Six weeks, six stories, 152 pages, 31,000 words.  Not to mention five one-on-ones with my writing heroes, three significant rewrites, strange and challenging writing exercises, over 2800 pages of personal critiques, and something like 80 stories from my Clarion-mates to read. Oh, and did I mention twenty-odd friends for life?

Clarion 2010 Manuscripts

My manuscripts and rewrites with critiques

I’m still struggling to capture the experience in words.  I think I managed to do so in pictures, some of which you can see in my FaceBook gallery.

Some of my Clarion colleagues have blogged about their experience.  Here is John Chu’s beautiful account.  And Tom Underberg is brief but 100% right on.

I’ll be adding more here in the coming days.  For now, I’ll just note that it was without doubt one of the most difficult and rewarding things I have ever done, and thank my classmates—Stacie Brown, John Chu, William Farrar, Erin Gonzales, Jessica Hilt, Jennifer Hsyu, Adam Israel, Dustin Monk, Tamsyn Muir, Laura Praytor, L.M. Redding, Dallas Taylor, Leah Thomas, Karin Tidbeck, Tom Underberg, Kali Wallace, Kai Ashante Wilson—and instructors—Delia Sherman, Ellen Kushner, George RR Martin, Dale Bailey, Samuel R. Delany, Jeff Vandermeer, and Ann Vandermeer—for being so utterly wonderful.

4 Responses to “Clarion 2010: finding the words”

  1. Hey Gregory,

    Thanks for writing this. I’ll suppress the urge to begin cross examining and drawing out information. I’m still bummed when I think of the instructors this year around! But the 2011 looks good. I will most certainly be applying.

    And having another year of daily writing and reading is no bad thing. I think what screws me up is I’m comfortable with writing long stuff, and I end up feeling guilty stopping to write a short story for admission.

    Anyway, thanks for the links, Gregory, and I’m looking forward to those upcoming stories in Asimov’s.

  2. Todd, I am still working on a post that goes into an “average” day at Clarion 2010, and another that summarizes some of the lessons I learned. It’s been a mad month since Clarion, as I try to sort out my post-Clarion thoughts, deal with some basic issues (i.e. rent and food), and get going on meeting my personal commitments from the last week of the workshop (submitting at least one new story a month, getting a draft of my first novel by the new year). Add to that seven stories being written or revised, another four submitted to various magazines, the Weird Tales videos, and a new screenplay… I cracked, and actually fled the country to visit a wise old friend in London to get some perspective.

  3. Sounds like a healthy creative plate-load to me. Nothing feels better than no creative waste or lingering. Writing a draft of a novel before the end of the year is a doable goal, depending on your writing habits. I’ve written a number of first drafts for novels, but for the first time this summer, I finally got it right, and was able to advance on a second draft. Currently, with school, I’m rewriting the third draft…and then I finally get to show it to a few people! I’m so excited.

    As for short stories, well, I got about seven floating around, and I’m trying to finish my Writers of the Future entry. But to be honest, the novel is the best thing going for me right now. I took quiet a few workshops, and most of them are miserable and unhelpful (for me), but one I took last year really helped pinpoint what I was screwing up on all those other first drafts.

    The novel form is exhilarating. It’s sprawling and alive in a way a short story can’t quiet achieve. There are parts I keep coming back to that I forget about ever writing and it always puts a smile on my face. But the other half of writing a novel is the bad days when you despair and everything feels like a waste of time. It’s quite a roller coaster. The key is, just take it one day at a time; tomorrow is always a new day, and a new chance.

    But, good luck Gregory. I’m sure you’ll adjust to the new workload after a bit of time. Have fun with all that, and I wish I was in London!

  4. […] Blog post … and a link to pretty pictures […]

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