Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Teaching Science Fiction & Fantasy since 1968. Please Support The Clarion Foundation Write-a-Thon - 2016.

There is a reason why I am supporting The Clarion Foundation Write-a-Thon and  I do not think I could explain it any better than I did in this short essay that was published in The Clarion Foundation newsletter. After reading it would you please consider donating any amount to support The Clarion Foundation. You can donate by clicking on the link below this essay and it does not matter which writer you sponsor or donate to because what matters is that you donate. Thank you.
Weekly Responses

Mark Rivera

I am not an alumnus of Clarion. I have never applied. I have been a lifelong fan of science fiction, and my graduate thesis was on the relationship between the space opera or sci-fi adventure and the Western. I studied under the late Obie Award–winning playwright Jack Gelber. I have a BA in Film and an MFA in writing. My primary focus was drama, so I wrote stage plays and screenplays. I used my time in grad school to experiment with adapting fiction into drama and drama into fiction.
For a long time I have been a genre film and TV reviewer. I wrote my first novel, The Final Arbiter, in the late 1990s and then put it down for 10 years. It was not until I learned the secret to writing is to have many outlets to write from did I learn that I could be creative and analytical. So my first book was published print-on-demand, which is not like being published by Tor Books or something, but I knew a gradual audience would develop for my novel over time, and that is exactly what happened. In Australia, the book is being read in high schools because it is timely.

I have no awards or anything like that. I consider myself a novice, but I am trying to become a professional, and participating in the Write-a-Thon helps me to write, and it is good to pay it forward. Last year I wrote a novella during the Write-a-Thon, and a year later I am putting the finishing touches on it to get it published so that I can have something new for my readers to read while I get back into writing my epic novel, for lack of a better expression.

Perception is something that has always interested me, and I find it is a running theme in my work. My goal is to get the novella published before the end of the year and to write 30 pages on my epic during the Write-a-Thon and raise as much money as I can for Clarion and the students. It is a dream of mine to attend Clarion myself because there is much I need to learn, but I am unsure whether I will ever be worthy. So I will help others and help myself and maybe one year I will apply and be accepted. Or maybe I will never be accepted. Either way, if I can do some good for others then at least I have done something worthwhile, and maybe it will help me too. Regardless, I am in it again this year, and I am honored to help you all. Thank you.