Saturday, May 12, 2012

Join Clarion West's 'shadow workshop' without leaving home

Every summer since 2004 famous and emerging writers of f/sf have taken part in a 'shadow' Clarion West writing workshop--without leaving home.

It's called the Clarion West Write-a-thon.

Kelley took part in it last year. Not only did she raise a huge amount of money for Clarion West (more than $2,500--thanks to your generosity) but absolutely soared above what she thought she could do in terms of raw will and talent. It was amazing: 41 pieces in 41 days. Many of them weren't just good but brilliant. (Go read them on her website. Go read her editorial comments on each piece at Sterling Editing.)

This kind of experience is why eighteen lucky students risk everything every summer--put their lives on hold for a six-week, utterly immersive, life-changing workshop. But now any writer--if s/he's brave and committed--has access to that crucible and the community that grows around that shared work. As it says on CW's website:

Pick a writing goal: something that’s a little stretch; something that motivates you. Shadow the workshop from June 17 through July 27 and write, write, write! Write 15 minutes or 4 hours a day, 250 words a day, or maybe 8,000 words a week (we call that a “Swanwick”); revise a story or a chapter of your novel every week; complete a story, novella, or trilogy; submit three short stories to professional markets; or do something else completely different.
Here's the whole press release:
The ninth annual Clarion West Write-a-thon is open for participant sign-up now through June 16. Every summer since 2004, famous authors and emerging ones have announced their six-week writing goals on individual web pages hosted by Clarion West. Clarion West gets donations from their supporters when those goals are met. Michael Swanwick and several others have offered Tuckerized story appearanced to their supporting donors.

Award-winners Vonda N. McIntyre, Rachel Swirsky, and Nisi Shawl are already signed up. The goal is to have at least 200 participating writers by June 16; four supporters have offered to give Clarion West $2000 if that happens.

Also known as “the shadow workshop,” the Clarion West Write-a-thon runs in conjunction with our six-week summer workshop. More details on how the Write-a-thon works and how you can take part are available at

Clarion West is a 501 c 3 nonprofit organization which presents writing workshops for those preparing for careers as professional writers in the fantastic genres.
Be one of the chosen. Be one of the 200. I can't tell you how much I recommend this. If Kelley's experience is anything to go by, it will rock your world. And the money you raise will make an enormous difference to the bank balance of an organisation that's been helping writers for nearly thirty years. Everybody wins: the participating writers, future students of Clarion West, and--most of all--readers. Go sign up.
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