The Info List - Milford Writer's Workshop

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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
Judith Merril
, and James Blish lived in Milford, Pennsylvania
Milford, Pennsylvania
when it was founded. It moved to the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
in 1972 and has run successfully ever since on an annual basis.


* 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 United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Milford SF Writers' Conference, which initially met in Milford on Sea
Milford on Sea
, Hampshire
. Since then it has been held in various locations, latterly Devon
until 2001, York
in 2002 and 2003, and (since 2004) at Trigonos Conference Centre in North Wales
North Wales
, usually in mid September.


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
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:

* James Blish * Anthony Boucher
Anthony Boucher
* Algis Budrys * Jack Dann
Jack Dann
* Lester Del Rey
Lester Del Rey
* Samuel R. Delany
Samuel R. Delany
* Tom Disch * Gardner Dozois
Gardner Dozois
* George Alec Effinger * Harlan Ellison * Carol Emshwiller * Ed Emshwiller * Gustav Hasford * Cyril Kornbluth
Cyril Kornbluth
* Ursula K. LeGuin * Katherine MacLean * Anne McCaffrey
Anne McCaffrey
* Richard McKenna * Judith Merril
Judith Merril
* Frederik Pohl
Frederik Pohl
* Jane Roberts * Robert Silverberg
Robert Silverberg
* Ted Sturgeon * Kurt Vonnegut * Gene Wolfe

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:

* Tom Arden * John Brunner * John Clute * Jaine Fenn * Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman
* Mary Gentle * John Grant * Colin Greenland * Ben Jeapes * Diana Wynne Jones * Gwyneth Jones * David Langford * George R. R. Martin
George R. R. Martin
* Anne McCaffrey
Anne McCaffrey
* Alastair Reynolds
Alastair Reynolds
* Kari Sperring * Bruce Sterling
Bruce Sterling
* Charles Stross
Charles Stross
* Karen Traviss * Liz Williams
Liz Williams
* Patricia Wrede

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 .


* Science fiction
Science fiction

* List of writers\' conferences


* ^ " Glasgow Science Fiction Writers Circle website". April 30, 2011. Retrieved 7 September 2010. * ^ Bedford, Jacey. "The Milford Writers\' Conference: Past and Future". Tor Books Blog. Retrieved 14 November 2013.