Gregory Bossert. Stacie Brown. John Chu. Nick Farrar. Erin Gonzales. Jessica Hilt. Jennifer Hsyu. Adam Israel. Dustin Monk. Tamsyn Muir. Laura Praytor. LaTisha Redding. Dallas Taylor. Leah Thomas. Karin Tidbeck. Tom Underberg. Kali Wallace. Kai Ashante Wilson.
It took me the best part of a week to learn their names -- mostly I just called 'em all "Kid," as in, "Hey, kid, not half bad" -- and it may take you a little longer. But you'll know some of those names eventually. They're the students at the Clarion Writer's Workshop, Class of 2010, and I've just spent a week reading their stories, eating wretched cafeteria food with them ("No trays for you!"), and telling them what a proud and terrible thing it is to be a science fiction and fantasy writer.
I learned 'em up good, you betchum. ("Your title sucks.") Despite which, most of them seem bound and determined to go on with this writing madness.
Delia Sherman taught the first week. I was the second. Now they're in the tender hands of Dale Bailey. Next week Samuel R. Delany comes in. Jeff and Ann Vandermeer finish 'em off.
That's the kind of gauntlet you have to run at Clarion. Small wonder it's been going since the late 60s. A "writer's boot camp," the workshop has been called. Rightly. Which I guess makes me a drill instructor. (But I'm a very CUDDLY drill instructor, really).
It was a great week, though. Despite the food. (I did order in pizza for everyone one night. Luigi's. Hey, pretty damn good, actually. Better than I expected for San Diego).
And there was some real talent in this class. Oh, sure, talent's only part of what a writer needs to make it... craft also comes into it, along with persistence, professionalism, persistence, dedication, persistence, and a good dollop of luck. Oh, and persistence, did I mention that?
But remember those names. You'll be seeing some of them in the magazines pretty soon, I figure, and in a few more years, you'll be reading their books.