By KAREN WELLS
LEWISPORTE — For aspiring writer Jasmine Stairs, taking part in the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop has further enforced her love of the written word.
It was last summer that Ms. Stairs was selected for the six-week workshop that took place at UC San Diego in California. Established in 1968, the Clarion Writers’ Workshop is the oldest of its kind and widely recognized as a premier proving and training ground for aspiring writers of fantasy and science fiction.
With only 18 participants in the workshop, Ms. Stairs was one of two from Canada. She was also one of the youngest is her early 20’s. The average age of the writers was 29, and ranging from 20 to 40.
To qualify for the workshop Ms. Stairs submitted two short stories to a review panel. They obviously liked what they read and Ms. Stairs couldn’t have been more pleased.
While taking part in the workshop, Ms. Stairs produced weekly writings to be critiqued by fellow workshop writers and instructors.
“Overall it was a good experience,” she said. “At times it was painful to listen to other people critique your work, but I learned a lot.
“Around week four there was a bit of burn out from writing so much, but it only helped to make things challenging and to realize they are attainable. I could see improvement in my writing throughout the course of the workshop.”
Ms. Stairs plans to continue with her writing in the genre of science fiction, fantasy and history that have always appealed to her. What she learned at the Clarion Workshop will only prove to enhance that flair for writing.
She encourages anyone interested in this type of writing to consider applying for future workshops.