Have the confidence for Clarion?

The Clarion Write-A-Thon started yesterday, mirroring the 6-week timeframe that those accepted into the Clarion writer’s workshop are doing their work. The Write-A-Thon is a fundraiser for the workshop.

Over on his blog, Write-A-Thon’er and class of ’08 participant Ferrett Steinmetz shared an email he had received. The email talked about how Neil Gaiman was giving a talk at Cambridge University and mentioned a conversation that he had with a student in 2008.

one of the students came up to him one day and asked, “So, who here do you think will make it?” The student pointed at a couple of the more ‘advanced’ writers, and said “Them?” And Neil said “I don’t know who’s going to make it. But I know that to make it you have to write. Just write, as much as possible.”

Ferrett went on to explain that while that was true, if it hadn’t been for Clarion, he never would have challenged himself to become a professional writer.


I used to question how people could afford to attend Clarion. After all, it’s a 6-week, immersive program in San Diego (or Seattle for Clarion West… aren’t they both pretty much ‘west?). You have to come up with the money for tuition, room and board and you can’t telecommute to your job during that time. The total cost minus travel expenses and application fees is just under $5000. There are scholarships available, however the answer it would seem, is that very few people have the time or resources to make it happen. Only those who are ready to ‘make the leap’ as it were in the hopes of a grand payoff. And that’s not said in a bitter way, it’s more of a realization. You have to have complete trust in yourself as a writer and your future as a professional in order to make this step. I would love to be able to cultivate that degree of confidence.

Have you ever considered an immersive writing program? Have you made the leap? How did  you (or would you) make it happen?

Morning Cuppa – 02/08/13 – Clarion! Not-Clarion! Mars!

Happy Friday all, I hope that you’ve all got some great plans this weekend. And if you’re in the northeast, HOLY CRAP, WHAT ARE YOU DOING READING A BLOG POST! GO LOOT FOR CANS OF BEANS BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE AND BREAK APART YOUR FURNITURE TO STAY WARM!

Seriously though, stay safe folks.

  • Don’t forget my February offer, if you’re an author and would like me to purchase a copy of your book, leave a comment on this blog post.
  • Didn’t get into Clarion? Can’t afford to take 6 weeks off of your day job? Take a look at the Taos ToolBox, still a little rich for my blood but it could work for you.
  • Something oddly metal-looking has been found on the surface of Mars. Could just be a trick of light or a hunk of iron from a meteorite that hasn’t oxidized thanks to a low-oxygen environment. Until NASA takes a closer look, mysteries abound.
  • Time to update your Goodreads to-read shelf! io9 shares their list of can’t miss scifi and fantasy for the month of February.
  • The genre anthology all based in the party culture in the late 20th century, Glitter and Madness is getting closer to opening to submissions. Think rollerskates, neon, They’re still a little less than halfway to the funding goal though, take a chance to contribute if you haven’t yet.
  • Seems a little bit like a case of having your cake and eating it too but Amazon has a patent for reselling “used” ebooks. Before, consumers were told that we don’t own the content, we’ve merely purchased a license. Now it turns out we can sell that license to other people but only through the Amazon store? No word on how the diminished cost of the used ebooks will affect author’s profits.