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Clarion West occasionally has part-time job opportunities open. If you’re in the greater Seattle area and you might be a match for an open position, we’d love to hear from you!

About Clarion West

Clarion West’s mission is to provide a high-quality educational opportunity for writers of speculative fiction at the start of their careers. Our flagship program is the summer six-week residential workshop in which eighteen writers come together to learn from established writers and editors who offer critical feedback on writing, insight into publishing, and career advice. In conjunction with the annual workshop, we hold a reading series showcasing the work of our instructors, along with other events bringing together writers and readers of speculative fiction. During the fall and spring, CW holds one-day workshops in Seattle that are open to the community.

Our intensive workshop experience has been held in Seattle, Washington for over thirty years, and has produced some of science fiction and fantasy’s renowned writers and editors. Our graduates have received every major form of recognition in the field, including the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards.

Clarion West is governed by a board of directors that includes alumni and community members, and has eight part-time staff members and two contractors. Our annual budget is roughly $180,000.

Open Positions

Executive Director

Job Title: Executive Director
Part-time (average of 20 hours/week; fluctuates with level of organization’s activity); Exempt position
Reports to: Board of Directors
Location: Seattle, Washington

Primary Functions

Essential skills include experience in operations and administration, writing budgets, directing and working collaboratively with staff; and proven fundraising ability, especially the ability to find and nurture new donors, as well as raising funds from our existing donor pool. The executive director is organizer-in-chief.

Desirable skills include locating new grant opportunities and event planning. Experience with board development is helpful. Some familiarity with the world of speculative fiction is helpful, but not required.

The ED is an ex officio member of the board and works with board members on a regular basis, as needed.

We Are Looking For…

We seek a leader with experiences as an executive director who will support our staff, board of directors, and volunteers in nurturing our programs and sustaining the organization. We are not looking for growth at this time. We are interested in maintaining our stability and continuing to institute best practices both in terms of programmatic and organizational development.

The ideal candidate will show demonstrated interpersonal skills, organizational skills, and an ability to cultivate external and internal relationships that include our extended community of alumni, donors, supporters, and industry professionals.

Summary of Key Priorities

Manage Clarion West staff (Workshop Director, Workshop Administrator, and Communications Specialist as direct reports).
Work collaboratively with the Board of Directors to fulfill board development goals.
Ensure that all workshop, fundraising, communication and administrative activities run smoothly and meet the goals set by the Board of Directors.
Lead fundraising development strategies and activities.
Cultivate external relationships and serve as the official public representative of Clarion West.
Key Responsibilities

Leadership and Management

Assist in development and implementation of strategic plans as well as scheduling and managing day-to-day tasks in collaboration with staff and board.
Recruit, hire, supervise, and evaluate all staff, and terminate if necessary. Ensure there are updated job descriptions for each position.
Demonstrate sound human resources practices, commitment to diversity and timely response to staff requests.
Finance and Administration

Work with the board finance committee and treasurer to develop the annual budget.
Ensure that the organization operates within budget guidelines.
Oversee the maintenance of official records and documents, and ensure compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.
Negotiate and sign leases and contracts on behalf of Clarion West.
Ensure the upkeep of administrative and operational records (policies, etc.).
Communicate in a timely fashion with staff, board, and volunteers through the project management system.

Plan and oversee the execution of fundraising, development, alumni relations strategies and activities.
Write grant proposals and reports.
Cultivate, solicit, steward, and recognize major donors.
Board Development

Develop programmatic, organizational, and financial plans in conjunction with, and as requested by the board, and carry out plans and policies authorized by the board.
Work with the nominating committee to identify and recruit board members and volunteers on an on-going basis, and provide leadership for board orientation.
Work with the board to develop, enhance, and maintain strong governance practices and set board development goals.
Act as the interface between the board and the rest of the organization, seeing that the board is fully informed on the condition of the organization.
Work with the board to set the vision and long range strategy.
Community Relations

In concert with the Workshop Director and Communications Specialist, maintain and support positive workshop relationships and cooperative arrangements with speculative fiction community groups and other relevant organizations.
In concert with the Workshop Director and Communications Specialist, maintain overview of developments in the speculative fiction field and in the area of writers’ workshops.
Respond to public speaking requests and other public requests as needed.
Ensure that all Clarion West staff and board members work together to accurately represent Clarion West programs and philosophy to agencies, organizations, media and the general public.
Ensure that there is an overall communications and outreach plan and that it is being implemented.

Experience in leading a small non-profit organization. A minimum of four years of management and supervisory experience.
A proven ability to create and lead a fundraising strategy and raise funds from a range of sources.
A proven ability to lead, support and mentor staff with integrity, enthusiasm, with an emphasis on collaboration, and a commitment to results.
Understanding of basic financial systems.
Experience with donor database and online project management software.
Passion for and commitment to Clarion West’s mission, and some familiarity and understanding of speculative fiction or a similar type of genre and arts community.
Excellent communication, listening, and relationship-building skills.
Proven commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Knowledge of and experience in board structures, management and principles of governance.
Ability to multi-task and sense of humor!
Compensation and Benefits

Salary commensurate with experience.

To Apply:

Please submit a cover letter and resume electronically in Microsoft Word or .rtf format to:

Vicki Saunders
Clarion West Board Chair

We will begin reviewing applications on January 5. This position will remain open until filled, although we hope to have someone start in February.

Please visit for more information.