Identical Twin Workshops


We Pay Your Way WotF, Hubbard, and Scientology Hero Worship

Although the jet lag abated after a while, my sense of unreality persisted. Here I was, attending a week-long workshop taught by big-name authors I’d been reading and admiring for decades. My fellow attendants and I were driven around in stretch limos and otherwise treated like celebrities. Better still, during the workshop sessions, the lecturers treated us winners (and finalists) almost like peers: our presence was sufficient evidence that we were at least competent writers. There was a lot to learn from that week, but it also provided a huge validation and confidence boost.

Moreover, it was amazing and wonderful to meet over a dozen fellow writers, people who, like myself, stood at the brink of a possible career, and had earned their first major accolade for their work. These were like minds, kindred spirits; in a very real sense, I had finally found my tribe.

However, jet-lagged, star-struck, and generally uncomfortable in groups of strangers, I didn’t get as much out of that 2004 week as I could have. The stress of interacting with so many new people almost non-stop exhausted me; the fact that the workshop lectures were famous authors I’d admired for years made it impossible for me to interact with them in any useful way.

It was therefore very fortunate that I got a chance to repeat the entire experience as a winner a year later.

In 2005, when I won one of the quarterly contest instances with my novelette Meeting the Sculptor and was again flown the States for the event, it was almost like I got a chance to replay my 2004 experience. The workshop was all but identical; the same guest speakers were present; the material was the same; and there was even another workshop attendant who, like me, had been a published finalist in 2004.

This enabled me to actually take in, and learn from, much more of the workshop than I’d been able to the year before. It enabled me to make better connections with my fellow attendants, and with the authors teaching the workshop. And it enabled me to compare notes with my previous experience. [read on…]

We Pay Your Way WotF, Hubbard, and Scientology Hero Worship


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