22 January 2010

A Note on Clarion

I meant to say this quite a while ago, but it got lost in the shuffle (Paul Witcover's post reminded me)  -- the faculty for this year's Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers' Workshop is extraordinary.  The Clarion workshops always have great faculty, but for this particular Clarion in this particular year, I can testify to their extraordinariness because I've worked with four of the six instructors on writing projects, and they're people I continue to learn a lot from.

I have never met or interacted with Dale Bailey or George R.R. Martin, two of the instructors in the middle weeks, but I've read the writing of both, and I'm sure they will have a lot to offer.

Delia Sherman is one of the best editors I've ever had for a short story ("A Map of the Everywhere").  She did what the most talented editors do: made comments that let me see the story with new eyes and shape it accordingly.  She's a very good writer herself, but when choosing to go to a workshop, the quality of an instructor's own writing is (beyond a certain basic level) not always an indicator of their ability to offer insight into your writing.  In my experience, Delia has that ability.

Readers of this blog don't really need me to go on at any length about how I feel about Samuel Delany or Ann & Jeff VanderMeer.  I would sell major parts of my body for medical experiments if that would let me build a time machine to send my younger, aspiring-writer self to a week of workshops with Delany and two weeks with the VanderMeers.


The deadline for applications is March 1.  If you are an aspiring writer, you should apply, and if you are accepted, if you have to move heaven and earth to attend, you should do so.

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