A. C. Crispin Workshops Spawn Online Groups, Publication Success

Best-selling author Ann C. Crispin’s Dragon*Con workshops have generated two successful online writers’ groups and published stories and novels by at least six of Crispin’s students, Crispin told her Advanced Writers’ Workshop students Sunday. The workshop had a full roster of 18 students and featured self-editing and marketing/promotion this year.

The first online writers’ support and critique group started as a result of Crispin’s 2000 Dragon*Con beginners’ workshop. Writers in that group wanted to continue to review and critique each others’ stories using methods that Crispin had taught them. Now in its sixth year, the moderated group continues to work together with Crispin checking in and adding critiques as her schedule of writing, teaching and “Writer Beware” commitments allows.

At least one other genre-minded convention has witnessed the positive effects of members’ cooperative efforts. Stories by Group moderator Suzanne Church and Louise Herring-Jones, both Crispin students and founding members of “DC2Kwriters,” were selected from over 800 stories for inclusion in the CascadiaCon-sponsored anthology Northwest Passages: A Cascadian Anthology (Cris DiMarco, editor). Church’s “Free Range” was described by anthology publisher Windstorm Creative as “hilarious.” A five-foot long model of the “Xcessa Slug” from Herring-Jones’s story “Slimed” was a featured photo opportunity at the anthology launch party in Seattle. Church and Herring-Jones both read from their stories at a CascadiaCon/NASFIC panel. The anthology features stories by twenty-five authors including Nebula and World Fantasy award-winning author Bruce Holland Rogers.

Eugie Foster, also a founding member of the group, leads Crispin’s students in the number of stories she has published and sold. A member of SFWA, Foster appeared on several Dragon*Con 2005 panels and spoke to Crispin’s beginning writer’s workshop about her experience. Foster offered links she has gathered in marketing her many published short stories to both of Crispin’s workshops. Foster’s extensive bibliography of published work is listed at: eugiefoster.com.

The WOSAF online group, “Writers of Science Fiction and Fantasy,” was also an offspring of one of Crispin’s Dragon*Con writers’ workshops. An open workshop, WOSAF describes itself as “a community of writers working together to foster an environment of creative and professional growth.” The group’s promotional card notes that membership is free and “open to anyone passionate about writing.” The group invites writers to join them at their web site: wosaf.com.

Author of the article

Amy L. Herring (Louise Herring-Jones) writes speculative fiction, with a preference for historical fantasy and alternate mystery. Her stories, appearing in fourteen anthologies, include “The Poulterer’s Tale” in God Bless Us, Every One—Christmas Carols beyond Dickens (Voodoo Rumors Media, 2019). Amy is a NaNoWriMo co-municipal liaison. She also coordinates the Huntsville (Alabama) Literary Association’s writers’ group. Visit her online at http://www.louiseherring-jones.com.