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Top Science Fiction Writers’ Program Comes to UC San Diego

Barry Jagoda | December 18, 2006

The Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, the nation’s oldest and most respected program of its kind, has a new home in the Division of Arts and Humanities at UCSD, beginning with its 40th anniversary workshop, June 25 through August 3, 2007.

Dean of Arts and Humanities Michael Bernstein said, “We are delighted to partner with the Clarion Foundation in an endeavor that produces creative work of the highest quality. Our arts and humanities program, with its distinguished department of literature and vital collaborations with UCSD’s world-class scientists, provides an ideal environment for the preeminent Clarion Workshop.”

Clarion Kick-off (Photo / Victor Chen)
Clarion kick-off visit Dec. 15. Left to right: Literature professor emeritus Donald Wesling, the newly named director of the Clarion Workshop at UCSD; Michael Bernstein, dean of Arts and Humanities; Don Wayne, chair of the Literature Department, and award-winning science fiction authors Kim Stanley Robinson and Geoff Ryman. Ryman has taught at the Clarion Workshop in the past. Robinson, who currently serves on the board of the Clarion Foundation, is an alum both of the workshop and of UCSD.

UCSD has named Donald Wesling, professor emeritus of literature at UCSD, and a highly respected teacher of creative writing, as director of the Clarion program. The program will be administered in the university’s department of literature, whose chair, Don Wayne, said, “nearly 50 percent of our undergraduate majors are in creative writing, and next fall we will be launching a new Master of Fine Arts in writing. The Clarion partnership fits in perfectly with our goals.”

Clarion, founded in 1968 at Clarion State College in Pennsylvania was hosted at Michigan State University from 1972 through 2006. "Moving to UCSD provides the long-term stability Clarion needs," said Kim Stanley Robinson, a Clarion board member and one of at least seven significant figures in science fiction and fantasy writing who are graduates of UCSD.

Workshop participants will be housed at Eleanor Roosevelt College on the UCSD campus, with classes to be held in the seminar facilities of the department of literature. 
The 2007 Clarion instructors and writers-in-residence will be Cory Doctorow, Karen Joy Fowler, Gregory Frost, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman and Jeff VanderMeer.
To learn more about the instructors, the history of the workshop and to obtain an application, visit http://clarion.ucsd.edu.

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