Explore the writers of the Clarion West Write-a-thon

Here are a few early progress reports from Clarion West Write-a-thon participants:

We’re off! 228 of us, pursuing writing, editing, and publishing goals for six weeks to attract donations for the Clarion West Writers Workshop.

I encourage you to explore the participants’ pages, where you’ll find excerpts from the work of pros like Andy Duncan, Vonda McIntyre, Elizabeth Bear, Louise Marley, Rachel Swirsky, Kelley Eskridge, and Nisi Shawl, and emerging stars like Vylar Kaftan, J.M. Sidorova, and Cat Rambo (to name just a very few of the 228 participants).

In the next few days, I’ll be posting here about my own Write-a-thon goals — which including writing three short stories inspired by Jonathan Coulton songs and publishing them on Writer Way. (Thank you, Jeff and Allen, for your generous support!)

Here are a few early progress reports from Write-a-thon participants:

Brenda Cooper is writing 1,000 words a day on a novel — plus training for the STP (Seattle-to-Portland) bike ride event.

Janine Southard is writing four short stories and outlining a novel.

Sandra Odell is writing 2,000 words a week on her novel while focusing on taming her Inner-Bitch (er, Inner-Editor).

Gabrielle Harbowy, who edits novels for a living, is going to start writing one.

I’m writing this post from the 4th Street Fantasy Convention in Minneapolis, where I just had the honor of moderating a writers workshop on storytelling that featured Oneal Isaac, Scott Lynch, Beth Meacham, and Mary Robinette Kowal. I was so inspired by their presentations and Q&A with the workshop attendees that I’m tempted to repair to my room and spend the rest of the weekend writing. But there are too many other great panels to attend, such as “Story Templates and the Folk Process” — which is starting in 10 minutes.

The writer’s cat and the dish of strawberries

Become a Write-a-thon sponsor and support the Clarion West Writers Workshop.

The cat was sitting peacefully on the table, a dish of fresh strawberries by her paws.

I snapped the picture.

A minute later, the crash: Glass bowl in pieces on the patio pavers, strawberries among the shards. Cat, still sitting peacefully on the table, now facing me.

“So what?” she seemed to ask.

As I crawled around under the table, carefully picking up the pieces of glass, I was thinking about the importance of the first line of a story, or the first page of a book.

Do you start with the peaceful cat and berries? With the defiant cat among the broken glass and spoiled fruit? Or with the broken bowl and berries, no perpetrator in sight?

Yes, it’s the fourth week of the Clarion West Write-a-thon, and every domestic disaster is fodder for fiction. I’m working on the second of my three pledged short stories (which is not about strawberries). Clarion West Board Chair Kelley Eskridge has challenged the 142 people writing to raise funds for the organization to each bring in an additional sponsor, via PayPal or check, this week.

Will you become my next sponsor? If you’re local, I’ll bring you the next bowl of strawberries from the garden. Before the cat gets it.

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