Clarion West Alumni News for September 2015

As summer begins to give way to fall, Clarion West is busy preparing for Six-Week Workshop application season as well as our One-Day Workshops. As of this writing there are still spaces left in these workshops:

Applications for the Six-Week Workshop open in December, and there will be a discount on the application fee for early applicants. If you know a writer who might benefit from the workshop, let them know that information on applying is available on our site, and it’s not too early to start preparing to apply.

As always, thank you so much to everyone who sends in their news. If you’re an alumnus who has recent publication or other news (either professional or personal), drop a line to


Cover art for Welcome to Orphancorp

Marlee Jane Ward’s (CW ’14) novella “Welcome to Orphancorp” won the annual Viva la Novella Award, and is now available for purchase from Seizure. Congratulations!


Arinn Dembo’s (CW ’90) story “Magna Mater” will be published in the upcoming anthology of Lovecraftian stories She Walks in Shadows from Innsmouth Free Press. She also has two stories in the postmodern fantasy bestiary Gods, Memes and Monsters: A 21st Century Bestiary, which is out now.

Sandra Odell (CW ’10) has had her story “Ink” published in PodCastle.  “A woman stood at the tattoo parlor’s door. Small, damp from the storm, hair disheveled and slightly askew. Comfortable in her clothes, not her skin. The sight of her made Tiger’s chest itch, and his tattoos tingle.”

Cover art for The Humanity of Monsters

Michael Matheson’s (CW ’14) anthology The Humanity of Monsters comes out from ChiZine Publications this fall, and you can now see the table of contents on Michael’s Web site. There are a number of Clarion West alumni featured in this anthology, including Chinelo Onwualu (CW ’14), Indrapramit Das (CW ’12), Rachel Swirsky (CW ’05), Kij Johnson (CW ’87), and Meghan McCarron (CW ’04).

Michael also has a story titled “Against a Sea of Brilliant White” out in this month in Scott David Aniolowski’s Mark of the Beast anthology, published by Chaosium.

Asimov’s has inaugurated its new podcast programming with an audio version of Henry Lien’s (CW ’12) Nebula-nominated story “Pearl Rehabilitative Colony for Ungrateful Daughters.”

Thersa Matsuura (CW ’15) has had the first piece she wrote during Clarion West published in the “It happened to me” section of the Fortean Times.

John Walters (CW ’73) has had two stories published recently: “Rim’s End” in Perihelion, and “Aurora Borealis” in Triangulation: Lost Voices.

Katrina S. Forest (CW ’09) has had three recent publications.  Her story “Pidgin” will be in the September issue of Flash Fiction Online, and her short story “Water, Floor, Leaves” will be in the October issue of Crossed Genres. Her flash piece “Now Playing” is online at The Future Fire.

Lawrence Schimel’s (CW ’91) translation of Argentine author Teresa P. Mira de Echeverría’s science fiction novelette “Memory” has been published by Upper Rubber Boot. His translation of Domingo Santos’ novella “My Wife, My Daughter” is forthcoming in Castles in Spain, edited by Sue Burke and Mariano Villarreal. Castles in Spain is a crowdfunded anthology of Spanish science fiction, forthcoming in December.

Folly Blaine (CW ’14) and Randy Henderson (CW ’09) have sold their co-written steampunk horror story, “Hiss,” to Ghost in the Cogs, an anthology of supernatural steampunk coming in October.

Cover art for A Liaden Universe Constellation Vol. 3

Steve Miller (CW ’73) and Sharon Lee’s new book Liaden Universe® Constellation Volume III was published in trade paperback August 4, and was supported by a seven city book tour. The book went to number three on the Bookscan SF Bestseller list that week and sold out about twenty days later. It is going back to print immediately.  They were also recently invited to participate in a Kickstarter for two anthologies—Alien Artifacts and Were—and they’ll be writing at least one story for the project. The books are due out in August of 2016.

Their work in progress, The Gathering Edge, is due to be turned in February 15, 2016, and the publication date has not yet been announced. The paperback version of Dragon in Exile is set for a June 2016 release, and the hardback of Alliance of Equals is tentatively due out in July of 2016. Alliance of Equals will be novel number nineteen in the Liaden Universe.

Offworld Designs now carries a line of Liaden Universe wear: t-shirts, denim, and polo shirts.  If you love the Liaden series, now’s your chance to wear an official shirt proudly!

Steve also notes that he turned 65 on July 31. He turned 23 during Clarion West in 1973.

Appearances and new ventures

Nisi Shawl (CW ’92) and K. Tempest Bradford (CW ’03) are teaching an online Writing the Other workshop this fall.  (Registration is sold out for this workshop, but it will be offered again.)  Nisi is also teaching two free in-person workshops on dialect and representation in fiction at the Seattle Public Library on September 29 and October 10. You can find out more and sign up on the Seattle Public Library site. Nisi is also teaching at Princeton and the University of Honolulu later this year.

Samuel Kolawole (CW ’15) has been chosen as a fellow at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.

Steve Miller (CW ’73) and Sharon Lee will be panelists at Boskone 53 in February. They’ll also be the Author Guests of Honor at RavenCon in early May in Williamsburg, Virginia, and will be sharing the Guest of Honor spot with the great SF illustrator Vincent DiFate. They’ll be featured among the returning Guests of Honor at BaltiCon 50 in Baltimore, Maryland at the end of May. If you’re an alumnus who will be at these events, get in touch with Steve—he’s more than willing to put together a Clarion/Clarion West panel at any of these conventions.

Alumni Interview: Usman T. Malik, Class of 2013

Note: this interview was conducted earlier this year.  Malik’s novella “The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn” came out to acclaim this past April and is very much worth a read.

Usman T. Malik

AN:   What one thing are you proudest of since you completed the Clarion West Workshop? (Doesn’t have to be writing related)

UM: My novella “The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn.” I spent nearly a year and a half on it. It’s heavily influenced by Sufi and Islamic ideas about the cosmos and humanity’s place in it as well as other themes close to my heart.

The novella [came] out on April 22, 2015 at

AN:   What are you working on now?

UM: An SF short story that, alas, doesn’t want to finish itself. I may have to switch to another piece soon. Sometimes I do better if I change mode. For example, for this one, I may have to switch both mode and mood from SF to horror.

AN:   Tell us something we don’t know.

UM: I started reading and writing SF proper after attending Clarion West. Before, I imagined myself to be solely a horror writer, which is not entirely true. I like writing stories that may induce intrigue and awe in the reader. Sometimes that works for me in horror, sometimes in SF & F. Occasionally in realism, but that’s rare; usually because I steal those characters and settings and build magical constructs around them.

AN:   What’s your favorite part of writing? Least favorite?

UM: I love taking long walks and dreaming about ideas. These days I dislike the actual process of writing. Writing is difficult for me at the moment for reasons I’m not entirely sure of yet.

AN:   What one piece of advice would you give to the members of the incoming Clarion West class?

UM: Don’t take the workshopping process too seriously. Learn to love your classmates, for that bond will last a lifetime and the time you invest in that will pay back a thousand times over.

Consider the kind of writer you want to be, then choose your prolificacy based on that. Write stories only you can write.

It is okay to take some time to discover who you are as a writer and perhaps as a person.

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