Writers Bootcamp – for all funky fiction writers (including folks who want to write comics)
This is for everyone who wants to develop their writing, but it’s especially for folks who want to write comics. Please pass it on.
Clarion Writers Workshop was a fantastic experience and really exciting for me. I write across many genres (from ‘literary’ to horror to spec fic) and I write across a range of media (prose, poetry, song and comics) and I felt developed and respected in all my guises. The focus of this workshop is the short story, but the lessons learned go much deeper and broader than that. As someone who has been slogging away at comics career for quite a while now Clarion made me really excited for emerging comic writers.
The life of an aspiring comics writer can be lonely, frustrating and it can be very difficult to get access to tha constructive criticism that will help you develop your craft. I see enormous potential for comic writers to deepen their storytelling craft through this writing workshop. I also see how comics writers can give different approaches to the craft of short story writing -> the discipline of writing comics schools you in different ways.
Clarion Writers’ Workshop is a short story writing workshop, you have to write short stories, but I strongly encourage any emerging comic writer to apply. Short stories have an interesting relationship with comics. Both media have to get in there and tell a tale, pack a punch, build a world. They are not the same, but they are crafts that give to each other.
When I attended Clarion in San Diego I was pleasantly surprised by the number of people who also wrote comics or had an interest in comics. Robert Crais, one of our instructors, spontaneously organized Chris Ryall the Editor in Chief from IDW to come out and chat with us. Comicon kindly donated day passes, which allowed us to explore its gigantic wonders en mass at the end of week 4. And more important than all these cool shiny events is that I write better comics now. (Much gooder, I write gud!)
Emerging comic writers, you deserve an opportunity to develop your core story telling abilities. You should apply to Clarion. You’ll need to submit two short stories to apply, applications open in December and close 1 March – so if you haven’t got two short stories start writing them now. That’s what I did! I converted one old comic script into a short story.
Here’s the scoop from Clarion:
The 2010 Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Workshop will take place June 27 through August 7, 2010 at University of California, San Diego. The instructors will be Delia Sherman, George R.R. Martin, Dale Bailey, Samuel R. Delany, Jeff VanderMeer, and Ann VanderMeer.
The application period for the 2010 workshop is December 1 – March 1. Applicants must submit two short stories with their application. For information and applications, check the Web at http://clarion.ucsd.edu/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Established in 1968, the Clarion Writers’ Workshop is the oldest workshop of its kind and is widely recognized as a premier proving and training ground for aspiring writers of fantasy and science fiction. Many graduates have become well-known writers, and a large number have won major awards. Instructors are among the most respected writers and editors working in the field today. The six-week workshop is held on the beautiful beachside campus of the University of California, San Diego.
Clarion has been known as the “boot camp” for writers of speculative fiction. Each year 18 students, ranging in age from late teens to those in mid-career, are selected from applicants who have the potential for highly successful writing careers. Students are expected to write several new short stories during the six-week workshop, and to give and receive constructive criticism. Instructors and students reside together in campus apartments throughout the intensive six-week program.
I attended Clarion, there is also Clarion West and Clarion South – they all get rave reviews. Clarion West (Seattle) and Clarion (San Diego) occur around the same time and many apply for both. Clarion South is held every two years in Australia, the next one will be January 2011.
You want more Clarion info? Instructor and student Clarion, Clarion West and Clarion South experiences from around the globe.
5 thoughts on “Writers Bootcamp – for all funky fiction writers (including folks who want to write comics)”
Although it operates on slightly different principles, the Odysssey Writers Workshop (also a 6-week, intensive bootcamp) comes highly recommended.
Thanks Ken, I didn’t realize it was 6 weeks as well! I’ve just done a search, Odyssey lives at http://www.sff.net/Odyssey/
… given you can only do Clarion once I now have Odyssey fantasies… oh my.
What a thorough review of the options. If you don’t mind, when I write my “Apply to Clarion” blog post soon, I’ll link to yours for further information rather than duplicating it all.