Clarion Writers Workshop   3 comments

My Clarion class--2007, Cory Doctorow up front.  Are you interested in taking your writing to the next level?  If you are a science fiction or fantasy writer, you should definitely, seriously, consider taking the six weeks in San Diego offered by Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Workshop.

They offer you professional instruction–all the teachers are published writers.  They invite a host of guest speakers including other sci-fi/fantasy writers who are friends of the teachers, guest editors, publishers, agents.  They put you in contact with those who can seriously move your career along.

The quality of the students is HIGH.  Every one of my classmates was a good writer, a thoughtful reader and an astute critic of people’s work.  We were asked to read each other’s writing and assist in making it the best it could be.  I got the best critiques there.

No, it’s not cheap, but I wouldn’t expect it to be.  Nothing good is.  It is an investment.  There are partial scholarships, though, to help.  The campus is stunning to stay on for six weeks.  The writing and reading are intense.  You will write more than you ever had before–and you will want to because these are the people you want to have look at your writing.

While I was there, we got to go to ComiCon, a HUGE showcase for science fiction and fantasy in San Diego.  And we got to run around on the campus and visit any department we wanted to: World class biologists, physicists, medicine, CalTech, etc.  Authors, agents, publishers help to make you the next group of writers who make it.  That much care and concern is overwhelming support for any writer.  Then imagine these writers–not only your 18 fellow writers, but also your teachers–becoming friends and colleagues for life.  Good for sharing frustrations with, and for sharing market leads with.

In the eight years now that have followed, all of us are still getting work accepted and published at different frequencies–but our Clarion background made a difference in our lives.  Editors admit that they rely on Clarion grads, or grads from established writers workshops, to provide them with quality science fiction and fantasy. I WISH I could go again.

The names of former Clarion grads is heartening and includes names like Vonda McIntyre, Octavia Butler, Ted Chiang, Kelly Link, Robert Crais, Cory Doctorow, Jeff Vandermeer, Nalo Hopkinson, Greg Frost, Kim Stanley Robinson, among other greats:

Invest in your Future.  Go to Clarion this year.


Posted December 13, 2008 by jstueart

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