Looking Forward to 2024 with an Amazing Team

I’m so pleased to announce the following well-deserved staff promotions. Everything we do at Clarion West is supported by an amazing and collaborative team of writers who care deeply about our programs, the field of speculative fiction, and creating a supportive and caring community.

Rashida Smith

Rashida Smith (CW ’05) will be taking on the role of Program Director. After serving for three years on the Clarion West Board of Directors, Rashida joined the staff in January 2020, a pivotal time for Clarion West! Over the last four years, she has worked with the organization as a Workshop Administrator and Online Program Coordinator, where she has assisted with the first virtual six-week workshop, been a major part of building out the Write-a-thon programs, developed the Flash Fiction Groups, and built the online programs for the organization. As the Program Director, Rashida will be responsible for overseeing all of Clarion West’s classes, workshops, and programs developed for the writing community. She will lead the program team in the planning, implementation, and management of the annual schedule of classes and workshops. This is the second full-time position that the organization has ever created.

Jae Steinbacher

Jae Steinbacher (CW ’14) has accepted the position of Workshop Manager. Jae joined the staff in January 2018 as the Workshop Administrator and became the Workshop Coordinator in January 2020. Over the last six years, Jae has overseen some big changes in the workshop, including navigating the difficult decisions we made in 2020 to postpone the workshop, testing out new locations, and managing our first virtual Six-Week Workshop in 2021. Jae also managed the Workshop Culture Project, reviewing workshop methods and opportunities to improve the format, outcomes, and author empowerment within the workshop. As the Workshop Manager, Jae will manage and support the Six-Week Workshop, One-Day or Weekend Workshops, and other critique-based workshops implemented with Clarion West’s unique brand of equity, inclusion, and innovation. Jae will continue to take the lead role in tasks related to workshop management, workshop instructor relationships, and all aspects of workshop implementation.

Amy Hirayama

Amy Hirayama has accepted the position of Events and Residency Coordinator. Amy joined Clarion West in February 2022 as the Workshop Administrator and has worked with Clarion West through both an online and an in-person six-week workshop. Over the last two years, Amy has been an important part of the Workshop Culture Project, outreach opportunities, and shepherding the Class of 2022 and 2023. As the Events and Residency Coordinator, Amy will help ensure that program events and residency programs are implemented as smoothly as possible with Clarion West’s unique brand of equity, inclusion, and innovation. This position will also work closely with the Workshop Manager on all aspects of student support for the Six-Week Workshop. This position takes a lead role in tasks related to Six-Week Workshop students, workshop implementation, and writing events and other residency programs, as they are developed. 

Stephanie Morris

Stephanie Morris (CW ’17) has accepted the position of Class and Content Coordinator. Stephanie joined the Clarion West staff in January 2021 as the Workshop and Communications Assistant and later moved into the role of Online Program Administrator. Over the last three years, in addition to the monthly newsletter and promotions, Stephanie has assisted with the development of Write-a-thon programming, the online workshop, the development of the online programs, and the Workshop Culture Project. As the Class and Content Coordinator, Stephanie will continue to support online programs and the monthly newsletter as well as take on other projects as they are developed.

I can’t say enough about this team and everything they do for Clarion West and for the greater writing community! We are so lucky to have such an incredibly talented and thoughtful group of folks supporting our work. Please join me in congratulating Rashida, Jae, Amy, and Stephanie on their promotions!

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