This was Karen Funk, age 20, at the Clarion Writers' Workshop in 1977. Back then, this workshop for science fiction and fantasy writers was held at Michigan State University. Nowadays the flagship version of the workshop is the Clarion Writers' Workshop at UC San Diego.
This year, Clarion is hosting a satellite event for those of us who can't go out to San Diego and take instruction from John Scalzi et al. As you may have noticed from my sidebar, I've signed up for the 2011 Clarion Write-a-Thon. This means that while the 2011 Clarion Workshop at UCSD is taking place, June 26 to August 6, I'll be working every night on the Mâvarin novels, particularly Heirs of Mâvarin. As of tonight I'm on page 369 of 708 manuscript pages in my current edit. That's not quite as big a book as it sounds, but it's a good chunk of editing and revising to get through. I'm also hoping to get a scene or two written for the book's prequel, and, if there's time left, move on to the Mages of Mâvarin trilogy.
Why am I doing this, while working two jobs and doing all the other stuff that fills my days? The fact is, I haven't given good, consistent effort to my fiction since shortly after I went back to school in late 2002 to get my accounting degree. If I'm ever to get these characters I love from my hard drive to the bookstore, this needs to change. This seems like a good motivator to get my writing going again. And yes, I'll be blogging about it, probably on two or more of my poor, neglected blogs.
Help Clarion continue; Help Mâvarin come to be! Sponsor me!
There's another aspect to this, and really, it seems fair enough. Write-a-Thon participants are asked to seek sponsors. Proceeds from sponsors' donations help to keep the workshop going. I've always said that the specific workshop John and I attended in 1977 was the "failed Clarion," but I did learn a lot, although some of it took years to sink in. Plus I got a husband out of it, so I've got a lot to be grateful for!
If you're just scraping by yourself, then I don't expect you to jump in with a donation. But if you can afford to support this good cause, here's the link:
Overcome your inertia.
And here's my offer: I will match all donations up to $20 per person, and will sponsor any friends who participate as writers for that same amount.
So, how about it? Will you join me as a Write-a-Thon writer or sponsor? Failing that, Will you help me stay motivated with a little judicious nagging and encouragement? Ready...set...!