Clarion West Alumni News

(Click here for latest publications or click here for awards and nominations)

August 2020

Dear Alumni and Friends,

Whew! We made it through the biggest Write-a-thon in our history, and we did it all online. There’s still a raging pandemic here in America, but we hope things are becoming more like normal (whatever that means) in your neighborhood.

If you’ve been wondering what the heck you’re going to do next, read on! We’ve got a host of new online workshops for you as well as several events including author talks, speculative fiction trivia night, and more:

The Write-a-thon Set New Records!

Thank you to all who participated in our annual Write-a-thon. Whether you got some writing done, took a free workshop, solicited or pledged donations, or just watched some of our YouTube events, this year’s participants came out in droves from around the globe! Read about the final results and numbers at this link.

Check Out the Latest Awards and Publications from Our Alumni

As our alumni send us constant good news to share, we now post alumni publications and awards and nominations on our website. Click the following links to see what our community is up to, including new award nominations for Nisi Shawl, Sheree Renée Thomas, and Siobhan Carroll:

Alumni Publications
Alumni Awards and Nominations

New Workshops

Clarion West is offering more online classes this fall! During September, October, and November, you’ll get your fill of craft classes, business classes, and free coworking sessions and sprints. Topics include taxes for writers, dabbling in comics, navigating your personal blocks in order to write, mind mapping stories, and many more. Some of our fantastic instructors this season are Karen Lord, Steven Barnes, Curtis C. Chen, Julia Rios, and Rachelle Cruz.

Bummed about a socially distanced Hallowe’en? Maybe this will help: from gothic horror to politically-charged dark tales, writing spooky stories for children and covering the nuts and bolts of medical gore, we’ve got a selection of spine-tingling classes lined up! We’ll be making October a full Month of Horror with instructors like Usman Malik, Nadia Bulkin, Crystal Connor, and Cassie Alexander.

The list of fall classes is up here. As we finalize additional offerings, we’ll update the page.

Upcoming Events
Saturday, Sept 12, 6:00 PM Pacific

Insects, Arachnids, and Fellow Travelers, a.k.a “Bug Night”

Join us for a conversation with award-winning author Seanan McGuire and entomologist Kristie Reddick to discuss how science fiction and fantasy use bugs as proxies for aliens, societies, fears, and hopes. From Alien to Ant Man, Starship Troopers to James and the Giant Peach, what do all these stories have to tell us about being human?

Register here. This event is free to view online. Purchase a ticket to join the live Q&A after the event. Limited higher-tier tickets also get you books and other goodies for supporting Clarion West!

September 23, 1:00 PM Pacific

Building Black Inclusive Worlds, a panel in partnership with FIYAHCON
Fantasy and science fiction often include worlds inspired by real-life cultures. Even though these genres should be imagining new ways forward, too many times drawing upon the cultural experiences of others has created harm and frustration amongst the groups most in need of SFF’s transformative power. Identities are mined to create an easily codified other, and the diversity within these groups is potently erased. For Black people especially, the idea of a monolithic identity is a concept constantly railed against. How can these fantastic worlds do a better job of including the full spectrum of Blackness?

FIYAHCON director and award-winning writer and editor L. D. Lewis, editor and writer of fiction and comics Danny Lore, author Eden Royce, and author and educator Nia/N.E. Davenport will tackle these questions, with FIYAH magazine‘s social media manager and author Brent C. Lambert moderating the discussion.

Tickets to this event will be available for free on our website. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, Sept 29, 7:00 PM Pacific

Author talk with Jasmine Silvera and Olivia Waite
Our own workshop administrator, Rashida J. Smith a.k.a. Jasmine Silvera (CW ’05), discusses her supernatural romance novel Binding Shadows with Olivia Waite (The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows) and librarian Robin Bradford.

Saturday, Oct 17, 6:00 PM Pacific

Speculative Fiction Trivia Night
Save the date! Think you know a lot about spec fic? Our quizmaster Curtis C. Chen leads the galaxy’s most challenging trivia night of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Featuring some of our favorite authors giving you video clues! This annual event will be held online–no googling the answers, or you’ll be shown to the airlock! Reservation link coming very soon.

Call for Flash Fiction

We’re looking for speculative flash fiction for use in our publicity efforts, and we’re paying pro rates. We are open to speculative fiction (SF/F, horror, slipstream, etc.) of no more than 500 words, written by alumni of Clarion West and folks who participated in this year’s Write-a-thon Critique Groups. Both original work and reprints are accepted, but reprints must be clearly stated, including any work that has been made available online or in print elsewhere, including self-publishing. As these stories are for our broader community, their families, and the general public, we ask that you limit the use of violence, explicit language, and sexual content.

The deadline for submissions is August 28, 2020. We look forward to reading your work!
To submit:
• Please use Standard Manuscript Format, and make the attachment an RTF file.
• Please use the following subject line for your submission: “Flash Fiction Submission: [Title]” where [Title] is the title of your story.
• Please email your story to communications@clarionwest.org as an attachment.

Cover letter:
• Your name/class year
• The title of your story
• Length (word count) of your story
• Your social media handles
• Whether you wrote this story as part of the Write-a-thon

We pay 8 cents per word on acceptance. For original work, we ask for first serial rights. For both original and reprinted work, we ask for non-exclusive, indefinite archival rights, though the author is welcome at any time to request a story be removed from our use after one year. Authors will be notified of exactly when and how stories will be used 30 days before they are made available. If a printed form of the story is made (e.g., a postcard), we will provide the contributor with 10 copies for personal use/distribution.

In imagination we trust,

Evan J. Peterson (all pronouns)
Marketing and Social Media Coordinator
Clarion West

July 2020

Dear Alumni and Friends,

Our executive director, Marnee Chua, would like to update you on some new roles around the Clarion West hive:

Hi, everyone! Jumping in to welcome a few new staff and board members! Please join me in welcoming them all to the team!

Evan J. Peterson: Evan is an author, game writer, and a Clarion West alum (Class of 2015). He has officially accepted the position of our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator and will be growing our efforts in fundraising and outreach as well.

I am also pleased to welcome three new board members, M. Huw EvansScott Sherman, and Shweta Adhyam! Learn more about them here:
https://www.clarionwest.org/about/board-and-staff-members/

Thanks, Marnee! And now for this month’s news and announcements:

2020 Write-a-thon & Reading Series

We’re kicking off the sixth and final week of our annual Write-a-thon. With over 500 global participants writing together, taking free workshops, making friends, and building community, this is our biggest Write-a-thon ever.

We’re getting closer and closer to our $20K minimum goal. We hope to hit $30K to offset this year’s investment in free online classes. As we enter the final week, will you donate or sponsor a writer to help us meet the goal? Many participants are offering special sponsor rewards; check this link to see what donors can receive.

As we come to the end, the Summer Reading Series is nearly complete. Did you catch the editors roundtable live on our YouTube channel? Genre superstars Scott H. Andrews (Beneath Ceaseless Skies), Chinelo Onwualu (Anathema and Omenana), Julia Rios (Fireside), and Wendy Wagner (Nightmare and Lightspeed) gave us the convention panel we’ve all been missing during the pandemic. See the recorded discussion at this link and subscribe to our channel for more genre geniuses! Tonight, we wrap up with a live-streamed flash fiction open mic, in partnership with Two Hour Transport  and featuring Write-a-thon participants. Special guest readers include Clarion West alumni Thersa MatsuuraNibedita Sen, and Cadwell Turnbull.

Upcoming Online Workshops

After the Write-a-thon, we’re taking a much needed month off, but we’ve got even more dynamite content for you as we continue to weather the year 2020! Starting in August, keep an eye on this page for our fall online workshops, including September workshops with James Patrick KellyBryan Camp, and Nibedita Sen, plus an October emphasis on horror and dark fantasy!

Upcoming Events – Save the Date!

Bug Night: At 6:00 PM PST on Saturday, September 12, join us online for a night of fantasy, fiction, and science focused on insects and arachnids. Author Seanan McGuire, entomologist and educator Kristie Reddick of the Bug Chicks, and comedian Samantha Rund discuss the use of bugs as aliens and proxies for human fears, hopes, and societies.

Trivia Night: From 6:00–8:30 PM PST on Saturday, October 17, trivia master Curtis C. Chen will host the toughest trivia night in the galaxy – now online! Form a team or go solo, link up to us in cyberspace, and get ready for a game show you’ll never forget. There will be surprises, hilarity, and some celebrity guests!

More information, links, and tickets coming soon!

Alumni Publications, Awards, and Nominations

For the latest list of alumni publications, please click on this link. July 2020 features fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, with alumni ranging from Class of 1987 to Class of 2019.

We congratulate Cynthia Ward (CW ’92), Nisi Shawl (CW ’92), and K. Tempest Bradford (CW ’03) on winning the Locus Special Award 2020: Inclusivity and Representation Education for their work through Writing the Other.

Nisi Shawl (CW ’92) made us all extra proud by also winning the Locus Award for their anthology New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color.

Congratulations to Greg Cox (CW ’84) on winning the Scribe Award for Original Novel (Speculative) for Batman: The Court of Owls.

Indrapramit Das (CW ’12) just won the Shirley Jackson Award for his short story, “Kali_Na.” Well done, Indra!

The following alumni are nominated for awards this season, and you may be able to vote for them! With pride, we congratulate and recommend:

Rebecca Campbell (CW ’15)
Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic, Short Story
“The Fourth Trimester is the Strangest”
in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction

Dr. Helen Marshall (CW ’12)
Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic, Adult Fiction
The Migration (Random House Canada)

Anne Toole (CW ’11)
Scribe Award, Graphic Novel
Pet Noir (with Christie Yant & Pati Nagle) (Kymera)

Colleen Anderson (CW ’87)
Dwarf Stars Award, Science Fiction Poetry Association, horror haiku
“knife blade flutters”

In imagination we trust,

Evan J. Peterson (all pronouns)
Marketing and Social Media Coordinator
Clarion West

 

June 2020

Dear Alumni and Friends,

The year 2020 continues to be a turbulent one. Who’s ready for some good news? We proceed in our mission of supporting diverse, underrepresented genre writers and making our programs as inclusive and accessible as possible. We stand with Black Lives Matter, and we condemn police brutality. This is an awe-inspiring time to witness history. Speaking of cultural changes and historical protest, it’s also Pride month around the world. We wish a safe and happy Pride to all of our LGBTQIA+ friends and family.

This week, we kicked off our 2020 Clarion West Write-a-thon, which we’ve expanded and enriched this year to bring our community closer during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Write-a-thon includes craft talks, guided writing sprints, and online public readings. This is a mighty year to join in!

We depend on this yearly fundraiser to secure our budget and continue to fulfill our mission. Even so, we want everyone to know that there’s no minimum amount to raise. The Write-a-thon is as much about inspiring and supporting our community of writers as it is about asking donors to support us — perhaps more so. Please continue reading below for more about Write-a-thon events and opportunities, as well as more good news from the Clarion West community.

In imagination we trust,

Evan J. Peterson (he/him)
Marketing and Social Media Coordinator
Clarion West

Announcements

Juneteenth and Black Lives Matter
For Juneteenth and beyond, we’ve created a growing list of recommended writing from Black authors and editors from our Clarion West family. We encourage everyone to read Black stories, buy books by Black authors, and demand an end to the wage gap between what publishers pay white and Black authors.

Write-a-thon
The Write-a-thon has begun! For access to many of the goodies below, you’ll need the Slack channel invitation. These will be sent after your Write-a-thon registration is processed. Please do not opt out of receiving emails from us, as this is the way we send out the Slack invites.

Five hundred and eight participants have begun guided writing sessions. We’ve also revealed our first weekly writing prompt, posted in our Slack channel, delivered by Andy Duncan. On Monday, Andy’s private craft talk with our 2020/2021 cohort was posted in Slack for all Write-a-thon participants.

On Tuesday, we hosted a livestream video of Andy Duncan’s reading. In the coming weeks, the world can tune in to see and hear Eileen Gunn, Nalo Hopkinson, Tina Connolly, Caroline M. Yoachim, and an editors’ roundtable featuring Scott H. Andrews, Chinelo OnwualuJulia Rios, and Wendy Wagner. These live events include ASL interpreters to help ensure that they are accessible to as many as possible. If you prefer closed captioning, please contact the Seattle Public Library. Please subscribe to our newly revamped YouTube channel for reminders about these events and more!

$4000 Matching Challenge
For Week 2 or the Write-a-thon, the Clarion West Class of 2017 is challenging our donors to help make a difference by matching every donation as a 1:1 match up to $4,000 between now and the end of the Write-a-thon (July 31)! You may also want to visit the Write-a-thon Special Opportunities Page to discover all the unique backer rewards when you sponsor an individual writer!

For more, please check our Write-a-thon calendar.

Publications
Check out our new webpage for alumni publications. Each month, we’ll put a reminder in the newsletter for you to see whose work is now available to read.

Awards
We congratulate A. T. Greenblatt (CW ’17) and Cat Rambo (CW ’05) on their Nebula awards for short story and novelette, respectively. 2019 instructor Amal El-Mohtar also won best novella for This Is How You Lose The Time War, with Max Gladstone.

Nominations
In addition to the wealth of award season nominations we mentioned last month, we have more!

2020 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Award for Debut Speculative Fiction
The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull (CW ’16)

2020 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award 
“Give the Family My Love” by A. T. Greenblatt (CW ’17)
“The Archronology of Love” by Caroline Yoachim (CW ’06 and instructor CW ’20/21)
plus CW instructors Tobias S. Buckell and Amal El-Mohtar and future instructor Ted Chiang!

Grants
Our Seattle community has gifted us with several contributions:
Amazon donated $8,000.
The City of Seattle granted us $4,500 of Crisis Relief funding to offer free online classes and programs.
The City of Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture also bestowed on us a $2,800 Civic Partners grant.
King County 4Culture granted us $2,700.

To support Clarion West with a grant, please contact us at director@clarionwest.org. For one-time or recurring donations, please see our Support page.

Did this email end up in your spam filter? Know an alum who didn’t get this email? Our best solution at this time is to add Clarion_West@mail.vresp.com to your “always allow” or “white list” filters on your email server.

Clarion West invites the community to attend our readings and other events. We take pride in fostering a welcoming and safe space. Our harassment policy is included here

Clarion West Find us on Facebook Find us on Twitter

 

May 2020

Dear Alumni and Friends,

As you may have heard, Clarion West has postponed our 2020 workshop due to the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak and COVID-19. This was a difficult choice to make; our staff has changed, and Rashida and Jae were looking forward to their first year helming the workshop together. We have an outstanding instructor lineup, including veteran rockstars Andy Duncan (CW’94), Eileen Gunn, and Nalo Hopkinson; alumni like Tina Connolly and Caroline Yoachim (both CW’06); and consummate pros Neil Clarke and Ted Chiang. Our 2020 cohort, 18 students who have gamely accepted all our decisions, are a group of folks we are incredibly excited to engage.

We have invited our instructor lineup and students back to Seattle in 2021. In the meantime, the cohort has been interacting virtually, and we’ll be offering them some opportunities to network with their instructors this summer as well. During our Write-a-thon programming, the students are invited to online craft talks and live Q&A sessions with the instructors. The group has also been attending a number of our online workshops, as well as reporting back on panels and craft talks from cons that have gone virtual, like Flights of Foundry. The 2020 SFWA Nebula Conference has also extended free memberships to each of the students–if you’re attending, please say hi!

We will have more updates on what this means for 2021’s application cycle later this fall, but in the meantime, we hope you’ll continue to give this cohort a warm welcome. We can’t wait to see the stories that come from a group who have spent the year connecting before their workshop!

Best wishes to all of you out there,

Jae Steinbacher (CW’14), Six-Week Workshop Coordinator

Rashida J. Smith (CW’05), Six-Week Workshop Administrator

A final heartfelt THANK YOU for all of our GiveBIG donors this year! Your support overwhelmed us and will go a long way to paying for our spring and summer free classes and workshops that we have been offering in support of writers during these very trying times. By the time that donations closed, with our match guaranteed our community raised just over $9,000! Thank you to everyone who pitched in!

Announcements

Write-a-thon Incoming! 

Clarion West’s annual summer fundraiser is approaching, June 21 – August 1! Sign-up will open on June 8.

This year, we’ll be offering Write-a-thon participants early access to craft talks and readings with the 2020 six-week instructors and a virtual meeting space. We’ll also hold a lottery for short classes on craft and the business of writing offered during the six weeks. As in previous years, you can use the Write-a-thon to set personal writing or reading goals, to cheer others on, to raise funds for Clarion West, and/or to meet fellow writers online.

Want to take your writing to the next level?

Sign up for our Critique Groups and write a new flash fiction story every week. The goal: Write multiple flash fiction pieces in a strictly limited timeframe, learn to critique others’ writing, and receive critiques on your stories. You will be randomly assigned to a group of no more than 8 writers, with the goal of submitting a story a week and reading and critiquing your group’s submissions.

The Write-a-thon is free and there is no fundraising requirement to join the Write-a-thon, you can participate as much or as little in all of the associated events. This summer, the Write-a-thon events include:

  • Affinity groups for writers;
  • Flash fiction critique groups; and
  • Free classes, writing sprints, and social events throughout the six-week event.
  • Once you have registered for the Write-a-thon, you will be provided with a link to the affinity groups and Slack channel, as well as links to register for the critique groups (registration opens June 12), and Write-a-thon related classes and workshops (lottery sign-ups begin June 19).

Alumni Award Nominations & Publication News

The following alumni are nominated for awards this season, and you may be able to vote for them! In pride, we congratulate:

Tegan Moore (CW ’15)

Asimov’s Readers’ Award

Best Novella: “The Work of Wolves”

 

Andy Duncan (CW ’94)

Asimov’s Readers’ Award

Best Novelette: “Charlie Tells Another One”

 

Vylar Kaftan (CW ’04)

Nebula Award

Best Novella: “Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water”

 

Siobhan Carroll (CW ’09)

Hugo Award

Nebula Award

Best Novelette: “For He Can Creep”

 

Mimi Mondal (CW ’15)

Nebula Award

Best Novelette: “His Footsteps, Through Darkness and Light”

 

Nibedita Sen (CW ’15)

Astounding Award for Best New Writer

Nebula Award

Hugo Award

Best Short Story: “Ten Excerpts from an Annotated Bibliography on the Cannibal Women of Ratnabar Island”

 

Caroline M Yoachim (CW ’06)

Nebula Award

Hugo Award

Best Novelette: “The Archronology of Love”

 

Shiv Ramdas (CW ’16)

Nebula Award

Hugo Award

Best Short Story: “And Now His Lordship Is Laughing”

 

Cat Rambo (CW ’05)

Nebula Award

Best Novelette: “Carpe Glitter”

 

Lawrence Schimel, translator (CW ’91)

Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry

Impure Acts by Angelo Néstore

 

Craig Laurance Gidney (CW ’96)

Lambda Literary Award

LBGTQ SF/F/Horror (book): A Spectral Hue

 

Marlee Jane Ward (CW ’14)

Aurealis Award

Best Science Fiction Novella: Prisoncorp

Best YA Short Story: “Rats”

These are nominations; we look forward to seeing our alumni win!

Did we overlook your nomination? Please contact us at alumni@clarionwest.org to notify us of publications and nominations in the future!

Recent Alumni Publications and Professional Accomplishments:

Lauren Dixon (CW ’10)

Welcome to the Bitch Bubble (first collection!)

from Hydra House

 

Sheree Renée Thomas (CW ’99)

Nine Bar Blues

from Third Man Books

 

Lawrence Schimel, translator (CW ’91)

Itinerary of Forgetting by Nelson Simón

from Skull & Wind Press

 

Kara Lockharte and Cassie Alexander (both CW ’07)

Dragon Called

from Amazon

 

Michael Matheson (CW ’14)

Idol Pursuits from Nisaba Press (Mutants and Masterminds tie-in)
Craig Laurance Gidney (CW ’96)

Hairsbreath, a serial novel from Broken Eye Books

 

E.C. Barrett (CW ’18)

We Aren’t Violent People“ in Bourbon Penn

 

Phoebe Barton (CW ’19)

“Purplefall” (CW week 1 story!) in Broadcasts from the Wasteland (audio)

 

Gardner Mounce (CW ’19)

“Milkshakes” in The Oddville Press

 

Millie Ho (CW ’19)

The Fenghuang” in Lightspeed magazine

 

Minal Hajratwala (CW ’19)

from “Crossdreaming: Praxis” in Poetry

“Limnology of the Minor Goddesses” in Prairie Schooner

new editor-at-large, Zocalo Public Square

 

Eugenia Triantafyllou (CW ’19)

“Those We Serve” in Interzone

 

Kris Ten (CW ’19)

“Except for the Down Below” in Black Static

 

Robert Guffey (CW ’96)

“The Lemon Thief” and “The Pharmacy” in Rosebud magazine

 

Maura McHugh (CW ’06)

“King for a Day” in SMASH! 2020 Special

 

Jed Hartman (CW ’91)

started Constellation Press

 

Adele Gardner (CW ’04)

Bird Brains” in The Cafe Irreal

Audio reading of “Hades and Persephone”/“Persephone’s Dream” by Delbert R. Gardner, in Timeless Tales

and poems in Poetry VirginiaStar*LineSpectral Realms2020 Rhysling Anthology: Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Poetry of 2019, and more!

Did we miss something? Please email alumni@clarionwest.org to make sure it gets into the next newsletter! See directions in side bar (html) or below (text version).