Staring June 26th, I’ll be writing my fingers raw as I try to raise some money to support a super worthy cause. I’m taking part in Clarion West’s 2023 Write-a-thon fundraiser, a six-week-long writing adventure. I hope you’ll consider supporting my efforts, but first, let me tell you a bit about Clarion West.
What Is Clarion West?
Clarion West is a nonprofit literary organization that runs an acclaimed six-week residential workshop every summer, online classes and workshops, one-day and weekend workshops, a reading series every summer, and other events throughout the year.
An offshoot of the original Clarion, which was founded in 1968 by Robin Scott Wilson at Clarion State College, Clarion West got its start in 1972 and has been running strong ever since. In 1987, it became a fully independent nonprofit organization. Its mission? To support emerging and underrepresented voices and foster greater equity and inclusion in the world of speculative fiction. That’s a mission I can get behind, because let’s face it. The speculative fiction world has been pretty white and male for a very long time, especially in the United States. As such, the culture surrounding the writing and publishing of speculative fiction has reflected some pretty unflattering and limiting prejudices about folks who weren’t/aren’t hetero white dudes. Things have been getting better, but there’s a lot of work left to do. Clarion West is committed to doing the work.
What Clarion West Does
Every summer, Clarion West hosts a six-week long residential writing workshop in Seattle, Washington. It’s a highly competitive program designed to offer participants a chance to make important industry connections while building a support network of community peers. Each week during the program, participants are joined by a respected author and/or editor who shares their experience and perspectives on the field of speculative fiction. Check out the lineup of folks who will be teaching seminars at this year’s workshop:
Clarion West also offers online workshops which is nice. Not everyone can put their jobs and families on pause for six-weeks to attend the in-person summer workshop (much as we might desperately want to).
Regardless of whether a writer takes part in the in-person or online workshops, though, the cost of running the workshops is not insignificant. Nonprofit thought it might be, Clarion West is expensive. Hey, no shade from me on that point, though. It costs a lot to do what they do. Hence their fundraising efforts, which brings me back to…
My Write-a-Thon Fundraising Adventures
This is my first time participating in the Write-a-thon. I have no idea what I’m doing. What goal should I set regarding how much money to raise? I don’t know. How does $1000 sound? Sure, why not?
But how to actually raise that money? Well, now I’m in foreign territory. What do I know about getting folks to open their hearts and wallets? To the internet, Batman! Time to do some research.
Turns out, folks are more likely to give up their hard-earned dough and make a donation when they know what they’re supporting. Details count. Clarion West does an amazing job of explaining their mission, but what about me? What am I doing during these next six weeks? Well, I’m writing of course. It’s called a “Write-a-thon” after all. But maybe people would like a few more specifics than just, “Er, uh, I’m gonna write some stuff and things.”
With that in mind, I created a fundraising page and got busy promoting the event. I announced my participation to my coworkers, sent a follow-up email asking for their support, and started pushing out announcements via my Instagram account.
I also set some measurable weekly writing goals, which I already shared in a previous post. If you want to know what my other very impressive and ambitious Write-a-thon goals are (and you totally do!) you’ll need to hop over to my fundraising page to read about them.
And yes, I’ve shared that link multiple times, because, duh, I’m trying to get folks to chip in and help me raise $1000 for an amazing organization with a amazing mission. To do that, I’ve got to get you over to where the “Donate” button lives. A bunch of excellent humans have already helped me get ⅓ of the way there, by the way. Don’t you want to help me get the rest of the way there? Of course you do!
Time to Shake the Moths Out of Your Wallet!
What are you waiting for? Show your support for Clarion West’s mission to strengthen the world of speculative fiction by nurturing emerging writers and underrepresented voices. CLICK HERE to make a donation of any amount during their fundraising event. Every dollar counts. Together, we can help bring new and diverse voices and perspectives to the speculative fiction world. Huzzah!!
As always, thanks for stopping by and happy writing to you.