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Clarion West Write-a-thon Meets Mount Kilimanjaro

June 26, 2018
Mount Kilimanjaro Photo by Muhammad Mahdi Karim - June 1, 2009

Mount Kilimanjaro (Photo credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim – June 1, 2009)

I’m pretty sure no one in the history of the Clarion West Write-a-thon has made this offer to potential sponsors: I will take a picture of your picture on Mount Kilimanjaro in exchange for a sponsorship pledge.

You must have questions. Or maybe you don’t. Maybe your mind just filled with the thought of having your picture travel to Africa and be carried in my backpack at least most of the way up Mount Kilimanjaro. You’ve thought of all the interesting sights your picture will see without any negative high altitude effects. Now, all you can think is GIVE ME THE LINK TO THIS AMAZING OPPORTUNITY.

Here’s the link to my Clarion West Write-a-thon sponsorship page including sponsorship levels.

I attended Clarion West in the summer of 2017. Clarion West is a 6-week residency program for science fiction and fantasy writers. Every year, eighteen people attend the program. At least a hundred others, many of them volunteers, make it happen. Clarion West students are taught by a different science fiction and fantasy author each week. My teachers were Daryl Gregory, Kij Johnson, John Chu, Connie Willis, Daniel José Older, and Pat Cadigan. They were amazing! There’s a special place in my heart for each and every one of them.

Clarion West Class of 2017

Clarion West Class of 2017 Featuring Kij Johnson (Photo credit: M. Huw Evans, June 2017)

The lessons were wide-ranging. My writing shifted and clarified in a positive way that otherwise might have taken me many years to accomplish. The friendships I formed were numerous — with classmates, teachers, administrators, volunteers, sponsors, and anyone who was a friend of Clarion West. The kindness of the Clarion West community was overwhelming. I had never felt so supported and encouraged by so many strangers for so long a time period as I did in those six Clarion West weeks during the summer of 2017.

Now, I feel supported and encouraged in the same way, except the other members of the Clarion West community are no longer strangers. Meanwhile, over the last year, my classmates have published many dozens of short stories and non-fiction pieces. They’ve been nominated for awards, including a Nebula and a Hugo! Several are in the process of getting novels published. Master of Fine Arts degrees are in the process of being acquired. Others are teaching and studying and reading and otherwise improving their craft.

Andrea and Nunataks in Alaska

Andrea and Nunataks in Alaska

Clarion West administrators say they operate on a shoestring budget. I looked at that budget, and I was amazed to see that the whole operation costs just $200,000. That’s everything Clarion West does throughout the year, plus a 6-week residency program for eighteen students! Ten percent of the Clarion West budget comes from the Write-a-thon, which I’m participating in this year to help future students attend Clarion West and to give back to the community.

I’ll be on a trek up Mount Kilimanjaro during Write-a-thon time. The novella I’m working on should be mostly done before I start the trek (it better be!) so I’m offering some Kilimanjaro-related sponsorship levels:

  • For a $10 pledge, I will take a picture of your picture chilling at Mount Meru camp before the hike begins. 
  • For a $25 pledge, I will take a picture of your picture at either Shira Plateau (elevation 13,000 feet) or on Mount Meru (elevation 14,977 feet) with Kilimanjaro in the background. 
  • For a $50 pledge, I will take a picture of your picture at all 3 locations listed above. 

There’s more information including picture acquisition details on my pledge page.

Sponsor me, and give a picture of you the opportunity of a lifetime.

No Sharks Were Harmed in the Making of this Picture of a Picture

No Sharks Were Harmed in the Making of This Picture of a Picture

 

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