Longtime readers of this blog may remember my doing this fundraising event in years past. I’m at it again! Along with several other people (including, I think, Karnythia and Nisi).
A write-a-thon is like a marathon except there’s no running, just writing. 6 weeks of writing, to be exact, that parallel the 6 weeks that Clarion West students spend in the workshop. Write-a-thon participants set weekly goals (like 6000 words/week or one new story per week) and sponsors pledge money to Clarion West if those goals are met. I plan to revise and send out one story each week. I have far too many still in revision limbo.
I usually add a bit extra to my efforts and use the write-a-thon to also raise money for the Octavia E. Butler Scholarship fund. This scholarship gives financial aid to writers of color attending Clarion West and Clarion. I think it should be obvious why I’m supporting this :)
It may be less obvious why I’m supporting Clarion West, other than the fact that I was a student there in 2003. I have always counted CW as one of the best experiences of my life. I got 6 weeks to focus on writing, I learned a lot, and I was able to meet many amazing people. I didn’t really have the money to go to the workshop (it costs around $3,000) but planned to ask for financial aid and maybe even take out a loan if I had to. Instead, an anonymous donor paid my entire tuition. I still don’t know who that person is or was (I have my suspicions); one of the ways I honor them is by doing what I can to give that gift to someone else.
The money that goes to Clarion West benefits all of the students, the money that goes to the Butler scholarship directly benefits students of color, so it’s a win-win.
My fundraising goal is $1500 total. As of right now I have $1240 in pledges, so I am almost there! I only have $260 to go. That works out to a little less than $44/week. If 9 people pledge $5/week or a flat $30, I’ll make my goal and a bit more. If you can’t afford $30, consider $10. Or $15. The amount doesn’t matter because every bit counts.
Go here to read more details about the whole shebang and sign up to be one of my sponsors. You can also go here and see a list of other participating writers. Not all of them are there right now, so next week I will make a point of listing some of them here (with a particular focus on writers of color).