The Clarion Workshop has been put off a second year under the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic. The students selected for the cancelled 2020 workshop will come in the summer of 2022 instead. Clarion will not try to run an online alternative version as Karen Joy Fowler, Clarion Foundation President, explained to workshop alumni:
It is with great disappointment that we share the postponement of the next Clarion Workshop to 2022. Last year, we wrote to you that safety was the primary factor driving our decision to postpone the workshop, especially because of the travel it would require of our students and instructors. That remains true. We also continue to believe that much of what makes Clarion special would be lost in the process of moving online. Although we know by now that distance learning is certainly possible, per last year’s note, “Clarion is a residential workshop, and a significant part of its magic is the space and time it allows students to fully dedicate their days to writing—not to mention living with 18 other writers, similarly excited to shape their craft.” We explored every possible option to both deliver the full Clarion workshop experience and keep our community of writers and instructors safe, but as everyone is aware, challenges with the covid-19 pandemic persist.
We shared this news ahead of time with our Clarion Class of 2020, whom you may also know as the Clarion Ghost Class. We are eager to work with this incredibly talented group of writers, and until next summer will be collaborating with them to help hone their craft and prepare them for the workshop experience and the broader publishing landscape.
Supporting the Ghost Class will be our focus, but we are also working on initiatives to continue building out our Clarion community. We started this last summer by offering our Clarion Conversations series, and are exploring other avenues to further drive our mission and provide a stable foundation for workshop operations.
We know this raises several questions, such as whether we will be opening any application slots for next year and what we will be doing in the meantime. Top of mind for us is finding more alumni volunteers to assist with specific needs in communications, outreach, and fundraising.
[Thanks to Michael Toman for the story.]