Clarion South, Two Years On

After two years, I’m finally wrapping my head around what Clarion South was all about. At his invitation, I’ve just described my experience of one week at Clarion South 2007 on tutor Lee Battersby’s blog. But seeing as I’ve been invited along to speak to this year’s group about life after Clarion, I thought I’d add a few more general comments.

At least since I joined the army at the age of 17, I’ve had a tendency to uproot myself and throw myself in the deep end at the smallest sign of complacency, and emerge from the self-imposed trial a different person. Growing up in three different countries probably had something to do with it, but I think I’ve always had the vaguely uneasy feeling that modern rites of passage were inadequate, that I needed something more to gain a sense of achievement and personal growth. Clarion and walking Japan gave me both of those things, and it’s hard to separate the lessons of Clarion and the lessons of my walk; the two bleed into each other.

The first lesson was about priorities. I went into Clarion as a teacher who wrote; I returned from my walk as a writer who teaches. Both experiences made me realise that writing was important enough to me to organise my life around, and within the next couple of months I should have largely done so.

The second lesson was persistence. I’ve thought of myself as a writer since my early teens; the only trouble was I didn’t write very much. Talent amounts to little without hard work, clocking up the fabled 10,000 hours to mastery. Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been writing fiction almost every day, aiming for a minimum of 100 words — not much, but enough to complete a short novel in a year. Once I’ve got a routine, I’ll start raising the wordcount, but for now the most important thing is developing the habit. Writing daily haiku on my walk was important training; habits can only be formed by a series of small steps, not a few giant leaps.The amount you write, and the quality of what you write, are far less important than the daily act of putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).

The third lesson was about people. Writing is a solitary occupation, but it’s also an act of communication, and communication means being part of a community. Seeking out and engaging that community — through reading, critting, collaborating, supporting, networking — pays for itself several times over. I learnt more in six weeks of Clarion than I would’ve six years on my own, and maintaining the connections I made then keeps on generating opportunities I just wouldn’t get otherwise.

Below you can find a list of everything the Clarion gang’s done since the workshop ended two years ago. I’m still reading my way through the complete list, but three of my favourites can be found online: JJ Irwin’s Still Living, Peter M. Ball’s On the Finding of Photographs of My Former Loves, and Michael Greenhut’s Watermark. Each, in their own evocative way, explore the end of a relationship.


Clarion South 2007: Post-Clarion Bibliography


Short Stories
The Dragonkeeper’s Wife, Black Dragon, White Dragon, Ricasso Press, 2009
On the Destruction of Copenhagen by the Warmachines of the Merfolk, Strange Horizons (forthcoming)
The Clockwork Goat and the Smokestack Magi, Shimmer “Clockwork Junglebook” Issue (forthcoming)
Family Tree, Black Box, Brimstone Press, 2008
The Warhol-Sleeping Quartet, Dog Versus Sandwich, 2008
The Last Great House of Isla Tortuga, Dreaming Again, 2008
A Scene From Café Retro, Dog Versus Sandwich, 2008
On the Finding of Photographs of My Former Loves, Fantasy Magazine, 2008
Avenue D: Prayer, Antipodean SF #117, 2008
Midnight on Avenue D, Dark Recesses #8, 2007
Avenue D: The Tankboy’s Ride, Antipodean SF #107, 2007
The Year the Zombies Came for Christmas, Antipodean SF #105, 2007

Horn, Twelfth Planet Press, 2009

Working on a novella

Other achievements
On the Finding of Photographs of My Former Loves, Voted a Top 5 Story in Fantasy Magazine, 2008
Finalist, Writers of the Future, 3rd Quarter 2008



Short Stories
A Whisper in the House of Angels, Hope anthology (forthcoming)
The Mikarr Way, Electric Velocipede (forthcoming)
Lily’s Song, Dog Versus Sandwich, 2008
The Conductor’s Tale, Canterbury 2100, 2008
As We Know It, Borderlands #10, 2008
This is Not a Love Song, ASIM #34, 2008
Of Woman Born, Daikaiju 2, 2007
The Wedding Dress, Black Box, 2007

Completed the YA novel Beyond Human



Short Stories
Resolution 17, Sniplits (forthcoming)
Mile Zero, Electric Velocipede (forthcoming)
Jellyfish Moon, Cemetery Dance (forthcoming)
The Green Man, Cemetery Dance (forthcoming)
Hunting the Tasmanian Tiger, Dark Recesses #10, 2008
Tommy’s Shadow, Kaleidotrope #5, 2008
The Wish Mechanics, Full Unit Hook Up #9, 2008
Before the Flood, Byzarium, 2008
Mystic Tryst, Farrago’s Wainscott #8, 2008
Across the Darien Gap, Psuedopod, 2007
The Black Orophant, Darker Matter #4, 2007
Spark, Dark Recesses #7, 2007

Daily Cabal Stories
All archived stories

Working on a novel



Alessio has written a few unpublished short stories since Clarion, but is on a break from writing fiction at the moment.



Short Stories
The Wind Cries Mary, Fantastical Journeys to Brisbane, 2007

Finished the second book in a series and working on a YA contemporary fantasy.

Other achievements
Honourable mention in Writers of the Future for ‘Sacred Fire’.



Short Stories
The Patchwork Palace, Masques edited by CSFG (forthcoming)
for want of a jesusman, Aurealis #42 (forthcoming)
Plebiscite AV3X, Apex Online, 2008
Rick Gets a Job, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #37, 2008
Undead Camels Ate Their Flesh, Dreaming Again, 2008
A Bride Beyond the Gate, Antipodean SF #121, 2008
Blue Hands, Dog Vs Sandwich, 2008
Toilet Town, Antipodean SF #108, 2007

Daily Cabal Stories
All archived stories | The Janus Trick (series)

Several novels in progress

Other achievements

Winner, 2008 Apex Halloween Contest
Winner, 2008 Conflux Short Story Contest
Highly Commended, KSP Speculative Fiction Awards 2008
Finalist, Writers of the Future, 1st Quarter 2008
Got married and had a baby



Short Stories
This is My Blood, co-written with Chris Lynch, Dreaming Again, 2008.

Working on a novel

Other achievements
Current Fantasy Magazine columnist



Hold, broadcast nationally by ABC Local Radio, 2009
Real Shakespeare, premiered at Wollongong Workshop Theatre’s 24-hour Theatre Event, 2008
The Death of Albatross, selected for the Merrigong Theatre Script Development Program, 2008
Don’t Know Much, short-listed for the Sydney Short & Sweet Festival, 2008
The Salad of Success, selected for Wollongong Workshop Theatre’s Workshorts program, 2007
The Salad of Success, selected for BUGfest, 2007

Short Stories
Piggy In a Pit, The Lifted Brow (forthcoming)
The Futurist, Adbusters (forthcoming)
The Dancing Mice and the Giants of Flanders, Masques (forthcoming)
The Miner’s Tale, Canterbury 2100, 2008
I’m Too Loud, Antipodean SF, 2008

Other achievements

Mooncalf, commended in the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre Speculative Fiction/Fantasy Awards, August 2008
The Salvation of the Ooze, first place, Conflux 2007 Short-Story Competition



Short Stories
Father’s Kill, Beneath Ceaseless Skies (forthcoming)
Having Faith, Nossa Morte, 2009
Lakeside, Dreaming Again, 2008

Working on a novel and a novella



Short Stories
Watermark, The Best of Fantasy Magazine, 2009
Think Fast, Greatest Uncommon Denominator, 2008
Watermark, Fantasy Magazine, 2008
A Better Gentleman, AlienSkin, 2007

Working on a novel

Other achievements

Watermark, Voted a Top 5 Story in Fantasy Magazine, 2008



Short Stories
Still Living, Strange Horizons, 2008
Reading the Lines, ASIM#31, 2007

Working on a novel



Short Stories
This is My Blood, co-written with Ben Francisco, Dreaming Again, 2008

Working on a travel memoir about Japan



Short Stories
Transplant, Fantastical Journeys to Brisbane, 2007



Short Stories
Highly Commended, KSP Short Fiction Awards, 2008
First, KSP Speculative Fiction Awards, 2007
Highly Commended, KSP Speculative Fiction Awards, 2007

Other achievements

Emerging Writer in Residence, Tom Collins House, 2009
Current facilitator, KSP Speculative Fiction group
Co-convenor, KSP mini-con, 2008
Panellist, Wastelands convention, 2008
Guest speaker, Society of Women Writers WA, 2008
Workshop presenter, Society of Women Writers WA, 2008

Completed a novel and working on a second


No info for:


This entry was posted in Writer and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Clarion South, Two Years On

  1. Pingback: Clarion South « Blood and Stardust

  2. Pingback: On diving well and failing to swim |

  3. Pingback: Letting Chris Lynch do all the hard work « Open Water

  4. That's awesome Chris, thanks for your work in compiling this list. We ARE an industrious little bunch, are we not?

  5. brames says:

    Laura G, your play didn’t end up being broadcast nationally. I was interested in hearing it; however it was not put to air on the ABC Sydney frequency. Do you have a copy you can forward me? I noticed Houston Dunleavy on AntipodeanSF. As I recall, this is your husband, yes?

    An impressive list, congratulations to all.

  6. Michele says:

    I found your comments on Clarion and your experience very thought provoking and thank you for sharing it with us. I'm sure Clarion 2009 would've benefited so much from your talk. Thanx also for posting all of our accolades – haven't we done well? 🙂 Go Chris, Go Clarion 2007 – we rock!

  7. Pingback: Thursday Linkfest |

  8. Pingback: Clarion blogs | Liz Argall

Leave a Reply