Nancy Jane Moore, Kevin Jewell, Marshall Maresca, Jessica Reisman, and Madeleine Dimond on the "Workshopping to Success" panel. All of the panelists have been to writers' workshops, or have helped to run them. They spoke highly about the intensity of 6-week workshops, such as Clarion, being a singular event such that "there will never be another time in your life when people will care so much about the stories you're writing". They also shared their good and not-so-good experiences from workshops (such as being criticized by the teachers for losing pages of their manuscript, when it was the teacher who lost them; or being put in a critique group with people who were bored by the genre this person was writing). They discussed critique groups in general, and how for a novel writer, finding a critique group is a special kind of challenge. They can't bring new chapters of their novel to an open-to-all critique group, because they'll get new people at every meeting. Those people will read the chapter and say: "I have no idea what's going on, but let me tell you what I think".
Read more about ArmadilloCon in my blog posts, especially about the ever-popular What You Should Have Read panel, where our well-read panelists recommend the year's best science fiction, fantasy, and horror books.