In case anyone else was wondering about the writing workshops at DragonCon, you don't need a laptop or your manuscript. These aren't interactive courses where they help you with your writing, they're more like lectures. You sit and take notes while the instructor talks about writing. You can ask questions whenever you want. Some people used laptops or tablets to take notes, but I just used paper and pen.

The course I attended yesterday (on description) was really good! I'm still debating whether it's worth the price of admission, though. For $10, you can buy a good book on writing that will cover a lot more material. (Instead of a broad overview of description, the class was very specific, covering only a small, pinpoint area relating to the topic.) However, I think it makes a difference whether you're a self-starter who can teach yourself from books, or whether you need a real instructor. If you need interaction, the ability to ask questions, and so forth, you'll do really well with the writing workshops.

At any rate, I learned a few things, so it was worth it. I'm looking forward to the rest of the classes I signed up for.