The Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop for Writers

I have some news about the workshop, but first, in case you don’t know what it is…


Launch Pad is a week-long workshop held every summer since 2007 at the University of Wyoming.  I founded the workshop in order to get the most out of my love for both science and science fiction, to teach writers to get more and better quality astronomy in their work and in turn educate and inspire the public, and as an excuse to bring my kind of people to town for a week.  I myself had a wonderful experience at Clarion West some years ago, and thought we could use something similar for working professionals focused on my specialty.

I’ve been really pleased by the response over the years.  Almost everyone has a great time and learns a lot.  They’re always the most enthusiastic students and their word of mouth has resulted in great classes.  Past participants have included writers of all types, editors, directors, game designers, comedians, journalists, and more.  Some notable alumni include Robert Sawyer, Walter Jon Williams, Nancy Kress, Ellen Datlow, John Joseph Adams, Marc Laidlaw, Carrie Vaughn, Jay Lake, Steven Gould, Scott Sigler, N. K. Jemisin, Marjorie Liu, Jody Lynn Nye, Jeffrey Carver, Ed Lerner, Samantha Henderson, Michael Kurland, and many other talented people. It’s a lot of work for me, but I have a great time and it’s been really well received.

And now for the news, bad news first. In part due to to the tough federal budget environment, we’ve lost our grant support (NASA and NSF in the past). Now the good news.  We’re going to continue to offer the workshop, however, but will need to charge $500 tuition for the week. That will include lodging, meals other than dinner, local transportation in Colorado/Wyoming, and a few other small items. The workshop itself will not change and will be the same experience for participants.

We are open for applications from March 15-April 15 this year (now!), for our 2013 workshop, which will be held in Laramie, WY from July 14-21.  Our special guest instructor will be Christian Ready.

If you want to bone up on your astronomy for your creative or editorial projects, get to play with big telescopes, and spend a summer week under clear, dark skies with a terrific group of similarly talented people, consider applying.

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