Clarion West Write-a-Thon: Sponsor a Writer to Sponsor a Writer-to-Be
Posted on June 8, 2009 Posted by John Scalzi 16 Comments
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.
Even if you can only commit to giving a little, every donation counts. Click here to sign up! And thanks :)
And there you have it. Please consider sponsoring. Also, tell someone I’m in a well. It’s damp down here.
Don’t worry I’ve told Lassie and she will save you.
“Kodi! Scalzi’s in the well. Go get ‘im, girl.”
* ::sigh:: Again!?
I came, I read, I sponsored.
Perhaps Kodi should do her Lassie imitation and get someone to rescue you.
Now we come to the acid test of whether it’s better to have a cat or a dog. Which pet will save you first?
The cat, because they’re finicky about fresh meals.
I’m all for more diversity in literature of any genre — diversity of thoughts and ideas, diversity of subject matter, diversity of writing styles. All good things.
Diversity of “what the picture of the author in the back looks like” is a bit low on my list of things to care about, though.
Tempest is in MY MIND too!!! She’s telling me to go to 7-11 and buy a SLURPEE! NOOOOOOOO!!!!!
Oh, goody, it only took six comments to get to the “I support all sorts of diversity except that sort of diversity” post, which is always put in by well-meaning people not aware of the trolltastic qualities of such a statement.
Now that we’ve had it, everyone else who would feel obliged to post something similar to it can just not. That’s a hint.
(raises Mallet of Loving Correction)
“(raises Mallet of Loving Correction)”
You sure are awfully handy with that thing for someone trapped in a well.
Ask not for whom the well tolls, Mr Scalzi.
[Snipped because it’s trying to continue a line of discussion I already said didn’t need to be continued. As a side note, future attempts to continue said particular discussion in this thread will simply be vaporized — JS]
That’s one heck of a wireless hub you got there John. Reaches down to the bottom of the well with good signal strength and all that. This sounds like a “can you hear me now?” test that went horribly wrong.
I’m going to let you stay down there until Krissy wonders where you’re slacking off at now and comes looking for your damp self or you go ahead and post a picture of “her wonderful shining radiance” so Chang or not gets over his little snit.
On topic,checking with the CFO of the family for sponsoring limits in this fiscal year…
Hey! Those are MY pixels, not your or yours or yours. I paid for the electricity, and the phosphors, therefore I own the pixels, the screen, and all. Let’s all understand THAT! Not that cost of pixels is so very high… (compared to wood pulp).
Whether you donate to Tempest’s goal, to another writer’s write-a-thon goal, or just straight to Clarion West (or Clarion or Clarion South), I really do think it’s a great thing to do.
It’s tough to get into any of the Clarions. It’s even harder to get 6 weeks free to attend it. Those who do manage to have 6 weeks free are often those just out of school, between jobs, or in similar transition states. Transition states usually equate to very limited finances.
I was one of the Clarion students who needed some money. Most of us will pay it forward. This isn’t money being dropped in a well (the real reason Scalzi’s down there, scrounging around for coins and dubloons). It’s contributing to future science fiction and fantasy that we all get to read, and to the continued health and vitality of the Clarion workshops.
The workshops are not money-making ventures. They’re money-losing ventures without financial support from People Like You ™.
SCENE: Scalzi household.
KRISSY is doing something Awesome. Because that’s what she does.
KODI: Woof! Woof woof woof!
KRISSY: Hello, Kodi.
KODI: Woof woof!
KRISSY: What is it, boy?
KRISSY: Do you need your ears scratched? Is that it?
Krissy scratches Kodi’s ears.
KODI: Woof woof!
KRISSY: That’s not it? Do you need fed?
Krissy pours a bowl of dog food for Kodi. Kodi gobbles it down.
KODI: Woof woof woof!
KRISSY: Seconds? Well, okay.
Krissy pours more dog food. Kodi gobbles it down.
KODI: Woof woof!
KRISSY: What is it, boy? What are you trying to tell me?
Kodi turns his head and uses his teeth to take a piece of paper from a pocket — yes, Kodi has pockets; he’s a Very Special Dog* — and passes it to Krissy.
KRISSY: What’s this? A codicil to John’s will? “All the steaks in the freezer go to Kodi. None for the dumb cats.” Why is it signed with a pawprint?
JOHN SCALZI appears in the doorway. He is dripping wet.
KRISSY: John! What happened to you?
JOHN: I fell down a well. I sent someone for help, but no one ever showed up. I finally had to braid a rope from my own hair to get out.
KRISSY: Your own hair? But… but….
John steps slowly into the house, grimacing as he does so.
JOHN: Don’t ask. You’ll find out soon enough. Do we have any talcum powder?
*coming soon from Marvel Comics: X-DOG ULTIMATE
“Voices of color”? I guess that’s technically not a mixed *metaphor*, but it’s sure a mixed *something*.