Calling All Writers! A Relief Project?

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JennaGlatzer

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UPDATE: If you're looking for the submission guidelines, they're here: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=314599&postcount=46



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So I was thinking about what we could do, as a group, to help with the relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina victims.

I thought about Uncle Jim and how he's raised a few hundred dollars for the SFWA's medical emergency funds with Atlanta Nights, and thought-- hey-- we could do something similar, but with actual good writing.

The thought is:

An anthology, which we can release through Lulu at no cost.

We donate 100% of the proceeds to the Red Cross.

Open call-- anyone can participate. If we limit submissions to about 1000 words, then 50-75 writers could easily join in.

Now, the theme...

I've had a few thoughts on what the theme of the anthology could be. My first thought was humor, but then I thought, "Well, is that really appropriate, considering the book will be used for disaster relief?" My second thought was "Stories of Hope." Cheesy title, but a more appropriate theme. Could encompass personal stories of overcoming difficult odds, or inspirational messages in general. Third thought: flash fiction. Fourth thought: "What gives my life meaning."

Anyone have better thoughts? This is not a "bookstore book"-- if we go through Lulu (and I think we should, to get it out quickly), it'll be sold primarily online, and we'd need people to link to it on their sites, blogs, etc. to draw attention to it.

What we'd need, in addition to submissions:

-One volunteer to put out the call for submissions on several sites.

-Two-three editors to go through the submissions and do developmental editing

-One-two copy editors

-As many volunteers as possible to spread the word after the book is released.

Thoughts? Suggestions?
 
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Unique

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I think it's a great idea, Jenna. I'll volunteer for any job you'd have me to do.
 

JennaGlatzer

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Bless you gorgeous people. :)

What do you all think of the themes? I'd love to get that decided ASAP so we can move on this.
 

Andrew Dugan

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My acting class (and "improv troupe") is going to perform a play, do an evening of improvisation, and set up a school-wide talent show, with all money going to New Orleans and Biloxi.

I'm definitely in the mood to help.

One thousand words may be hard to limit myself to, but that's all right.

As far as the theme goes? "Stories of hope" sounds decent. I'd be fine with it. :)

EDIT: I'm going to circulate this idea around my school, too, to either get the writers I know to join this one or to start a more regional anthology.

Great idea, Jenna.
 
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WVWriterGirl

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I'm in. Gimme the theme and I'll do what I can.

Perhaps we could use our expertise to compile several short articles to intersperse with the theme of "stories of hope" to help with disaster preparadness? I know Brady's a fireman, and we have several people with military experience, all who would know what to do in case of an emergency. Nothing specific, just short, general how-tos for like, a house fire, a medical emergency, car accident, major snow storm, flood, tornadoes and hurricanes, earthquakes - that way, we're helping in more ways than one. Empower those who can use the knowledge, further the knowledge of the ones with a good idea.

Just a thought...

WVWG
 

Vanessa

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Excellent idea Jenna,

I tossed around with a few theme suggestions or titles so-to-speak.

Inspired Confessions
- Certain conditions and situations which leave us in some sort of predicament, which inspires us to write about it and tell-all about it, with the hopes of motivating and enriching life after sorrow. Happy stories that create smiles after the sadness.

Hearts of Hope - Basically self-explanatory.


Dreams of Laughter - true stories of pain, sorrow and wreckage, but through hope, faith and endurance, and a bit of encouragement, one prevails. One conquers, even if it's just getting through it.

Oh, by the way, I'm all in. Whatever it takes, I'm willing to help out. I'll make the time for this well deserved cause.
 

MacAllister

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Jenna, I'm in. I'll be happy to first-read subs, edit, or help with any of the other pieces where you need warm bodies. I can help post a call for subs on other boards, too, when we get the guidelines nailed down.
 

maestrowork

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Depending on the number of writers, maybe we can have multiple themes: hope, perseverence, laughter, etc.

I'll put the info and spread the words in my blogs and site and also help with page layout or cover design. I also have Acrobat so I can turn the ms. into PDF file for Lulu.
 

akelsey333

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Great idea, Jenna!

I'm currently editing an anthology of stories on chronic illnesses, so if you can use me as an editor, please let me know.
 

Cassie88

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I'm happy to participate ... I think the book should incorporate a number of themes.... after watching this horror for the last two hours, a book with just pieces on "hope" ...well, it doesn't seem enough.. or the right response to what's happening... I'm not articulating this correctly... I'm too shocked and I feel too many emotions right now.
 

Alphabet

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I kind of agree with the 'multiple themes' and with the 'hope by itself doesn't quite seem appropriate somehow' comments.

I thought the theme of 'resilience' was one to consider, which kind of encompasses hope but is broader and sturdier. Incidentally, it also encompasses 'What gives my life meaning' too.

As for whether I would be able to contribute - I'll do my best but since I've never written a story, article, or personal essay before it might be tough.

Once the theme is decided I'll think meditatively on it and see what comes up. Regardless of whether I can contribute I do promise to buy it and to try and promote it.
 

Sara Rachael Hope

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Dear Jenna,
I'd be most happy to help, in any way I can.
First I must inform you that I do have a public non-profit organization called Recovery Relief, Inc., and the main 'vision' is to freely give away food and shelter items (that otherwise would have been thrown away) to the needy. Imagine that! It's not necessarily 'the american and/or our world's way' yet would be nice, don't you think?
Over the past few years, I myself have given away over $4 million in food and shelter items (with great help from volunteers). Unfortunately a lot of people took just because it was free and some of the best food btw!
It saddens me that there are stores, bakeries and supermarkets in my city alone, that probably could have fed and clothed (and housed) most of the people in New Orleans today...just from what has been thrown out here in this city and outlying areas today!
Of course, over the past few years I haven't had the capacity to build the organization alone by myself, and form a firm foundation for it, yet I can't even begin to list all the United Way agencies, foodbanks (that are mostly run for profit and only within certain geographical locals and btw, they are almost all listed as 'non-profit), group homes, communities, churches and various as well as sometimes, specific individuals who have and still are profiting from it.
I am only 1 person though...and I can do anything. Yet I can't do everything!
The RR vision embraces a concept where people and corporations freely (and preferably) give to give...24 hours/day and 7 days/week. And yes, I had to incorporate it because there are so many that will not give, unless it can be written off as a tax deduction! But that's okay, since the 'concept' is so proactive and vital for hopefully many generations (I like to think of at least 15 of them from now!) of inhabitants on this planet.
I wonder whether it would have been nice to get those 300 $100/meal dinners that would have been thrown out from that Smithsonian fundraising event for 3000 people, on a plane and dropped onto a boat there...
Or maybe the bread for 1000 people the local bakery is throwing out each night.
Maybe that little old lady up in the mountains who can't get out can have a 4X4 truck drop off some groceries. Maybe even someone at the post office would be willing to pick them up for her (or that baby who is dying and malnourished right here in downtown DC while everyone sleeps well tonight as her mother is being gang raped in the park just to get some crack dust...sorry, but it's a true story and I've witnessed it myself!).
Hmmm...
And by the way, it's not as if the people need $, since $ can't necessarily be eaten and keep them warm, clothed and covered. And did you know that in some cultures the people have to eat dirt to get enough minerals for their body's functioning capabilities? Sorry state the world is in yet it doesn't need to continue this way.
Maybe God/Creator is also a Mother/Create/er/ess?, and wants to nourish the Earth and all it's inhabitants (including all animals-even creepy crawlers and wingeds). I do hope so!, and I hope to see it in my lifetime on this planet. If not, it is quite a job/opportunity for the youth in this country (and world) to take on yet do they really know and understand that there is so much oil (for example) that runs within the Earth's veins and is being depleted?
Is life not worth something? And should there...need there be a 'cost'?
Just please let me know what I can do.
One of the directors of the largest foundations in DC once told me they wanted to 'fund' my company, and yet I never was able to write a complete proposal at the time (for many reasons). Yet it's basically about having the majority of funds donated going to pay for trucks and drivers (if there are none donated) and it would be nice if only 1/3 of the $ received in the Recovery Relief effort was going toward overhead. I know this is not how most companies and organizations run yet it is imperative for it to be streamlined, reliable, efficient and dependable. I've been told it is viable!
Of course, board members and officers of the corp would need to be set up, and it would be nice to have a web site and a 800-RECOVER #...and when there isn't a disaster such as this and of this magnitude (which Creator has created for probably good reason!), the effort goes into sending recovered items to such places as Indian reservations and small impoverished communities and the such. Our world has become so far from natural that balance has been upset and the artificial has begun to over-ride the basic Basic of Mother Nature!
I'm sure you'd agree that we throw away more than enough in this country to feed the whole world, yet companies are not 'set up' to be God/Creator's company, just mans' (unfortunately). It's as if "in money we trust and in God we may have faith". Sorry statement yet all too true even more so these days.
I'd like to help change that.
Any suggestions will be most helpful.
Thanks!, especially for allowing me to rant a bit.
Blessings,
Debbie
 

brokenfingers

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I'm in.

Believe it or not, I just now (within the past few hours) watched some of the stuff going on down in the Gulf States. I wasn't kidding when I said I don't really watch much TV.
 

Dawno

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Great idea, Jenna. Since I'm not a writer I'll do what I can to get the word out once there's a book and if there's need for other worker-bee stuff let me know.
 
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