There are just two days left in the fundraiser for the Octavia E. Butler scholarship. Over on the Carl Brandon blog I provided folks with 5 excellent reasons to support the scholarship either by buying tickets to win an eReader or autographed book or buy donating directly (as Jeff Vandermeer just did). Here’s a taste:
3. from Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, 2009 Butler Scholar and Clarion West alum:
“I remember telling people about how receiving the Butler Scholarship made me feel like my dreams had been given wings. …[Without it], the chances of me attending Clarion West would have been close to zero.
To me, being given that scholarship was like receiving word that there were people who believed in me and in the stories that I had to tell. There were people who believed that what I had to say was something worth saying and something worth listening to. This knowledge inspires me even now that I am far away from all the beloved people who inspired me and who continue to inspire me. Each time I sit down to write, I think of the people who support the Butler scholarship and there aren’t enough words to say how thankful I am for you. You may not be aware of it, but in my darkest moments, the knowledge that you believed in me has kept me here.”
5. from Jeff Vandermeer, author and Clarion instructor:
“The Clarion workshop is important for reasons that go beyond the value of in-depth workshopping from six different experienced instructors and talks by other guests that provide talented beginners with the tools to improve their writing.
It is also important career-wise because many of the instructors can be of use in shortening the path to publication through sharing of contacts, resources, and leverage. Many instructors also aren’t just writers but editors, which is also of use. In addition, the connect to and comraderie with fellow students will, over time, mean more than being part of a community, since many Clarion students go on to have full-on writing careers.
Therefore, in short Clarion is partially about access, and lack of access for talented writers due to monetary concerns is something that diminishes the field and makes it even harder for talent to win out.”