In 1970, Vonda N. McIntyre attended the last Clarion workshop held in Clarion, Pennsylvania. The following year, with the blessings of Robin Scott Wilson, the founder of Clarion, she held a Clarion-style workshop in Seattle, called Clarion West. The workshop was a success, so she did it again in 1972, when J.T. Stewart was one of the students, and again in 1973. In 1984, the current incarnation of Clarion West was founded by J.T. Stewart and Marilyn J. Holt, with Vonda’s advice and inspiration. The workshop has been run as an independent nonprofit organization since 1986 (recognized by the IRS in 1987). 

A short history of the Clarion Workshop:

Robin Scott Wilson attended Damon Knight & Kate Wilhelm’s Milford Writers Workshop in the mid-1960’s. Milford was a peer workshop—only active, published SFF writers were invited. Robin realized it could be adapted as a student workshop. The Clarion Writers Workshop ran for three years—1968, 1969, 1970—at Clarion State College in Clarion, Pennsylvania. While Clarion West was forming officially and running annually in Seattle, the original Clarion moved to Michigan State University and ran from 1972 through 2006. In 2007 Clarion relocated to the University of California, San Diego and has been running workshops annually since. 

The Clarion West and Clarion workshops are independently run. Applicants are encouraged to apply concurrently to Clarion and Clarion West, which operate on similar schedules.