If you are, or know, a writer….

15 June 2012

… do come join the Clarion West Write-a-thon as a participant!

NOW would be good (smile). As I write this, 178 writers are participating. If we recruit another 22 writers in the next 36 hours, Clarion West wins a $2,000 challenge grant from a group of donors.

That’s a lot of money for a small nonprofit. And you — yes, you over there in the corner who isn’t sure you have time, or that you have a story to tell, or that you’re a “real” writer — well, no one has time, and we all have a story, and you’ll never know whether you’re a real writer until you do your 10,000 hours of writing. You can do some of those hours in the next six weeks. So come, come on this adventure!

Why sign up? Oh, my goodness, the reasons. You commit to a writing goal for six weeks. You recruit sponsors (one or one hundred, it’s up to you!) who donate to Clarion West in support of your writing, your goals. In support of you as a writer.You work like a banshee because people spent money to provide you with encouragement. And you by jesus write something wonderful. Something that surprises you, pleases you, frightens you with its possibilities, makes you weep, makes you proud.

The Write-a-thon isn’t just “writing.” It’s a chance to rock your own world and help other writers at the same time. You help by being part of the six-week community on Facebook and Twitter (@ClarionWest and hashtag #writeathon) for updates, encouragement, and chats with other writers. You help by encouraging donations to one of the world’s best writing workshops in any genre. And you help yourself by writing. By reaching.

Summer is a season of open skies and freedom from constraint. Most of us have constraints nonetheless, but for the next six weeks, let’s be summer writers.

Please come join us! And please spread the word to writers you know. Register by the end of the day (Pacific time) Saturday, June 16 to begin creating your Write-a-thon page!

Enjoy your day.


5 Responses to “If you are, or know, a writer….”

  1. rhbee on June 17th, 2012 8:39 am

    I signed up to write and was accepted but now find no direction as to what happens next. What is a shadow workshop? Why is my name/picture missing from the writer’s list? How does this process wor? I already am writing every day so where does Clarion West come in?

  2. rhbee on June 17th, 2012 8:41 am

    Sorry to sound so grumpy about this but I . . . expected more.

  3. Kelley on June 17th, 2012 8:57 am

    I don’t understand why you signed up for this without knowing what it is. I’m sorry you’re grumpy about it.

    The Write-a-thon is a fundraising event for Clarion West, as explained in my earlier post about it. Writers sign up, set a writing goal, and recruit sponsors who are willing to support them in meeting those goals by donating to Clarion West. Like a walk-a-thon, this event raises money for the organization by giving participants a goal to meet and public accountability for meeting it. We do this event during the same six weeks as the physical Clarion West workshop happens in Seattle, in order that people not attending the workshop can still share some of the excitement and rigor of that process.

    By “sign up,” I assume you mean that you took the first step of creating an account. Those registrations must be verified in order to prevent spambots from registering. I believe it explained on the signup page that you would receive verification of your account, and then could proceed to create your page. That process can take time.

    I don’t know when you registered, but the cutoff was yesterday. Assuming you have made the cutoff, when your account is verified, you will be given the opportunity to create a page similar to those that already exist, with writing goals, photo, etc. Perhaps if you review some of those pages, you will have a better understanding of the kinds of goals people set, and why they are participating in this event in order to support Clarion West.

    If you believe that I or Clarion West have miscommunicated with you about the process, then I apologize. If you do not want to participate in a six-week event in which you set writing goals and acquire sponsors for Clarion West, then I will help you withdraw your registration. If you do decide to continue, then I and the rest of the organization will be grateful for your support.

  4. rhbee on June 17th, 2012 9:08 am

    Actually I said “sound so grumpy”. Meanwhile, I did receive verification of acceptance and did set up my account and profile page with picture, the puzzlement comes from what is supposed to follow? I read the FAQ for 2011, I went to the forum and saw one other post which I responded to, still where is the explanation for “how this works”. I already have two sponsors, I want to participate but where and how are the mystery. Where do I post stuff I’m working on and want feedback for?

  5. Kelley on June 17th, 2012 10:06 am

    Ah, I see the misunderstanding. There is no automatic workshop component to the Write-a-thon. You are not participating in a workshop; you are setting goals (stretch goals, if possible, in the spirit of the workshop itself) and participating in the community of other writers who will share information, encouragement, etc. You are welcome to post your work on your own blog, on Facebook, or on a community writing site, if you want to make it public. But this is not a “write and get instructor feedback” experience. It is an opportunity for writers to have the support of a community, and of sponsors, to get work done, while supporting a cause they believe in (Clarion West).

    If you read some of the other writer’s Write-a-thon pages, you’ll see that some of them are offering to share work with sponsors, and some are posting work publicly on their own blogs (as I did last year). Other people are simply writing.

    We have an active Twitter community and a Facebook page where you can interact with other participating writers. And the forums generally get more active as people get into the swing.