Forty-odd books ago and in a previous millennium, I attended the Clarion writing workshop. I had the privilege of spending six weeks locked in a Michigan State University graduate dorm with half a dozen pro writers and about thirty wannabes like myself. It was my first taste of what it was like to live as a working writer, down to and including immediate abject humiliation. Many of my classmates have gone on to win awards, be voted in as science-fiction grand masters, and routinely terrify otherwise hardened adults with a freaking village of Stoker awards. Meanwhile, I became best known as an author of satirical Linux erotica. A few have returned to Clarion to teach. I won’t be doing that — the kind of writer I’ve turned out to be isn’t exactly what they teach at Clarion — but the education I received was vital and the social connections even more so. Clarion was such a formative experience that I still call them my “Alma madder.”
And now, I have a chance to give back.
The Clarion class of 2020 never really happened, thanks to COVID. They’re hoping to gather this year, and are running a fundraiser to support students suffering from hardship.
I happen to have a printed proof of my brand-new first (and probably last) book on writing.
The only difference between this proof and the final book is the banner printed across the front. (Print proofs are a traditional publishing item that were handed out to early readers in the days before e-books, and publishers didn’t want them appearing on bookstore shelves, hence the banner.) That makes this a unique artifact, and a good piece of charity auction bait.
I want Clarion to continue. I want a future generation of speculative fiction writers take on the world’s problems, and do better than we did. Plus, when my brain finally gives out and I stop writing, I want good new books to read while I eagerly await my inevitable death from Not Writing. Please help these youngsters embark on the glorious, horrific, delightfully appalling literary life and bid on this auction.
The auction rules are:
Comment on this post to bid. All bids in US dollars. I advise bidders to click the “notify me of new comments by email” button, so they can see when they are outbid.
The auction runs from now until 5PM EST 28 March. If the bidding goes nuts in the last few minutes, I’ll leave it open until it settles down. There’s no sniping this auction at the last moment, as I want the bids to escalate beyond all sensible limits.
Once the auction closes, send your donation to the Clarion 2020 fundraiser within two days. (They offer many writing-related rewards, but you don’t need to take any.) Send me your receipt. Once I have the receipt, I will sign the book and mail it to you.
If you don’t donate within a few days, or don’t send me your receipt, the number two winner is declared the winner.
Remember that you don’t need to win a silly auction to donate. Many of you are perfectly capable of being a generous and worthwhile person without any bribes from me.Stalk me on social media