Has anyone been to a big SF/F workshop?

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LarsonFan

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I'm dreaming that the pandemic is under control by next summer and starting to plan ahead a little bit.

Over the years I've given some thought to going to Clarion or Odyssey and because we're all putting in so many hours and most of us aren't taking vacations my boss recently told me she's okay if I take a month or two off tomorrow once the virus is under control. So for the first time in my life I'll have the financial resources to take six weeks off at a time and I've felt pulled to one of the big conferences so I can really work on my craft. I was wondering if anyone here had any experience just because it's such a massive investment of time and money I want to make sure it's not a waste of either one.

Any advice would be helpful. Thanks.
 

benbenberi

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If you're not sure about committing that much time & money, you might want to also consider the Viable Paradise workshop, which is a similar concept but only one week long. (Held in the fall on Martha's Vineyard.)
 

noranne

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I've applied to Clarion twice when I was in circumstances where I would have been able to go. I'm still sad I wasn't selected! If you get the chance, I definitely think you should take it.
 

zanzjan

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If you're not sure about committing that much time & money, you might want to also consider the Viable Paradise workshop, which is a similar concept but only one week long. (Held in the fall on Martha's Vineyard.)

I went to VP as a student in 2005, not at all sure I wanted to be a writer or that I even could. Apparently I was unduly encouraged. (-:

Also, as disclosure, I went back as staff a few years later and still do remote staff stuff for the workshop.

I've applied to Clarion twice when I was in circumstances where I would have been able to go. I'm still sad I wasn't selected! If you get the chance, I definitely think you should take it.

Yeah, I had exactly one year I could have swung Launchpad and didn't get in. Still sad about it )-:
 

LarsonFan

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Thanks everyone, it's probably egotistical to think that I can even get selected. Guess I'll apply and see what happens.
 

jcavelos

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I'm the Director of the Odyssey Writing Workshops Charitable Trust

Hi. I'm the director of the Odyssey Writing Workshop, and I'm happy to answer any questions. You can find lots of comments from Odyssey graduates on our website. In general, what they say is that Odyssey was a life-changing experience that taught them more in six weeks than they learned in years on their own or in MFA programs.

It's definitely a huge commitment of time, money, and effort, but if you are committed to your writing, if you're open to hearing about the strengths and weaknesses in your work (mostly the weaknesses), and you're willing to try new techniques and try changing your writing process (and you can get the time away from work), I think it's definitely worth applying. Every applicant gets feedback on the writing sample. Sometimes writers aren't admitted, and they use the feedback to improve their work, apply again, and are accepted. That makes me very excited.

We had six scholarships last year (for the fifteen students admitted) plus a work/study position, so there are definitely opportunities to overcome the financial challenge.

Hope this helps.

By the way, we hold an online discussion salon via Zoom the second Wednesday of each month (next one 9/9), and all writers are welcome.

Jeanne
 

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