Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Clarion 2009

Hard to believe it's been almost five years since I went to Clarion. I can't tell you how much I gained from those six weeks. It's something you just have to experience. But I can tell you that if you're serious about writing sf, fantasy (or really anything, although you really should write mainly sf and f while you're there), you should apply.

Know that there are sacrifices involved. Big ones. Yes, it's costly and times are tough. Yes, it's six weeks out of your life. But it's worth it.

Ah, but you may say, "Well I could learn how to be a better writer without spending $3,000 and six weeks of my life."

Maybe. But I doubt you could do so in an atmosphere that focuses on making you a better writer right now with top-notch instructors, surrounded by other people like you who have a passion for writing. I should clarify: You won't immediately become a better writer at Clarion, but it sure speeds things up. You'll discover things that would've taken you months, maybe years to discover on your own. It gives you the tools you need, the support you need, and that kick in the butt you need when you haven't turned in a story all week.

I wouldn't trade my Clarion experience for anything. Many of the folks I attended with are friends I still keep in touch with regularly. And if you're serious about your writing and are open-minded and willing to grow, I can't think of a better place to spend six weeks.

(You can read my famously incomplete Clarion journal to get an idea of what it's like. Or Google someone else's Clarion journal. There's tons of 'em out there.)

Instructors for 2009:

Holly Black
Larissa Lai
Robert Crais
Kim Stanley Robinson
Elizabeth Hand
Paul Park

The application period ends March 1. Check it out. Don't put it off until next year. Do it now.

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