Passing on this news to anyone who might be in a position to help: The "other" big U.S. Clarion writers workshop, Clarion West, just started their six week run, only to have someone(s) break into the sorority house they are using as a base of operations and living/writing home for the workshop. Four of the writers' laptops were amongst the items stolen.
Comment on Cherie Priest's blog: ...the first thing I thought was not, "Oh, dear, how will they replace expensive computers?" It was, "Oh, dear, how many words did they lose?"
Details available here from Clarion West, as well as from Jay Lake, Cherie Priest and one of the participants here.
I'd Check On This First...
Comment on Cherie Priest's blog: ...I got a pretty quick "thank you but we now have it covered" email. They were very nice about it.
I have a very low tolerance for any sort of bad behavior where someone thinks that they can take anything as they choose, but this one is particularly hurtful. It's bad enough to be at something as intense as a Clarion workshop and have technology break down on you, but for someone to steal from what is probably 20-25% of the workshop their major means for writing is downright despicable.
I was very lucky when I went to the 2004 Clarion workshop then in East Lansing MI, because I'd been working full-time during the previous school year, so had built up some cash reserves and could easily choose to not teach either summer session. Others in our class quit their jobs as some of the 2008 Clarion West participants have, and given the costs of not working plus the workshop, it's not like you can just plunk down a kilobuck and replace a laptop on a whim, let alone having all the software and backups in place to put you back where you were before the theft.
This sucks big time and I am very sorry not to be in much of a position to help at the moment. I hope that the one comment was right and that they have some things in place already to help the writers -- though at least one writer had no backups of their work, as I understand it.