Several days ago, Clarion West announced that Amazon has a matching funds grant. For every dollar Clarion West can raise until October 31, 2009, Amazon will match up to $25,000. This means that if I give Clarion West a hundred dollars, Amazon will give them a hundred dollars. If Microsoft gives them a thousand dollars, Amazon will give Clarion West a thousand dollars. This grant challenge can potentially raise $50,000.
You don’t need to give a lot of money. I think sometimes people don’t donate because they only have $5 or $10 to spare. But even if you do a dollar, it’s still money you’ve donated to a non-profit. It’s money that they didn’t have before. But think of it this way. Your dollar is actually two dollars because Amazon is going to match your funds. If every Clarion West former student donated a dollar, we’d have donated about $400. And Amazon will give $400, so CW will actually recieve $800.
Why should you donate? I don’t know. After all, it’s just a writing program right?
But this is why I’ll be donating. Clarion West is one of the few organizations where you can learn and interact with authors working in the field today. In the short six weeks that I was there, I learned a lot about writing and myself. I learned what I can do and what I could be capable of doing, where I need to go and what I need to do to get there.
I don’t know if I’d have ever published my first story had I not gone to CW because the inspiration for that story was for an anthology for Ellen Datlow. She didn’t take it, of course, but Asimov’s did. My tuition was subsidized by grants and donations. Though I did pay the bulk of it myself, the amount I did recieve was greatly appreciated. And if these grants allow someone to attend without worrying about how to pay for it, who knows, you may be paying the way for the next great SF author.
Clarion West is a non-profit, so your donation is tax-deductible. So if you can and if you’re willing, you can donate by check or paypal.