Applications for the 2020 Six-Week Summer Workshop are now open.

Applications close March 1, 2020.

Every summer, Clarion West holds an intensive six-week workshop in Seattle’s University District, geared to help you prepare for a professional career as a writer of speculative fiction. Each workshop is limited to 18 students, and each week features a different instructor, a highly regarded author or editor offering their unique perspective on the field. Short fiction is the workshop’s focus, with an emphasis on science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Come prepared to write several new stories, to experiment and take artistic risks, and to give and receive constructive criticism. You’ll work closely with instructors in group critiques of newly written stories, discussions about writing techniques or professional concerns, and individual or small group conferences. And you’ll be a part of Seattle’s vibrant SF community, as the workshop presents informal sessions with acclaimed area authors. You’ll come away with essential tools for improving your writing as well as a set of friendships and professional contacts that can last a lifetime. For more information about applications, the Clarion West experience, and life after Clarion West, please see our FAQ and our article on when and how to apply to the workshop.

Instructors for 2020

How to Apply

Clarion West charges a nonrefundable application fee of $35 (USD), which is payable via PayPal. The fee increases to $60 for applications received after February 10, 2020. Applications close March 1. To apply to Clarion West, you will need the following:

  • Sample of your work, consisting of a total of 20 to 30 pages of manuscript (one or two short stories, or a novel excerpt with a synopsis of up to three pages). Your manuscript should be formatted in 12-point Courier (typewriter) font and double-spaced, with one-inch margins. (See Vonda McIntyre’s manuscript preparation guide and William Shunn’s story formatting guide for more information.) It should not exceed the page 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.
  • A 700- to 800-word description of your background and your reasons for attending the workshop. This essay will be used to introduce you to the workshop’s instructors if you are accepted. Include your contact information through June: phone number, email address, and mailing address.
  • 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. We recommend downloading our paper scholarship form and using it as a worksheet.

Download a PDF flyer with application information here. (If the file does not display correctly in your browser, please save the PDF to your computer and open in Adobe Reader.) You can use this flyer to spread the word about the workshop. Just print out the flyer and post at your local library, college campus, coffee shop, bookstore, or wherever writers congregate. Please see our FAQ for specific questions about applying to Clarion West. You may also want to join our mailing list, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook. Go to to apply.


The total cost to attend the workshop is $4200; this covers tuition, room, and partial board (light self-serve breakfast daily, and lunch and dinner Monday-Thursday). All students stay in the workshop residence. Wireless Internet access is free.


Clarion West is dedicated to promoting new voices in speculative fiction and offers a generous amount of scholarship support, made possible by our passionate and dedicated community. All students are eligible for scholarships. You can apply for a scholarship when you apply for the workshop on this site, or request a scholarship form via an email, phone call, or letter, or print one out from our website. Scholarships are allocated primarily based on need. Our scholarship funds include some assistance for special needs students.


The Clarion West 2020 Six-Week Workshop will be held in a single building, which includes individual bedrooms, classroom, dining room, kitchen, laundry facilities, and communal areas. Each student is assigned their own bedroom with a twin-size bunk bed, closet, window, and dresser. Students can also reserve a folding desk, a fan, and a desk lamp. The building has all-gender and single gender communal bathrooms with individual shower stalls, as well as two single-occupancy toilets and a single-occupancy bath. Students will need to take stairs to go between their rooms, the classroom, and the dining room. To our chagrin, the building is not currently wheelchair-accessible: we are actively addressing the issue of wheelchair accessibility by seeking out other locations and/or adaptations to our current building. We hope to achieve a fully wheelchair accessible six-week workshop by 2021, and plan to continuously address and solve accessibility issues as they occur.

We recognize that disabilities and accessibility needs vary and encourage you to contact us if you have specific questions. We are also seeking out adaptive devices and resources for people with sensory and mobility disabilities, and welcome recommendations. 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. If you have questions about the accessibility of the workshop or have other concerns, please contact