Missoula's Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention

MisCon 39: Hive of Scum and Villainy, May 23 - 26, 2025 Missoula, Montana

MisCon 39 Writers' Workshop

MisCon's Writers' Workshop is back again! This is an excellent opportunity to have your work read and analyzed by professional authors, editors, and agents who not only know how to put words together but the business side of things as well. We're asking for your best work.

Manuscript submissions must be received on or before April 10, 2025.

Note: participation may be limited this year due to high demand, so the workshop will be a first-come-first-served event.

We'll accept both short stories and the beginnings of novels. You may submit up to 7,500 words, but, we will place a line of demarcation at 2,500 words. The pros will read and critique your work to that line. They may chose to read and comment on the additional words, but you are only guaranteed to receive criticism on the first 2,500 words. (For more, see A Note About Word Count below).

What to Do

  1. Prepare a manuscript of no more than 7,500 words according to our guidelines below.
    • Short Stories: Send your story, not exceeding 7,500 words. If your story is longer than 7,500 words, do not rewrite your story to fit the guidelines; send the initial 7,500 words.
    • Novel Excerpts: Send the beginning of your novel, not exceeding 7,500 words.
  2. Include your cover letter in the same file as your manuscript. (But do not count it as part of your word count).
  3. Save it as a .doc or. docx file and email it to writers@miscon.org no later than the date indicated above. If you cannot save as a Microsoft Word file, a .rtf file will be accepted. Make sure to include your contact information.
  4. If you do not wish to have your piece included in the private (for participants only) PDF file of all the manuscripts, please say so in your email.
    • The PDF will be seen by participants only. By reading your story ahead of time, the others in your group will benefit from the critique you receive by having context for the pros' suggestions.
  5. It's also a good idea to pre-register for MisCon at this time to make sure you can attend in case we reach maximum attendance and close registration.
  6. Attend MisCon and participate in the Writers' Workshop on the preassigned day. We usually have 2-3 sessions on Saturday and 2-3 on Sunday.

Submission Guidelines

  • We will accept manuscripts in .doc or .docx format (If unavailable, you may use .rtf). PDFs will not be accepted.
  • Name your file with your last name and the title of your work as follows:
    • LastName_TITLE
  • All submissions must be in standard manuscript format.
  • If you have additional questions about manuscript formatting, please .

General guidelines include:

  • 1-inch margins
  • Double-spaced
  • Font no smaller than 12-point size (Courier, Courier New, or Times New Roman are acceptable)
  • Italics may be used. Do not underline in lieu of italics
  • Do not use boldface

The first page should include:

  • Author's name and address in upper left hand corner
  • Approximate word count in upper right corner
  • Story title and byline (start halfway down page)
  • Story starts double-spaced under byline

Each page after the first must include:

  • Story title (abbreviated if necessary)
  • Author's last name
  • Page number

A note about Word Count:

  • The amount of space a manuscript takes up is what matters to publishers, not the specific number of words used. If you format your manuscript according to our guidelines, it will have about 250 words per page. A publisher needs to know how much space a story will take up, which means that once your manuscript is properly formatted, you should take your page count and multiply it by 250. This is your total word count.
  • Reminder: Only 2,500 words will be critiqued (a line of demarcation will be added to your manuscript.

Remember, MisCon's Writers' Workshop is a great place to practice all aspects of the writing business, from receiving criticism to interacting with professionals, so if you fall short on any one of these, don't take it too hard -- when we stumble, we learn!

If you have any questions .