Summer Six-Week Workshop
June 16 – July 27, 2024
About the Workshop
The Six-Week Workshop is a space for writing short fiction and learning how to workshop it under the guidance of staff and luminaries of the speculative fiction field. Every summer, we welcome a cohort of emerging writers to the workshop. (Not sure if that's you? Check out our FAQ.) Students spend the first week getting to know their class and learning how to workshop stories. During Weeks 2 through 6, students focus on writing a story each week and closely reading their classmates' work for daily workshop sessions.
In addition to getting a toolkit of new skills and producing new work, our students have the opportunity to make intimate connections among a close-knit community of peers. They are joined each week by a different instructor — a highly regarded author or editor — who offers their unique perspective on the field. Instructors lead workshops and often lecture on additional topics of interest.
The Six-Week Workshop offers time away from everyday distractions and encouragement to experiment and take artistic risks. The critique sessions are the heart of the workshop: students learn not only by receiving critiques, but by reading others’ work and constructing their own critiques. Instructors work directly with attendees to present group critiques of newly written stories, participate in discussions about writing techniques or professional concerns, and hold individual or small-group conferences. Throughout the entire experience, the Clarion West Workshop staff is present to help guide participants and facilitate an inclusive environment. To learn more about updates we've made to our workshop culture and methods in the past few years, visit our Workshop Methods page. You can also find updates about 2024 here.
The setting allows attendees to forge meaningful relationships with each other and the instructors — relationships that may last for years to come. The workshop also offers get-togethers, readings, and other opportunities to hang out with authors from Seattle and beyond, as well as workshop alumni. In-person workshops also include occasional breaks to enjoy Seattle, the Puget Sound, and its surrounding mountains and lakes.
You’ll come away with essential tools for improving your writing as well as a set of friendships and professional contacts that can sustain you throughout your career.
For more information about applications, the Clarion West experience, and life after Clarion West, please see our FAQ.
2024 Workshop Instructors
Carmen María Machado
How to Apply
Applications for the 2024 Six-Week Summer Workshop are open through March 1, 2024.
To apply to Clarion West, you will need the following:
- An anonymized sample of your work. In a single document, you may submit up to two short stories of up to 10,000 words total, or a longer story of up to 10,000 words, or a novel excerpt of up to 10,000 words with a synopsis of up to three pages. Please follow proper manuscript format. Your manuscript should be formatted in 12-point Courier font and double-spaced, with one-inch margins. It should not exceed the word limit, even if it includes a synopsis. Set your margins flush left and do not justify the text. We prefer PDF documents, but also accept .doc, .docx, and .rtf files. Do not upload ODF files.
- Approximately 30–45 minutes to complete the application form, including short responses to the following questions:
- Why do you want to attend Clarion West now? What are your goals for the workshop?
- Tell us where you feel you are in your career/writing practice, and your experience critiquing or being critiqued by others (if you have any).
- What genres do you write? Are there any you’d like to explore writing in at the workshop?
- What skills or attributes as a reader, critical thinker, or classmate, or life experiences/perspectives, will you offer your workshop peers?
- Why do you write, and what does “success” as a writer look like to you?
- Is there anything in particular that you’d like your instructors and/or peers to know about you?
- If you plan on applying for a scholarship, you’ll need some personal and financial information on hand to fill out the online form. We need information about your income, your recurring household expenses, your anticipated workshop expenses, and a few other things.
- Clarion West has specific guidelines for submissions when it comes to plagiarism and writing with AI. Please review these guidelines carefully.
Tuition & Fees
Clarion West will be raising our in-person tuition from $4,800 to $5,200 due to the rising cost of housing in Seattle.
We know that a tuition increase, even a small one, can feel like a barrier to many potential workshop applicants. We’re committed to helping our accepted students get to the workshop, and we do our best to meet the financial needs of everyone who requests tuition assistance. In recent years, up to 94% of our class has received scholarship aid. At the time of publication, we have ten full tuition scholarships and six named partial scholarships, and we’re actively seeking more.
We understand that the tuition and the time off is a significant commitment for most people, but we don’t want money to be an obstacle for you if you feel like this experience is exactly what you’re looking for.
We offer full and partial tuition scholarships and a small amount of travel assistance, made possible by our passionate and dedicated community. Anyone with financial need is eligible for scholarships, and we particularly encourage writers who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color, disabled, LGBTQIA+, and from other marginalized communities to apply. Historically, our generous donors have provided full and partial tuition scholarships for between 50–80% of our participants.
Applying for a scholarship is part of the workshop application on this site. You can also request a scholarship form via an email, phone call, or letter. You can also print out an application from our website during the application process. Scholarships are allocated primarily based on need, but a number of these are awarded specifically to historically underrepresented writers.
If you need financial aid, we encourage you to apply. You can learn more about our scholarships here.
The 2024 workshop will be held at the University of Washington in Seattle. Student accommodations, dining facilities, and the classroom are ADA accessible.
Applicants with disabilities, accommodation and accessibility needs, or special dietary needs will be able to indicate their requested accommodations on the application form. Accepted students to in-person workshops will also be surveyed for dietary needs.
The virtual workshop relies heavily on Zoom and Zoom’s auto-generated closed captions for the majority of our online sessions. A live captioner can be requested. We recognize that disabilities and accessibility needs vary and encourage you to contact us if you have specific questions. Clarion West will make every attempt to meet the needs of all of our students, within the limits of the workshop structure and current facilities. We welcome recommendations.