Clarion West Alumni News for July 2015
It’s the busiest time of year for Clarion West—the Six-Week Workshop, the Summer Reading Series, and the Write-a-thon are in high gear! The Six-Week Workshop students arrived in Seattle this year at the beginning of a historic heat wave, but they’re soldiering through and getting some excellent work done.
If you’re in the Seattle area, we would love to see you at the Summer Reading Series. Our last reading event of the summer with Cory Doctorow is coming up, and if you buy your tickets in advance you’ll be entered to win a book signed by Doctorow.
The Write-a-thon is going strong, and we appreciate every writer who participates and every sponsor who donates. This Six-Week Workshop had to move to a new location this year, which has increased our costs for housing significantly. The Write-a-thon is a chance for you to help with those increased costs, and help us keep tuition low for our future students.
The Locus Awards were announced on June 27, and Ann Leckie (CW ’05) won the Best Science Fiction novel award for Ancillary Sword. Congratulations, Ann!
Ballantine Books/Del Rey (Penguin Random House) has acquired North American rights to Indra Das’s (CW ’12) debut novel The Devourers (published in the Indian subcontinent by Penguin Books India), and will be publishing it in the US and Canada in 2016. From the publisher’s announcement: “The Last Werewolf meets Interview With a Vampire in this tale of Alok, a professor in present-day Kolkata, who is beguiled by a mysterious stranger into translating ancient texts which detail the accounts of a pack of shape shifters and a human woman in Mughal India during the 17th-Century, pulling Alok deeper and deeper into the world of predators . . . and prey.”
Marlee Jane Ward (CW ’14) has had her story “The Walking Thing” published at Interfictions. This story was workshopped during the fourth week of the 2014 Six-Week Workshop.
Fabio Fernandes (CW ’13) will be publishing a collection with Francesco Verso’s Future Fiction, an imprint of the Italian publishing house Mincione Edizioni. It will be an e-book edition containing four stories, published in Italian.
Genevieve Williams’ (CW ’02) short story “Good Behavior” appears in Perihelion SF this month.
Beatrice Hild Gentry Evans, daughter of M. Huw Evans (CW ’12 and Workshop Administrator) was born on June 2. She was 6lbs, 15oz, and 19 inches long. Kate and Beatrice are both healthy and happy as can be, and Beatrice is an excellent eater and a pretty darn good sleeper. Her big sister Eleanor is ecstatic about having a sibling. Congratulations, Huw, Kate, and Eleanor!
Michael Matheson (CW ’14) now has a Patreon! Patreon is a wonderful way to support your favorite writers and artists.
Jenni Moody (CW ’11) has been accepted to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s PhD in Creative Writing program, with a teaching assistantship and the Chancellor’s Award.
Indrapramit Das, Clarion West Class of 2012
AN: What one thing are you proudest of since you completed the Clarion West Workshop?
ID: Getting an agent, and a book deal (in the Indian subcontinent, now on to other territories!).
AN: What are you working on now?
ID: Always a myriad of things without actually working on any of them as much as I should. But mainly, my next aim is to finish a second novel. I don’t know whether this’ll end up being the case, but the current plan is to expand a short story I sold to Tor.com, about a few characters in Kolkata, India, spiritually and practically dealing with the impact of the dead rising up and walking again. I tend to be easily bored by zombies because of cultural overexposure, unless the execution is great (no pun intended) in whatever story they’re in, so I challenged myself to write a zombie story that I wouldn’t find generic or boring (or stereotypically post-apocalyptic).
AN: Tell us something we don’t know.
ID: I tend to have vivid, detailed waking hallucinations at night, in between or on the cusp of sleep. They sometimes persist for several seconds after I literally get up off my pillow. They will often take the form of living things, elaborate floating machinery and robotic drones, or insects/arachnids of various sizes.
AN: What’s your favorite part of writing? Least favorite?
ID: When you’re actually writing. As in, putting down words continuously for hours. There’s so much other stuff to writing—thinking, researching, more thinking, plotting, deleting, editing, proofreading, reading, re-reading, starting, ending, false starting, eating, drinking, staring, and on and on. Those stretches where you’re just straight-out writing like a classically imagined writer give me such euphoria that it literally feels like a drug. Literally. I do not use that word too lightly.
AN: What’s one question you wish people would ask you? (And the answer, if you’re so inclined!)
ID: Would you like several million dollars to let us adapt your novel/short story into a movie/TV series by an incredibly talented and smart bunch of people who would like to work very closely with you to bring your vision to screen in a way that will endure in the hearts and minds of thousands of fans for generations to come?
Answer: Why, yes, thank you!
AN: Why is speculative fiction important to you?
ID: It’s how I first started to read adult fiction, so I’ve always had a soft spot for it. It comforts me that we can literally do and create anything we can imagine within art.
AN: What one piece of advice would you give to the members of the incoming Clarion West class?
ID: Be prepared to be very emotionally vulnerable, and to use that in the relationships and art you make during the workshop. That Clarion West will be overwhelming, and hard work, goes without saying. But expecting the emotional intensity of the experience (I didn’t, but I quickly embraced it) and allowing yourself to get close to your classmates will make Clarion West easier, and hopefully, more rewarding.