Tag Archive for 'clarion west'

adopt a writer

Zombie Writer by http://aelur.deviantart.com/

In the summer of 2005, I joined a group of other writers of science fiction and fantasy in Seattle for a six-week boot camp for writers. One house. Six instructors. Eighteen students. Four bathrooms. It sounds like the setup for a reality show or a Chuck Palahniuk novel, but most people know it as the Clarion West Writers Workshop.

I’m not exaggerating in the slightest when I say that this experience changed my life. I went into it a promising but unpublished writer and came out of it a good, more publishable writer. I met a lot of amazing people, and I count many of my classmates among my closest friends. I learned discipline at Clarion West. I learned what makes a story good and how to tear a story apart and put it back together better, stronger, faster. I learned the value–nay, the necessity–of persistence and revision.

Almost immediately after leaving the workshop, I started selling my short stories. I joined a professional writing group, Altered Fluid, which I was graciously introduced to through my classmate Kris Dikeman. And I worked even harder at improving as a writer. A couple of years later, I wrote Fair Coin.

A significant portion of the first draft of my first novel was written during the Clarion West Write-a-thon, a challenge in which writers commit to a daily or weekly goal for the duration of the six week workshop in Seattle. Some people participate to show support for those poor souls, in solidarity for our shared experience. Some participate out of sheer envy. Many of us want to push ourselves to accomplish more than we typically think we can in our normal lives; six weeks of dedicated writing are sadly beyond the reach of most of us, which makes the workshop such a rare, exhilarating, transformative time. But it is also a way to give back to the workshop, by raising money to continue and expand this vital program so it can benefit more generations of writers to come. We’re investing in the future of our fiction.

Anyone can sign up to participate in the Write-a-thon, which takes place from June 17 through July 27, and I encourage you to do so. Help yourself and help CW! Anyone can also pledge a donation, in any amount, to sponsor one or more writers. Please do!

You can sponsor me for instance. I haven’t set any fundraising goals, but I would welcome your support, anything you can spare. I had to sit out last summer’s Write-a-thon, but I’m eager to return and use it to reinstate a semblance of a normal writing schedule. I also have to complete a manuscript revision by the end of July, so that works out nicely.

I’ve committed to working on that revision for two hours a day, every day, no matter what other things I have to work on. This wouldn’t have been hard for me before, but my work, job, life, and writing demands have changed significantly in the last couple of years, so I’m finding my way back to the discipline I need to move forward. I’ll be working on a contemporary young adult novel tentatively titled Understudy. You can see an excerpt on the site, but don’t judge it too harshly–I have to revise it, remember? You can help!

You can also sponsor a bunch of other talented writers. I won’t take it personally if you choose someone else, really. They’re all awesome, I like them. And all the money is going to the same place: A workshop that I believe in strongly, because I know that it works. Please consider making a donation or participating in the Write-a-thon and writing for six weeks along with brilliant writers from all over the world. (Bonus: If we reach 200 participants by June 16, the Write-a-thon gets $2000 from a generous donor.)

Thanks!

Best,
Eugene

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the value of teamwork

One of the most common writing myths portrays the lonely author, struggling in solitude to create art. There’s some truth to this–at the end of the day, it does all come down to a writer sitting down and committing words to the page, putting pen to paper or tapping diligently at keys. And I’m sure there are many writers today who do write in a kind of void, all alone with their thoughts and/or nature.

Continue reading ‘the value of teamwork’

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last day to enter the eReader drawing!

Today is the last day to buy tickets for the eReader drawing that benefits the Carl Brandon Society and the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship. Please buy some tickets here to support a good cause and win one or more eReaders loaded with tons of free fiction from writers of color, including my science fiction short story “My Father’s Eyes”. Tickets are available until midnight and winners will be selected tomorrow.

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eReader raffle & free e-books!

First of all, is “eReader” the standard terminology now? I would have expected it to be e-reader. E-books are still e-books though, right?

Anyway… the Carl Brandon Society, an organization that helps “build further awareness of race and ethnicity in speculative literature and related fields,” is holding an eReader drawing to raise funds for the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship allows two writers of color to attend a Clarion writing workshop, perhaps the only way some students are able to attend. Octavia was one of my favorite writers and my first instructor at Clarion West in 2005, so I strongly believe in both the Carl Brandon Society’s mission and the workshops they support in her name.

The drawing for one of five e-readers eReaders (two B&N Nooks, two Kobo Readers, and one Alex eReader–all loaded with free fiction from SF writers of color) is open now until midnight EST on November 22, 2010. Tickets can be purchased online beginning tomorrow for only $1 each; you can buy as many tickets as you like for each of the available devices, but you can only win one of each! Winners will be chosen randomly by an impartial computer intelligence on November 23 and announced on the Society’s blog. More details on the prizes and rules for the drawing are here.

Please consider buying some tickets and spread the word via your social media platform of choice!

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