Windycon Writers Workshop

For the twentieth straight year, Windycon will be hosting the Windycon Writers Workshop. These are critique-session workshops, for short fiction or novel excerpts up to 7,500 words. The sessions include two other entrants, a moderator and three pros. The sessions take place in the hotel, but away from the fray of other con activity.

The workshop is coordinated by Nebula Award-winning author and teacher Richard Chwedyk. The pros in past years have included Sue Burke, John O’Neill, E. E. Knight, Jody Lynn Nye, Bill Fawcett, Betty Anne Hull, Richard Garfinkle, among many others. We don’t know precisely who’s available this year, but they’ll be experienced, published authors and editors in the field.

You’ll need a con registration and a $20.00 fee. Make checks payable to Windycon. You can also use PayPal to (payment should be indicated as for the Windycon Writers Workshop). Manuscripts should be submitted in a standard format. Email your submission to (.pdf, Word or .doc; preferred), or if you prefer postal mail, to the address below.

Deadline for submissions is Friday, October 16, 2020. We reserve the right to reject any story or chapter that doesn’t meet the format standards. Session slots are limited, so get your work in soon. Questions? Email the coordinator at

The mailing address for submissions and fees is:

Richard Chwedyk
Windycon Writers Workshop Coordinator
7538 N. Bell Avenue, #3A
Chicago IL 60645-1962

Former entrants have said…

“The Windycon Writers Workshop is a unique opportunity to get real, honest, professional feedback on your work from real, honest, professionals. Not only is it a fantastic experience to improve your writing, it’s a great way to meet fellow writers. If you’re serious about your writing, do not pass this up.”

Mary Mascari
two time ISFiC Short Story Contest winner and MFA from Seton Hill University.

“I’ve attended the Windycon Writers Workshop almost every year for the last five years and have never been disappointed. I’ve gotten great feedback every time.”

Dale Cozort
author of Exchange and All Timelines Lead to Rome (both from Stairway Press)

“The writing workshops at Windycon give aspiring writers a chance to participate in a dialog/critique with creators like themselves and writing/publishing professionals. Don't miss this magnificent opportunity!”

Kevin James Miller
SF writer, essayist, English instructor at Triton College

“The constructive feedback that I received from it convinced me of the importance of continually sharing and getting feedback on my work, even if I didn’t have to for class. It also left me feeling inspired to keep working, no matter what. I thoroughly enjoyed myself despite being nervous about critiquing other people’s work outside of class for the first time.”

Victoria Anderson
Columbia College Chicago Fiction Writing graduate and science writer

“The bad news is nothing I ran through the workshop ever got published. The good news is I was shown why it didn’t get published, and that information allowed me to actually get a book deal. You may have to turn off your internal editor to get the manuscript finished, but to sell it you need to turn it back on. More importantly, you need a good internal editor - and that’s what I got at Windycon's workshop.”

Chris Gerrib
Author, Pirates of Mars

“I was able to get a chapter of my novel to a variety of people to read and get their feedback on and that was really helpful, because it pointed out things, good and bad, that I missed. I also enjoyed being the one giving the feedback. I wasn’t sure I would at first (I wasn’t sure I could do it), but the more I read the stories sent to me, the more I got into it. It led me to think as an editor, which was interesting. I think it’s a valuable program for people breaking into the field or even for those already in it (who may need a bit of tune-up).”

Laura Enright
Author, To Touch the Sun

“… I’m helping put together a critique workshop for another con. I’ll definitely be applying things I learned in your workshops to that!”

Liz Vogel
2013 ISFiC Short Story Contest Winner
Her 2012 workshopped story, “Off the Map” was published in Daily Science Fiction in 2014

Other recent workshop participants have included:

Robert Hobson, Guild Literary Complex Award winner, Columbia College MFA candidate, published in Hair Trigger 35 and Stupefying Stories.

Elizabeth Shack, published in Daily Science Fiction, Plasma Frequency, and The Crimson Pact volumes Two and Four.

Alex Collier, fiction and poetry published in Cicada, Ideomancer, and on the Tales to Terrify podcast; Second Prize Winner of the 2014 Tamale Hut Café Writing Competition.