2007 was a big year for me. My wife and I had a baby, I signed my first book contract and I was lucky enough to spend six weeks at the Clarion Writers’ Workshop.
Clarion is one of the most respected writers’ workshops around. For six weeks every summer a handful of writers of fantastic literature – science fiction, fantasy, or something in-between – gather in San Diego to learn from respected professionals in the field. If you have a favorite fantasy or sci-fi writer, odds are they’ve either taught or graduated from Clarion.
When I was there I wrote a story a week (and got the stink eye from a seal who thought I was trying to move in on his oyster lunch. Note to future Clarion writers – be careful where you swim in your off-hours!). It was a grueling schedule that really shook up my expectations of what it meant to be a writer. And it was the best creative experience of my life. I was surrounded my a number of writers far more talented than I’ll ever be, and I made some wonderful friends.
Clarion makes writers. Or at least it helps make them into the best writers they can be. Bookshelves wouldn’t be bare without it, but they would be a heck of a lot more dull.
But all of this takes money, and I know I wouldn’t have been able to attend myself without a generous scholarship from the Clarion Foundation. In this economic storm, arts organizations everywhere are struggling to just stay afloat.
That’s why I’m asking for your help.
So for the next six weeks, while this year’s batch of talented scribes rubs their fingers to the bone churning out words in San Diego, I’ll be doing the same. I’m committing to the Clarion Write-a-Thon, in which I’ll be working on the opening chapters of the sequel to POWERLESS! Oh yeah, did I mention that there is a sequel? As part of my new contract with the wonderful folks at Knopf, I’ll be writing the further adventures of the Supers of Noble’s Green.
I’ll be blogging about the experience regularly, and asking for donations for Clarion along the way. A whole host of terrific writers are participating in the Write-a-Thon, and we are competing to raise money for this workshop that means so much to so many of us. To make a donation (even 5 bucks helps!) all you have to do is click on the Write-a-Thon link on the right side of this page, or heck, just click here. It’s a great chance to get a behind-the-scenes peek at what goes into writing the first draft of a book, and to help out a great cause.