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Theodora Goss
Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2005 - 09:04 pm:   

Just got this email yesterday (please feel free to pass around):

Greetings to all! In just two days, the Clarion Midnight Auction will begin! The excitement is building here at the Clarion office as the opening of the auction--12:00 am EST on Friday, January 28--draws near. At this time, we would like to express our gratitude to the many generous
donors who have given so freely to support Clarion. We truly appreciate all the time and effort that each of you has put forth. Thank you.

We would also like to urge everyone to take a look at the fabulous items that are available for bid beginning on Friday. Photos and descriptions
of the items on offer are up on the auction preview page:


Items up for bid include:
~Signed limited editions from Neil Gaiman, Howard Waldrop, and Kate Wilhelm!
~Signed first editions from David Brin, Michael Bishop, Joe Haldeman, and Martha Wells!
~Signed anthologies from Ellen Datlow, Al Sarrantonio, and Delia Sherman!
~Signed galleys from Cory Doctorow and Jeff VanderMeer!
~Critiquing/coaching time from Bruce McAllister!
~Original comic book art from Leonard Kirk!
~Mars Rover memorabilia AND MUCH MORE!!!

Bidding will open at 12:00 am EST on Friday, January 28, 2005. Bids will be accepted until 11:59 pm EST on Saturday, January 29, 2005. Bids will be taken via email, addressed to clarion@msu.edu. Winners will be contacted on Monday, January 31, 2005.

We hope that each of you will take a moment to explore the auction as well as visiting some of the other areas of the Clarion website. Exciting
things are happening here at the Clarion Workshop and we are glad to be able to share them with you!

Those who would like more information on the auction may wish to read the attached press release, which has been widely distributed online. Please feel free to share this release with anyone you know who may be interested in the auction and/or the Clarion Workshop.
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Theodora Goss
Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2005 - 09:10 pm:   

And here's the press release:

EAST LANSING, Mich. – A bundle of Mars items from a scientist who helped put a rover on that planet, unique and rare autographed books, and a flag from the First Flight Centennial Celebration are among items being auctioned this weekend during an Internet-only fundraiser benefiting The Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop at Michigan State University.

The silent auction runs from 12:00 a.m. (eastern) Jan. 28 through 11:59 p.m. (eastern) Jan. 29. Visit http://www.msu.edu/~clarion/auction/auctionpreview.html for a preview and details on participating.

Bestselling author Neil Gaiman, Ellen Kushner, an author and host of a popular public radio show, MER scientist and author Geoffrey Landis, and award-winning author and editor Jeff VanderMeer are among the many creators who donated items for the event.

Gaiman, whose novel American Gods has won many awards, joined with his specialty publisher, Hill House Publishing, to donate a full slate of limited editions of his books. Among them is a hardback edition of “A Screenplay,” available only to subscribers of that publisher’s Gaiman series. Only 52 editions of the screenplay were printed, and none will ever be offered through retail outlets.

Though Gaiman has never attended or taught at Clarion, he wanted to contribute. “Young writers need all the help they can get, and for decades Clarion has been helping to produce some of the finest writers in the SF and Fantasy field,” he said. “I'm glad to have the opportunity to help.”

For 37 years, the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Workshop has helped some of the field’s best storytellers discover their footing. Participants gather for six weeks to be taught by a rotating group of top authors and editors. Graduates and instructors have included Octavia Butler, the only science fiction writer to be awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, Bruce Sterling, Vonda McIntyre, Scott Edelman, Gregory Frost, and Nina Kiriki Hoffman.

Clarion is actually three workshops, each functioning independently. “Clarion East,” the original workshop, is seeking new partnerships after more than two decades at Michigan State University. “Clarion West” is based in Seattle, Wa. and “Clarion South” is set in Australia.

The funds generated through the auction will benefit Clarion East and will be used to maintain the workshop’s quality as it prepares for relocation.

Additional auction items include a collection of dark poetry from award-winning author Bruce Boston, a page of comic book art by “Supergirl” illustrator Leonard Kirk, and manuscript critiquing by noted author Bruce McAllister, recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship.

Ellen Kushner, host of Public Radio’s “PRI’s Sound & Spirit with Ellen Kushner” and award-winning author of Thomas the Rhymer, has taught twice at Clarion, which she feels helps emerging writers with more than just the words.

“It creates community, and a sense of possibility for writers who are often beleaguered and bedeviled in "mainstream" writing classes and programs,” Kushner said. “As a kid from Ohio myself, I know that it means something to students to have a prestigious class that is not based on one of the coasts.”

David Brin, award-winning author whose book The Postman was turned into a film by Kevin Costner, said he donated several items even though he has never attended or taught at the workshop. He’s just impressed with it.

"When it comes to helping talented newcomers transform into skilled professional storytellers, Clarion has no equal,” Brin said. “There simply aren't any other workshops than can match its fecundity at fostering both verve and success.”

Ellen Datlow, fiction editor of Scifi.com and multiple award winning editor of several anthology series, is a vocal supporter of Clarion and has taught at all three workshops.

“Some of the most important writers in the genre have come out of the
various Clarion workshops,” Datlow said. “The workshops can't create a writer out of nothing but it can focus those with potential and teach them valuable writing and editing skills.”

Cory Doctorow, award-winning author and cofounder of the popular BoingBoing.net pop culture site, donated one of the 10 homemade galleys he created for his new novel Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town. The galleys are not available to the general public. Doctorow graduated from Clarion East in 1992 and is returning to teach in 2005.

"If it wasn't for Clarion, I think I would have given up writing,” he said. “I learned more about writing in six weeks of Clarion than in the five years that preceded it."

The generosity of professionals and fans who donated to the silent auction is thrilling, said Lister Matheson, director of Clarion East.

"We are grateful to all Clarion well-wishers for their generosity, which will help the workshop through these difficult financial times and keep it available and affordable for all qualified participants,” Matheson said. “So check out the items online and then bid early, bid often, and bid high! And enjoy the fun!"”

For more information, visit: www.msu.edu/~clarion/auction/auctionpreview.html

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