First of all: In addition to the rest of my FC schedule, I’m going to be reading from “Black Angel” at the FWG reading, Santa Clara room, 5 pm Friday. Come by and hear me and four other FWG authors! Otherwise I look forward to seeing y’all in the dealer’s room at the Sofawolf table. I got my gold pens all ready!
Okay, so RAWR, the first residential furry writers’ workshop, ended today. We had five students ranging in age and experience from “newish” to “almost greymuzzles” and a variety of experience in furry writing and publishing. Ryan Campbell, author of God of Clay, member of my writing group, and fellow Clarion workshop alumnus was my co-instructor, and the ever-helpful serval Chandra al-Alkani was our facilitator who kept everything running smoothly.
The week went about as well as we could have hoped. Our students worked hard on their own stories, worked just as hard on critiquing their classmates, surprised and delighted us, and had nervous breakdowns (almost) over italics. We bonded over the Magic Trash Can, watched Labyrinth in honor of David Bowie and then The Incredibles when we found out Chandra hadn’t seen it, talked writing and furry and publishing, and walked to Starbucks about a dozen times. We (being the instructors and the board of RAWR) feel like we’ve started something that’s going to last. We’re planning to do it again (time and place TBA) and you will hear more about it from me and hopefully from the board, alumni, and other folks involved in the months to come.
I’m really proud of everyone involved: students, instructors, board. Everyone worked hard on this first workshop and made it possible and desirable for us to keep doing this. Ryan and I know firsthand how valuable these kinds of workshops can be, not only to help people improve their writing, but to build the kind of community that can keep helping people improve. The furry fandom is young, its writing community even more so, and it hasn’t had a workshop like this to help its writers along. Now, finally, it does, and with luck it will have one for years to come.