(original cover for the antho given to the students this past summer)
There being no rest for the wicked, now that we’ve turned in the pirate antho, it’s time to turn our attention to BAF2 and…The Leonardo Variations. LV is a charity anthology for Clarion (University of California at San Diego)–all proceeds go to fund Clarion.
Ann and I taught at Clarion last summer and assigned the students the framework of the same story to all of them. Unbeknownst to them, they were doing their own versions of Nabokov’s “The Leonardo,” a story from the first part of his career. It had no fantastical element, which is one reason we chose it–to force students at a genre writing workshop to write a story without a fantastical elements. There were also a ton of other reasons for doing this exercise, which we’ll get into in the intro to the antho (and eventually post on the internet).
Anyway, we compiled all the stories and as a thank you to the students for buying into the exercise (all of them did it, which doesn’t always happen), quickly packaged it into book form and sent them copies they received the end of their fourth week at the workshop.
We then proposed a next phase: take your rough drafts and revise them for a charity anthology to be released near the end of the summer this year. In the revisions, they were allowed to do whatever they wanted, in terms of adding fantastical elements, etc. (And we may even include a couple of rough drafts in the antho to show the differences.)
This anthology will be two anthos in one: a fiction antho for readers and people who want to support Clarion and a great “workshop in book form” for beginning writers. In addition to having the guidelines for the original exercise and all of the “variations” in the book, there will be short essays by the students about various aspects of their Clarion experience and essays by many of the instructors about creative writing. We’ve also gotten commitments from some of 2008 instructors, including Kelly Link and Neil Gaiman, to contribute material.
We’re excited about this project…and now I’ve got to get back to editing it…(We’ll have a final publication schedule shortly.)