A few months ago, when the lockdown first began in my part of the world, Clarion West offered a series of free “lockdown classes” to writers. The spaces for these online classes were limited and somehow, probably via sorcery, I managed to score a seat in Catherynne M. Valente’s class Plotting for Clowns. Writers, I fangirled. I’ve read the entire Fairyland series, Space Opera, and I got my eldest daughter Valente’s Minecraft: The End as a birthday gift (to borrow when she’s finished). Imagine getting the chance to attend a small-sized class with a writer you’ve been reading and looking up to for years.

On top of that, I learned SO MUCH in Valente’s class. She covered retellings and dove deep into some elements of Greek drama I’d never heard of (aresteia and arete, specifically). In the second half, we got to plot a book together, which was hilarious and fun and holy crap I got to plot a book with Catherynne M. Valente!!!!!!

It was an incredible opportunity and I am so thankful to Clarion West for giving it to me. So when I heard about Clarion’s yearly fundraiser, the Write-a-thon, I wanted to try it out and give something back. Clarion West uses this fundraiser to keep offering classes (like the one I took) and workshops to writers around the world. How it works is that I collect sponsors and write my bottom off from June 21st to July 31st. If you’re curious, if you’d like to join the Write-a-thon yourself, or if you’d like to sponsor me, you can click here to head to Clarion West’s website.

My plan is to write a piece of flash fiction every week to keep up with my submissions, as well as working on a novella starring this lovely lady:  wp-1592589443913.pngIsn’t she pretty? She was designed for me by artist Jose Silva Rodrighiero based on a character description I gave him. He is having a sale to help make ends meet during lockdown, so if you’ve ever thought of having an artist render your characters, check him out, he’s amazing! That link will take you to his facebook page with the sale posting.

But this isn’t a proper request for sponsorship without adding a special incentive, is it? So here goes, if you choose to sponsor me via donation in the Write-a-thon, you get to give me a writing assignment. I’ll give it a maximum of 500 words and I will keep the rights to the finished work. The assignment cannot involve erotica, hate speech, child or animal abuse,  and the definitions of these are up to me. Just be sure to email me with a screenshot of your paypal receipt at shelby dot jenniferd at gmail dot com as it can take some time for the donations to show up for me. Here is the link to my Write-a-thon page, just click the big, orange button that reads “Sponsor JenniferShelby” and you’re in.

Thanks for reading everyone, I hope you’re all healthy, safe, and fighting oppression with everything you’ve got.

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