My recollections of WOTF would not be complete if they didn't include my final really cool discussion with KD Wentworth.
We were speaking about writing, and KD was telling me about some of the Tulsa area authors, and then she gave me some market hints, and then we started talking about the WOTF submission process. I said how Mask Glass Magic was my twelfth entry and that my very first submission to WOTF, Briallen Dreaming of Myrmidons (in something like 2002) was a semi-finalist (meaning it was in the top twenty stories submitted that quarter -- you have to be one of the top eight for a chance at first through third place); and being a semi-finalist right off the bat was hard because I expected each and every one of my stories to place that high (at least). It got to be a routine; every year (roughly the same quarter), I'd get a semi-finalist critique of my story. I'd gotten three critiques from KD before winning.
"Tell me what the stories were," KD said. It turns out she remembered writing the critiques for the stories! I remembered the order wrong and corrected myself: "Oh, yeah," I said, "Skies of Dreaming was the second story because you sort of told me in the critique to throw more rocks at the main character; and so for The Colossus of Rhodes I actually had a eighty foot robot hurling boulders at the character --"
"-- You must have thought, 'What more does she want?!'"
And we laughed and I realized 'Whoa, KD understands my frustration" and that something I'd heard at Orycon last year was true. A panel of editors said, "We're rooting for you [authors] to succeed in telling a tale."
I told her that I really appreciated hearing in the workshop that her critiques were only suggestions (not commands) for how the story might be expanded.
... And then someone dragged me off to get drinks.