Yes, that’s right my friends, I’m coming to America. Just like this guy:
Okay, maybe not exactly like Prince Akeem, but very close. And I’ll take with me all the lessons I learned from watching the movie.
- If you want to meet a future Queen, you go to Queens. (duh!)
- New Yorkers are ready to steal everything you own at every moment. Unless you’re in a barber shop. Barber shops are super friendly.
- Eddie Murphy’s smile is bigger than his face.
But enough of that.
So, I’m coming to America. To be more specific, I’m coming to Salem, Massachusetts. To be even more specific, I’m coming to Salem, Massachusetts to attend the Writer Unboxed Un-Conference from Monday November 3rd to Friday November 7th.
Now, I’ve talked about Writer Unboxed here before. I’ve mentioned the blog (Look, it’s right over there => on the blogroll!), and I’ve talked about the Facebook group. Both of which are awesome. I’ve been an active member of the FB group for a few years now, and an active participant on the blog, and so when I heard about the Un-Conference, I decided there was nothing more important in the world than for me to attend this not-a-conference-conference.
And then, you know, my life imploded and changed significantly, and I found myself a single mother, living in a caravan with two small boys, with little to no income. And I had to regretfully admit that I just couldn’t afford to goto the Salem this November. With flights, insurance, accommodation, meals, conference fees, childcare arrangements, and the need to eat actual food (rather than just dine on the writerly ambience), the price was going to run to thousands of dollars.
No, seriously, put them away. Because just at the point where I was feeling a bit like having a wallow in my own misery — and bemoaning the fact I live in FutureLand, rather than downtown Salem — a team of Superheroes came to the rescue.
A group of online friends — all of them women writers — decided to take matters into their own hands and do whatever it took to get me to that conference. And not just me. There were five of us in all. Five of us who desperately wanted to attend, but just couldn’t get there for financial reasons. And we all have a few things in common.
- We’re all writers. (Obviously.)
- We’re all women.
- We all have small children.
- We are all passionately involved in helping and supporting our fellow writers.
- We all have the bestest friends in the whole entire universe.
And thus, the WriterMamas fundraiser was born.
And this is where you come in, my dear friends. You see, at the time of writing this, we’re about halfway to our fundraising goal. Halfway. Which means that, at the moment, when I board that plane in November, I’ll be thrown out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. And I’m not much of a swimmer.
If I’m lucky, I’ll find an island nearby. A few days later, I’ll look like this:
Yes, beard and all. What happens on the island, stays on the island.
So if you’d like to prevent me from turning into a grizzled, mostly-naked man with nothing but a volleyball and my own psychosis for company, please jump on board the WriterMamas fundraiser.
There are four ways you can help.
1. Make a Donation
It’s pretty simple. Pop on over to the WriterMamas GiveForward page and make a donation. Even if all you can spare is $5, we would all appreciate it. I would appreciate it. I really don’t want to be stuck on a remote island, slowly turning into Tom Hanks…
Of course, you’re welcome to donate more than $5. Any and all donations are gratefully accepted.
2. Buy The Successful Author’s Toolkit
Okay, this is an absolutely awesome parcel of writer’s resources for a fantastic price. All of these products have been donated to the WriterMamas fundraiser by the authors, so 100% of the price you pay goes straight towards helping me avoid a long and lonely swim in the Pacific Ocean. The Toolkit includes:
- “Got High Concept?” by Lori Wilde
- “Writing Active Setting” boxed set by Mary Buckham
- “Rock Your Writing” complete set by Cathy Yardley (including her never-before-released marketing course)
- “Write. Publish. Repeat” by Sean Platt and Johnny Truant
- “A Writer’s Guide to Blogging” by Dan Blank
- “Your First 1000 Copies” by Tim Grahl (including a usually not-for-sale bonus podcast)
- “Prowriter: Secrets of an Author Entrepreneur” course by CJ Lyons and Joanna Penn
- “The Career Novelist” by Donald Maass
- BONUS: 50% off Cathy Yardley’s amazing editing service on a single project
- BONUS: Live chat or phone call with Shelley Souza, an experienced editor, to discuss the first five pages of your manuscript.
The whole package retails at well over $200 — and that’s not even taking into account the bonus offers — but it’s available as part of this fundraiser for $100. Go and read more about each of the resources here. And then buy the toolkit, either for yourself or for a deserving writer friend.
3. Buy cool Writer Unboxed merchandise
This fundraiser has inspired some of the most amazing people to dive in and help. And so you can buy cool caps and t-shirts, and all the profit goes back to making sure I don’t have to spend the next two months practicing my breaststroke.
Check out these great baseball caps, available for a limited time for $30.
Or, if you’re not into baseball caps, you can pick up a limited edition Writer Unboxed t-shirt for only $23. Don’t they look amazing?
4. Spread the Word
Seriously, tell everyone. Share this blog post. Share the individual links. Tweet them, FB them, G+ them, Pinterest them, scrawl them on bathroom walls, do whatever the cool kids are doing with links these days. Go crazy and tell your friends in person. Sky-write it. Shout it from the rooftops.
If you’re not interested in writing books or merchandise, and you can’t or don’t want to donate, that’s okay. You can still help just by clicking a few buttons. Spread the word.
Any other ideas?
And if you’ve got any other fundraising ideas, hit me up in the comments.
I am ever so grateful to the original organisers of the WriterMamas fundraiser, to all the other people who’ve come on board in the last few weeks and turned this dream into an almost-reality, and to everyone who has already donated, purchased, and shared the love. Without friends like you, the world would be a darker place.
And with that little piece of nostalgia, how can you do anything else but help?
I assure you, you’ll make me smile even bigger than Eddie Murphy. And that’s no small task.