Clarion West Alumni News for February 2018

It’s February, the month of Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, and Lunar New Year, and we hope this issue of the Alumni News finds you warm, loved, and happy.

Ursula Le GuinA lot has happened in the past month for the Clarion West community, not least of all the passing of Ursula K. Le Guin on January 22, at the age of 88. Ursula was a beacon in the world of science fiction and fantasy, and one of the instrumental figures that shaped Clarion West at its very beginning. Many members of our community remember her fondly and dearly, and we join them in mourning her loss.“I‎ believe Ursula K. Le Guin now walks on the moon as a Werewoman, as she says in one of her poems. In 1973 she taught in our Clarion West workshop at the University of Washington — thanks to then-director Vonda N. McIntyre. And in 1984 Ursula became a co-founder for our current, still-running Clarion West — then held at Seattle Central Community College.

Once — back in the day — Ursula and I had a conversation about growing old. She said, ‘… The names go first!’‎ Granted. Yet once knowing her —who could forget Ursula K.’s name… Ursula K.‎ Le Guin — we shall miss you!”

— JT Stewart‎ (CW ’73, co-founder CW ’84)

We’re putting out a call for remembrances, anecdotes, or impressions of Ursula (~100 words) for a short memorial article in our 7th Week publication. If you have stories or thoughts to share, please submit them at We’ll be taking submissions until March 23.

George R. R. MartinJanuary brought new beginnings as well: George R. R. Martin has announced a new annual scholarship for Clarion West, entitled the Worldbuilders Scholarship, which will sponsor one student at the Summer Workshop who shows an interest in building speculative worlds. George was a CW instructor in 1998 and 2012, and we’re incredibly thankful to him, just as we’re thankful to every donor who’s pitched in to provide support for our students to attend Clarion West each year.

Applications for our Six-Week Summer Workshop close on March 1, so if you or a writer you know are still on the fence, we encourage you to apply!

Alumni News

Alisa Alering (CW ’11) is co-teaching a workshop for writers of historical, contemporary, or speculative fiction at the Highlights Foundation with YA novelist Ashley Hope Pérez.

David Bruns (CW ’17) has signed a 2-book deal with St Martins Press (Macmillan) for an untitled military thriller and sequel. The books are co-written with J. R. Olson, a fellow Navy veteran.

Greg Beatty (CW ’00) has a poem, “Place Mat by Moebius,” appearing in The Alchemy of Stars, a collection of Rhysling Award-winning poems.

Congratulations to Thersa Matsuura (CW ’15), whose collection The Carp-Faced Boy and Other Tales is a finalist on the final Bram Stoker ballot for Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection.

The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart, a novel by Stephanie Burgis (CW ’01), has been selected as a VOYA Top Shelf Award-Winner for 2017.

Finally, the big one: the Locus Recommended Reading List and Tangent Online Recommended Reading List are out for 2017, and feature a cornucopia of CW alumni. Congratulations to Daniel Abraham (CW ’98), Kameron Hurley (CW ’00), Ann Leckie (CW ’05), Kij Johnson (CW ’87), Stephanie Burgis (CW ’01), Christopher Rowe (CW ’96), Mimi Mondal (CW ’15), Margaret Killjoy (CW ’15), Cynthia Ward (CW ’92), JY Yang (CW ’13), Indrapramit Das (CW ’12), Richard William Larsen (CW ’14), Susan Palwick (CW ’85), Vina Prasad (CW ’17), Octavia Cade (CW ’16), Andy Duncan (CW ’94), Alice Sola Kim (CW ’04), Usman Malik (CW ’13), Nisi Shawl (CW ’92), Caroline M. Yoachim (CW ’06), E. Lily Yu (CW ’13), Ian McHugh (CW ’06), Malcolm Devlin (CW ’13), Vicki Saunders (CW ’09), Carlie St. George (CW ’12), Jon Lasser (CW ’16), Cadwell Turnbull(CW ’16), A. T. Greenblatt (CW ’17), Leah Cutter (CW ’97), David D. Levine (CW ’00), Cae Hawksmoor (CW ’16), Eugene Myers (CW ’05), Brenta Blevins (CW ’12), J. M. Sidorova (CW ’09), Tony Daniel (CW ’89), and many, many more CW instructors and friends for making one or both lists!

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