The Goldilocks Zone

by wjw on January 18, 2016

Taos-LogosmallFor those of you trying to break into this business, this is the season to start thinking about workshops.  And we’ve got workshops of for every size, every budget, and every variety of time commitment.

First up is the granddaddy of them all, Clarion.  Clarion is a six-week-long journey into writing, with an emphasis on short fiction.  2016’s faculty features the stellar lineup of Kelly Link, Ted Chiang, Andy Duncan, Victor LaValle, Delia Sherman, and Ellen Kushner.  Hell, even I could learn a bunch of stuff from these people, and I’ve been writing since before some of these guys were born! (No, not really.  That’s hyperbole.  )

Clarion is, as I said, six weeks long.  It’s total immersion into the writing experience, and you will come out changed.

I’ve taught Clarion in the past, and I’ve seen it happen.  This is a great workshop, with a proven track record.

For those who can’t get away for six weeks, there’s Paradise Lost, a four-day workshop and retreat taking place in San Antonio from April 28-May 1.  (Not at the Alamo, as the home page might suggest, but just down the street.)  This year’s professional staff includes Ken Scholes, Jaye Wells, Fran Wilde, and Walter Jon Williams  (Hey!  That’s me!)

And if you can’t get away for six weeks, but want something a bit more crunchy than a four-day retreat, check out the two-week master class Taos Toolbox.  This year’s instructors are Nancy Kress, Walter Jon Williams, and special guests Emily Mah Tippetts and James S.A. Corey, author of The Expanse.  Unlike Clarion, we’ll look at your novel, and we’ll put you up in a luxurious condo, not a dorm.  Each participant will have two pieces of fiction critiqued, have a private conference with one of the instructors, and there will be two lectures per day on a variety of subjects of interest to professionals.

So there you go.  One workshop is long, one is short, and one is in the middle.  For you, one of these will be the Goldilocks Zone, so you should pick up your spoon and start digging into that porridge now.

Rosemary Claire Smith January 19, 2016 at 10:37 am

Having attended Taos, Clarion, and Paradise Lost as a student, I’ve blogged about all three for anyone interested in the perspective of a newbie. What sometimes gets overlooked is the time and energy committed to reading others’ work and writing up critiques. This is an invaluable part of the learning that soaks into your brain.

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