Limited Seating Classes & The Gong Show

Limited-Seating classes

Most classes at DFWCon are open seating, but we do have two limited-seating classes that require signup at the conference:

  • Read and Critique: Readers will get 12 minutes of read and critique time, with a maximum of eight minutes for reading and whatever time is left over for critique. Critique is led by members of the DFW Writers Workshop, which has specialized in read and critique since 1977.
  • So Here’s My Problem: Writers at any skill level can bring any problem or question related to their writing or the business of publishing. You can ask for help with your cover letter, or your pitch, or a page from your manuscript. You can ask the panelists to help with voice, or character development, or plot structure. It’s up to you. Our team of industry experts will do their darndest to help.

For these classes, we have two types of participants: Active Participant and Observer. In the Read and Critique sessions, the active participants are called Readers. In the So Here’s My Problem sessions, they are called Petitioners. Each workshop has a limited number of active participants whose work or issue will be worked on during the session. They will be seated around a main table with the workshop facilitators.

There will also be Observer seats available in these workshops. Observers will occupy seats along the walls of the classroom and will be able to learn by listening in on the discussion happening at the main table. If time allows, Observers may get the chance to chime in. This is a great way for you to benefit from the workshops without having to be in the hot seat yourself!

Due to limited quantity, you may choose to be an Active Participant (Reader or Petitioner) in ONE of each kind of workshop. Don’t register to be a reader in more than one Read and Critique session, for example. You can be an Observer in as many workshops as you like.

Query Gong Show

The Query Gong game show is one of the biggest highlights of DFWCon, and we’re bringing it back this year. We’ve had lots of questions about it so here’s the rundown:

Query Gong is a fun, instructive game show that will leave you with a much better understanding of what agents are thinking when they read query letters.

Horror writer Russell C. Connor will return as host. Your anonymously submitted query letters will be drawn randomly out of a box and read aloud by George Goldthwaite in his velvety voice.

A panel of agents will listen, and they’ll bang a gong at the point when they would stop reading the query letter. If it gets gonged by three agents, the letter is out and the agents will explain why they gonged it. Anyone whose query letter makes it all the way through wins the game!

It’s a great way for everyone to learn what to do and what not to do when writing a query letter. We have seen agents like a query letter so much — even if it doesn’t make it all the way through — they ask the author to send in the manuscript.

But beware, this is not for the faint of heart! Don’t submit your query letter to this if you are thin-skinned, because it might get shredded in front of 300 people – and even though it’s anonymous, you will know it’s yours. Only a small fraction of the letters submitted make it through the reading without getting gonged by someone.

If you’d like to submit your query letter, bring a properly formatted printed copy and place it in the submissions box that will be at the conference front desk, no later than 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 8.

See you soon.

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