Clarion Writers' Workshop

Hey friends, family, community, and any wealthy people with a soft spot for starving artists,

Most of you know me as Alanna, some by Kelcie (I don’t use that name anymore). 

Last week I learned I got a spot in the six week Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers' Workshop at UC San Diego after spending a year working on my application. 

This is a [B]ig [F]uckin’ [D]eal. 

The workshop is extremely prestigious and difficult to get into; some of the biggest names in Sci-Fi/Fantasy writing have graduated from there. It's is also a breakneck writing marathon overseen by some of the most respected writers publishing today. 

All that to say: I really, really wanna go.

And, of course, it’s really, really, really expensive. Like Five Thousand Dollars expensive. 

Most of you know I’m broke as heck, and I will only have 2 weeks to pay in full after I am awarded my partial scholarship, which will happen any day now.

If you love me, like me, think I’m a cool peripheral gal, or want to support an intergenerationally poor, queer, working artist from good ole South Philly, consider passing me some dollars. It has the possibility to have a powerful impact on my life.

Until this point I have focused on improving my skills but have not yet attempted to publish. Clarion will help me polish my stories to a submission-ready shine, and build up a larger body of peer-and-instructor-reviewed work to begin applying to creative writing MFA programs. 

What is Clarion?

Clarion is an intensive six-week summer program focused on the fundamentals of writing science fiction and fantasy short stories. It is considered a premier proving and training ground for aspiring writers of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Instructors are among the most respected writers and editors working in the field today. Over one third of their graduates have been published and many have gone on to critical acclaim. It is by far the most prestigious speculative fiction workshop out there, called the “condensed Iowa Writers’ Workshop for the genre world” by Barnes & Noble. 

Applicants are chosen for their potential for “highly successful writing careers” determined by a submitted writing sample of two short stories; only 18 applicants are accepted. I decided to apply because it is one of the longest and most intensive writing workshops short of enrolling in a M.F.A. Many authors whose careers I hope to model my own after have been graduates of or instructors for the program, including: Kelly Link, Octavia Butler, Jeff Vandermeer, Ursula K. Le Guin, Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Lethem, and many others. 

How am I using this money?

Clarion tuition: $4,150. It includes room and board at UC San Diego. I was generously given a scholarship; this figure reflects the remaining amount.

Airfare: $200 

Income loss: $650. This is to help cover the month and a half of rent that I will have to pay while away.

Total: $5,000

It’s a lot to raise, and I don’t have a whole lot of time to do it. I’m counting on your support, and the support of my friends, extended family, and community to pull it off!

Think an artist’s work is valuable and deserves compensation? Believe in me or my work? Want to help a struggling millennial saddled with high student loan debt and no parents to lean on? Please donate what you can. It would mean so much to me, and for my career, to attend this workshop.

Gratefully yours,


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Alanna Faelan 
Portland, OR
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