Clarion West Alumni News for May 2021

May was a busy month! We kicked it off with our first virtual gala, Clarion West Nerdlesque: Our Next Evolution Revealed. With your support, we blew our fundraising goals out of the water. On May 16 and 17, we held the final two panels of our Beyond Afrofuturism: Black Editors and Publishers in Speculative Fiction series, and talked publishing, zines, and magazines with a fantastic lineup of Black publishers and editors. Finally, we are delighted to announce that the National Endowment for the Arts recognized us with a grant that will allow us to continue our work of providing emerging and underrepresented writers with world-class instruction.

May is only the beginning of a busy summer. June 20 marks the start of the Six-Week Summer Workshop — and this year, our cohort of 15 students is going virtual. While the format is new, the workshop energy isn’t. We have an outstanding instructor lineup: Andy Duncan (CW ’94), Eileen Gunn, Tina Connolly and Caroline Yoachim (both CW ’06), Nalo Hopkinson, Sheree Renée Thomas (CW ’99), and Ted Chiang. We’re thrilled to be working with such a talented group of instructors and students. Please give the 2021 cohort a warm welcome and say hi when you can!

Latest Alumni Publications and Awards

In April, debut novelist Elly Bangs (CW ’17) gave us Unity. Mad Max meets philosophy in “a mad chase across a dystopian Earth” (Publisher’s Weekly). Friends, we cannot get enough. Terrific work, Elly!

Walking on Cowrie ShellsNana Nkweti’s (CW ’15) debut collection, drops June 1st. We cannot wait to read these ten stories “populated by zombies and mermaids, adopted girls and grown women and set in places as familiar as suburban New Jersey, as exotic as Comic-Con, and as far away as Cameroon” (Kirkus Reviews). Congratulations, Nana!

Coming September 2021 from Realm, Mimi Mondal (CW ’15) and Shiv Ramdas (CW ’16) are reimagining Captain Nemo of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea from a South Asian perspective. It is going to be groundbreaking, and we’re so proud! Read more at

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