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Thursday, May 31st, 2012
8:29 am - Clarion West 2012 Write-a-thon


Flex your writing fingers, sharpen your editing reflexes, dominate your submission process. Whatever your writing-related goals this summer, the Clarion West Write-a-thon can help you meet them.

What is the Write-a-thon? It's a way to state your writing goals publicly and work on them in community with other writers. It's a fundraiser to benefit Clarion West Writers Workshop, to raise general funds to pay for instructors, manuscript copies, facility rental, student scholarships, and everything else needed to run a workshop, right down to the paperclips.

The Write-a-thon is open to the whole Clarion West community: alumni, instructors, friends, passersby. The deadline for signing up for the Clarion West Write-a-thon is June 16, the day before the workshop starts. The sooner you sign up, the sooner your page will go live, and the happier the volunteers working on the Write-a-thon will be. The online sign-up form awaits you at:


There are about 40 pages live already (thanks again, testers and early signups! I kiss your virtual feet), and we’d like to get as many more as we can set up in the next few days. Remember, the Write-a-thon is completely volunteer-run, and there will be some days when our volunteer hours have to be juggled in a particularly difficult way.*

Last year, we had 142 participants and 420 donors, and the goals for this year are even more ambitious: 200 participants and 500 donors. There's $2000 in challenge donations riding on the number of participants, so you can help Clarion West's bottom line just by making your writing goals public.

If you’ve done the Write-a-thon before, you know what it did for your productivity. C’mon back, and bring a friend with you. Got a challenge for your classmates? Bring it on!

Give yourself a tough but realistic writing goal and have a good time. If you’re not writing this year, cheer on those who are. Sign up sponsors in support of your goals, or just write alongside the others. Yes, the Write-a-thon is a fundraiser, and a very important fundraiser for Clarion West, but the writing is more important than the money. The writing comes first.


* Okay, what I mean here is that I'm going to Alaska to visit my in-laws next week, which means that other volunteers will have to fill in for me. They're perfectly competent to do the stuff I usually do, but I usually do that stuff, you know? So I'm fussing about it and want to get it done ahead of time.

** My relentless boosterism is aimed at Clarion West in Seattle, but I'll also cheer on adherents of our sister workshop, Clarion in San Diego. Their workshop starts a week later than ours, so the deadline for signing up for their Write-a-thon is later than our deadline. Some people do both, for seven weeks worth of writing goals rather than six.

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Wednesday, June 8th, 2011
9:26 am - Yo, writers

Will you write this summer? Look for an agent, shop a novel, submit short stories, revise chapters, finish some beginnings, start some first drafts, vacuum a cat? Do you have any writing-related goals you want to commit to get done?

Be one of 100 writers in the Clarion West Write-a-thon!  Use the Write-a-thon to help you reach your own goals; help Clarion West meet some challenges and raise money for the workshop along the way.

Kate Schaefer (yes, that's me), Karen G. Anderson, and Vonda N. McIntyre have issued a challenge: we'll sponsor all participants for $1 each, up to 99 participants, for a total of $297 ($99 dollars from each of us). If the Write-a-thon gets 100 participants, we'll make it $5 each, for a total of $1500 (that's $500 from each of us).

The deadline for signing up is midnight PST on Saturday, June 18. The Write-a-thon itself runs from June 19 to July 29, during the six weeks of the workshop.

If you prefer to support Clarion in San Diego, go for it! Their Write-a-thon starts and ends a week later than Clarion West's and runs concurrently with their workshop. If you like, you can do both.


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Sunday, February 27th, 2011
7:58 pm - Apply to Clarion West right pert smart quick

Application season for this summer's science fiction writing workshops is about to end. Teaching at my personal fave, Clarion West in Seattle, are Paul Park, Nancy Kress, Margo Lanagan (Clarion West 1999), Minister Faust, L. Timmel Duchamp, and Charles Stross. The lineup at Clarion in San Diego includes Nina Kirika Hoffman, John Scalzi, Elizabeth Bear, David Anthony Durham, John Kessel, and Kij Johnson (Clarion West 1987).

Applications are due by March 1, and that's a received-by date, not a postmark date, so if your application isn't in yet, email is your very best friend.

If you've already gone to Clarion West or Clarion, you might think about going to Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop, July 10-17; its application period opens on March 1 and closes March 31.

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Thursday, November 18th, 2010
5:08 pm - Support the Octavia E Butler Scholarship and Win An eReader

In case y'all haven't heard about this (which is a possibility as I forgot to post it here), the Carl Brandon Society is holding a drawing to raise funds for the Octavia E. Butler Scholarship. I do volunteer work on occasion for CBS and I helped put this one together. If you enter the drawing, you can win an eReader pre-loaded with lots of awesome stuff. Tickets cost just $1.

The Butler Scholarship provides financial assistance to writers of color attending Clarion and Clarion West. The goal is to provide a full ride two one student in each workshop every year.

As I said, the prizes are eReaders -- two Barnes & Noble Nooks, two Kobo Wireless Readers, one Alex eReader. You can buy as many tickets as you want for whichever eReader you want to win, and the more you buy the better your chances are. A bunch of writers of color donated books, stories and more that we're pre-loading on the device. So not only do you get some nice tech, but also a ton of reading material.

If you're not into eReaders, we've also got an autographed first edition of the Dark Matter anthology available.

The drawing ends on Monday at 11:59PM Eastern. Head over to the Carl Brandon website for all the details. And please spread the word!

current mood: optimistic

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Sunday, July 25th, 2010
11:18 am - Nnedi Okorafor in the Chicago Sun Times


(Xposted to wiscon)

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Monday, June 21st, 2010
2:45 pm - Clarion(s!) Write-A-Thon

Jealous of all the Clarion West writers doing their annual write-a-thon? Be jealous no more! No matter if you want to support Clarion West, Clarion South, or Clarion (UCSD), you can sign up for this year's write-a-thon. But you'd better hurry!


I think this is the Clarion link, but you can get to the other write-a-thons after you click 'Participate as a Writer'.

Support the Clarion of your choice!
Be motivated to write!
Win fabulous prizes!
Camaraderie! And other fun words!

Sign up soon. Or sponsor some people who are.

Oh yea, and get the word out!

(I'm not one of the people in charge or anything. I just noticed nobody had posted to this community yet.)

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Wednesday, April 14th, 2010
8:34 am - Clarion West Executive Director Job Announcement


The Clarion West Writers Workshop, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Seattle, Washington, is seeking a part-time Executive Director.

We're looking for...

An Executive Director with demonstrated fundraising and leadership ability who will embrace the Clarion West culture of collaboration and teamwork, and support our staff, volunteers, and board of directors in nurturing the workshop and sustaining the organization.

The Executive Director does not directly manage the workshop; we're looking for a leader and manager for the organizational structure that promotes and sustains the workshop and the extended community of alumni, donors, supporters, and industry professionals.

This is a paid part-time job estimated at 500 hours per year. Although the workshop is held in summer, the Executive Director has year-round duties and responsibilities. The position is based in Seattle.

Key Priorities

• Lead fundraising and development operations.
• Manage Clarion West staff (with Workshop Director, Communications Director, and Office Manager as direct reports).
• Ensure that all workshop, fundraising, communication, and administrative activities run smoothly and meet the goals set by the Board of Directors.

Key Responsibilities

Leadership and management
• Recruit, hire, manage, and evaluate office, workshop, and communication staff. Ensure adequate volunteer support.
• Demonstrate sound human resource practices, commitment to diversity, and timely response to staff requests.
• Ensure that all operations meet the goals set by the Board of Directors.
• Ensure that the organization operates within budget guidelines.
• Oversee maintenance of official records and documents, and ensure compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.

• Plan and oversee the execution of fundraising, development, and alumni relations operations.

Board relations
• Develop program, organizational, and financial plans as requested by the board, and carry out plans and policies authorized by the board.
• Act as the interface between the Board of Directors and the rest of the organization, seeing that the Board is fully informed on the condition of the organization.
• Work with the Board of Directors to assure that the organization has a long-range strategy for its survival and improvement, toward which it makes consistent and timely progress.

Community relations
• In concert with the Workshop Director and Communications Director, maintain and support sound working relationships and cooperative arrangements with speculative fiction community groups and other relevant organizations.
• In concert with the Workshop Director and Communications Director, maintain overview of developments in the speculative fiction field and in the area of writers’ workshops.
• Ensure that all Clarion West staff and board members work together to represent Clarion West programs and the point of view of the organization to agencies, organizations, media, and the general public.


• A proven ability to create fundraising strategies and process; manage fundraising operations; and raise funds from a range of sources.
• A proven ability to lead, support, and mentor staff with integrity, enthusiasm, an emphasis on collaboration, and a commitment to results.
• Excellent communication, listening, and relationship-building skills.
• A minimum of four years of management and supervisory experience.
• Proven commitment to diversity and inclusion.
• Knowledge of nonprofit board structures and principles of governance.
• The ability to work a flexible schedule.

To apply

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and contact information (phone and email) for three professional references. Submit your materials electronically, in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format, to:

Kelley Eskridge
Clarion West Board Chair

We will begin reviewing applications on April 21, 2010.
The position will remain open until filled.

If you have questions...
Please contact Kelley Eskridge, Clarion West Board Chair, at kelley_eskridge@clarionwest.org.

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Sunday, January 3rd, 2010
4:00 pm - "Taste of Clarion" at Potlatch 19

The "Taste of Clarion" workshops at Potlatch 19 will be run on Friday afternoon of the convention (March 5-7 2010).

These are Clarion-styled miniworkshops with a high student/instructor ratio. This is open to all writers, regardless of experience, and whether or not you've attended Clarion, Clarion West, or Clarion South.

This year's workshop will be conducted by noted writer and bonne vivant Ellen Klages. To apply for the workshop, please submit a 2,000 to 8,000 word story in .rtf format to workshop@potlatch-sf.org by midnight PST on February 1, 2010. Formatting for your story should follow the guidelines here.

For further information about the workshop, please go to the workshop page on the Potlatch 19 website.

And for further information on Potlatch 19, ... well, you know what to do.

You must be a paid member of Potlatch 19 to participate in the workshop, but there is no additional fee.

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Thursday, September 3rd, 2009
2:09 pm - Clarion West seeks interim art director

Clarion West's current art director, Elizabeth Lawhead Bourne, is on leave of absence due to a family medical emergency, so we're looking for an interim art director beginning immediately, and continuing at least through the end of the year. The workload through December will be approximately 20 to 30 hours. The stipend is $500 - which is really only a token payment, of course.

Here's the job description as written by John D. Berry, type guru and the previous art director:

The art director manages the visual identity of Clarion West. Working with the Director of Communications, the Website Manager, and the editor of the Seventh Week newsletter, the art director makes sure that Clarion West presents a consistent, high-quality face to the world and to its own alumni and supporters.

The art director is responsible for designing and producing all printed materials for Clarion West, including flyers and brochures, programs and tickets for the annual reading series, and each issue of the Seventh Week. The one exception is press releases, but even these are printed on stationery the art director has designed. Everything that comes out of Clarion West should look consistent (though not always the same) and should maintain the same level of quality in typography and graphic design that we strive for in writing fiction.

The art director manages the design of the annual summer poster, as long as the Board authorizes one; the actual design and production of the poster, however, is usually done by an outside designer (for the past several years, Jacob McMurray).

The art director acts as a consultant on the appearance of Clarion West’s public website, reviewing design and graphical elements at the discretion of the Director of Communications and the Website Manager.

The amount of time that the job takes varies wildly, but the most time-intensive periods are in the run-up to the summer workshop, in the Fall when ads are due for next year’s workshop in several sf publications, and twice yearly when the newsletter is in production. Obviously, it’s more work and takes more time to create new designs rather than fitting each year’s new content into existing designs. Of course, trying out new design solutions is also part of the creative pleasure of doing this job.

I would estimate that I spend about 40 hours a year on Clarion West design and production – more the first year, when I was re-designing the newsletter format. (Admittedly, I came up with a design for the Seventh Week that takes more work to produce than a simpler, more straightforward design would have taken.) The tools I use for design and production are Adobe InDesign and some of the many professional-quality fonts that I have available. (Using OpenType Pro fonts with extra typographic features, in a program like InDesign that can recognize and make use of those features, is definitely the easiest way to handle production typography.)

Being Clarion West’s art director is an opportunity to create effective communications for a high-profile writers’ workshop. By definition, this is design that respects content. It’s worthwhile, and it’s fun to do.

Clarion West has been fortunate in its art directors; before John, Paulette Rousselle held the post. John and Paulette are both available to answer questions, but neither of them has the time to fill in for Elizabeth right now.

If you're interested, please drop a comment here and I'll get you in touch with Nisi Shawl, our communications director.

Thanks so much.

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Saturday, May 30th, 2009
8:24 pm - Clarion West Write-a-thon

Yo, Clarionoids West and fellow travelers! I talked to a bunch of you at Wiscon, waved at several others in passing, and heard rumors of the existence of still others huddled around the bar trading plots and writing tips the whole weekend. It's Write-a-thon time.

Be part of Clarion West this summer without even attending the workshop. Set your own goals for your writing for the six weeks of the workshop. Post about your goals in the forums, and encourage others as they pursue their goals. Sign up sponsors in support of your goals, or just write alongside the others. Yes, the Write-a-thon is a fundraiser, and a very important fundraiser for Clarion West, but the writing is more important than the money. The writing comes first.

Participants last year wrote first drafts, polished drafts, short stories, novels, screenplays. They wrote alone and as collaborators. Troublemaker-in-chief Michael Swanwick led Ruth Nestvold, Eileen Gunn, L. Timmel Duchamp, Gordon Sellar, and Marilyn Holt into writing a round-robin story right there on the forum, complete with a walk into hell with a dog, Dick Cheney, and gratuitous smoots. In 2007, Michael and Eileen collaborated on six stories in public in their Write-a-thon Smackdown. Yesterday this day's madness did prepare; what will tomorrow's silence, triumph, or despair include?

Last year, we had more participants than ever before, 58. We'd love to see as many of you back as possible, and we're looking for some new challenge ideas. Naturally we're interested in monetary challenges, but we're also interested in participation challenges, writing challenges. Got a challenge for your classmates? Bring it on!

The Write-a-thon is open to the whole Clarion West community: alumni, instructors, friends, and alumni from other workshops (Clarion South, Clarion, Odyssey, Viable Paradise, Alpha, Iowa, Breadloaf, you name it). Drop me a comment here with your email address, or send email to writeathon@clarionwest.org to sign up. Do it soon; do it now!

Edited to add: here's the Write-a-thon main page with more info about how it works. At the bottom of that page, you can see a few of the participant pages that are already up. We're just getting started building pages, with more going up all the time.


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Friday, April 24th, 2009
11:14 am - Lisa Gold at Hugo House

Registration is still open for her May 9th Research for Writers class at Richard Hugo House in Seattle.

Here’s the class description:

Research is an important part of the creative process for writers of fiction and nonfiction. Research can help with inspiration, storytelling and world building whether you are writing about the past, present or future, about life on earth or an imaginary world. The instructor will share advice about research, discuss the kinds of research writers may need to do and help students find useful sources of information in print, on the Web, in libraries and in unexpected places.

The class will be from 1pm to 5pm on Saturday, May 9th, and the cost is $95 ($85.50 for Hugo House members).  You can register online or by phone, mail, or fax.  Here are links to the spring 2009 course catalog and registration information.

Lisa Gold also has a blog, Lisa Gold: Research Maven, which has an lj feed: lisagoldresearc.

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Sunday, April 5th, 2009
3:01 pm - Link round up

Lisa Gold: Research Maven provides a good round up of links about The Controversy over Google Book Research.

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Saturday, April 4th, 2009
9:31 pm - Additional maintainer

stephdray has added me as another maintainer on the clarionites community, so now there are two of us who can take action when action as needed.

Steph has also changed the community settings so that only members can post and members must be approved before joining, so that should put an end to the spam we've been seeing.

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Tuesday, March 24th, 2009
2:52 pm - Spam and Such

Hey folks,

I thought I'd managed to ban our spammer before, but clearly it didn't work. Today I went through and deleted and reported both posts as spam, and also went through our member list and removed permissions. Theoretically, this time it should stick.

Thank you for your vigilance and patience!

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Friday, March 13th, 2009
7:51 pm - Auction of interest to people here

Hey all, Clarion '07er here.

Wanted to give everyone a heads-up about the con_or_bust community, an auction to help Fen of Color get to Wiscon.  I think several of the items are of writerly interest. The auction's only just started up, and there are already plenty of shinies, but so far I think the best are awesome books and a lunch with award-winner Catherynne M Valente (with the offer of talking about publishing if the winner likes). 

Any excess money will be donated to the Carl Brandon Society, who (among other things) administer the Octavia Butler Scholarship for Clarion & Clarion West.  They're the folks who got me to Clarion, so I think this is extra cool :)

current mood: cheerful

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Wednesday, March 4th, 2009
6:40 pm - Clarion South Fundraising Drive

Usually when I post here, I'm posting on behalf of Clarion West. Today, I'm passing along an appeal from Clarion South, in Brisbane, Australia. I'm happy to support our sister workshop, and I hope you can, too. I suspect that this appeal has been circulating for a little while, but their fundraising drive runs through the end of March, so this is still a good time to send them a few bucks.

I picked this up from ellen_datlow, who got it from Kate Eltham, one of the co-directors of Clarion South:

You probably heard on the grapevine - and our most recent students experienced it first hand - that we encountered a few challenges in delivering the latest Clarion South workshop. Not only was our contract with our original venue at Griffith University cancelled at short notice, requiring us to find a new and more expensive home, but we had not one but three (!) unexpected tutor cancellations.

We're proud of the way we handled these challenges to deliver another successful workshop in 2009, but financially it wiped us clean. We'd love your help and support to refill the coffers so that we can plan for our future workshops and put Clarion South on a more stable financial footing.

We're proud of each and every one of you for your commitment to your writing and the achievements you've made since completing the workshop. We hope that, if nothing else, you feel part of a larger community of writers scattered throughout the world who make up the Clarion fraternity. We're grateful for any small token of support you can provide at this time.

There are a few ways you can help...

1. Donate to our Fundraising Appeal
Simply go to http://www.clarionsouth.org/donate.htm to make a PayPal donation directly to Clarion South. We know it's not the best time to be launching an appeal, just after Christmas, during a global financial meltdown, and during some very real human crises such as the Victorian Bushfires. You have our heartfelt appreciation for even very small donations, and if you are not in a position to give, that is perfectly okay.

2. Spread the word
Even if you can't donate to the Appeal we would love your support to spread the word about our fundraising drive. By the end of March we are hoping to raise $4,000 for Clarion South. If you know any friends who are sympathetic to the aims and activities of Clarion South, please let them know - via Facebook, MySpace, your blog or any other means.

We'll have a Facebook group up shortly, but in the meantime, please feel free to direct people to our website at http://www.clarionsouth.org

Thank you in advance for your love and support. We're incredibly passionate about Clarion South and would like to see it thrive and continue into the future.

If you have any questions at all, or can think of any other suggestions, we'd love to hear from you. Feel free to call me direct on 0407 695 950 at any time, or email us at info@clarionsouth.org.

Best wishes,
Kate Eltham, Robert Hoge, Robert Dobson and Heather Gammage.
Kate Eltham, Co-Director
Clarion South Writers Workshop
p: 0407 695 950
e: kate@clarionsouth.org

Clarion South is a project initiative of Fantastic Queensland Inc, a Brisbane creative industries cluster inspiring, developing and promoting cultural enterprise in speculative fiction.

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Friday, October 31st, 2008
2:28 pm - Clarion West announces major challenge grant from Amazon

Clarion West announced today that they have received a $25,000 challenge grant from Amazon.com. The grant celebrates twenty-five consecutive years of the Clarion West Writers Workshop, a premiere training ground for professional fantasy and science fiction writers. From now until October 31, 2009, Amazon will donate one dollar to Clarion West for every dollar the organization receives from individuals, corporations, government offices, charitable foundations, and special events — up to $25,000. The challenge could potentially bring in a grand total of $50,000 by adding Amazon’s matching funds to other donations.

“I think the Amazon challenge grant is a real feather in our cap. It recognizes all the good work of Clarion West over the last twenty-five years and is the perfect launch for the next twenty-five,” says Deborah Fisher, Chair of Clarion West’s Board of Directors. “I’m delighted this grant comes from a community of readers who love books and writers like we do.”

“We're thrilled to work with the Clarion West Writers Workshop and help celebrate twenty-five years of preparing writers for professional careers,” says Jeff Belle, Vice President of Amazon.com. “Amazon recognizes the need to support new writers and their work, and we look forward to introducing our customers to the talented voices that emerge from the workshop in the future."

Clarion West’s fundraising will get another boost with an additional challenge grant from SF3, parent organization of the long-running WisCon science fiction convention. During December 2008 and January 2009, they’ll give Clarion West one dollar for every dollar donated, up to a total of $2500. While the two challenge grants are running concurrently any donation Clarion West receives will be worth four times the amount that donor gives.

Clarion West, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, has presented the Clarion West Writers Workshop annually in Seattle, Washington since 1984. For more details on these challenge grants and other Clarion West news, visit www.clarionwest.org.

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Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008
8:06 pm - Found Item

Did anyone lose a baseball cap at last Friday's CW party in Kent? There's a photo post of it here. If you reply here, I can arrange to bring it to the next party...

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Sunday, July 6th, 2008
8:39 am - Thanks for Your Generous Response to CW Dorm Burglary

Due to the swift and generous response of the SF community, Clarion West has now received nearly enough money to replace the four student laptops stolen July 4 from rooms at the workshop residence. Clarion West staff, volunteers, and students all express their thanks for your very timely help. They especially want to thank BoingBoing, Cory Doctorow, Jay Lake, and many more for their generosity and for alerting others to the need for money and laptops. Donations began coming in from around the world just hours after the theft.

“If we collect funds that are much in excess of the cost of replacing the stolen computers, we will return them proportionally to the donors,” said workshop administrator Leslie Howle. “The use of PayPal makes this relatively easy to do.” She added, “We are all overwhelmed, and the students are immensely grateful. They were devastated by this theft, and it’s been amazing to see the community rally to support them.”

Thank you so much!

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