Steering the Craft
September 8

September 8, 2019, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
University District, Seattle

“There’s no sea chart for a boat in a hurricane. But there are still some basic ways to make her seaworthy and keep her from capsizing, going to pieces, or hitting an iceberg.” Ursula K. Le Guin

Using ​Steering the Craft​, Ursula’s book on writing, as a guiding text for the day, this workshop will focus on discussion and practice in the fundamental skills of storytelling — syntax, rhythm, voice, point of view, and the “expository lump.” As we work our way through five of the exercises Ursula created for her book, we’ll discuss the particular element of craft that each exercise is designed to practice, and read examples of it from notable writers (asking, as she suggests, “what is the writer doing, how is she doing it, why is she doing it, do I like it?”). And by focusing all of the exercises on a particular character or set of characters, you may come away with five (or more) related scenes and thus, at the end of the day, the rough beginnings of a coherent story.

Molly Gloss is the author of several novels including ​The Jump-Off Creek, The Dazzle of Day, Wild Life, The Hearts of Horses ​and​ Falling From Horses, ​as well as the story collection Unforeseen. ​She writes both realistic fiction and science fiction, and her work has received, among other honors, a PEN West Fiction Prize, an Oregon Book Award, two Pacific Northwest Booksellers Awards, the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, and a Whiting Writers Award. Her story “Lambing Season” appeared in ​The Best of the Best: Twenty Years of The Year’s Best Science Fiction.

This workshop is available to anyone aged 18 or older for a $ fee.

Are there minimum age requirements to enter the event?

This workshop is available to anyone aged 18 or older. If you have a question about the mimum age requirement, please email us at 

What is the location and transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

Class location, parking information, and building access will be sent by email within two weeks of the class start date. 

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Please email any questions to: or call 206-322-9083 and select option #1. 

What’s the refund policy?

If you sign up but cannot attend the workshop, please give us as much notice as possible so that we can contact a waitlisted student and offer them your spot. In order to process a refund, we must receive 48-hour notice and be able to fill the spot with a waitlisted student. Exceptions may be made given emergency circumstances at administrator’s discretion. If Clarion West cancels the class for any reason, refunds will be made as soon as possible after the class has been cancelled. 

Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn’t match the person who attends?

If you are signing up for someone else, please send an email to and tell us your information and the name, email, and contact information for the person you are registering for. Clarion West does not share contact information with any other organization.

Are there any scholarships available? 

Clarion West has a limited number of scholarsips for our year-round programs. If you are interested in a scholarship, please email us at and tell us a little bit about why you want to attend and why you need a scholarship.