This past summer, I spent six weeks having a life-changing experience at the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, with one of the most amazing groups of human being ever to exist in one place on the planet Earth.
During week three, when we were under the watchful and thoughtful eye of Ted Chiang, I wrote and workshopped a story titled “Inventory.” The workshop suggestions from Ted and from my classmates were clear and I agreed with all of them. I left workshop that day, edited the story, and sent it one of my favorite publications, Strange Horizons. Within a week, I’d made my first pro sale.
“Inventory” is now up at Strange Horizons, and you can read it, online and in its entirety, for free. There is also a gorgeous podcast, read by Anaea Lay (her thoughts on reading the story are here). Warning: the story is very graphically sexual (Clarion classmate Chris Kammerud dubbed me the creator of a new unit of prose, the “fuckograph”), so may be NSFW, depending on where you work, or NSFL, if you know me personally and the idea of me writing explicitly about sex makes your brain melt and your eyeballs explode.
This is also a good place for me to talk for a bit about Clarion. If you have any interest in writing speculative fiction of any kind – even if you already have an MFA, as I did when I attended Clarion – you should think about applying. Clarion is a great place to meet other writers, study under some of the greatest speculative writers working today, and to write and workshop six stories very, very intensely. It’s an incredible (and exhausting) experience, and I cannot recommend it highly enough, whether or not you’re fairly experienced at writing/workshopping or you’re fairly new to it all. If you have any questions about Clarion, please feel free to email/tweet me, or comment here, and I’d be happy to answer them.
So, to sum up:
- Enjoy “Inventory.”
- Enjoy the “Inventory” podcast.
- Apply to Clarion.