41 days of writing. Want a piece of that?

The Clarion West Writers Workshop Write-a-thon is about to begin! Please consider sponsoring me as I commit to write — and post — something new every day for 41 days.

What’s a Write-a-thon? Imagine a combination of NaNoWriMo and a walk-a-thon. Writers sign up to participate; we set a writing goal; we recruit sponsors to donate to Clarion West; and then we write for six weeks, from June 19 to July 29. It’s a great way to get some work done and help raise money for a great organization. (There’s more information on Clarion West at the end of this post, for those of you who aren’t familiar with it.)

This year, instead of working on a Sacred Precious No You Can’t Look Because It’s A Work In Progress And It Will Melt, Melt! project, I’ve decided to write something I can share every day.

Here’s the deal: Before I turn to my current writing project or my editing work for the day, I will write something short and brand new. I think of it as “priming the pump,” and as my chance to throw out ideas and see what sticks. These pieces will not be stories: they will be conversations, scenes, moments, ideas. Perhaps they’ll be seeds for new work down the road, perhaps they’ll simply be what comes out of my writing brain that day. Some of them will probably suck (grin). I think some will probably be pretty good. Whatever comes up, it’s my goal to stretch with these pieces, and perhaps explore new territory in my work.

I’ll post my writing here every day, and will be cross-posting to Sterling Editing, where I’ll be encouraging people to practice their editing skills on me.

And you can get in on the game! If you’re willing to pledge $35 or more to Clarion West, you can provide a prompt for a day’s writing: an object, an idea, a thought. I’ll write something based on that, and dedicate it to you. (Please note, I’m not accepting Tuckerization requests because these won’t be complete stories.)

I hope you’ll consider sponsoring me in the Write-a-thon for any amount that feels good to you — every single dollar counts, and no donation is too small. I am grateful for any support you care to give.

And if you’re a writer, please also consider participating! You can set any goal you want: start a project, finish one, or simply recommit to writing for 10 minutes every day. It’s a chance for all of us to write together, and to keep each other strong. That’s worth a million bucks, in my opinion.

And this just in: Nicola has said that if I can raise $2,000 for Clarion West, she just might do some naked writing too. Now wouldn’t that be fun? (You over there, go get some soap and wash out your mind!)

Thank you. Enjoy your day.

(Edited to clarify that although I’ve set the bar at $35 for the custom prompt, I am grateful for any support at any level from $1 up. Every single dollar makes a difference!)

About the Clarion West Writers Workshop

For nearly 30 years, Clarion West has helped emerging writers of speculative fiction kickstart their professional lives. Every year, we select 18 writers to attend our six-week intensive residential writing workshop. Each week, a different professional writer or editor leads daily workshopping, offers additional lectures and private conferences, and gives a public reading of their own work. We encourage students to write a new story every week, and to stretch as far as they possibly can.

It’s a transformative experience for many writers.

CW graduates have gone on to great careers and have won every major award in speculative fiction. CW is committed to expanding the field of SF to include women writers, writers of color, and LGBT writers. Our instructors are the best writers and editors in the field, and have included Chuck Palahniuk, Octavia Butler, Ursula K. Le Guin, George R. R. Martin, Karen Joy Fowler, Samuel R. Delany, Cory Doctorow, Joanna Russ, Greg Bear, Nancy Kress, and many more.

I’m the Board Chair of Clarion West, and both Nicola and I have taught at the workshop.

The Write-a-thon is CW’s biggest fundraising activity of the year. Last year, 75 writers signed up. This year, CW has set a stretch goal of 100 writers participating. If you’re a writer, we hope you’ll consider being one of them. If you’re a reader of speculative fiction, we hope you’ll consider sponsoring one of the fine writers who are participating. Do you know a writer? Persuade him or her to sign up, and then support their work with a donation to Clarion West!

3 thoughts on “41 days of writing. Want a piece of that?”

    1. @ Jennifer, thank you!

      @ElaineB, and thank you too! But please email me at kelley (at) kelleyeskridge (dot) com so that I know which donor is really you (smile) and what you would like your writing prompt to be.

      I really appreciate the support, thank you both very much.

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