Tag Archive for clarion west

Writing Workshop: Level Up as a Writer

One Day Workshop


What will help you reach the next level as a writer? What is that thing you can’t quite put your finger on that would take your stories to the next level?  Come to my workshop on May 21 and I will walk through the stages I see most writers grow through, from beginning writer to published pro, and some of the common challenges and lessons found at each stage. The workshop will include handouts and a number of exercises.  No matter where you are at in your writer’s journey, the goal is for you to walk away with a clear idea of what you can do to “level up” as a writer.


There are limited seats available, so sign up now!


Randy Henderson, May 21


Write-a-Thon and Sammy Story Excerpt

All, I have been shamefully neglectful in asking for donation to the Clarion West write-a-thon. Please, go to the website and donate a little something. It supports the creation of a wonderful diversity of amazing future authors. And I’m offering a prize. And now, a snippet from a Finn Fancy-related short story I’ve been writing during the write-a-thon, featuring Finn’s sister Sammy and set in 2003:

Sammy paced the small waiting room between the small sofa and the wall-mounted television, less than eager to confront Bishop Freedom. A unicorn posing as a televangelist. What a frakked up world she lived in.

Of course they had the TV going full volume, the power cord inaccessible and the control panel apparently super-glued shut. Sammy watched Freedom strutting about on stage with his white hair helmet and perfectly even smile.

“… again, what is the greater sin?” Bishop Freedom demanded. “To allow a condom, or to allow easily preventable disease and death? What is the greater sin, to …”

It annoyed Sammy to the point of pissed-offedness that Bishop Freedom used arguments she actually agreed with, given that his true motives were hardly noble.
Sammy pulled out her Palm Pilot, slid an infrared beamer into the SD slot, programmed the PDA as a remote and shut the damn TV off.

It wasn’t that she disagreed with his message, but rather his motives. Unicorns, witches and several other feybloods were well known for feeding somehow on virgins, but less known was that women who’d simply never gotten preggers served them nearly as well. Something about conception, not to mention STDs, changed whatever energy in a woman such creatures fed upon. And two things that had been proven to cause a hell of a lot of pregnancy and disease were bans on contraception, and telling a bunch of horny teenagers to “just say no”. So of course Bishop Freedom condemned the religions and politics that promoted such frakked up policies, but he didn’t do so because they were morally wrong or bass-ackwards in their thinking, and certainly not out of concern for the women; he did so because they screwed with his food source.


Clarion West Write-a-Thon 2015 Edition

It’s that time again!

You want great fantasy and science fiction? Help support the development of future writers. Knock knock. Hello. My name is Randy Henderson. I’m asking for donations to Clarion West, a totally awesome intensive writing workshop for speculative fiction that has been called a “boot camp for writers.”

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE. For the first 10 people who register with the Carl Brandon Society (at http://carlbrandon.org/ as a paying member), announce it and let me know about it, I will donate $10 each to the Clarion West write-a-thon on your behalf. The Carl Brandon Society supports and increases the representation of diversity in our genre’s content, creators, and fans, and offers a scholarship every year to an attendee of Clarion West, so it is a great way to ensure your donation dollars produce the maximum benefit.



My Neil Gaiman Chat

Spoke to Neil Gaiman at the party last night, and since I knew that there were plenty of folks who would love the chance to do so, I felt a responsibility to ask him a very important question that I’m sure most of his fans would like answered. So:
Me: “Since the 80’s sound is popular right now, do you think Duran Duran has a good chance for another comeback?”
Neil: “I hope so. I still own the rights to that book, so if they did, I’d have a chance at real success.”
There you go. You’re welcome.
Also, it was awesome to see many online writer friends in person, and of course to hang with all my Clarion West family old and new.


“Surviving the eBookalypse” Live on Escape Pod

Escape PodMy story “Surviving the eBookalypse”, a satire about the future for books and their authors, is now live on Escape Pod: http://escapepod.org/2012/01/19/ep328-surviving-the-ebookalypse/

I wrote this story during Clarion West, partly as a response to a doom and gloom speech I heard on the future of the publishing industry. But folks like Mary Robinette Kowal and Cory Doctorow reaffirm my belief that we who create or consume the fiction, we have power to affect the course of things.  eBooks are really not so different from paperbacks if we push for the right to truly own what we purchase.  Books as objects can return to being lovingly crafted pieces of art, to be collected and displayed proudly in order to impress your date/guests.  Er, I mean, to show your love of the written word.  And in the end, all of us time-conscious readers will still want someone to filter out the good from the ocean of crap for us and will pay a little extra for that service.  Sparkly vampires aside.  So I believe the future of the written word remains bright.  And if I’m wrong, I will happily accept patronage offers.


Interesting note: the recorded pod cast is actually from an earlier version of the story, and the online text is from the updated version, which I see as a happy accident because A) I went back and forth over the beginning and am still not sure which I like better (though the printed version is tighter), and B) it is a record I think of how my writing (or at least editing) improved over the time between versions.  Although the very beginning of the story is the main difference, there are also a number of small differences that demonstrate opportunities to eliminate unneeded words and poor sentence structures.  The story synchs up pretty quickly (once Andre enters the library) so if you listen and follow along with the text, you’ll spot the differences.

Thank you to Roberto Suarez for his podcast reading.

Cheers, and I hope you enjoy it.


Clarion West Write-A-Thon Final Plea

I have horribly failed to pimp myself for the Clarion West write-a-thon, and it ends this week.  Time to donate in my glorious name if you haven’t already, por favor.  Your donation will go to help nurture and create future writers.

I have been doing my part, I swear, writing like crazy. Clarion West Writeathon Literally, writing like crazy. I wear a tinfoil hat and talk to myself a lot as I write since it is the only way to keep the bad voices from taking control of my stories.

Granted, I was down for two weeks with a nasty virus thingy (the slime was entirely from my nose, don’t listen to Shelly’s claims of pods under the bed or how I’m “different” somehow), but I am back now, and on task.

So please go to my profile on the Clarion West write-a-thon page and click the shiny Donate button.  Throw in just $5 even, the cost of a single cheap paperback or fine bottle of screwtop wine, and watch it magically result in hundreds of future stories and books.

Crying FairyRegarding the 36 fairies I was holding captive in exchange for donations, I’m afraid they have mostly died due to my neglect these past weeks.  There are now only four, and they’re looking rather Winehouse Lohan.  But their fate is still in your hands.



Sponsor Me or (and?) these Fairies Suffer

Crying FairyI have caught 37 fairies in a jar.  Unless you sponsor me in the Clarion West writeathon, I will place the jar in front of a television playing nothing but Jersey Housewives.  Or, if you are not a fan of fairies, then IF you sponsor me I will force the fairies to read the Myspace breakup poetry of goth tweens. Basically, the more you sponsor me, the more you control the fates of these 37 fairies.

Oops.  Make that 36 fairies.  Our kitten is way too clever at getting that lid open.

The Clarion West writeathon is a fundraiser for the Clarion West workshop, a writing “boot camp” that helps to produce future writers of quality genre fiction so that you will have something to read and watch tomorrow that doesn’t suck.

So go to my page and click on the shiny DONATE button to sponsor me as I write stuff, and feel like a real patron of the arts.



CWW Mid-Point Update: A Centaur, a Dwarf and a Stepladder

So we have passed the mid-point on the Clarion West write-a-thon and here’s where I’m at:

Finished draft of Short Story 1.

Thought up, worked out and started Short Story 2.

Also wrote a non-fiction piece for Fantasy Magazine and made some really good progress on my YA novel at the same time, so bonus!

Short Story 2 is a fantasy story that was inspired by a dream in which I was describing a story — in the dream, I described a female centaur that wakes up next to a dwarf, and sees a step ladder next to the bed, and says, “Oh gods, what did I do last night?”  Suffice to say, I did not go in the obvious direction that suggested, but when I started asking why she was in that situation it did inspire a centaur story.

I’ll post an excerpt once I have one worth posting.


Clarion West Write-a-thon: Week 1

I made good progress on short story numero uno, a near-future scifi story “Shall I Die, Oh My Daughter, Shall I Die?”

Words so far: 3,359.  I’m happy with that. keeping in mind that I am also working on my YA novel at the same time and this was the Locus Awards/ workshop weekend.

If you haven’t already, please sponsor me (and therefore Clarion West) by going to: http://clarionwest.org/events/writeathon/RandyHenderson

Here’s excerpts that should give you the flavor of the story without giving anything away:


Read more


Clarion West Write-a-thon

I’m participating in the Clarion West write-a-thon this year. Basically, I commit to produce a certain amount of writing during the 6 weeks that CW is running, and people can donate money to the workshop in my name. I’ve also added a small bonus prize (see the site).

This is my shameless request that you go to the site and sponsor me to support this incredible boot camp for future speculative fiction writers – even $5 would be awesome.