Some Clarion News, Sort of

I heard back from Clarion UCSD yesterday. I’ve been waitlisted. Yay! Yay? Yay!

I have mixed feelings about this, as you can see. On the one hand, I’m pretty sure this means I won’t be going this year. There’s no way to know how many other people have been waitlisted or where I am on that list. The Clarion UCSD website mentions that in some years up to two people got in off the waitlist, which means in some years no one did.

On the other hand, I’m super excited I got this far this time! I’d thoroughly prepared myself for the same low-tier rejection I got last year. Reading the words “Our admissions committee was impressed by your work and would like to admit you. Unfortunately, each year we have more excellent candidates than we have spaces available” made me jump up and down and smile like an idiot. I find it hard to figure out if my writing is improving over time. I keep telling myself just because my stories get rejected doesn’t mean I haven’t gotten better. Being waitlisted feels like an actual measure of improvement.

As for Clarion West, I still haven’t heard anything (which I’m going to assume means it’s a no-go). Clarion UCSD may start letting wait listers know if they’ve been accepted in about two weeks. I’m also waiting to hear about two stories I’ve submitted for publication. In the meantime, I’ll keep working on my next story to try to distract myself.

Wait, wait, and wait some more. Writing is not for the impatient.

Update as of April 3rd: Clarion West emailed to say they need two more weeks to make their final decisions. This means I might still have a chance! Sounds like I’ll hear something from one or both Clarions in the next two to three weeks.

It felt weird that I got the UCSD email and then the West email a few days later while waiting at the airport for a flight that kept getting delayed every hour for eight hours. It felt like everyone in the universe was telling me to wait! 🙂

Update as of April 12th: Clarion West is a no. Bummer. I’m going to assume I won’t make it off the waitlist for UCSD and just get on with my life. I’m taking a spec fic online writing class for the next few weeks, so now I can give it my complete concentration. On the upside, I’ve been dying to listen to the playlists I’d prepared for this and now’s the time.

Will I apply next year? Yes, barring any unforeseen changes in my circumstances. Like I said, the third, fourth, fifth, or sixth time’s the charm, right?

Update as of April 25th: Clarion UCSD let me know that no spots had opened up, so I wouldn’t be going this year. Even though the news was a bummer, I can’t tell you how encouraging this part of the email was: “Please know how incredibly competitive it was this year, and how much the selection committee admired your work. And apply again next year, if you’re able!” I think that alone just made my year 🙂