Saturday, July 5, 2014

There are no tourists here

Lifted from Kelley's Instagram feed--with permission of course
Last night I went to a Clarion West party. I talked to several of this year's students and found myself saying to them, over and over, "There are no tourists here."

What I meant was everyone at the party mattered to the Clarion West ecosystem. No one present was a dilettante. Every single party guest had given time, money, or attention--most all three; many over decades--to the organisation.

Clarion West is one of the best writing workshops in the world. It is sustained by love: love of the written word, love of the genre, love of community, of generosity, of cooperation.

Kelley and I met at a Clarion workshop. We have both taught the six-week workshop. I've taught the one-day workshop three times. Kelley was Chair of the Board of Trustees for three years and is still a member of that board. I've run the Twitter account a couple of times in support of the Write-a-thon. Kelley has participated in the Wat many times. We've given countless parties in support of the workshop and its community. I could go on...

The last year or so has been a hectic one for me, so CW has not been top of my list of things to talk about. But last night reminded me of just how much these people, this idea, matters to me.

As I've said, CW is sustained by love. But it also needs money. And the biggest fundraiser of the year, the Write-a-thon, is now in gear: 263 writers from 16 countries writing their hearts out, writing like the wind, to fill CWs coffers so it will stay healthy for the future. Thanks to some generous donors, every participant now has a sponsor. This is good. More is better.

So, do you love fiction of any kind? Do you love f/sf in particular? Will you help? Please make a pledge to support a writer today.

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4 comments:

  1. I was such a pleasure to meet you, Nicola. I'm well aware that right now I'm living through one of the most important times of my life and I hope I can continue to be a part of the Clarion community even from the other side of the Pacific.

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    1. The pleasure is mutual.

      CW and Clarion is everywhere :) I have no doubt you'll find Clarion West and Clarion San Diego and Clarion South grads in every major city in Australia.

      Now I'm waiting for Chinelo to found Clarion Africa...

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    2. Hi Nicola, it's like you read my mind. I was thinking about ways to do just that...

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