The early months of the year are not only prime time for graduate school applications to be finalized, but it is also peak time for something else near to my heart: writing workshops.
While I am (obviously) a bit partial towards Viable Paradise (which is open for applications until June – for an October workshop), there are two other monster workshops that I have seriously considered: Clarion and Clarion West.
Both of the Clarions are an intense six week experience (a diffrerent instructor each week, with a new story written for each instructor, as I understand it). They are both accepting applications until 1 March (for residencies starting 23 June to early August). While I have, in the past, considered applying to both, I have been more impressed over the last couple of years with the instructor lineup for Clarion West (on tap for 2013: Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Samuel R. Delany and Ellen Datlow are the names I best recognize; 2012 saw Connie Willis, George R. R. Martin, Chuck Palahniuk and Kelly Link/Gavin Grant as the major recognized names from then).
So, herein lies my plug: If you are interested in writing, interested in an immersive environment to study and improve your craft, to work with professionals passionate about storytelling (and you have the available time to attend), check them out.