Friday, January 31, 2014

Clarion 2014

You know I dig Stonecoast and think it's an awesome program for anyone that wants a Master of Fine Arts but that happens to be writing speculative fiction. It's a big commitment, though. What about a program that's shorter, tighter? I have a favorite for that as well: The Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Workshops.

I didn't attend as a student, but I did have the pleasure of teaching there a few years back. Great experience. An intense experience for the students, no doubt, but well worth it. It's competitive, but if you get in you're thrown together with around twenty other talented writers. Six weeks at the lovely University of California at San Diego campus. Each week a new instructor comes in to run the workshops. Each week you produce a new story. Much awesomeness transpires. If you look at the website alumni page you'll see a whose who of SFF stars. I'm not kidding.

A sampling of alums: Tobias Buckell, Octavia Butler, Ted Chiang, Cory Doctorow, Nalo Hopkinson, James Patrick Kelly, Kelly Link, Marjorie Liu, Kim Stanley Robinson, just to drop a few names. And of instructors: Steven Barnes, Holly Black, Orson Scott Card, Robert Crais, Ellen Datlow, Samuel R. Delany, Tananarive Due, Karen Joy Fowler, Neil Gaiman, Joe and Gay Haldeman, Elizabeth Hand, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Kij Johnson, Jonathan Lethem, George R. R. Martin, Tim Powers, John Scalzi, Delia Sherman Dean, Connie Willis, Gene Wolfe and, okay, I've got to stop... But the list goes on!

By the end of the six weeks you not only are on first name basis with some of the top writers in the genre, you've also got a bunch of new friends and colleagues. I really think it's a terrific program. I'm saying so now because the application period is in full swing. If the prospect of such a program interests you at all, please go check the website out and consider making the jump to sending in an application. I reckon some of the folks that went through the program would mark it as a career-making moment in their lives. Just saying. And the faculty this year is awesome! They are every year. I never fail to be impressed - and a bit jealous of the students that get to hang out with these folks in the eucalyptus scented air of Southern Cali.

Oh, and you get to go to San Diego Comic-Con on the side. No kidding.

Here's some of the official blurbage:

Applications for the 2014 Clarion Workshop are now open and will remain open until March 1, 2014.  If you've been thinking about applying, now's the time.  On February 15th, the application fee will increase from $50 to $65.  Just our way of encouraging applicants to finish sooner rather than later.  We've got a wonderful faculty anxious to share the secrets of great writing with a new class of promising students, one of whom might be you!  Let Gregory Frost, Geoff Ryman, Catherynne Valente, N.K. Jemisin, Ann VanderMeer, and Jeff VanderMeer give you the rocket fuel to power your career.

If you're accepted, we'll do our best to make it possible for you to attend.  Thanks to Clarion's friends and supporters, there is scholarship money for those who need it. In addition to general scholarships, there are special grants for students of color, students age 40 and older, students who are affiliated with Michigan State University, and students who are affiliated with UCSD.

Website is HERE!

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