Writers: Clarion wants your dead keyboard!

Are you a pro sf/f/h writer? The Clarion Foundation, the 501(c)3 charity that oversees the original Clarion workshop wants your keyboard!

Like all nonprofits, we're always in fundraising mode, and to that end, I have a curious, easy-to-fulfil request for you for something that we're pretty excited about.

WHAT I'D LIKE FROM YOU IS AN OLD, BROKEN-DOWN KEYBOARD, from a desktop, laptop or even a typewriter. I'm guessing that you're like me and can't bring yourself to throw out your old keyboards even after they start sticking, lose keys, and are replaced by modern ones.

We're trying to get as many as 101 old keyboards from genre writers, and then we are going to send keys from each to Datamancer, a talented steampunk hardware hacker who builds beautiful retrofuturistic keyboards that normally retail for about $1000-$1500 (and he sells them as fast as he can build 'em!). Datamancer is going to build us a keyboard that we are going to auction off as the most totemic artefact in science fiction history, a keyboard whose keys have been used, in aggregate, to write hundreds of beloved novels, thousands of classic stories. A keyboard whose products have won Hugos and Nebulas by the bushel.

The keyboard will be auctioned off with a hand-bound book listing all the works written on its keys (so in addition to the keyboard, we'd like you to recall, as best as you can, which books, stories, teleplays, essays, etc you wrote on it).

Additionally, Catherine Cheek — a talented visual artist who is also a Clarion alum and volunteer — will be making a variety of sculptures and objets from the remaining keys, all to be auctioned.

All proceeds from all the auctions will go to the Clarion Foundation (naturally).

If you're game, contact Catherine at clarionkeyboard@gmail.com with the list of professional fiction and related works that you've written on your dead keyboard. You'll be in good company: we have keyboards in hand from Neil Gaiman, Kate Wilhelm, Ted Chiang, Nancy Kress, John Shirley, Richard Kadrey, Peter Watts, Spider Robinson, Pat Murphy, John Shirley, James Patrick Kelly, Lucius Shepard, Michael Swanwick, Ken MacLeod, Walter Jon Williams and several others!