For those of you who may not know me, my name is M. Shaw and I'm a writer. Specifically, I write fiction and nonfiction in a vein best described as "Millennial Gothic," and am also a nationally competing slam poet. Most of it is pretty weird and offbeat. In fact, Fangoria
magazine once said that my work "should not be as compelling a read as it was."
This spring, I got accepted into the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers' Workshop
, which is a huge deal for me. You can follow the link to learn more about Clarion, but basically it's the "premier proving and training ground for aspiring writers of science fiction, fantasy, and horror" (their words). Many of my favorite writers are graduates of the program, and there's a good chance some of yours are too.
For me, it's the opportunity of a lifetime. I've been writing since I was 16; now, when I'm about to turn 34, I've finally found a way to get the kind of mentorship and community around genre writing that I've been seeking all along. The workshop is from the last week in June to the first week in August, and I couldn't be more excited.
The difficulty is that we live in late capitalism, and even with both me and my spouse working, it's impossible for us to afford this kind of professional development without help.
How much help do I need? Well, as much as I can possibly get. The money situation right now is... bad. I can't realistically do any of this out of pocket, and the workshop is 6 weeks long, during which I won't be able to work. I'm looking at:
- $5,150 tuition.
- Probably around $1,200 for transportation, food, and other routine expenses.
- A few hundred extra to buy a laptop (bringing the desktop computer with me would be impractical, and would leave Sera without a computer for 6 weeks).
Adding it all together, you can see I've set the fundraising goal at "cover the entire cost." This feels ambitious, especially for someone who has a lot of trouble asking for help in general (me). What it comes down to is that the one thing that would make me happier than being able to attend Clarion, at this point in my life, is being able to do it without going into debt.
The Millennial Dream, right? Getting there may be a long shot, but I figure it's as good a goal as any. And, really, any help I can get is welcome and very much appreciated.