Jumi Wants to Write

Telling you that I'm a writer feels quite like telling you my name. It's the hidden word that made room for itself between my first and last---it's hovering just on the tips of the tongue of the ones who know me best and it's just outside of the peripheral of those who've just begun to know me.  I've been writing since I learned how to write. Someone once said Writing loves a Writer the way that God loves a true devotee. I believe writing to be the cathedral for my soul. 

Please allow me to usher you into mine. All my stain glass windows are marigold. 

In college and high school, I was known as a go-to person for creative writing collectives. I mentored my friends and strangers alike. I published two books of poetry. I hosted open-mic nights. I did all this just so that anybody could have the same experience I had at fourteen; sitting in my middle school cafeteria, hearing slam poetry for the first time and realizing with razor sharp clarity that I wasn't alone. I knew then, as I know now, that being a writer was my Truth.  And I couldn't run from it. But like everything that truly matters to us, I was afraid. I was afraid that my writing wasn't good enough. I was afraid that my story wasn't worth telling. Things have changed. I'm older now. I'm an expatriate in Asia now.  I've been as far away from everything I've ever known as I could be and let me tell you, the grass is only as ever green as the side you wish to be on.  I've grown to realize that in order for me to find true meaning in this world, I need to share my writing and have it be my guide. 

So, a lot of things are happening that I'll need support with:

1. I've decided to write a novel about the experience of being an African-American traveler. 
2.  I'm applying for creative writing graduate school to study creative non-fiction.
3. I'm moving to one of the most concentrated literary cities in Asia so that I can join a writing community.

It's very difficult for me to so publicly ask for your support during this period of time because I'm a very proud person. But I'm also proud to have you in my life and so part of that is allowing you to be the supporters that I believe you already are.  The funds I'm requesting  will be directed towards an assortment of goals I hope to accompish:  writing mentorship for my writing portfolio, enrolling in online writing classes, attending summer/winter writing workshops and buying books from Amazon so that I can become more informed writer. 

The money you donate to support me will sign me up for classes with the Lighthouse Workshop based in Colorado, the Loft in Minneapolis, as well as my dream attendance at VONA, the only Writers of Color workshop anywhere, founded by Junot Diaz, one of my favorite writers of all time. 

It will help me not to be afraid to ask established authors to not only take a look at my work but advise me on how to improve my craft so that I can submit it for acceptance into the top creative writing programs in the country. I know that I owe myself this possibility.  

I would need the funds by the end of October 2016 to successfully be able to apply to graduate school this year but this is an ongoing project of mine so as the funds come in, I'll be using whatever donations I receive to subsidize my own costs. 

I know I'm supposed to tell you how thankful I'll be but I'm not sure there are words for the depth of emotion I know I will feel to receive each donation.  Every donation will mean a lot to me whether it is just $1 or $100.  The reception of such support is often a state of speechlessness.  

Thank you for taking the time to listen carefully to my dream.
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    • $30 
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    • $300 
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    • $20 
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    • $50 
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Organizer and beneficiary

Jumi Bello 
Columbia, MD
Toyin Bello 
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