Saturday, March 21, 2015
A Little Help From Our Friends
Once again I'm trying something new to see how it turns out. Here goes...
It's come to the point where I have to reach a decision. I very much love running contests and helping authors come together with agents. You might say I'm addicted to it. It's so gratifying to have a blog that people visit when they are doing something other than writing. Interacting on twitter and meeting new writers is so much fun. There's nothing I like better than being able to help.
And speaking of help, I also love my day job working with children, specifically special needs children. I want to go on doing this forever!
Unfortunately, we don't always get what we want as the Rolling Stones said.
It's time for a decision. Due to various economic influences, I've started a donation campaign to see if I can continue doing what I love. The hard facts of life are I either have to do this or cut back on my activities. Let me lay out the facts.
As you can guess, hosting contests and doing daily posts on this blog as well as writing my own stories is very time consuming. During a submission week I can easily spend thirty hours just on contest work. Even a mini-contest like the Picture Book Party takes so much time to coordinate, not to mention answering questions and finding agents. There's no way I could manage that and still have time to write with two jobs. True, most contest host have day jobs. One I have managed. Two would be impossible.
A (very) little background information:
-I'm an aide, not a teacher.
-I don't get paid over the summer.
-My school system is in a pinch. They expect to be twenty million in the red in the next few years. We have numerous leaks in our building roof that they can't afford to fix. Needless to say, they haven't given raises in seven years. Seven years at basically the same pay.
-Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (which I support), my hours were cut back a year ago by over ten percent, reducing my pay further.
It's only fair to my Hubs and family that I do more than I am. Especially with two kids heading to college this fall. It's seek out donations to support my blog or take a second job.
Rather than require a fee of ten dollars to enter my contests, thus making helping me out mandatory, I'd rather see how a crowd funding campaign for my contests and blog goes.
What I have to offer:
-Numerous contests per year: Query Kombat, Nightmare on Query Street, New Agent, Sun versus Snow, PB Party, other mini-contests. I also take part in Pitchslam and PitchWars.
-Mentors from those contests providing feedback.
-Various giveaways of new books
-Critique workshops and Critique blog hops to help with query letters and first pitches.
-Posts with Advice for Querying Writers
-Posts with Editing Advice on such things as filtering and plot holes
-A newsletter giving early notice of submission dates for contests
-Inspirational posts from guest authors about their Call with agents
-Interviews about query slush from over thirty agents
Just in the last month, four former contest picks of mine have signed with agents. Last year's Query Kombat had almost ten success stories alone. That doesn't include all the writers who have met and found critique partners from my twitter parties.
My current contest drew 200 entries in less than a minute. The contest before that closed in under four minutes. Writers recognize the value of these contests.
I promise one hundred percent of any donations will go toward expenses that keep me working for you, such as electricity for my laptop, a roof over my head, internet to keep blogging. It will not be used for buying books or going out to dinner or anything frivolous.
This was not an easy decision, nor a happy one. If you have entered one of my contests or plan to in the future I'd love your support. If you find my blog a valuable resource and wish to see it continue in full, consider helping out. This is totally your choice. I'll do my best to continue as much as I can of my activities no matter what because I love being your cheerleader so much.
Sometimes we all need a little help from our friends.
Thank you everyone, and I hope I haven't offended anyone--but no one is perfect. Everyone is free to disagree with my choice, respectfully.
I'll add a discrete donation button in my sidebar, but until then here is the link to donate.