Financial assistance for students attending the Clarion Workshop is made available through the generous support of several organizations and many individuals. Some of these funds are administered by the Clarion Foundation, and some are administered by UC San Diego. Financial aid is awarded based on a combination of merit, need, and the criteria established by donors for particular funds. They range in size from $100 to over $3000, though most are between $500 and $1500.
To apply for scholarships simply fill out the financial aid section of the workshop application. You will automatically be considered for all merit- and need-based scholarships. You will be considered for scholarships that have additional criteria, such as the Octavia Butler Scholarship, if you indicate on the application that you are eligible.
Scholarships & Sponsors
Clarion Alumni Scholarship – Funded by small donations from Clarion alumni, to help new Clarionites get started in their writing careers.
Clarion Class Write-a-Thon Scholarship – Funded by Write-a-Thon donations contributed by members of the Clarion Class with the most participation, for the purpose of helping a new Clarion student with workshop tuition. The Class Write-a-Thon Scholarship is renamed annually in honor of the class whose members have collectively contributed the highest dollar amount during the Write-a-Thon.
Delany-Kushner-Sherman/ The Future is Queer Scholarship – This scholarship 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.
Donald A. and Elsie B. Wollheim Memorial Scholarship – Sponsored by the New York Science Fiction Society (The Lunarians), to support Clarion and Clarion West students from the greater New York metropolitan area, including New Jersey.
Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon Clarion Scholarship for Scientists – This scholarship, in remembrance of Dr. Phil Kaldon (Clarion 2004), provides support for a student who has a major in or is teaching in a STEM discipline (Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), and whose writing typically contains some element grounded in science.
Exophonic Writers Scholarship – To encourage diverse voices and backgrounds in speculative fiction, this scholarship contributes financial support for a writer who is working in English as their second language — a writer who was not immersed in spoken or written English at least prior to the age of six (6). Writers born in the United States or another English-speaking country but who meet this criterion due to no or minimal English spoken at home in early childhood are eligible. Deaf writers and writers who are Children of Deaf Adults and who were not exposed to significant spoken English until formal schooling are also eligible. Starting in 2021, applicants interested in applying for the scholarship will be asked to name their first language and give a brief (<100 words) biographical sketch explaining how they meet the criterion.
Friends of Clarion Scholarships – Small grants supported by general funds given to Clarion from various sources, including alumni, instructors, and other friends.
George R.R. Martin’s Sense of Wonder Scholarship – A new scholarship meant to encourage aspiring writers who strive to capture that sense in stories that cross the vast vista of interstellar space. In describing what he intends this scholarship to foster, Martin writes in his Not a Blog, “I love the aliens, be they threatening or benevolent, the more alien the better. I dream of starships, strange worlds beneath the light of distant suns. I want the sights and sounds and smells of times and places and cultures colorful and exotic.”
Leonard Pung Memorial Scholarship – Clarion alumnus Leonard Pung passed away in 2012. The Clarion class of 2009 established this cholarship as a tribute to his spirit, creativity, and courage. The scholarship is awarded to a student who begins study at the Clarion Workshop after the age of 40. Because Leonard was only starting to live his dream when he passed away, his classmates hope this scholarship will enable others to finish the journey he began.
Mary Sheridan Scholarship – Administered by the Clarion Foundation in honor of Mary Sheridan, informally known as “The Angel of Clarion.” Her tireless administrative work during Clarion’s years at Michigan State touched every student and instructor, whether they knew it or not. Through this scholarship, Mary continues to assist Clarion students.
Mysterious Galaxy Scholarship – Sponsored by the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego. Mysterious Galaxy supports Clarion not only with this scholarship, but also by hosting readings and signings by Clarion instructors.
Marjorie and Walt Farrell Scholarship – A fund grant, matched by IBM, from 1998 alum Marjorie Farrell and her husband to aid a participant attending the Clarion Workshop.
MSU Knight-Wilhelm Endowed Scholarship – Administered by Michigan State University (East Lansing), in honor of Damon Knight and Kate Wilhelm, the co-founders of the Clarion Workshop, to help talented beginning writers attend Clarion.
Octavia Butler Scholarship – Sponsored by the Carl Brandon Society, to support Clarion and Clarion West students of color (this includes, but is not limited to: African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Native Americans, Latino/as, Pacific Islanders, Alaska Natives and related groups.)
Susan C. Petrey Clarion Scholarship – Sponsored by Oregon Science Fiction Conventions, in memory of Susan C. Petrey, author of Gifts of Blood. Susan had hoped to attend Clarion someday but financial problems prevented her from doing so before she died in 1980.
UCSD Knight-Wilhelm Endowed Scholarship – Administered by the University of California, San Diego in honor of Damon Knight and Kate Wilhelm, the co-founders of the Clarion Workshop, to help talented beginning writers attend Clarion.
Interested in creating a scholarship of your own? Learn how you can support us!