another, you are encouraged to do so. There are at least four individual sessions running concurrently during every mid-morning, afternoon, and late-afternoon session.
How does a Read & Critique Workshop work?
Each workshop is run according to the preference of its Leader. In Read & Critiques and Troubleshooting/Lecture/Q&A Workshops many allow the author to read his/her material, then selectively request feedback from members, while others address the work directly and move on to the next. One simple rule for workshop read & critique is that the author is not allowed to respond to the critique unless directly asked.
The following Read & Critique Workshop Rules serve simply as a guide. The workshop leaders ultimately run their workshops as they see fit.
1. Length of reading time limit to be set by workshop leader.
2. Critiques are done one person at a time, interruptions are not allowed.
3. Reader may respond to questions or comments only after critique.
4. Critiques will be directed only to work read, not critiques given by others.
5. Only the Art and Craft may be critiqued—not content.
6. “Pickies” (errors in grammar, usage, etc.) are written, not given orally.
7. No one may interject critique/comment until all others are finished.
8. Readers may not explain their work in advance, or defend it against critiques given. If explanation is necessary, chances are that the work needs more work.
9. Don’t “read and run.” It’s rude.
What is a *Rogue* Workshop?
Unlike the 3-hour daytime read & critique sessions, the Rogue Workshops begin at 9 p.m. and are limited in length only by the stamina of their participants. It is not uncommon, by the way, for these sessions to last up until 2-4 a.m.
Do you charge extra for Advance Submission Critiques?
Yes. An additional fee of $50 applies to submit a limited number of pages, determined by the respective reader, for private, one-on-one evaluation. This fee applies only to formal Advance Submission Critique & Consultation. Because of the considerable amount of material we receive, ASC&C is available only to those who register for Full Conference or Saturday & Sunday. Check the Staff page to find out who is accepting which genres, as well their respective criteria.
What should I expect from an Advance Submission Critique consultation?
At the very least, what you should expect is a knowledgeable assessment of your manuscript pages, complete with written comments for follow-up (depending on reader) and 15 minutes of private consultation with the reader. Thing to keep in mind, however, is that there’s generally a difference between how authors and agents deal with advance submissions. Author/readers are most often able to address issues of craft & execution substantively in effort to improve the material, if need be. Most agents tend simply to react to whether the material is something they can sell. While some agents can and do address content substantively, their objective is primarily to find properties that they can sell.
Can I arrange for more than one Advance Submission Critique?
Yes. You can select as many readers for advance submission as you wish be paying an additional fee for each additional reader.
Does attending NovelCram preclude advance submission consultations?
Not at all. Given its unique structure, requiring that you attend every NovelCram workshop, you are permitted to leave the Cram at the scheduled appointment time(s) with your advance submission reader(s). As a NovelCram participant, you also are free to attend any and all scheduled events that do not conflict with your workshop schedule, including evening and morning speakers, Saturday evening’s banquet and late-night workshops.
If I’m planning to stay at the hotel, do I call the hotel to reserve a room?
Yes. The hotel itself is the physical site of the conference. Discounted lodging rates are available to SCWC conferees. Be sure to mention the SCWC when booking to ensure you receive the discounted rate. Those planning to register for the conference with hotel lodging must do so by no later than the deadline indicated on the web site.