Best Cousin

Sun 27 Aug 2006 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Posted by: Gavin

StorytellerCongratulations to all last night’s Hugo Award winners (win your own French writer!) especially Kate Wilhelm, whose book Storyteller: Writing Lessons and More from 27 Years of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop won the Hugo for Best Related Book. Storyteller also won the Locus Award a couple of months ago. That’s pretty amazing. The little book that could and all that.

Kate was one of the co-founders of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop — of which there are now three: Clarion East (Michigan), Clarion West (Seattle), and Clarion South (Australia) — and taught there for 27 years (hence the book title!). She is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Clarion Foundation, a nonprofit organization she helped establish in 2005 to ensure that the Clarion Workshop will continue. It’s a lovely book, formal where it needs to be (while writing about writing) and informal where it can be — the fun parts.

There were a couple of fun parts about publishing the book — the first was reading it over and over (as well as the usual editing and so forth the book had to be retyped!) and thinking about the book and the lessons within; and the second was hearing from readers who took different things from the book. “Yes — it was like that!” “Ah, that’s the secret.” “Huh.” “Six weeks sounds like a long time.” “Bum on the seat every morning….” “Wonder if I could go.” “What a laugh.” Kate’s been writing for a long time and has readers all over the map so it’s not just Clarion alumni and haters (hello!) who’ve been reading it.

Anyway, if you want a taste there are three excerpts available online:

  1. Can Writing Be Taught?
  2. Trivia Vs. Writing Real Stories now available at the Online Writing Workshop.
  3. My Silent Partner at SF Site.

Again with the congratulations to all and sundry winners and as ever those who didn’t get a rocket know it’s an honor to be nominated. Those who weren’t nominated: eh, what you gonna do? (Go see the lumberjack competition at a local fair or brave the cold rain(!) at the tomato fest.)