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Seattle Reads 2024: Parable of the Sower

Every year, the Seattle Public Library (SPL) turns the entire city into a book club by selecting a book for Seattle to read and discuss. Clarion West is pleased to partner with SPL for this year’s Seattle Reads selection, Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. Grab a copy of Parable at your local library branch or local independent bookstore, then join one of the many performances, panels, and discussions throughout the city.

An intrinsic part of the organization’s history, Octavia Butler taught five times at the Clarion West Writer’s Workshop and was heavily involved in building the close-knit speculative fiction community in Seattle.

She attended the original Clarion Workshop in Pennsylvania in 1970 and went on to publish award-winning science fiction novels and short stories deemed “prescient” and “visionary.”

Octavia Butler 2005 Summer Reading

Published in 1993, Octavia Butler’s classic science fiction novel Parable of the Sower opens in 2024, a time when global climate change and economic crises lead to widespread social breakdown. This year’s selection of Parable gives readers an opportunity to consider Butler’s 2024 and our current day.

Clarion West is partnering with SPL and other organizations on many planned events this summer, including:


Queering the Future: LGBTQ+ Authors on Octavia Butler’s Impact
Featuring Amber Flame, Nisi Shawl, and Anastacia-Renée
Wednesday, June 5 at 7 PM Pacific
Elliott Bay Book Company
1521 10th Ave 

Sistah Scifi’s Wine Down Wednesdays
Every Wednesday during the Write-a-thon, Sistah Scifi’s Wine Down Wednesdays will be partnering with Clarion West to focus on Parable of the Sower, Octavia Butler’s impact on writers, and positive futures.
June 26 – July 31, from 5 – 6 PM Pacific
This is a virtual event series featuring Black speculative fiction authors. 

Two Hour Transport Summer Open Mic
July’s open mic will be another summer partnership between Clarion West and Two Hour Transport! Held at the Magnuson Park Amphitheater, this outdoor open mic is a community favorite. Participants will be encouraged to use Parable of the Sower for their story prompt.
Saturday, July 20 at 5 PM Pacific
Magnuson Park Amphitheater
6344 NE 74th St

Speculative Fiction Convening with Hedgebrook
This Speculative Fiction Convening is in partnership with Hedgebrook in honor of Octavia Butler. Participants will gather virtually for a 4-day retreat, learn with our illustrious alumnae instructors, enjoy an intimate cohort of writers, and more.
Friday, November 22 from 9:30 AM – Tuesday, November 26 at 4:00 PM
Details and registration coming soon!

Seattle Reads 2024 is presented in partnership with the African-American Writers’ Alliance, ARTE NOIR, Clarion West, Elliott Bay Book Company, Langston Seattle, loving room: diaspora books and salon, Sistah Scifi, Third Place Books, and Wa Na Wari.

Clarion West is also pleased to partner with Hedgebrook, Two Hour Transport, Clarion Workshop, and the Carl Brandon Society to celebrate Octavia Butler’s Influence on the speculative fiction writing community.

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