Well, actually you probably should have finished and uploaded your application a while ago, giving yourself a comfortable cushion of time to correct any problems that might arise with the process. But that isn’t what I did. Around this time a year ago I was furiously pounding out the first science fiction story I had written in years, and it was taking twice as long as I had expected it to, and I couldn’t stop for anything, not even my dog dying, and I finally finished the damn thing and filled out the online forms and uploaded the documents in the middle of the night at my girlfriend’s apartment, eyes barely able to focus on my laptop screen, girlfriend trying to sleep through my typing ten feet behind me. I got my application in with minutes to spare.
Then, for better or worse, it was done. And I was proud of myself. Whether I got accepted or not, I had identified going to Clarion as something that I would value, and I got over any fears I harbored of critique and rejection. I had never seriously submitted for publication before, so it was my first time sending my fiction out to strangers to be judged. That wasn’t a small thing for me, and I suspect it isn’t a small thing for many of you. For a hundred different reasons, just applying can be hard. So, now that the deadline for this year has passed, allow me to say to all the new applicants: well done! I’m proud of you.
Well, again, if you do as I did, you should be reading this blog post right about…now. Because after I submitted my application I spent the next several weeks scouring the internet for other applicants. I searched blogs and fora for any recent mention of Clarion. (For the equally obsessive, I recommend Google Blog Search, Icerocket, and any forum dedicated to genre fiction in general or fans of a specific instructor or their work.) I filled a folder with bookmarks to the blogs of everyone I could find who was in the same boat as me, starting the same waiting game. And it seems possible that others may be doing the same thing now and stumbling upon this place. So: If you are reading this and you just applied to one of the workshops (1) congrats on getting it done and (2) leave a comment, let me know who you are.
And good luck!