Sometime before WisCon,…

Sometime before WisCon, I was invited to be part of the Clarion West Write-A-Thon. I agreed, and set what now seem like absurdly unrealistic goals for my summer writing:

Planning to finish revision on my new novel, The Arrangement, a contemporary threesome novel featuring two Sri Lankan-Americans and one Jewish-American who get themselves into a rather complicated situation, due to HarperCollins in August. I'd also like to complete at least 20,000 new words on the draft of a nonfiction book, tentatively titled Arbitrary Passions, a travel book which tries to make connections between arranged marriages, romantic love, nationalism, and Sri Lanka.

But what the heck -- maybe I'll make my goals. I have five weeks left; it's not utterly impossible. Right? And perhaps this will motivate me to actually make a decent stab at it, at any rate, rather than letting the writing just languish for the next month. Besides, I like to see non-profits in the field taking up innovative fund-raising projects.

So in that spirit, here's the info. If you'd like to help motivate me to write, you could pledge something. Or you could pledge if you want to help Clarion West, which is in some ways directly responsible for my turning to mainstream writing instead of mediocre sf/f. (In retrospect, that fantasy novel I was trying to write at Clarion was really pretty sad. What was I thinking?) Of course, you might not consider my current writing a good thing. But most days, I think it is. :-)

The Clarion West Write-A-Thon!

Be part of Clarion West this summer without even attending the workshop! The Write-a-thon is a writer-oriented fundraiser, like a Walk-a-thon. During the six weeks of the workshop (June 19-July 29, 2005), while the current students are studying with some of the finest writers and editors in speculative fiction, graduates of earlier workshops and other members of the Clarion West community declare their current writing goals and solicit individual sponsors in support of those goals to raise money to support the workshop. This is our second Write-a-thon.

Clarion West hopes to motivate writers in the Clarion West community to write as intensively as if they were attending the workshop and at the same time to raise $10,000 during the event by encouraging fans and alumni to pledge in support of their favorite writers, whether well-known or beginning.

Participating writers include Charlie Allery, CW '03; Greg Bear, instructor '88, '93, '99; Mike Brotherton, CW '94; Kathryn Cramer, CW '84; Neile Graham, CW '96; Eileen Gunn, Clarion (East) '76, CW board member; David G. Hartwell, instructor '84, '86, '90, 2000; Vylar Kaftan, CW '04; Mary Anne Mohanraj, CW '97; Amy Thomson, CW '84, and Pat Murphy, instructor, '90, '93, 2000, and 2004.

Participants commit to specific goals for the six weeks, such as writing six chapters of a new novel. Fans can sponsor the writer of their choice by pledging donations at the Clarion West website. Donations may be mailed or sent through PayPal, and are tax-deductible. See the Clarion West web site at

Writers are also welcome to participate in the Write-A-Thon. Participants can ask family and friends for sponsorships. Anyone can participate, either by sponsoring an established author or by getting pledges in support of their personal writing goals. Those who are shy of soliciting sponsors can still use the Clarion West web site forums as a place to declare their goals and get moral support in meeting them this summer.

Clarion West is an intensive six-week workshop for writers preparing for professional careers in science fiction, fantasy, slipstream, and horror, held every summer in Seattle since 1984.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *