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As you may know, I’m a big fan of writers’ workshops. Workshops are a great way to find the weak spots in your writing, hone your critical eye, learn techniques, and make contacts (and friends) in the field. And now is the time to apply for this year’s major workshops.
Clarion West is a six-week intensive “boot camp for writers” in Seattle, June 19 through July 29, 2011. I am a Clarion West alum and I found it almost overwhelming but incredibly valuable. This year’s instructors are Paul Park, Nancy Kress, Margo Lanagan, Minister Faust, L. Timmel Duchamp, and Charles Stross, and the deadline for application is March 1. If you apply before February 10 there’s a discount on the application fee. You can read about my Clarion West experience over here.
Clarion is the spiritual predecessor of Clarion West and offers the same six-week intensive experience, June 26 to August 6, 2011. Sometimes known as Clarion Classic or Clarion East, it’s moved around over the years and is now located in San Diego. This year’s instructors are Nina Kiriki Hoffman, John Scalzi, Elizabeth Bear, David Anthony Durham, John Kessel, and Kij Johnson, and the deadline for application is March 1.
Taos Toolbos is a two-week master class for more experienced writers and is focused on the craft of the novel. It’s held in a ski lodge in Taos Ski Valley, July 10-23, 2011, and this year’s instructors are Walter Jon Williams, Nancy Kress, and Jack Skillingstead. I went to Taos Toolbox in 2008 and you can read my blogs about it over here.
Cascade Writers is a three-day workshop held at the Ocean Crest Resort on the Washington coast, July 21-24th. This year’s instructors are Beth Meacham, Jay Lake, and me! The deadline for application is May 15.
The Alpha SF/F/H Workshop for Young Writers is a ten-day workshop for writers ages 14-19, held at the University of Pittsburgh’s Greensburg Campus. This year’s instructors include Ellen Kushner, Tamora Pierce, and me! Plus others to be named later. The deadline for application is March 1. For more information, check out Ellen Kushner’s post and be sure to read the comments!
These aren’t the only workshops in existence, of course, but they’re the ones that have a special place in my heart for one reason or another.
If none of these work for you, check with your local or regional science fiction convention. Many of them have short (one day or less) workshops as part of their program. I will be leading workshop sections at Potlatch and FOGcon, and probably at Wiscon, Renovation (Worldcon), and OryCon as well.