So, my pal Tempest Bradford said to me, “Hey, I’m participating in the 2009 Clarion West Write-a-Thon, to raise money to help students attend the Clarion West writing workshop. I’m trying to raise $1,000. Wanna sponsor me?”
And I said, “Sure.”
And she said, “Great! And would you mind writing about it on your Web site to tell other people about it, and maybe get them to sponsor me?”
And I said, “Well, I would, but I’m trapped in a well and can’t get to the keyboard, so maybe you should write something instead and I’ll just post it.”
And she said, “That makes no sense, we’re conversing in e-mail and besides, if you can cut and paste what I write into a blog post, you can get to your keyboard.”
And I said, “Sorry, can’t hear you, the water’s rising.”
So she wrote something up and this is what she wrote. Which I am now posting. From a well. Using my mind. Take it away, Tempest:
Hello everyone, Tempest here. Scalzi has been kind enough to let me steal a few pixels on his blog to encourage you to sponsor me in this year’s Clarion West Write-a-thon. There’s a ton of information about the fundraiser, the workshop, and the scholarship I’m also raising money for here. But if you want the short version, here are 5 reasons to become a write-a-thon sponsor:
1. You’re intrigued by the idea of a write-a-thon. Is it like a marathon? Yes. Except without training, carbo-loading, and warm-ups. There is some stretching, though, as writing will put a crick in your neck.
2. You like getting things for free. Like PBS and NPR, I’m offering free gifts to people who pledge at different levels. You could get some free books, some cool jewelry, or your name in a story.
3. You fancy yourself a patron of the arts. You’ll totally have some bragging rights over your friends if you sponsor me. And if it turns out your friends are sponsoring me, too, you can always say “I pledged way more than you!” Well, only if you actually pledge more. And don’t you want to be more patronizing than your friends? (oh wait…)
4. You love science fiction, fantasy, and horror literature and want more of it. Donations go toward supporting the current and future students of Clarion West. Clarion and Clarion West students go on to do amazing stuff. See: Octavia Butler, Benjamin Rosembaum, Nisi Shawl, Cory Doctorow, Ted Chiang, Nalo Hopkinson, Kelly Link, and many, many more.
5. You believe that SF/F/H literature can only be improved by a greater diversity of voices. Clarion West is very committed to diversity amongst its students and instructors, and the Octavia E. Butler Scholarship provides financial support to writers of color who’ve been accepted at Clarion and Clarion West. Voices of color are very much under-represented in this field. By donating to this scholarship and this workshop, you’re doing something significant to correct that.
So there you go, the 5 best reasons I have for sponsoring me for the Write-a-thon. However, this isn’t about me, really — it’s about the students. If you sponsor me, you’re supporting them. If you help me reach my goal of raising $1000, you’re raising money for them. And hey, you don’t even have to sponsor me to be part of this. There are many, many writers who could use your pledges and encouragement to meet their writing and fundraising goals.
And there you have it. Please consider sponsoring. Also, tell someone I’m in a well. It’s damp down here.