It’s been an incredible couple of weeks! Workshop Director Neile Graham called to let me know I’ve been accepted into Clarion West Writers Workshop, Class of 2016. Stunning, earth-quaking news! When I got the call, Neile asked if I had any questions and I asked the first stupid practical thing that popped into my head… and after the conversation ended, I realized what I should have asked: “Is this really happening!?!” And by the next morning I began wondering if it had all been a dream. It just didn’t feel real until a couple days ago, when I began getting emails from Workshop Administrator Micaiah “Huw” Evans and they posted the class attendee list (Clarion West Class of 2016) and I began meeting my future classmates online.
The Clarion workshops have been around for decades and have helped educate many of the best writers, editors, and publishing professionals in speculative fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and horror. CW is an intensive 6-week program. I’ll be living with my 17 classmates and 6 weekly instructors in a sorority house in Seattle. (I told this to a friend and she said it sounds like a reality TV show. It does!) Each week a different writer or editor will be working closely with us, teaching and participating in our workshop critique sessions. We will be writing and reading at a manic pace. Our lives will be wholly consumed by genre fiction. There will be little time for sleep.
I can’t wait to meet my classmates and begin sharing stories with them. The instructors are fantastic and I’m eager to learn from them: Paul Park, Stephen Graham Jones, Elizabeth Bear, N. K. Jemisin, Sheila Williams, and Geoff Ryman. Here are their BIOS.
I’ve got 11 weeks until Clarion West begins! It seems like a long time to wait, but simultaneously not enough time to prepare myself. I’m using this as an added incentive to push myself harder with my writing, studying, and critical reading. The pressure is already building. I work best under pressure–I always have. Already I’ve begun a new short story unlike anything I’ve written, and I’ve made a huge revelation about what I need to do with my AI novel (a major new plot construction that’d had me sort of drifting aimlessly without–I think it’s a bit like finding your story’s soulmate sometimes; you are drifting along and don’t know you are missing a huge piece of your life, and bam! suddenly everything starts to make sense and all the random stars suddenly form brilliant constellations!)
This is going to be an amazing summer!