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Clarion West Writers Workshop
At first, I shadowed the Summer Workshop. I began in 2003, the brainchild of Adrian Khactu (CW ‘02), born to bring his class together and create an immersive writing experience like Clarion West. I became part of Clarion West and open to all in 2004, inviting participants to join a community of writers and put writing first, soliciting donors to support their work.
I love my participants and donors. I’m in awe of their ideas and energy. Writers offer sneak peeks of new works, Tuckerizations, books, cartoons, postcards, and weekly reports on their process, techniques, and feelings. None of this is required. All I ask is that they write.
|What I Write||
My participants write everything: space opera, slipstream, fantasy, poetry, literary fiction, nonfiction, novels, short stories, screen plays, haikus, outlines of a multivolume sequence—all legit.
So hard to choose: So many have had their start, their middle, their end, or their final edit in a Write-a-thon. I haven’t been keeping track as well as I should. A few come to mind: E. C. Myers’ (CW ’05) Fair Coin—it won the Andre Norton award. Nisi Shawl’s (CW ’92) Everfair, now shortlisted for a Nebula. Stephanie Burgis CW ’01) found an agent during a Write-a-thon, drafted her first novel during a Write-a-thon, and sold that novel during a Write-a-thon while working on its sequel.
My 2017 goal is 200 participants and an equal number of unique donors. (Lucky for me, many of my donors support the efforts of multiple writers). I hope to raise over $20,000, to help cover all the things, big and small, that the Summer Workshop requires, from reams of paper to airfare for gifted instructors from far afield. But this year I’m rattled. Some of Clarion West’s funding sources, such as the NEA, are threatened. Housing costs in Seattle are skyrocketing. My stretch goal is over 300 participants, and $30,000.