On Writing Workshops and Spontaneous Writing


So recently I found out that Neil Gaiman is going to be at the Clarion Workshop this year! I’m a wee bit of a fangirl, so I am really excited to hear about this! (Oh and if you’ve never read Neil’s journal, for shame on you! For shame!) I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to go to the workshop, though. The application deadline is March 1. That poses a bit of a chronology issue for me.

Part of the application requirements are two short stories. I have several shorts laying around, but all are still in their first draft form. It’s going to require me to revise. And we all know how well I revise! :p Anyway, what it really comes down to is whether or not I’ll be able to get two shorts revised in time for the deadline or not, since I have to have my novel completely revised by April 10. How much money do I have to pay to get about 5 more useable hours out of each day?

Moreover, I think I’m a little bit intimidated. My understanding is that there’s a lot of spontaneous writing expected. I can’t recall if it’s Clarion  or Odyssey which requires a new story every day (I think it’s Odyssey). But either way, I don’t do that sort of writing very well. Given ten minutes in a writing class to write a few paragraphs about whatever–my brain freezes up and I just look at the page. I’ve never been good at that sort of writing.

I’m still going to see if I can get a couple stories polished, even though that aspect does scare the writerly doodoo out of me. I’m already in debt up to my eyeballs from grad school. What’s another $4k, right?

I’m a little snarky about the cost, I know, but Clarion is one of the best short story workshops out there for genre writers. A few of my fellow students at SHU are former Clarion students and they can’t say enough about it. So I’m intrigued about going. I really do believe in the usefulness of programs like these. I know the writers in my master’s program who’ve gone through Clarion are already phenomenal writers, even before SHU gets to them!

Any other graduates of Clarion or Odyssey out there? What was your experience?

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  • Reply
    February 6, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    Wow, four grand for a writing course. Hope it is worth your money. How long is the course? I hope it is a least over a month for that much.

  • Reply
    Venessa G.
    February 7, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    I believe it’s a 6 week course. And much of the $4k is room and board. I think the actual course itself is something like $1600, but I’d have to check the website to be sure. But that’s what sticks out in my head.

    I’d love to do it this year, especially with who they’ve got teaching, but I just don’t think it’s going to be financially feasible. 🙁

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Gabrielle Faust
    February 8, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    If you figure out a way to buy more hours per day, please let me know! I could use about 5 or 6 myself. 😉

  • Reply
    Venessa G.
    February 8, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    I’ll definitely share the knowledge if I ever figure it out myself!


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