Clarion West Write-a-Thon, 2010: Sponsor Me!

Well, the Write-A-Thon has been going, and I’ve been writing like crazy — but it has been, and this is very appropriate, essentially “crits” for my students’ essays and Creative Writing portfolios.

But I’ve also been wading through the last of my grading for final exams — final exams finished just a little under a week ago — and I’ve also been waiting for my Write-A-Thon profile to show up on the site, so that I could solilcit some sponsorships.

Well, it’s up now, so if you feel like sponsoring me, here’s where to go! Basically, the deal is: I’m supposed to set a writing goal for the six weeks, and then achieve my writing goal. If I make my goals, or if I fail but achieve something you think is worth donating over, then you donate money to the Clarion West Workshop.

Donations are tax deductible in the USA. The funds help to ensure that Clarion West continues, so that more new writers can benefit from the experience that definitely gave me the kick in the butt, the mentorship, the feedback, some schooling, and the motivation I needed to start getting my stories finished and then published at the professional level. Tons of SF and fantasy authors have benefitted from the workshop, and we want to make sure that it keeps going and bringing more excellent new brains to the scene.


Mind you, I’m now kicking myself for not having signed up with some short fiction goals — I just got a few great ideas for stories in the last couple of days, and intend to try peck them out as well — I really do need to make a desperate bid at publications, so I’m spending this summer cranking out academic papers — at least three, possibly more if I can get to them, plus one abstract I need to send out by Tuesday.

The Write-a-thon has already been going for one week, though — a week I burned up writing crits for my students. So my feat is even more daring and audacious: at least three articles — ready to be sent out, or already sent out, by the end of the sixth week — plus an abstract by this Tuesday. If you feel like sponsoring me in my crazy, quixotic attempt to keep my job — and supporting an excellent workshop for emerging genre writers — go on ahead and do it! There’s no minimum limit, and every little bit counts!

Interested in what I’ll be writing about? More in the extended part of this post…I’ll be touching on some of the following, with the top four being things I need to have written by September:

  • The uses of SF films (and texts) in the Korean classroom (in the context of advanced TEFL, but also the study of comparative cultural studies, looking specifically at Avatar, among a couple of other examples).
  • The uses of “user created content” creative projects (amateur filmmaking, comic book production, trailer remixes, and rant videos) and new electronic media in TEFL
  • The politics of ecodystopianism in The Host.
  • Postcolonial perspectives on colonial sexual exploitation in modern Korean SF (Djuna’s “Proxy War” and possibly the film 2009: Lost Memories; I may also work something in there on Bok Geo-il’s In Search of an Epitaph but only if I can recruit myself a little help with the text, as there’s no way I can read it all by myself; so the text will likely get a mention as a precedent, but I’ll focus on more recent (and accessible) work.)

The first three are all for conferences — more about that in an announcement coming soon! — and the fourth is something I’d like to try send out soonish as well, though it’d also be something I want to try present at Wiscon next year, should I manage to hold onto my job till then.

I have other stuff in the wings, too, if I get through these topics fast enough: a paper on The Singularity that I have realized I need to revise significantly, two or three new things about Korean SF, and a neat piece linking the issue of race and  failed utopianism in works by H.G. Wells and W.E.B. Du Bois. I also have a longer article on Korean SF films which I would like to tidy up and send out somewhere, I just don’t know where… though I do have an idea about someone I could ask for advice about that.

I doubt I can produce all seven papers and two revisions in a single summer, and I don’t even know if, after producing all this work, it would actually get accepted for publication — but I seem to be getting work accepted for conferences, so who knows? And I will at least be establishing a kind of groove, which may help me continue to write papers during the semester as well, albeit at a slower pace.

Anyway, I am pretty sure I can pump out three quality papers during the remaining five weeks of the write-a-thon, especially if I avoid trying to cover the complete history of everything linked to my topic, which is how I usually try to approach things.

I just need to calculate grades, and submit them to the system… so, Monday, I will crank out that abstract and start in on the research and drafting of paper #1!

Here we go!

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