Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Where are the Clarion 2005 blogs?

For those who don't know, Clarion Writers' Workshops (in their Clarion East and Clarion West -- and now Clarion South -- flavors) are some of the most intense and prestigious writing workshops a science fiction or fantasy writer can attend. They've been described as "literary boot camp," and have produced a number of very successful science fiction and fantasy authors. Each year five big-name authors and one big-name editor take on 18 students for six weeks of intensive training and critiquing. It's acquired something of legend status, and based on my readings of various participants' journals, I think that reputation is probably deserved. Once my daughter gets just a bit older (next year or the year after), I'm going to apply for Clarion myself.

A number of Clarion participants have kept blogs during their experience over the past several years. Hilary Moon Murphy (also a Clarion grad) maintains an excellent list of them at http://www.sff.net/people/hmm/c-logs.html. My question is this: Where are the Clarion 2005 journals? Is no one doing it this year?

Blogging during Clarion is somewhat controversial, I understand. After all, time spent blogging could be time spent writing a story for critique by the instructors -- a rare opportunity that's not to be missed. On the other hand, as an educator, I know that journal writing is one of the best ways to synthesize and internalize new material that you've been taught. I've had my students use the technique with science courses as well as English courses. Constructivism (a theory of learning) says that we can't really learn until we have constructed a framework of knowledge ourselves that incorporates the new material -- just listening to someone else won't do it, you have to make it personal. At some point, I'll ramble about education theory (particularly since on the drive to work I had an idea for an excellent "popular" education book that I think would really sell), but that's not really my point here.

Clarionites, what are you up to?

No comments: