Clarion West Write-a-Thon

The Class of 2008 with our Week Four instructor, Connie Willis

In 2008, I attended the Clarion West Writer’s Workshop in Seattle, Washington. The workshop accepts eighteen students every year for an intensive six-week program. Clarion West helps writers make the leap towards writing at a professional level and is focused on science fiction and fantasy of all stripes — magical realism, steampunk, paranormal, cyberpunk, and beyond. This post* has a bit more information about my experience.

This year, I’m participating in the Clarion West Write-A-Thon for the fourth time. The WAT runs alongside the workshop, providing a virtual space for members of the writing community to support the workshop while working on their own fiction. The WAT is Clarion West’s major fundraiser every year and most of the funds go to the exact kind of scholarships that helped me to attend.

I’m using the WAT to percolate a bunch of story ideas. I’ve pledged to write at least 750 words a day, and I’ve generally done more, jumping between about five different projects-in-progress. The WAT has helped me to continue to work towards writing and publishing fiction more seriously. So far, I’ve written 21,941 words, or about 1,218 per day.

One of our Clarion West instructors in 2008 was also an alum and he talked about the fact that it took him five years after the workshop to digest everything and apply it. Subsequently, he’s had a very successful career. That five-year time frame makes a lot of sense to me. Since the workshop, I’ve produced fiction in fits and starts and spent most of my time mapping out concepts for novel-length works. Most of the more polished work I’ve done has been for my dissertation.

All of which is in the service of saying, if I’m on the five-year plan, this is year four. I’m almost there! Supporting me in the WAT this year will help give me that final push towards developing these projects and moving forward with my writing. To support me, you can visit my WAT page here.

At the main page for the WAT you’ll see the links to support many other outstanding writers, including some of my 2008 classmates. There are over 225 writers to support…you could look at it as shopping for your summer reading material circa 2013/2014! 🙂

Thank you so much to those of you who have donated!

*While this post is about applying for the 2012 workshop, the deadline has passed and the workshop is currently in progress.


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