There's a secret I've been sitting on for a while now that I can finally divulge. This year I had the privilege of being one of the admissions readers for the Clarion West Workshop for Science Fiction and Fantasy, and it was a thoroughly humbling experience. As I read the short stories and bios for some of this year's applicants, I kept thinking, "How did I ever get accepted to this workshop???" Obviously I can't give any details about submission stories that I read, but I can say it was a very competitive group. (And for people who tried to talk to me about how to get into CW in the last couple of months, sorry I had to be so guarded, but obviously, I couldn't tell you anything more than what the Workshop's website details. Had I known any of the people I was reading, I would have had to recuse myself from rating their stories.) Doing this little bit for Clarion West was also a chance to give back to an institution that's given me so much. Clarion West opened the door to my science fiction writing career.
Including the sale I recently made to S.M. Stirling's Change Anthology, a set of stories by different authors set in his Change universe. Clarion West didn't just hone my writing skills so that I could earn a slot in this anthology. My CW instructors and classmates helped me through my first WorldCon, where I went to a roundtable event with George RR Martin, who mentioned he was in a writer's group here in New Mexico. My completion of Clarion West made me eligible for that critique group, Critical Mass, which is where I met, got to know, and got tuckerized by S.M. Stirling. (Here, unfortunately, I have to give a disclaimer. Critical Mass accepts new members rarely and no, I can't get you in. I've had a few requests for that lately.)
Stirling's Change anthology will be in print by this August, and we'll do part of the launch, I gather, at Bubonicon in Albuquerque. I really look forward to this - I've been in anthologies before, even with a group of people I love dearly, but hey, each new occasion is still exciting. I'll post more details on the antho as I get them! I'm not sure if I'm the only tuckerized character who contributed a story, but I did give myself a cameo in my story (a very brief one!)