CLARION EAST MOVES AND AUCTION (AND: WANT TO BE IN AMBERGRIS?)
Here's the link to the Clarion auction.
UPDATE ON THE UPDATE: This message from Walter John Williams posted on the Clarion East administrator's livejournal seems sensible and sound to me. Location is not important if the airfare is actually competitive or cheaper to San Diego.
This is jumping the gun a bit on the official press release, but as a member of the Clarion Board I would like to address some of the issues that have been raised here. So what I say here is not in any way official, but rather comments from an individual who has been a part of the ongoing discussion among the board members.
Ever since Clarion was kicked out of MSU in the last year, we have been trying to find Clarion a new home. Liz moved heaven and earth to procure a proposal from Outreach that would have allowed us to stay in Michigan. It was, quite frankly, a very good offer. There was nothing wrong with it, though by far the best part of the proposal was that a director with Liz's energy and determination came attached.
UCSD, however, came up with an offer that guaranteed five years free of financial worries, and allowed the Clarion Foundation to concentrate on raising money for scholarships. The Foundation is guaranteed full creative control. Tuition would be competetive. Public transport to and from campus is excellent. Students would be staying in air-conditioned suites, and the opportunities for interaction with San Diego's scientific community unparalleled. The Clarion Archives would have a free home in a library dedicated to their preservation.
As for the issue of accessibility to people living in the East, San Diego has inexpensive, direct flights from most parts of the country--- which is not true, by the way, for East Lansing. Once at UCSD, students will have access to shopping and other activities via public transport, and access to the university's recreational facilities, including the beach which is right there on campus. If you were planning on driving from Maine, the extra days would be a burden, but for most students this shouldn't be a problem.
I would like to end on a personal note. The Clarion Board is not some shadowy "Them" who make decisions based on arcane, incomprehensible formulae. We are your friends, teachers, and colleagues, and we based our decision on what we felt were the best interests of the workshop. We have been discussing all these issues for months. It was very difficult to leave Michigan after all these years, and after all the hard work that Liz and Mary and others put into the 2006 workshop, but if we hadn't taken all offers seriously and chosen the one that seemed the best, we wouldn't have been doing our duty to Clarion, its students, and alumni.
---Walter Jon Williams
UPDATE: Sometime in the next day, the Clarion auction will add this item from me:
Become an Ambergris Institution. The winner will have their name incorporated into the next Ambergris story (or failing that, the next novel) that I'm currently working on, but *not* as a character per se. Instead, the person will be the creator of some object, social institution, or other cultural meme that will reverberate throughout the future history of my city of Ambergris. For example, John Manzikert became the name of a type of automobile, The Manzikert, and a cult, the Manziists. Or, for another example, my agent, Howard Morhaim, became the founder of the Morhaim Museum. Therefore, you will be immortalized (dragged through the dirt?) in the history of Ambergris and will no doubt continue to appear in future work. In addition, I will send you a signed copy of the manuscript of the story or novel the name first appears in, and a copy of the publication it appears in (or book, if the novel) as well.
Grace Note: Booklist has reviewed Shriek: "A compulsively readable collection of odd anecdotes, character studies, and inventive, pseudohistorical detours that place Ambergris on the literary map beside both Gotham City and the Emerald City as one of the most memorable metropolises in speculative fiction."
So, San Diego instead of East Lansing. I can hear it already: "But East Lansing built character. There were fewer distractions." Honey-chil', what is life but one big long distraction from writing? If you get into to a six-week workshop you're paying good money for and you goof off, that's your own problem. This ain't middle school. Which ain't to say if you head off for the beach, you won't find me waiting there with a baseball bat, a butterfly net, and a stun gun.
Also, prospective students should know that I enter the classroom the first day screaming "Write or die!", having recently set myself on fire.
Seriously, though--support the Clarion auction (see below).
THE CLARION WORKSHOP IS ON THE MOVE
The Clarion Foundation is pleased to announce that the Clarion Workshop has a new home. We are sad to be leaving MSU. However, the future looks very bright. Starting in the summer of 2007 the workshop will be held at the University of California, San Diego, with very strong administration, faculty, and financial support. Our acclaimed workshop, with its excellent teaching staff, will continue
with no change in the structure of its operation. The faculty for 2007 will be Gregory Frost, Mary Ann Mohanraj, Jeff Vandermeer, Cory Doctorow, Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman. The workshop will run from June 25 through August 3.
THE 2006 CLARION EBAY AUCTION HAS BEGUN!
The 2006 Clarion eBay auction is underway. 100% of profits will be used to support the Clarion Workshop, so please bid freely. We'll be auctioning items in one-week batches from now until October 8. Many thanks to our eBay auction gurus, David Prill and Leslie What, without whom we'd be wandering in the tech wilderness.
Not familiar with eBay? It's easy to get started. Just go to eBay and click on the Register link at the top of the page. It's free, easy, and takes just a minute to do. Or look around before registering by going here.