Summer Six-Week Workshop

June 25 – August 5, 2023

About the Workshop

Every summer, we welcome a cohort of emerging writers to the workshop. (Not sure if that’s you? Check out our FAQ.) 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.

The six-week workshop can give you time away from everyday distractions and encourage you to experiment and take artistic risks. The critique sessions are the heart of the workshop: you learn not only by receiving critiques, but by reading others’ work and constructing your 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.

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 local authors and workshop alumni, as well as 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. 

2023 Workshop Instructors

Week 1

Mary Anne Mohanraj & Benjamin Rosenbaum

Week 2

Cat Rambo

Week 3

Samit Basu

Week 4

Karen Lord

Week 5

Arley Sorg

Week 6

N. K. Jemisin

How to Apply

Applications will open in early January 2023 for the 2023 summer workshop. Clarion West charges a nonrefundable application fee of $60 (USD), which is payable via PayPal. There is an early bird special of $35 for applications received before February 15. Applications close March 1.

To apply to Clarion West, you will need the following:

  • A 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 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. 

Please see our FAQ for specific questions about applying to Clarion West. You may also want to join our mailing listfollow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

Tuition & Fees

The 2023 tuition will be $4,800 if the workshop is held in person and $2,800 if the workshop is held virtually. This includes tuition, and in the case of the in-person workshop, accommodations for the entire workshop, daily snacks, and two meals a day, four days a week, for the duration of the program. 

Financial Aid

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.

Accessibility

For information about accessibility, visit our FAQ or contact workshop@clarionwest.org.

Applicants with disabilities, accommodation and accessibility needs, or special dietary needs will follow the same application process and indicate their requested accommodations on the form.

COVID-19 Precautions: We will be asking for proof of up-to-date COVID-19 vaccinations when accepting students. If you have questions or concerns about this requirement, please email us at workshop@clarionwest.org. Due to the ongoing uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, Clarion West and our partner facilities reserve the option to return to a fully virtual workshop in 2023 if there is any question of risk to the health and safety of our staff, instructors, and students. 

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.