You Don’t Have to Attend Clarion to Be a Real Writer

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Because there’s outrage in the Internet today over Neil Gaiman’s wording of a Clarion promo.

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But it helps.

For those not in the know, the Clarion and Clarion West Writers’ Workshops are intensive six-week residential programs where aspiring, semi-professional, and early-career professional writers are exposed to and connected with accomplished working professionals in the speculative fiction field. The focus is on writing short fiction, and critiquing it (building a less-shitty first draft, if you will). But as much as that, it’s about learning what it is to be a professional or at least serious writer, both in terms of lifestyle and in terms of the business of speculative fiction and the people and standards within it. I have, for many years, described it as a provisional membership in the kool-kids club (please note the tongue planted firmly in cheek).

Both are currently acceptingapplications.

As you’ve likely guessed, or knew already, I attended Clarion in 2010. It was, in many ways, a watershed experience. I…

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