So, I’m doing the Clarion West Write-a-Thon this summer. I started a week ago, and was meaning to post about it, but I got busy, so I’m posting now instead. I need sponsors, because trust me, I’m writing my ass off.
What’s a Write-a-thon?
Like a marathon, except instead of running, you write and write and write. The money raised goes to the Clarion West Workshop.
Sign me up!
Cool! You can sponsor me here! Just follow that link and click on Sponsor Gord Sellar.
How will I know if you finish your writing pledge?
I’ll be posting weekly updates on this blog, tagged Clarion West Write-a-thon 2014, so you can see my progress by following that tag. Plus, see below.
First I have some questions…
Cool, fire away!
What’s Clarion West?
Think of it as a kind of boot camp for genre fiction writers.
In six weeks, you go from a self-doubting bowl of jello sludge to a self-doubting bowl of jello sludge armed with all the tools to be a pro writer (even if, like any power tools, it takes some learning to figure them all out).
Why do they need to raise money?
Because workshops run off money. It’s that simple. People who attend pay tuition and room & board, but their fees don’t and can’t cover everything. This workshop is run by a charitable organization, and one way they raise money is through charitable donations.
So why are you doing this?
I went to Seattle for Clarion West in 2006. It was an excellent experience for me, and helped me figure out what I needed to do to become a professional writer: problems in my writing, yes, but also all the other stuff that writers typically don’t know about but need to know or be able to do. I sold my first stories a little more than a year after the workshop, and appeared in a Year’s Best collection and was a finalist for a major award three years after. So… it did a lot for me.
So what are you writing?
My goal, as of a week ago, is to draft the remaining 72,000-odd words of my current writing project, a novel about brewers, gin distillers, alchemists, political radicals, and sentient yeast from space… set in London in 1736, at the height of the Gin Craze.
I’ve been working on this book–in terms of historical research, background, outlining, and drafting the first third of the book–off and on–for about a year. This summer, I’m writing the remainder of it.
I will also be working on other side projects, but they’re not part of my goals. I’ll track them just to show you I’m serious about this being a write-a-thon, but my solid goal is those 72,000 words.
Wait, you said “A week ago”?
That’s right. The write-a-thon has been going for a week now. I meant to post this earlier, but I was busy writing like a madman.
Here’s a progress report. In the past week, I’ve:
- Written 13,100-ish words on the novel
- Written 3,000 words on an unrelated nonfiction project
- Written 1,000 words on an unrelated short fiction project
- Revised unrelated three short stories and submitted them to short story markets.
- Various blog posts detailing my research and findings in relation to early Georgian brewing and distilling, society, culture, crime, and the geography of early Georgian London. (Some will be posted in the coming week.)
That means I’m very much on-track in terms of goals, and actually am getting much more done (in terms of side projects) than I expected. So far, anyway. It also means I should be able to get the novel finished, at least, even if I cannot continue at the current rate.
So what’s in it for me?
Well, if you’re paying taxes in America, there is that 501(c)(3) charitable status thing. You can get a tax receipt. I don’t pay taxes in America so I don’t know about that, but there’s more info here.
However, it’s customary for sponsors to get a little something else. But I don’t really have anything to give away (all my stuff is in storage overseas, and most of my contributor’s copies for recent publications are at my mother’s house in Canada)… heck, I don’t really even have access to a functional postal system, right now, in terms of sending out books.
So that requires a little creativity. My giveaways include tuckerization–that is, folding a real person into a story, either by name or by description of his or her appearance–and other fun stuff.
- The top sponsor gets to pick a person to be tuckerized into the book: this includes the name and the appearance of the person, and is limited only by feasibility.1
- The next three highest-pledging sponsors will get their choice of:
- A lesser tuckerization: your favorite English pub, one first or family name, or a place in early Georgian London (in 1736) if you’re crazy enough to have a locale in Hogarth’s London in mind. Or,
- One 500 word text in modern English of their choosing, written by me: a love letter, a rhyming poem in their honor, a stern letter to an editor, a pornographic satire of their choosing, batshit crazy political manifesto, etc.
- One 300-word text in Georgian English (spelling and orthography, but I warn you, I’m not an expert).
I’m also kicking around one more prize idea, but I’ll add that next week, in my update, so check back for more.
1. Note: the setting is fixed as early Georgian London, and the cast is mostly English brewers, distillers, alchemists, and (proto-feminist) political radicals. Georgian London had a reasonable number of Affricans (“with two ffs if you please”, some living as freemen and freewomen and others as runaway slaves) but not so many East-Asians. (The major waves of Chinese migration to England began in the 19th century, for example.) Therefore, if the name/resemblance you choose proves impossible to tuckerize in this book, I will pledge to use it in my next major writing project, which will be set in a more modern, globalized milieu.