While the Clarion Workshop isn’t happening in person in San Diego this year, we wanted to bring the Clarion community together in a different way this summer. We hope you’ll join us for Clarion Conversations, a series of Zoom-based conversations about writing speculative fiction with a just tiny fraction of the amazingly talented Clarion alumni, instructor, and broader community. Join us from June 24th to July 29th for these conversations!
Make sure to RSVP to each conversation individually via the links below:
Stories of the Fantastic and the Strange – June 24, 5pm PT / 8pm ET (register here)
This week, our guests are Catherynne M. Valente, Alyssa Wong, and Ashley Blooms, moderated by Karen Joy Fowler. With them, we’re honored to have a conversation about the challenges and opportunities of writing speculative fiction that incorporates the fantastic and strange. Whether it’s myths or monsters, fantasies of the future (and Eurovision) or the feeling of everyday magic, each of these writers draws from a wide array of genres to create their unique and powerful stories.
Writing the Future – July 1, 5pm PT / 8pm ET (register here)
This week, our guests are Eileen Gunn, Ted Chiang, Lilliam Rivera, and Sam J. Miller, moderated by Kim Stanley Robinson. With them, we’re thrilled to explore how they imagine and make use of the future in their fiction. Sliding between meticulously envisioned technological advances, extreme social shifts, critical dystopias, and, occasionally, glimmers of better possibilities, these writers will discuss how they approach writing tomorrow in their stories.
The Future is Queer – July 15, 5:30pm PT / 8:30pm ET (register here)
This week, our guests are José Iriarte, Jordy Rosenberg, and Nicasio Andrés Reed, moderated by Ellen Kushner. The conversation, named in honor of the Delany-Kushner-Sherman “The Future is Queer” scholarship for Clarion students, will explore speculative fiction through the eyes of these four writers whose work centers queer stories and experiences, the writers who inspired and paved the way for them, and what the future of the field looks like.
We encourage attendees of tonight’s conversation to make a contribution to the Delany-Kushner-Sherman/The Future is Queer Scholarship, which recognizes the continued work of Samuel R. Delany, Ellen Kushner, and Delia Sherman as active LGBTQ writers in the field of science fiction and fantasy, and their contributions as Clarion faculty members who have been particularly supportive of LGBTQ students over the years. The scholarship provides financial support for Clarion students who self-identify as part of the broader queer community. In addition, it recognizes the need for more queer representation in speculative literature, and the many hardships queer writers face due to employment, home, and financial discrimination. Our hope is that the Delany-Kushner-Sherman scholarship will help more queer writers attend the Clarion Workshop.
José Pablo Iriarte is a Cuban-American writer and teacher who lives in Central Florida. José’s fiction can be found in magazines such as Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Fireside Fiction, and others, and has been featured in best-of lists compiled by Tangent Online, Featured Futures, iO9, and Quick Sip Reviews, and on the SFWA Nebula Award Recommended Reading List. Jose’s novelette, “The Substance of My Lives, the Accidents of Our Births,” was a Nebula Award Finalist and was long-listed for the James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award. Learn more at www.labyrinthrat.com, or follow José on Twitter @labyrinthrat.
Nicasio Andrés Reed is a Filipino-American writer, poet, and essayist whose work has appeared in venues such as Queers Destroy Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, and Shimmer. Nico has gone back and forth between the United States and the Philippines over the years, and is currently pursuing an MA in creative writing at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. Find him on Twitter @NicasioSilang. and support him at https://ko-fi.com/nicasio.
Jordy Rosenberg is the author of Confessions of the Fox—a New York Times Editors Choice selection, shortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, a Lambda Literary Award, a Publishing Triangle Award, the UK Historical Writers Association Debut Crown Award, and longlisted for The Dublin Literary Award. Confessions has been recognized by The New Yorker, the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Kirkus Reviews, LitHub, Electric Literature and the Feminist Press, among other places, as one of the Best Books of 2018. Jordy’s work has been supported by fellowships and residencies from The Lannan Foundation, The Ahmanson-Getty Foundation, and the UCLA Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies. Jordy is a professor of 18th-Century Literature, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Critical Theory at The University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Ellen Kushner’s paying jobs have included folksinger, book editor, national public radio host, writing teacher, audiobook narrator, and pilgrim at Plimoth Plantation. Her Riverside novels include Swordspoint, The Privilege of the Sword (Locus Award, Nebula nominee), and The Fall of the Kings (written with Delia Sherman), and a growing collection of short stories. She lives in New York City with Delia Sherman, no cats, and a whole lot of airplane and theater ticket stubs she just can’t bring herself to throw away.
Remembering Octavia/Writers of Color at Clarion – July 16, 5pm PT / 8pm ET (register here)
This week, our guests are adrienne marie brown, Lisa Bolekaja, and Senaa Ahmad, moderated by Shelley Streeby (Clarion Workshop Faculty Director). The focus this week is to highlight the contributions of writers of color in the Clarion community, looking back to early student Octavia E. Butler and to the future through the eyes of these three writers, including two Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholars—a scholarship for Clarion students of color sponsored by the Carl Brandon Society.
The Carl Brandon Society has tirelessly dedicated itself to increasing racial and ethnic diversity in the production of and audience for speculative fiction. We encourage attendees of tonight’s conversation to make a contribution to the Butler Scholarship Memorial Fund.
adrienne maree brown is the author of Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good, Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds and the co-editor of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements. She is the cohost of the How to Survive the End of the World and Octavia’s Parables podcasts. adrienne is rooted in Detroit.
Lisa Bolekaja is a speculative fiction writer, screenwriter, podcaster, and film critic. She is a graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Workshop and was named an Octavia E. Butler Scholar by the Carl Brandon Society in 2012. When not writing, she co-hosts a popular screenwriting podcast called “Hilliard Guess’ Screenwriters Rant Room”. Her SF/F work has appeared in Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, The WisCon Chronicles: Volume 8, the anthology How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens, “Uncanny Magazine”, Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler, and SyFy Wire. She divides her time between San Diego, Los Angeles, Italy, and numerous Science Fiction /Horror conferences throughout the country.
Senaa Ahmad’s short fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, PRISM International, Strange Horizons, and Uncanny Magazine. A Clarion 2018 alum, she has received the generous support of the Octavia Butler Scholarship, the inaugural A. C. Bose Grant from the Speculative Literature Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Toronto Arts Council, and the Ontario Arts Council. She’s the recipient of the 2019 Sunburst Award for Short Fiction, and is working concurrently on her first two short story collections.
Shelley Streeby is an author and educator whose interdisciplinary research is situated at the intersections of American Studies; Literary and Cultural Studies; Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies; and Critical Ethnic Studies. She is a Professor of Literature and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, San Diego and the director of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop.
Editing Speculative Fiction and Poetry – July 22, 5pm PT / 8pm ET (register here)
This week, our guests are John Joseph Adams, Ruoxi Chen, and Brandon O’Brien, moderated by Theodore McCombs. We’ll be discussing the state of publishing speculative fiction and poetry and how these three editors approach their work.
John Joseph Adams is the editor of John Joseph Adams Books, a science fiction and fantasy imprint from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He is also the series editor of Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, as well as the bestselling editor of more than thirty anthologies, such as Wastelands, The Living Dead, and The Dystopia Triptych. He is also the editor and publisher of the Hugo Award-winning Lightspeed, and is a producer for WIRED’s The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast.
Ruoxi Chen is Southern Chinese and a Yankee American and lives, edits, and writes in Brooklyn. She currently acquires and edits science fiction and fantasy for the good ship Stubby at Tor.com Publishing, and has worked in-house and freelance for Macmillan, Rodale Books, Arcade Publishing, Perseus Books, and Hachette, among others. She spends a lot of time thinking about pie and Strangers on a Train.
Brandon O’Brien is a poet and writer from Trinidad and Tobago. His work has been published in Uncanny Magazine, Strange Horizons, and New Worlds, Old Ways: Speculative Tales from the Caribbean, among others. He has also been shortlisted for the 2014 Alice Yard Prize for Art Writing, and the 2014 and 2015 Small Axe Literary Competitions. You can find him talking about poetry, his novel draft, intersectional politics, and his love of Kamen Rider on Twitter @therisingtithes or on Tumblr at therisingtithes.tumblr.com.
Theodore McCombs is a writer in San Diego. His fiction has appeared in Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy 2019, Lightspeed Magazine, Nightmare Magazine, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Guernica, and his essays in Lit Hub and Electric Literature, among others. He is a 2017 graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Workshop. He co-edits and blogs about speculative literature for FictionUnbound.com, and tweets as @mrbruff.
Holly Black and Kelly Link in Conversation – July 29, 5pm PT / 8pm ET (register here)
For our final week, we’re thrilled to have the incredible Holly Black and Kelly Link in conversation about craft, community, surviving as a writer, and what Clarion has meant to them.
Holly Black is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over thirty fantasy novels for kids and teens. She has been a finalist for an Eisner Award and the Lodestar Award, and the recipient of the Mythopoeic Award, a Nebula, and a Newbery Honor. Her books have been translated into 32 languages worldwide and adapted for film. She currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret library.
Kelly Link is the author of the collections Stranger Things Happen, Magic for Beginners, Pretty Monsters, and Get in Trouble. Her short stories have been published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, The Best American Short Stories, and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards. She has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. She and Gavin J. Grant have co-edited a number of anthologies, including multiple volumes of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror and, for young adults, Steampunk! and Monstrous Affections. She is the co-founder of Small Beer Press and co-edits the occasional zine Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet. Link was born in Miami, Florida. She currently lives with her husband and daughter in Northampton, Massachusetts.