The Clarion West Write-a-Thon

Update: The Write-a-thon has started! Click the “Write-a-thon” tab at the top of the page to see my day-to-day progress.

A few days ago I signed up for the Clarion West Write-a-Thon. For those unfamiliar with Clarion West, it’s an intensive six-week workshop during which participants basically eat, live, and breathe writing. During those six weeks, they attend classes taught by well-known professional authors of science fiction and fantasy: in the past, instructors have included Greg Bear, Orson Scott Card, Harlan Ellison, Ursula K. LeGuin, Cory Doctorow, and China Mieville, among many others.

I won’t be attending the actual workshop. Not this year, anyway (hopefully I’ll be able to attend sometime in the next few years). Instead I’m doing the Write a Thon, which anyone can sign up for, and during which participants set a writing goal and sort of “shadow” the workshop during the six weeks in which in takes place.

This year, Clarion West (and hence the Write-a-Thon) takes place from June 19-July 29. During those six weeks, my goal is to write 1,000 words a day toward the first draft of my novel. Hopefully this will enough for me to actually finish the first draft– if I finish before the six weeks is up, I will consider that a success. Or if I don’t finish, but still manage to add 40,000 words to the novel, that’ll be a success, too.

I have a secondary goal as well, which is to finish the short story that I’ve been poking at for a few weeks and submit it to the Writers of the Future contest by the end of June. That means my writing plate is going to be really full until the end of the month, although things will get easier in July. 1,000 words a day is the pace I set during May, when I was attempting a personal NaNoWriMo, so this is pretty much going to be six weeks of the same thing. If you’re interested in showing your support, and also supporting Clarion West (which is one of a few workshops that helps develop serious talent in the genre), go to my Clarion West Writer’s Page and make a donation via the PayPal link. If you’re a sci-fi/fantasy fan, then the money’s definitely going to a good cause.

I’ll post to the blog with regular updates on how things are going. And hopefully by the end of it, I’ll have the finished first draft of a novel to show for it.