The writers' workshop started with advice panels on writing. Some of the advice the pros gave was debunking common writing myths, so in a way it was metaadvice. Sheila Williams, the editor guest of honor, shared some good, compelling pieces of wisdom. It's all the more valuable coming from the mouth of the Asimov's editor.
Then Don Webb conducts an audience participation game. He and the audience collaboratively construct outlines for two genre stories: an immuno-defficient woman in a bubble encounters a giant germ (horror) and a little slave boy in the 19th century American south meets aliens (science fiction). For this, the audience needs to decide: the story's genre (SF, F or H), who is the protagonist, where or when the story is taking place, and, most importantly, what is the driving force for the story. If it's horror, what is the protagonist afraid of? If they are aliens, what do they want?
After the critique sessions, ArmadilloCon guest of honor John Scalzi gave a closing speech for the workshop students on the power of suck.
The pictures from the writing workshop and the rest of ArmadilloCon 2008 can be found on my web site.
Topic, according to the convention program: Our panel looks for the coming breakthrough in technology that changes everything.
For another debate on Singularity, see my blog post from the SXSW 2011 Singularity panel with Doug Lenat, Michael Vassar, and Natasha Vita-More.