Summer Six-Week Workshop
June 19 – July 29, 2016
Applications for the 2016 Summer Workshop are now closed.
Every summer, Clarion West holds an intensive six-week workshop in Seattle’s University District, geared to help you prepare for a professional career as a writer of speculative fiction. Each workshop is limited to 18 students, and each week features a different instructor, a highly regarded author or editor offering their unique perspective on the field.
Short fiction is the workshop’s focus, with an emphasis on science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Come prepared to write several new stories, to experiment and take artistic risks, and to give and receive constructive criticism.
You’ll work closely with instructors in group critiques of newly written stories, discussions about writing techniques or professional concerns, and individual or small group conferences. And you’ll be a part of Seattle’s vibrant SF community, as the workshop presents informal sessions with acclaimed area authors.
You’ll come away with essential tools for improving your writing as well as a set of friendships and professional contacts that can last a lifetime.
Clarion West charges a nonrefundable application fee of $30 (USD), which is payable via PayPal. The fee increases to $50 for applications received after February 10, 2016. Applications close March 1.
Clarion West is dedicated to promoting new voices in speculative fiction and offers a generous amount of scholarship support, made possible by our passionate and dedicated community. All students are encouraged to apply for scholarships.
Download a PDF flyer with application information here. (If the file does not display correctly in your browser, please save the PDF to your computer and open in Adobe Reader.)
To apply to Clarion West, you will need the following:
- Sample of your work, consisting of a total of 20 to 30 pages of manuscript (one or two short stories, or a novel excerpt with a synopsis of up to three pages). Your manuscript should be formatted in 12-point Courier (typewriter) font and double-spaced, with one-inch margins. (See Vonda McIntyre’s manuscript preparation guide and William Shunn’s story formatting guide for more information.) It should not exceed the page limit, even if it includes a synopsis. Set your margins flush left and do not justify the text. We prefer PDF documents, but also accept DOC and RTF files. Do not upload DOCX or ODF files.
- A 700- to 800-word description of your background and your reasons for attending the workshop. This essay will be used to introduce you to the workshop’s instructors if you are accepted. Include your contact information through June: phone number, email address, and mailing address.
- Scholarship form (if you choose to apply for financial assistance). Download a scholarship form here. (PDF form, requires Adobe Reader.)
The total cost to attend the workshop is $3800; this covers tuition, room, and partial board (light self-serve breakfast daily, and lunch and dinner Monday-Thursday). All students stay in the workshop residence. Wireless Internet access is free.
All students are eligible for scholarships. You can apply for a scholarship when you apply for the workshop on this site, or request a scholarship form via an email, phone call, or letter, or print one out from our website. Scholarships are allocated primarily based on need.
Our scholarship funds include some assistance for special needs students.
Instructors for 2016
Paul Park’s multilayered, surreal fiction uses familiar archetypes in unfamiliar ways to convey the depth and variety of human experience. He is the author of ten novels, including Soldiers of Paradise, Celestis, and his acclaimed Tourmaline Quartet, as well as a collection of short stories.
Stephen Graham Jones writes with such a light touch that you don’t realize until far too late that he’s grabbed hold of you viscerally and shaken everything inside you around. He is the author of fifteen novels and six story collections.
Elizabeth Bear’s multi-layered stories and novels invite the reader to look closer, taking the familiar and making it delightfully strange and fresh. She is the Hugo, Sturgeon, Locus, and Campbell Award winning author of 27 novels and over a hundred short stories.
N. K. Jemisin is a Brooklyn author whose short fiction and novels have been nominated for the Hugo and the Nebula, shortlisted for the Crawford and the Tiptree, and won the Locus Award for Best First Novel. Her themes include resistance to oppression, the inseverability of the liminal, and the coolness of stuff blowing up.
Sheila Williams is the two-time Hugo Award winning editor of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine. She started at Asimov’s in 1982 and served as the executive editor of Analog from 1998 until 2004. Her most recent anthologies are Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine’s 30th Anniversary Anthology, which was on the Locus Recommended Reading list, and Enter a Future: Fantastic Tales from Asimov’s Science Fiction.
Geoff Ryman is a Canadian living in the United Kingdom. His novel The King’s Last Song was inspired by a visit to an Australian archaeological dig at Angkor Wat in 2000. He has been a regular visitor since, teaching writing workshops in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap twice. Ryman’s work is boundary-breaking, edgy, and humane.