If you love speculative fiction — horror, fantasy, SF, and so on — then I’ve got a way you can pitch in to keep pumping fresh blood into the genre. That is, the Clarion West workshop is looking for donations, and for students for next year.
If you read this blog regularly, I’ll have mentioned Clarion West before, but I have described it in a while. So here goes: it is a workshop for speculative fiction writers, one that is sometimes described as a “boot camp” for them to cross over into professional publishing. I’m far from the only person for whom it worked out that way, either: if you look here, you can see a list of names among whom at least some should be familiar to you. (If not, go look at the lists of SF award winners: most major awards have gone to at least one CW graduate at some point.)
The workshop functions like a well-oiled machine, but parts and labour are not free. They take money, and the modest student tuition and all the benefit auctions and write-a-thons in the world can’t cover the expenses completely. They’re looking for donations and it’s a tax-writeoff if you’re up for it (and living in the right country), plus right now both Amazon and SF3 are matching donations (until the end of January) so you can triple your donation right off the bat. If you’re interested and able, go here.
And if you’re a writer of speculative fiction and are serious about it, I’d encourage you to apply for the workshop. Some people describe it as a boot camp, but for me, it was more like a homecoming to a land I’d never imagined existed, where I got to find my tribe, live among them for a summer, and spend the whole time writing, critiquing damned good work, hanging around with some of my favorite writers (after listening to them critique our work) and honing my skills… For me, being at the workshop was a serious catalyst for my writing career, such as it is. I have a long way to go, of course, but what launched me onto actually having a trajectory at all, in terms of publication and professional-quality work, was my experience in Seattle at the workshop. I highly recommend it. Or, hell, read what my friend (and classmate) Tinatsu Wallace wrote about that week — she says it just perfectly.
To apply, follow the instructions here. And get started with it now: if you apply soon and get accepted, there will be a tuition discount.