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As I've mentioned in earlier posts, I'm a writer by choice. At work, I compose technical documentation and e-mails to customers. But when I'm at home, I code. When my stress levels aren't so high, I also work on furry fiction. Needless to say, I need my day job, but is consulting for a CRM-recognized value-added reseller, or VAR for those of you in the know, something that I love and want to do for the rest of my life?
Would you want to do it for the rest of your life?
If I could drop everything that I'm doing right now without consequences, and if money was no object, I would focus on writing furry fiction. The wonderful thing about the furry community is that most if not all of us do something creative and artistic as a hobby. As such, the furry writing community is welcoming and generally happy to lend a hand when it comes to writers trying to set their feet on the path to being successful and enjoying writing. If you have a story to tell, there's a place for it. But what happens if you find yourself getting stuck? What if you want your stories to be published not just on your personal sites, but with a publisher like FurPlanet, Sofawolf Press, or Rabbit Valley Comics? What happens if you want to grow your skills and self-study isn't enough?
If one was writing in a mainstream genre, such as romance, mystery, or speculative fiction, a number of workshop options would be available. At these workshops, participants would critique each other's works, discuss their stories with instructor-writers from their fields, and focus their efforts on their stories while in a distraction-free (or at least minimized) environment. Say "Clarion" to someone in the fiction writing community and you'll see a glimmer of recognition in their eyes.
But what about a furry-specific, high-intensity, high-focus workshop?
Turn the clock back to 2015 when myself and four other crazy people decided that it was time for furry to have an intense-experience residential writing workshop specifically for furry writers. Before then, no residential furry writing workshops existed. Since then, the Regional Anthropomorphic Writers' Retreat has provided instruction, knowledge, and social networking to eleven writers at a competitive cost. We've also had the kindness of two phenomenal instructors and amazingly patient judges to help us continue to develop and make the workshop and great experience for writers in the furry fandom.
So, where does the RAWR Write-a-Thon come into play?
Running a workshop costs money: paying for a venue, web hosting services, advertisement, e-mail services, payment processing, and other fees eat up much of the money raised for the event. While the attendees pay for a large portion of the event specific costs, administrative functions, like advertisement and a website, are funded due to the kindness of the community.
The RAWR Write-a-Thon, a Clarion Write-a-Thon inspired event, is spearheaded by Christopher Williams aka "Sparf". The Write-a-Thon aims to help raise money to keep attendance costs low, pay for administrative overhead such as the website and advertising, and to allow for some small amount of future growth investment. Future growth investment supports initiatives such as guest lecturers and instructors, providing financial aid, and/or paying for instructor travel, if needed.
The RAWR Write-a-Thon functions a lot like a walk-a-thon except that instead of volunteers collecting pledges to walk a certain number of miles, writers volunteer to collect pledges, which go toward funding the workshop, and promise to work on a project, such as a short story, editing, writing blog posts, &c.
At the moment, I'm working on instructional articles for the SpinDizzy MUCK Wiki, specifically, the Built-In Command documentation. I'm aiming to collect up to $200 dollars this pledge cycle, but I would like to collect more. I will work on at least twenty (20) articles, each article documenting an individual command available on the SpinDizzy MUCK. Should I run out of commands to document, I will work on a short story named Chosen, a science fiction short story set in the Dark Quanta continuity. There's a good chance I will switch to working on this story during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) if I'm finished with my documentation goal by then.
I'm also offering funds matching on donations from any source, dollar-for-dollar, up to $200.
The current session of the RAWR Write-a-Thon lasts through December 1, 2017. If you're interested in participating as a writer, you can sign up through the RAWR Write-a-Thon website. If you want to donate to the Write-a-Thon, you can use my donation link.
In summary, what is RAWR? It's a chance for furry writers to improve their skills, make connections, and learn from experienced writers who've elected to take time out of their busy schedules to instruct, critique, and provide one-on-one coaching to the participants. It's a unique opportunity and the only experience of its kind in the fandom to date.
What is the RAWR Write-a-Thon? It's a vehicle for making sure future furry writers have a chance to make the plunge and go to a workshop designed for and with them in mind.
How do you help? Support the workshop by donating to the Write-a-Thon, or during any part of the year. Participate and gather pledges. Write something and raise awareness of the workshop and the Write-a-Thon.
Thanks, and be well!