Clarion West Writers Workshop

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Clarion West Writers Workshop

About Me

Writing Sample

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’ve since become Clarion West’s biggest fundraiser and branched out into Write-a-thon readings, Write-a-thon meet-ups, and Write-a-thon writing sprints. This year’s events will be held in Seattle, some online and some in person. Plans will be settled by the time sign-ups open, just before the Workshop begins on June 18. I run through the end of the Summer Workshop and then go dormant a month after it ends, but I am happy to accept sponsorships throughout the year.

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.
Donors seek out new writers, people who’ve never been published, as well supporting the work of favorite writers, classmates, friends, favorite genres, or diverse voices. Some commit to recurring donations. Some offer matching funds. Every bit counts. Five bucks is fine. The average donation runs around $30.00.
I worry that my hybrid nature—encouraging writers and donors—may be confusing. To me, they are means to the same end: helping writers to grow, to find their voice and their audience. I like to help writers and donors find each other, and include suggestions in my pages each year. Without donors, the Workshop could not exist. But in the end, it’s all about the writing.

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.


Twitter Handle

@ClarionWest #writeathon


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.

Write-a-thon Goals

Fundraising Goals

My 2018 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.
The Workshop has been going for over 30 years. I’m able to draw from 650 alumni plus instructors, board members, staff, the folks who come to our readings and attend our parties, and the whole supportive Clarion West community. I have high hopes!