Sponsor a writer in the Clarion West Write-a-thon!S

Science-fiction/fantasy writers workshop Clarion West is running it's eighth annual Write-a-thon. Pledge support to your favorite writers as they sprint their way to a deadline!

Clarion West Writer's Workshop is a six-week intensive program for aspiring science-fiction and/or fantasy writers. In its 28th year of continuous instruction, Clarion West accepts eighteen students a year and those students are encouraged to write one story a week during the program and each week is taught by a different writer or editor. This year's instructors are Paul Park, Nancy Kress, Margo Lanagan, Minister Faust, L. Timmel Duchamp, and Charles Stross.

This year's workshop starts June 19 and ends July 29th and is running concurrently with it is the eighth annual Write-a-thon. This is Clarion West's combination charity walk/run-National Novel Writing Month. Authors set themselves weekly goals for writing. For every week they meet their goals, their sponsors donate the money they've pledged. The authors participating so far include N.K. Jemisin (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms), Nancy Kress (Beggars in Spain) and Vonda McIntyre (Dreamsnake), and many others — you can peruse a complete list at the Write-a-thon website, where you can also click on an author's name to get information on their goals and donate.

Why help? Participating author and Clarion West alum Tempest Bradford offers this reason:

When I went to Clarion West a very kind individual donated my full tuition to the workshop anonymously (knowing that I actually did not have the money to go and was planning to take out a loan if it came to that). It was an incredibly generous gift and I've always felt that I can never fully repay it. But I try, every year, to do my part in giving that gift to other students.

My time at Clarion West was so wonderful. Getting to meet amazing writers I admired, meeting writers I would come to admire, seeing some really amazing fiction from fellow students, and learning things about writing (and myself) that I hope have found their expression in my fiction. Clarion West isn't right for every writer. Plenty of very talented people have never set foot in a Clarion-style workshop and yet they turned out just fine. But for some this experience instigates an important sea-change.

I've raise money for both the workshop and the Butler scholarship because I believe a greater diversity of voices in genre literature leads to better literature. Science fiction and fantasy stories and books are often in conversation with other stories, other books, other authors. Conversations are always better when there are more valuable viewpoints

The benefits the Write-a-thon provides are two-fold: a good cause raises money and it encourages writers produce more science-fiction and fantasy stories. So go learn more!

Top image by Inger Klekacz at flickr