From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

Clarion West Write-a-thon Begins!

The twenty-sixth consecutive Clarion West Writers Workshop begins this June 21 in Seattle, Washington. For six weeks, eighteen talented new speculative fiction writers buckle down to writing and critiquing short stories under the guidance of six experienced writers and editors, a different one each week. This year the instructors are John Kessel, Karen Joy Fowler, Elizabeth Bear, Nalo Hopkinson, David Hartwell, and Rudy Rucker.

At the same time, some 60 or 70 other writers get set to shadow the Clarion West experience for six weeks on their own in the sixth annual Clarion West Write-a-thon. The workshop students will (most of them) write the first draft of a short story each week. The shadow workshoppers may write a story or a novel chapter a week, or revise a chapter a week, or polish and send out one story by the end of the six weeks, or just get that butt-in-chair time every day, whatever is most meaningful to them. During the Write-a-thon, they post about their progress and encourage each other in Clarion West’s online forum at www.clarionwest.org/forum.

As with any thing-a-thon, participants solicit sponsors who make donations to Clarion West in support of the writers’ achievements. “We think that writers writing to raise money for Clarion West makes more sense than writers running a half-marathon to raise money for Clarion West,” says Development Director Kate Schaefer. “The Write-a-thon works well as a friendly prod for writers who want to write just a bit more, and the fundraising part more or less takes care of itself after that. Tiny donations from many people add up very nicely.”

To support a writer in the Write-a-thon or for more information, go to http://clarionwest.org/events/writeathon/2009. All donations are tax deductible. Writers participating this year include K. Tempest Bradford, Eileen Gunn, Louise Marley, Ruth Nestvold, Cat Rambo, Nisi Shawl, Michael Swanwick, Rachel Swirsky, Deb Taber, and many, many more!

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