Last year, I went to the Clarion West workshop in Seattle. I learned lots. I wrote lots. I made some incredible friends, and found myself some mentors, too.
I think other people should be able to do that. But the costs aren’t covered completely by the funding that comes in from students and scholarships. Even with generous funds, like the Susan C. Petrey scholarship that sent me there, a lot of the work still ends up being done by volunteers, and running a world-class writing workshop is not cheap or easy.
So there’s a write-a-thon. I’ve committed to doing my bit. I’m going to write like a madman for the six weeks during which the students will be writing like madmen and madwomen.
My aim is to finish a draft of a novel proceeding from the end of my (currently 16,000-word) novella “Jjangguk and the Madman of Pyongyang.” If I finish that, I’ll write a couple of short stories to fill my quot or surpass it.
My official quota is 15,000 words a week, for six weeks, starting June 17th. I’m going to do my damnedest to fulfill that quota every week, barring injury.
What I need is for a few sponsors to commit to donating a certain amount of money to the workshop. It doesn’t have to be tons and tons. As the website listing all the writers involved says: “Donate what suits your budget — $1/week, $5/week, $20/week — or just a flat amount for the six weeks.” You only need to pay a pledged amount for the weeks I succeed, but my classmates can probably warn you, it’s unlikely I won’t write that much each week once I set my mind to it.
I’ll be submitting reports of my progress, at the very least weekly, and probably more like every day or two.
I’ll even go so far as to name characters after people who pledge, though you might have to settle for Koreanized versions of your name, or cameo roles — the story’s set in Korea. (Alternately, you could choose a name of your liking instead, or opt to have a character in a later story named after you.)
So, like, go on, and pledge for me. And by all means, for any of the other participating writers, but, wait, first, pledge for me! (Or you can promise to pledge, in a comment here, and I’ll come remind you later.)
Oh, by the way, the donations are tax deductible, as Clarion West is a 501(c)(3) organization. Does that mean it’s deductible in Canada? Um… I don’t know, but I could find out if someone cares!