Application FAQ

When can I apply?

See the Workshop page for dates. The application period opens at 12am and closes at 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. Allow yourself a minimum of one hour to complete the forms and upload your stories.

Who can apply?

The workshop is open to adults 18 and older who read, write, and speak English fluently. Minors can apply if they will turn 18 before the first day of the workshop. There is no need to be enrolled in a college in order to qualify. Writers from all countries are encouraged to apply.

Do I have to live on campus for six weeks?

Yes, residency is required, no exceptions will be made.  Please read Kate Wilhelm’s Storyteller to understand why fulltime residency is integral to the Clarion process.

Can I telecommute to work part-time during the workshop?

We strongly encourage students not to attempt working part-time (remotely) during Clarion. The days and nights will be very full with writing, critiquing, and discussions with other writers. If it it unavoidable, please reach out to us, so we can help you think about how to balance things while taking care of yourself.

Describe a typical workshop day

Evenings: dinner; chat with guest speaker and/or instructor; read and annotate 2-4 stories; write.

Mornings: present your critiques in workshop and listen to everyone else’s; lecture or discussion, to be continued over lunch.

Afternoons: attend lecture or an individual conference with the week’s instructor; nap; write; nap.

Weekends: write; read and annotate; attend ComicCon or other special events; catch up on laundry and sleep if time allows.

How much is the application fee?

The non-refundable fee is $55 for applications submitted by February 15; $70 thereafter.  You must pay the fee and receive email confirmation before you can fill out the application (read more about this below).

What forms of payment are accepted?

The application fee is collected by the Clarion Foundation. The application fee system accepts credit/debit card, PayPal, and Google Pay. Contact us if you need to pay via check or money order. Funds must be in US$.

The workshop fee (which covers tuition, room, and board) must be paid by cashier’s check made out to the UC Regents (sorry; credit cards will not be accepted). More information about paying the workshop fee will be emailed to applicants upon acceptance to the workshop.

How do I apply for the workshop?

Click the link for the Registration Portal on the How to Apply page and follow the instructions for submitting the following:

  1. Non-refundable application fee.
  2. Application form.
  3. Scholarship application (optional).
  4. Two short stories that conform to our guidelines.

How much is the workshop fee for Clarion?

The 2023 tuition is $5,150. This includes tuition, accommodations, and two meals a day (lunch and dinner), seven days a week, for the duration of the program. Many students qualify for financial aid (see below).

What can you tell me about financial aid?

Applicants must complete the scholarship section of the application to be considered for financial aid. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit and financial need.  Awards range from $150 to $3000 or $4000. The number and size of awards vary from year to year, depending on donations. In 2022 the average award was $2000.

Applicants must pay the workshop fee within two weeks of acceptance. If you are awarded a scholarship, the workshop fee will be reduced by the scholarship amount and the reduced fee must be paid within 2 weeks of the day the scholarship was awarded.

How long does it take to complete the application?

Allow yourself 30 to 60 minutes. You will be asked to provide personal information and brief answers to the following:

  • Publishing experience (if applicable; not required)
  • Writing habits
  • What you hope to accomplish at Clarion
  • Employment, income, and debt information for you and your spouse (if applying for scholarships)
  • How you heard about the workshop
  • Special physical, dietary, and medical needs

How do I submit my stories?

Upload them to the Registration Portal when you fill out the application.

What are the guidelines for submissions?

Submit TWO complete short stories, each between 2,500 words and 6,000 words in length. The stories should represent your best fiction work to date. One story, preferably both, should be genre. Clarion is a short story workshop; please do not send screenplays, poetry, essays, or portions of a novel. Prepare your submission manuscripts for uploading:

  • Double-spaced; plain serif font (e.g. Courier, Times); 1-inch margins all around
  • Your name, email address, and word count on the first page
  • Story starts immediately below the title on the first page
  • Abbreviated title, last name, and page number in the header of every page (“Smith/Fairies, p. 3”)
  • If you used a reviewing program, accept all changes and save as final
  • Save files in PDF or .doc format.

Can I change my answers or stories after I submit my application?

No. Your application and stories will be forwarded to the admissions review panel as soon as we receive them. Changes made after submission will not be considered.

What do I do if I have technical problems with the online application?

Contact the program coordinator for assistance. Please allow up to two working days to get an answer.

When will I be notified about acceptance?

Dates are published on the Workshop page. Contact the program coordinator if you do not receive notification by the published dates.

How many applicants are accepted?

Customarily, 18 students are accepted into the Clarion Workshop.

Do you keep a Waitlist?

Yes. If we have more qualified applicants than spaces, we will create a waitlist. In prior years, we had some cases where up to two applicants were accepted from the waitlist following withdrawals.

The wait is unbearable; what can I do while waiting to hear if I’ve been accepted?

Think positively. Start preparing for the workshop as soon as you submit your application.

What is the workshop like?

Read Kate Wilhelm’s Storyteller. Also, Google “Clarion UCSD” to find blog entries written by our graduates.

How do I get the most from the workshop?

Read the instructors’ best-known works. Write questions about craft to ask during your personal  conference with each instructor. Arrange your life, as much as is possible, to allow for six distraction-free weeks of writing, reading and critiquing.

How will I get to UC San Diego?

You must make your own travel arrangements. We are happy to help with any planning/logistics questions you may have.

What do I take with me to the workshop?

Start a list of the things you cannot live without for six weeks. The first item should be a computer with wireless capability, preferably a laptop so you can use it in the classroom and elsewhere on campus (we provide internet access). A computer is required for participation in the workshop.