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Clarion West




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Vol. 50, Surrendering the Ego

Posted on 15 August 2005

Brooklyn, NY I’ve been tricked, had, hoodwinked, bamboozled. After years—10 to be exact—of working on the same high-concept novel, I have somehow been convinced to start working on a whole new novel. That’s right, completely new—from scratch! I remember when I was at Clarion West, one of our teachers—Jack Womack, told us that learning how… »

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Vol. 25, The Alchemy of Writing

Posted on 2 July 2002

A True Story She is a high-minded woman, and hates complaining, so she suffers the demands of her craft with little comment. She bows down to each of writing’s demands, barely stopping to consider the rationality of the requests. She works hard to save thousands, then blows it all on an intimate trip for two:… »

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Vol. 16, Kwanzaa in Art, Writing, and Life

Posted on 3 January 2002

During my childhood, Kwanzaa was the only holiday my family celebrated. No birthdays, no New Year’s hoopla, no Christmas. Kwanzaa was a time of morning candle lighting and discussion of the Nguzo Saba (the seven principles of Kwanzaa) and evening cultural celebrations. One of my most memorable Kwanzaa moments was in the early 90s. My… »

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Vol. 13, Money and Art

Posted on 2 December 2001

Email Conversations with a Writer Friend New York, NY I’d noticed one writer friend constantly complaining about money. On stage, in private, whenever conversations about her work came up, one of her responses would be “Yeah, well, I ain’t got no money.” Her disgruntledness made me uncomfortable. I’ll have to excavate (as another friend says… »

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Vol. 10, The Universe’s Ripple Effects

Posted on 2 November 2001

A Ms. Magazine Intern’s Apartment New York, NY My parents brought me and my siblings up with a reverence for ancestors and a thankfulness for life, but with no real religious structure. They never set out to define God for us, nor did they even suggest to us that there was a God. Religion just… »

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Vol. 7, Freewriting and Asemic Writing

Posted on 27 September 2001

Freewriting in my Apartment Brooklyn, NY A few months ago Tim Gaze, a zine editor interested in experimental fiction asked me to write a piece for his zine. He had read the first speculative short story I had ever written, “Of Wings, Nectar, and Ancestors,” in the literary journal Anansi and wanted to read more… »

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Vol. 4, A Conversation about Self Promotion

Posted on 2 September 2001

The Living Room of a Writer’s Apartment Brooklyn, NY I’ve been writing and publishing stories and essays since 1990. In the beginning I never read my work at all. When people were looking for writers to read at events, I’d refuse; when pushed, I’d be noncommittal. When I did promise to read, I would leave… »

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Vol. 3, Novel Writing

Posted on 22 August 2001

Femail Circle Cyberspace I’m on a cyber-circle with a group of women from college. We’re almost all writers. We talk about life and work and encourage each other to go beyond our comfort zones in lots of ways. Last summer, one member, upon return from Cave Canem challenged us all to write a poem a… »

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Vol. 2, Radio and Readings

Posted on 11 August 2001

WBAI Radio Station Wall Street, Manhattan Before I went to Clarion (a six-week speculative fiction writing workshop), the New York Review of Science Fiction had a small crisis. Scott Westerfield had guest-edited a sci fi issue of Nerve magazine (a magazine about sex) and the NY Review of Science Fiction was hosting a reading from… »

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