As of 1 December, the Clarion Science Fiction and Writers' Workshop opened to applications for the class of 2011.
Here's the official announcement:
Clarion is widely recognized as a premier training ground for aspiring writers of fantasy and science fiction short stories. The 2011 writers in residence are Nina Kiriki Hoffman, John Scalzi, Elizabeth Bear, David Anthony Durham, John Kessel, and Kij Johnson. Each year 18 students, ranging in age from late teens to those in mid-career, are selected from applicants who have the potential for highly successful writing careers. Students are expected to write several new short stories during the six-week workshop, and to give and receive constructive criticism. Instructors and students reside together in University of California at San Diego campus apartments throughout the intensive six-week program.
Application period: December 1 – March 1. Applicants must submit two short stories with their application.
Workshop: June 26 – August 6, 2011. http://clarion.ucsd.edu
So why should you consider applying?
- You'll learn how to critique other people's writing and thus your own.
- Your writing will improve amazingly.
- You'll make several friends for life.
- You get to spend six weeks on a tree-filled campus immersed in writing—no cooking, no chores, no noisy children or demanding pets, nothing at all to prevent you from living and breathing writing.
- You'll have the most fun one can possibly have while being severely sleep deprived.
- You'll find out whether you truly want to be a writer.
- Being a Clarion grad opens doors for you and gives you a professional connection to dozens of professional sf/f writers (and writers in some other genres as well).
- Your life will change forever.
Yes, Clarion is pricey—nearly $5000 this year. (That includes tuition, private room in a three-person apartment with kitchen, Internet service, and three meals per day at the dining hall, as well as a parking pass if you take your car.) Some scholarships are available.
However, if you truly want to be a professional or semiprofessional writer, Clarion is worth the money. In essence, it leapfrogs you and your career several years ahead of where you'd be otherwise. And if you discover that the writing life is not for you, then you can stop wasting time writing and get on with what you should be doing with your life.
If you have any questions about Clarion, feel free to post them in the comments or email me at ShaunaRoberts [at] ShaunaRoberts [dot] com.
- final report on World Fantasy Con 2010 (yes, really, truly)
- author interviews with Kimberly Todd Wade and Valerie Frankel