Clarion West Alumni News

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


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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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 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 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

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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!


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 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!

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