The MILFORD WRITER\'S WORKSHOP, or more properly MILFORD WRITERS\'
CONFERENCE, is an annual science fiction writer's event founded by
Damon Knight , among others, in the mid-1950s, in Milford,
Pennsylvania . It was so named because Knight,
Judith Merril , and
James Blish lived in
Milford, Pennsylvania when it was founded. It
moved to the
* 1 Description * 2 Honorary committee * 3 Participants * 4 Milford rules * 5 See also * 6 References * 7 External links
It is both a residential workshop and a writers' conference in which published science fiction writers convene over the course of a week to intensively critique stories and samples from novels (usually works in progress) and to workshop ideas on all aspects of SF writing. It is a peer-to-peer conference with no teachers or students.
In 1972, Blish set up the
An honorary committee is elected annually at the AGM held during the Milford week. The 2015 committee (elected 2014) comprised: Sue Thomason (Chair), Liz Williams (Secretary), Tina Anghelatos (Treasurer), Jacey Bedford (Vice-Chair, Website and Mailing Lists), Kari Sperring, and Karen Williams. Committee members are listed on the workshop's official web site.
Participants must have sold at least one science fiction story to qualify for attendance, and relative newcomers to publication are welcomed, though participants often have multiple novel and/or short story sales to their credit. Qualification details are quoted on the workshop's official website.
Workshop participants in the United States (pre-1972) included:
Milford is the model for other peer-to-peer science fiction writer workshops, including the Turkey City Writer\'s Workshop .
Participants in the UK (in 1972 and afterward) have included:
* John Brunner
A full list of former Milford participants is listed on the workshop's official website.
Manuscripts are distributed beforehand. Everyone reads, critiques, and prepares before the formal workshop begins. Etiquette precludes participants from discussing the manuscripts beforehand either with the author or other members of the critique group. The participants sit round in a circle. The author whose work is being critiqued has to sit in silence through the first part in which each participant in turn is allowed an uninterrupted four minutes (timed) to deliver their critique. Then the author gets an uninterrupted right to reply. Following that a general discussion ensues. Constructive criticism is strongly encouraged. In the last few years it has become accepted for the critiqued manuscripts to be given back to the author complete with notes.
The so-called "Milford method" has been adopted by several writers' groups, including the Glasgow Science Fiction Writers Circle .