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Odyssey Lecturers Announced

November 1, 2009

As of this moment, I’m not sure if I plan to apply to Odyssey.  If I put six weeks (consecutively and exclusively) into my writing career (and hence away from my family), I’d really like the word “Clarion” to show up on my resume.  Does that make me a snob?  Absolutely.  How many words do I get to impress an editor?  Sure, we’re even talking cover letter words here, but it takes a lot of time and money to get that word.  As a teacher, it doesn’t matter what college I went to.  My brother got out of college and went to law school; the name on the diploma mattered.  Same here.

All that said, Odyssey’s lineup is pretty significant including big-ticket names from both of last year’s Clarions.  The simple fact that I’m thinking about applying (despite that first paragraph) says a lot.  Coalating data.

Odyssey’s Writer-in-Residence (per my understanding she stays the whole six weeks and serves as primary lecturer the final week the entire fifth week whereas the other lecturers stay for about 24 hours…do I have it right now?) is Laura Anne Gilman.

Weekly guest lecturers will be Alexander Jablokov, Michael A. Arnzen, Elizabeth Hand, Gregory Frost, and David G. Hartwell.

Be sure to check out my workshop page for more useful workshop links.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 1, 2009 7:01 am

    I sorta felt the same way you did until I went to Worldcon and talked to a bunch of Odyssey grads (I think at least one had been to Clarion also). Might have been self-selection, but they were all doing well in their careers as writers and were pretty glowing about the whole experience (even the ones who were there during ‘Harlan’ week). It changed my mind and pulled me off my Clarion or bust high horse.

    For me, this year I think I’m going to skip applying to CW. I want to go to CSD or Odyssey, the line-ups are pretty freaking awesome and I’d be honored to learn from any of them. For CW, there are two I’d be pretty psyched to work with, but I’m less enthusiastic this year. So we’ll see.

    Good luck whatever you decide, for what it’s worth, I’m not sure that having any workshop on your cover letter is going to matter that much. Either an editor is going to be for them, or against them (there is anti-Clarion sentiment out there as well). If the story rocks, it’ll likely never be a make or break factor. (Plenty of people sell stories, after all, without any workshops).

    • osomuerte permalink
      November 1, 2009 8:39 am

      It’s all about the pile the manuscript gets into. I read somewhere (Jordan Lapp’s blog?) that Gardner Dozois only bought 3 stories out of open slush while editing Asimov’s. A similar number from F&SF was like 7. Sometimes a credit like Clarion can get you out of that pile. Yes, the story still has to sell itself. It’s like going to a callback audition without having to endure open calls. The odds get better because the criteria to dismiss are less caustic.

      Clarion also looks good in queries (to agents, etc.) where an impression has to be made before the story will even be glanced at.

      If I do apply to Odyssey, you’re endorsement will be one of the convincing factors. We shall see.

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