Clarion West Write-a-Thon . . . Or Gimme Money? Please?

Last year, I went to Clarion West, and it basically changed my life.


After all, there have never been flying sharks at any of the other schools I’ve attended.

It would take too long to list the multitude of ways it changed my life, so I’m simply going to say that the program gave me direction and leave it at that. But I still feel grateful that I had the opportunity to go, and I’m indebted to Clarion West for all that it has given me. So this year, as a way of paying back — and also a way to stop procrastinating — I’m participating in a fundraiser called the Clarion Write-a-Thon.

Personally, I like to think of the Write-a-Thon as a marathon for asthmatics who don’t particularly enjoy exercise. But actually, it’s like this: writers pick a writing goal . . . for instance, mine is 2,000 (preferably good) words a week . . . and commit to that goal for six weeks. (This six weeks runs concurrent with the Clarion West Workshop — June 23rd through August 3rd.) Friends, family, and anybody else who wants to donate to a good arts non-profit sponsors these writers with whatever they can afford. The proceeds all go to the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Workshop.

Now, I have two stories that I’m going to be working on for this Write-a-Thon. The first is a western/fantasy novelette I’ve already started. It is tentatively titled “Short Mercy” — although this is sort of placeholder title that will, almost certainly, change later.

The second project, however, will be up to the fine people who actually decide to to sponsor me. You see, as part of my (undoubtedly poorly conceived) incentive plan, I have four different ideas for mysteries that I’d like to write. They are here:

A. Contemporary Fantasy Noir: Unknown to most people, Deacon Detective Agency is actually run by partners. Dodd, the ghost of a homicide detective, does all the actual investigating, whereas Deacon, an actor who can see ghosts, plays the role of P.I. for their unsuspecting clients.

B. Fairy Tale Noir: Prince, a gumshoe, owes a favor to the one woman you don’t wanna owe a favor to in this city: the Godmother. He fully expects a slug or two for his trouble. He doesn’t expect to literally stumble over a beautiful dame on the job, a dame who — for some reason — won’t wake up.

C. YA Magical Realism Murder Mystery: The unpopular kids at W.G. High are used to being shoved in their lockers. Sometimes, they even prefer it. But one morning, an unexpected guest moves into the locker next door: the Homecoming Queen’s dead body. Also trapped with the body: the Homecoming Queen’s ghost. She’ll need the help of the kids she’s bullied if she’s going to find out who killed her.

D. Second World Fantasy Murder Mystery: A toymaker and a magician create three children, daughters made out of love letters, wishing stones, and death glass, respectively. They grow up and go their separate ways, but when the daughter made from love letters is burned to death, it’s up to her sisters to solve her murder and, maybe, see if they can raise their sibling back from the dead.

Sponsors who donate five dollars to my page can email me at and tell me which story they would most like to read. If you donate ten dollars, your vote counts twice. If you donate fifteen dollars, your vote counts thrice, etc.

Please don’t comment here with your votes — use the email address listed. You can also read more about my writing or find other participants you might like to sponsor at the link above. Hopefully in addition to, not instead of, but the money’s all going the same place. Still. Clearly, I am the most awesome. To hell with all those highly talented, established authors — I AM A WINNER. My mama says so all the time.

Hush, you. I hear your snickering, and I do not approve at all.

4 thoughts on “Clarion West Write-a-Thon . . . Or Gimme Money? Please?

  1. I want all four of those stories to exist, but I want that fourth one so badly that it makes my eyes hurt. If you looked up “wheelhouse” in my dictionary, that would be the description. Also, I’m in your picture! (sorta) We should all have Sandina pictures when we write about CW.

    • Five dollars, and that story might just happen, Camp. 🙂

      I’m trying to decide what the definition of “wheelhouse” would look like in my dictionary. It would probably be a thrilling tale of meta humor and bloody revenge. Bonus points for stylish hats and/or a post apocalyptic diner.

      I wish, more than anything, that you had been wearing a Where’s Waldo red-and-white-striped shirt in that picture. That would have been the best.

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