Help Me With My 2009 Clarion West Choices Maybe Win A Book

Great. Not only am I unable to make a decision, I clearly need to lose some weight.

As you know, last year I tried and failed to get into Clarion West. Well, it’s that time again and I’m going to go for it!

Alright, to be honest, I’ve been threatened with some form of writerly violence by Caren Gussoff (CW08) if I don’t apply, so I need to get working. If you’re thinking of applying, jump on over to her site and read her advice on applying to Clarion West. Great stuff.

My Application: The Stories and the “Contest”

During the last year, I spent a lot of time here on this site telling you all about my writing life so it only makes sense that as I prepare my 2009 Clarion West application that I’d go ahead and ask all of you to help out and in the mix I’m going to give something away…

No, I’m not asking for a letter writing campaign or anything else like that. Just a simple poll to help me decide what to write. Of course, if you’d like to cheer me on in the comments I could use it. This is going to be an especially tough year for me to take off if I happen to get in.

I’ve already decided to include the latest version of “Deepest Shade”, even though it’s more of a first chapter than a story. However, Deepest Shade is only 17 pages long and you can send up to 30 pages (warning: do not exceed the limit)…

So, with 13 pages to spare I need to select between two other pieces. Luckily, I just happen to have two bits but I’m torn between them. Both are fun and engaging, and since they are written for a younger audience, I think they provide an interesting contrast to Deepest Shade.

Neither piece has gone through a final polishing, so I don’t have time to do both, post them, and get feedback from you. I need to pick one to focus on so I decided to run a poll to see which concept is more appealing.

That’s it. Just a simple poll. Help out and you just might win…

The Contest “Prize”

Ok, it seems silly to give something away when I’m just doing a poll but I’m going to give something away cause I like to do that kind of thing.

When I close the poll on 1/21/2009 at 9PM EST, I’ll pick one name at random from the list of respondents. The winner will get their choice of one of two books:


1. “Why these two books?” Courage to Write is the book a recommend to all writers for overcoming fear, while How Fiction Works is one of the best books on deconstructing fiction I’ve ever read.

2. “Will you buy me a different book?” No. Let’s not make this complicated, shall we?

3. “Will you post the ‘winning’ story?” Absolutely! Once it’s nice and neat I’ll put it up here. 😉


Thanks so much for helping out! Best of luck to everyone who’s applying this year!!!

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