Clarion West Alumni News for April 2015

Spring has finally made its way to Seattle, and at Clarion West we’re busy getting ready for the Six-Week Workshop. This year’s class has been announced, with students hailing from all across the United States and all over the world. We’re looking forward to meeting the class of 2015 and welcoming them into our community.

If you would like to help support the workshop this summer, we will once again be running the Clarion West Write-a-thon concurrently with the Six-Week Workshop. The Write-a-thon is our yearly fundraiser that helps us keep Clarion West strong now and into the future. More information will be available in the coming months.

We have a few more One-Day Workshops left this spring: Muse Management and Production in the Story Factory with Ken Scholes on April 19; Flash Fiction with Cat Rambo on May 3; and the newly announced Point of View workshop with Paul Park on May 24. Join us in Seattle’s University District for these workshops—they promise to be excellent!

We have a new feature in this edition of the Alumni News: an interview with one of our alumni, Tina Connolly. You can find the interview below, and be on the lookout for more interviews in coming months.

As always, Clarion West wants to hear from you. You can send your news, both professional and personal, to

The Seventh Week

The Seventh Week, Clarion West’s newsletter, is now available to download from our site. In this issue, you’ll find:

  • an interview with writer Cat Rambo
  • an update on the 6-Week Workshop from Workshop Administrator Neile Graham and Workshop Administrator Huw Evans
  • an introduction from the new chair of the Clarion West board, Vicki Saunders
  • a guide to convention-going from writer Cynthia Ward

Find this edition as well as our archives on the Seventh Week page.

Community Announcements

On May 20th, join MIT Enterprise Forum Northwest for a deep exploration of the fascinating intersection between science fiction and reality.

The evening begins with a fireside chat featuring Jason Pontin, publisher of MIT Technology Review’s special science fiction edition, Twelve Tomorrows. Along with award-winning authors and visionaries Greg Bear and Nancy Kress, Jason will explore science fiction’s awe-inspiring vision of the future and its impact on reality. Following will be a brief talk from prominent University of Washington scientist, Paul Yager, who credits science fiction with influencing his work. The evening will conclude with a presentation by Microsoft’s Chief Research Office, Rick Rashid, about executing the vision and turning science fiction into reality.


Craig L. Gidney’s (CW ’96) book, Skin Deep Magic, is a finalist in the Lambda Literary Awards in the SF/Horror/Fantasy category. Congratulations!

Publication News

Fabio Fernandes (CW ’13) has had his story “Eleven Stations” accepted for publication in the tribute anthology “Stories for Chip,” edited by Bill Campbell and Nisi Shaw (CW ’92), due for July.

N. Lee Wood (CW ‘85) has a short story called “Scapegoats” in Ellen Datlow’s Nightmare Carnival anthology, which has been getting good reviews. Lee is currently teaching undergraduate level Creative Writing at the University of Massey in New Zealand while working on her PhD in Creative Writing from the same university, as well as writing a historical novel.

Julie Steinbacher (CW ‘14) had a story come out in Escape Pod’s Artemis Rising special in February, called “Chimeras.”

Waking Up Naked in Strange Places cover by Julie McGalliard

Julie McGalliard’s (CW ’06) first novel, Waking Up Naked in Strange Places, will be published by Per Aspera in April 2015.

David Herter’s (CW ‘90) short story “Islands Off the Coast of Capitola, 1978,” will appear at in July. He’s completing Fiery Angels, sequel to Cold Heavens, currently making the rounds via agent Matt Bialer. He’s also writing a fantasy/horror novella set deep in Seattle’s history, called “Standard Records & Hi Fi.”

Alyc Helms (CW ’12) has a story out now in Beneath Ceaseless Skies called “A Screech of Gulls.” It appears both as text and a podcast, and can be read and listened to at the Beneath Ceaseless Skies site.

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction published an interview with Henry Lien (CW ’12) discussing “Bilingual,” his story in the March/April issue. He discusses how something that happened on the plane ride up to Clarion West made him write this story; the complexities of writing a story in tweets; how dolphins see with their teeth; why a middle-aged gay man with a receding hairline felt compelled to channel a teenage girl; how his friends offered their baby to be raised with dolphins; and how the ghost of his dead partner compelled him to write this story.

Aetheria, by S. Hutson Blount

S. Hutson Blount (CW ’05) has a new book out called Aetheria. “Aetheria Peregrine set out for a career as a merchant spacer—a career cut short in a whirlwind of events. Caught up in the tumult of planetary empires set against each other, she must by turns become a pirate, doctor, ice miner, drug dealer, vagabond, mystic, spy, secret policewoman, pilgrim, fugitive, heiress, scholar, and diplomat.”

Shannon Peavey’s (CW ’13) thought-birds story “A Beautiful Memory” is out at Apex Magazine. “On Thursday, a windsor-knotted businessman paid Anna three times her normal asking price for a quartet of thought-birds. She normally sold two at a time because their growth was so slow. But he insisted. A bird of each flavor: contentment, melancholy, joy, fury.”

Marlee Jane Ward (CW ‘14) will have her story “Clara’s” published in the anthology Hear Me Roar in June.

Robert Guffey (CW ’96) has a new book out called Chamelo. “A mesmerizing mix of Charles Bukowski, Hunter S. Thompson, and Philip K. Dick, Chameleo is a true account of what happened in a seedy Southern California town when an enthusiastic and unrepentant heroin addict named Dion Fuller sheltered a U.S. Marine who’d stolen night vision goggles and perhaps a few top secret files from a nearby military base.”

Rhiannon Rasmussen (CW ’14) has a story out in Sockdolager called “Charge! Love Heart!.”

Interview with Tina Connolly (CW ’06)

Portrait of Tina Connolly

AN: What are you working on now?
TC: So, my first YA book, Seriously Wicked (a lighthearted book about a high school girl who lives with a seriously wicked witch) is coming out May 5th from Tor Teen. (It has been SO MUCH FUN to do.) Anyway, I’m working on the sequel to that now. The witch always has crazy schemes to take over the world, so it’s been fun plotting out her next set of evil plans.

AN: What superpower would you most like to have?
TC: I would pick flying. Also maybe invisibility, because I don’t want a lot of people pointing at me while I’m flying.

AN: What’s your favorite part of writing? Least favorite?
TC: My least favorite part of writing is getting started on the blank page. Conversely, my most favorite part is revising. I love fiddling at a sentence level, and I even love restructuring and moving big pieces around (even when I’m sure that THIS time, it’s not going to work.) There’s a whole swath in between those two extremes that’s totally fine where I at least have something to work with. But when there’s nooooottthing at all…ugh.

AN: What do you do when you need inspiration?
TC: Take a walk. I do all my best plotting while pushing the baby toddler to the library and back.

AN: What one piece of advice would you give to the members of the incoming Clarion West class?
TC: Know your physical limits and make peace with them. You literally cannot go on every outing, be at every conversation. Sometimes you just need to sleep.

Tina Connolly is the Nebula-nominated author of the Ironskin trilogy from Tor Books. Her next book, Seriously Wicked, comes out May 5th from Tor Teen. Her stories have appeared in Women Destroy SF, Lightspeed,, Strange Horizons, and more. Her narrations have appeared in audiobooks and podcasts including Podcastle, Pseudopod, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and more. She runs the Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast Toasted Cake.


Carol Severance (CW ’84) passed away on February 19th, 2015. She was the author of The Island Warrior trilogy and the Compton Crook Award winning Reefsong. She did anthropological fieldwork in the remote coral atolls of Micronesia and eventually settled in Hawaii. She is survived by husband Craig, daughter Linina Pfeffer, son Maui, brothers Dick and Alex Wilcox, sister Mary Gibbons and two grandchildren.

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