I first heard about Clarion when I got involved in the science fiction workshop on Genie, almost a decade ago now. It sounded like it would be interesting, but life always got in the way, and I never applied. Then, in March 1998, after a vacation in Mexico and the end of a temporary position as assistant professor at the Univeristy of Freiburg, I spontaneously checked the Web for the deadlines and requirements. Hey, I was suddenly free to take six weeks off, there would never be a better time than now (then). So I polished up the first two chapters of my languishing novel and sent them off. I had hardly had time to forget about them when the email arrived telling me I was accepted.
I jumped up and down and cried.
Clarion was very definitely one of the best things I ever did for myself. I had read online and in newsgroups that I would make friends for a lifetime, which I found hard to believe. I believe it now.
Here's to those friends.
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