On Writing,  publishing,  workshops

Anthology Workshop

Decision Time for 2021…

A week from Friday the 2020 Anthology workshop will be starting here in Las Vegas. The writers have been writing since the last week of November and now all of us are reading like crazy.

The writers wrote for seven paying anthologies and one brand new major magazine. Plus I am always looking to buy for Pulphouse Fiction Magazine during this anthology workshop.

But this workshop loses WMG money and we have been talking about cancelling the Anthology workshop for next year (2021), first to save the money and second to allow Fiction River to get caught up.

Actually, this year there is only one Fiction River anthology being bought. So that will help a lot getting that caught up. But with the anthology workshop losing money, cancelling the workshop just seemed to be the only solution.

But none of us want to do that. We like the anthology workshop a lot. It is so much fun. So we started detailing out the issues to fix for next year for us to put it on again.

First, we will be looking to find a new venue that honestly will be cheaper than the Golden Nugget. That is the biggest expense by far. But to find that venue, it is going to take me, Kris, Allyson, and Chris York a bunch of time and energy.

And we want the venue to be better for the writers as well. Lots and lots of options here, just extremely time-consuming to figure out and book.

So the other day during a conversation about cancelling the workshop or not cancelling the workshop, I got the question…

“How many people are signed up and paid already for next year?”

“Exactly six,” I said, after looking at my sign-up sheet, “and no one paid except for the lifetime Las Vegas subscribers.”

So not only do we have a workshop that is costing us money, but we have one with almost no interest at this point in time.

Part of that reason we understand is that anything with the date 2021 seems like a distant future, when in reality the workshop will start writing in just eight months from now.

So we decided that we needed to see the interest to make our decision. So here is what we are doing….

If we can get enough writers signing up and PAYING for the 2021 Anthology workshop (that starts in November writing), we will do all the work to find the new venue and have a great workshop.

But if we don’t have the interest from the writers, we will cancel it and refund anyone’s money they have paid to the workshop.

So up to you guys to save this thing.

And if you help us save this, we will give you an early bird discount. Normally the fee is $750, but if you pay between now and next Friday (Feb 21st) when the Anthology workshop starts, the price would be $650 early bird discount.

If we do not get enough people signing up and paying ahead, we will refund everyone’s money and cancel the anthology workshop.

If you are a lifetime Las Vegas workshop subscriber, just let us know and sign up and we will count you as well.


Anthology workshop 2021 is scheduled for February 26th through March 2nd, 2021.

Normal fee is $750… Early Bird Discount is $650.

Early Bird discount lasts until February 21st, but if no interest before that, we will just cut it off and cancel the workshop.

Writing will start November 29th this year, group list will start in August.

If enough writers sign up and pay, we will do the work to find a new venue and make the anthology workshop even better for the writers.

If not, we will cancel the workshop and refund your money.

Simply write me to get your name on the list and then pay the early bird discounted fee to Paypal at the email LasVegasWorkshops at wmgbooks dot com.

None of us want to cancel the anthology workshop. It has been a wonderful workshop we have done now for eighteen years. But if no interest, then no interest and we all move on.

But I would really miss it. So let us know if you would as well, give us a reason to do the work it will take to make the anthology workshop even better than it is.


  • Julie

    Would this ever be a workshop that you’d consider doing online, Dean, either wholly or as a study-along, using Zoom or something for the editors’ feedback?

  • Kate Pavelle

    I’m one of those who signed up but didn’t pay. How about this: would it be possible to do a craft or business workshop “lite” and tack on 2 Anthology Picks days? I can see how the combination would:

    1. let people socialize in real time (we all love to see each other)
    2. learn what they need
    3. have a goal-oriented event for writing, with an option to sell something
    4. the theme of both workshop and antho picks could integrate, and vary from one to the other

    In addition, I suggest that the works get listed and those of us who are coming up with quarterly collections (I can think of several names here) get to bid on what doesn’t get picked. This hasn’t occurred to me until now, but now that I have a magazine in the works, looking for suitable content by others is *work*. I have a modest budget for one guest author per issue. Most of us could do that and it could cross-pollinate many fields.

    I admit that for me, the Antho is mostly a fun social event. When I sell, it’s a breath of relief because it partially offsets my travel costs. The real benefit, for me, is 1. chatting with people, networking, and trading BUSINESS tips, and 2. publication bragging rights, when applicable.
    In contrast, a skills or a business workshop provides focused instruction in addition to the chatting and networking. I think we could maybe defocus a bit and draw a broader crowd while still having fun.

    • dwsmith

      Yes, we buy some for Fiction River, some for Pulphouse and Pulphouse books, some for the Holiday Spectacular, and this year there is a brand new, not yet announced major fantasy magazine one editor is buying for. Not all stories for those projects come out of the workshop, but it keeps it interesting for the writers attending, that’s for sure. And helps the editors get some really top-notch stories from top writers. In fact, every year for years, the top magazines like Asimov’s and Queen and others are filled with stories that went through the anthology workshop and didn’t get bought. Amazingly high quality fiction.

      If the workshop goes away, the editors of the projects just go to friends and such to get stories. Easy to do. But doesn’t allow many new writers to get into the mix, sadly. Or top writers to write stories that they might not have ever tried before. That’s why Kris and I really want the workshop to continue, but we just can’t keep losing money on it.

      And interestingly enough, it seems to have become, after a decade or two, an assumption that it would always be there. Makes sense. And maybe it will go another decade beyond its 18 years now if we can find a way to make it work. And if there is enough interest from writers.

  • Max Spurk

    When you’ve figured out that for many people 2021 sounds like distant future, but the writing starts this year, why don’t you call it “Anthology Workshop 2020/2021”?
    Wouldn’t that make things clearer?