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The Dzanc Write-a-thon

From Dzanc Books:

As you may know, Dzanc Books is a non-profit organization, established to not only publish great books, but to work nationally in set communities to provide writing workshops and year round programs for students and adults alike. These programs include our Dzanc Writer in Residency Programs, The Dzanc Prize, programs with the Ann Arbor Book Festival, author readings, single session and weekly session workshops which function in a slightly different capacity than our year-round DWIRPS.

With the economy coming completely off its rails, traditional means of raising funds – writing grants, corporate sponsorships, etc. – have become less successful. Here at Dzanc, we like to try and make raising money both as fun, and valuable, an experience as possible. With this in mind, we have come up with an alternative and interactive plan which we think not only furthers our mission but is something those participating in will enjoy. If it sounds like something you’d like to participate in, please email us at info@dzancbooks.org.

DZANC BOOKS WRITE-A-THON

The idea behind the write-a-thon will be similar to bowl-a-thons, or walk-a-thons, or, well you get the picture – other a-thons that you’ve probably supported or participated in during your lifetime, only with writing being the catalyst to the raising of funds. For one day, people will volunteer to write to help raise money, and they will ask people to fill out a donation sheet to support their efforts.

For volunteers

1. Thursday, December 17 thorugh Sunday December 20, 2009.

Last year we ran the write-a-thon on a single day and many authors were upset that they already had unbreakable plans for that date. This way if an author are available on any, or all, of the four dates, they can participate.

These will be the dates that those helping out Dzanc Books by raising money will be writing. Again I’m asking that you authors out there please consider being one of those that help us raise money that day. If you are interested, please email us at info@dzancbooks.org.

2. Dzanc Books will provide a donation request email for those authors participating.

3. Your sponsors will be able to make donation pledges through our website (this will be set up early next week) via Paypal, or if they prefer to donate by check, an address will be provided.

We will provide the sponsors with a tax receipt immediately this year – last year we used a mass emailing method after the event was over, and heard from some people well after the fact that they did not receive that email, so we will not use that same plan this year.

4. The mornings of the 17th through the 20th, we will send out a prompt or topic, and will post it on our website.

Writers will then spend the day writing stories, or poems, or essays, using that prompt or topic (this will give those sponsoring an understanding that the work done was all done on during the write-a-thon dates).

5. Those donating will be sent proof of your participation via email. We will send out the proof of participation notices beginning on Monday the 21st.

Our goal for this event, considering there are over 2000 writers in the Emerging Writers Network, is $20,000, or, an average of $10 raised per person. To put this in a proper context, that would pay for just under 3 full Dzanc Writer in Residence Programs, or the Dzanc Prize plus approximately 2 full DWIRPs. We will obviously be thrilled to find out after the fact that we were shortchanging ourselves with that goal. We do hope each and every member of EWN, and those who have become fans of Dzanc, will participate in our inaugural Write-A-Thon.

Your support means everything to us. We at Dzanc are truly trying to make a contribution through our charity programs and the works we publish, and while we are dedicated and diligent and will not fail in our intent, without your support, our efforts become increasingly difficult. We thank you in advance for joining us in our Write-A-Thon and your continual support of our programs and authors. Again, for those that wish to participate, or those who wish to donate but do not know of any writers that will be participating, please contact us at info@dzancbooks.org. Dzanc Books will also be giving a set of our Dzanc 2009 titles (from Mike Czyzniejewski’s story collection through Laura van den Berg’s collection) to the writer that raises the most money.

Thank you for your support.

John Madera's fiction may be found in Conjunctions, Opium Magazine, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His criticism may be found in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, John Madera lives in New York City, where he runs Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.

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