If you want to write science fiction and fantasy there is no better crucible and proving ground, classroom and community, than Clarion San Diego. I have already written a whole page on it, and updated the writers for 2010. It looks to be awesome. You have about six weeks to turn in applications to go. If you want a career in writing science fiction and fantasy, this is the right investment. After this, you don’t have to invest in another writer’s workshop for more… this is all you need. The writers are some you know and some you might not yet: Samuel R. Delany, George R.R. Martin, Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, Delia Sherman and Dale Bailey. The opportunities you get to move your work around and let people see it are great.
That’s us in the picture, on the bluffs outside La Jolla, near San Diego. That’s me pointing to the future. I say, “Hey, look, I can see a whole group of published writers!” And then someone says, “Out to sea, huh?” Okay, we didn’t say that. But these people became some of my closest friends.
Clarion solidified my “calling”–not only because everyone sacrificed to get there, but because we were taken seriously. I wrote a lot and wrote intensely. I was challenged. Wow, was I challenged. And I experienced some great moments of my life. I would love to relive this again–and really relish it this time. You get so busy writing you sometimes forget.
If you think it’s too much, it will be. But I took a third of everything I had and put into this workshop financially, and I wasn’t the only one. I love where it brought me, and where it let me stay for six weeks, and where it’s carrying me in the future. I think you will too.
There are a lot of workshops–Odyssey, Clarion West, etc—but I think this one is the best. And if you respect the 18 other students there, you will get the most out of the workshop. If you feel defensive about your work before you go, you might not get as much out of the workshop. Because certainly the work will be up for critique–but not you. You are up for amazing moments and good, solid career information.
Go. You’ll be glad you did.