How do you learn to write Science Fiction & Fantasy? In some ways you don’t. You let the experience of SF&F embrace you with its breadth of imagination, and in rare, precious instances reach inside you to touch your soul. Then again, you do have to learn to keep pounding away at your keyboard, no matter how far past midnight it is nor how burnt the coffee, until something comes out of your mind and through your fingers that you think you won’t throw away – and you hope someone else wants to read.
The Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Workshop is all of that and more, and the application period for the 2017 workshop is now open until March 1. The workshop runs for six weeks in summer at the University of California, San Diego. The oldest writer’s workshop of its kind, Clarion began in 1968 at Clarion State College in Pennsylvania. After four years, it moved to Michigan State University, where I attended the workshop in the ‘80s. I admit, I was sorry to see it leave the banks of the Red Cedar in 2007 when it continued its western migration to UCSD. Being located, however, on the Pacific shoreline and operating under the auspices of the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination give it much greater panache.