About the Clarion West Write-a-thon

The Write-a-thon is Clarion West’s annual community fundraiser. It’s intended to be a way for writers and supporters to follow along with the Clarion West Six-Week Summer Workshop, so it’s held in parallel with the Summer Workshop every year, in June and July.  The Write-a-thon was started in 2003 and has been held every summer since, with up to 300 writers participating.

How it works

People who want to participate as writers sign up on clarionwest.org in May and June. They set writing goals, put up excerpts of their work, and use social media to let people know that they’re writing for a good cause. There are all kinds of writing goals—from the manageable “write for five minutes a day” from the writer who has a newborn to the ambitious “finish a novel” or “finish six short stories.” Every writer in the Write-a-thon chooses a goal that works for them.

After the Write-a-thon kicks off, people who would like to support writers visit the Write-a-thon site, choose the writer or writers they would like to support, and use the customized button on each writer’s page to sponsor them.  Every week, writers get a report on who’s donated to them, allowing them to communicate with their supporters.  Many writers will send their supporters updates on their progress, and completed work at the end of the Write-a-thon.

Why Write-a-thon?

One of the amazing things about Clarion West Summer Workshop is how it brings writers together—both the writers in the workshop itself, and the larger community surrounding Clarion West. The Write-a-thon is about the writing, first and foremost, and about bringing our worldwide community together.

The Write-a-thon is also Clarion West’s one large yearly fundraiser. Clarion West keeps its tuition and housing costs as low as possible and relies on the support of the community in order to make that goal a reality.

The Write-a-thon is part of that support—writers do what they do best, and the community supports both them and the workshop with their sponsorships.


The amount of money that the Write-a-thon raises for Clarion West varies from year to year—but always brings in at least $12,000 and sometimes up to $22,000.  This is a significant percentage of Clarion West’s yearly budget.

More information

For more information about the Clarion West Write-a-thon, please see our FAQ.

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