For those of you who don’t know, I attended the Clarion West Writers Workshop in 2007, and it was a huge boost to my writing career. Clarion West allows writers to focus on craft and critiquing for six weeks. Most writers are urged to write a story each of the six weeks as well as critiquing 3-5 short stories by their classmates each day during the week. It’s often described as Boot Camp for writers, and while I haven’t done a military boot camp, my Clarion West experience was certainly a crucible. I’m still applying and re-interpreting lessons learned at the workshop, and Clarion West also gave me a community of peers, most of whom I’m still in touch with and some of whom I see once or twice a year at conventions, keeping up and basking in one another’s successes.
Digression for plugs — Success like Cassie Alexander’s NIGHTSHIFTED, first a three book (and counting!) series about a nurse that works in the paranormal ward of her local hospital; David Constantine’s PILLARS OF HERCULES, a Roman Steampunk action-adventure novel that includes Steam Engines, a Possibly-Divine Alexander, and the secrets of Atlantis; Melinda Thielbar’s MANGA MATH series of manga about kids in a dojo that have to use math and martial arts to solve mysteries; and others!
I wrote my first salable novel after Clarion West (though it hasn’t sold yet), and I’ve tried to keep some connection to the workshop by participating in the Write-a-Thon most of the summers since.
For more info about the Clarion West Write-a-Thon, head here: http://www.clarionwest.org/writeathon
I’ve pledged to write 10,000 words and am hoping to raise $150 this year. My participant page is here, in case you feel like sponsoring me. 🙂