Thursday, May 17, 2007

I'm in a write-a-thon

I’ve been asked to participate in a write-a-thon sponsored by Breath & Shadow, an online journal of literature by people with disabilities. The staff has invited their — and the readers’ — favorite writers to write a piece to be published in an upcoming issue of the journal. I’m very excited about this opportunity to write for Breath & Shadow and honored to have been selected to participate. The write-a-thon, as its name suggests, is a fundraiser.

What you may not know about me is that I have a hearing impairment. My hearing loss is the result of nerve damage caused by chronic ear infections as a child and sustained exposure to loud sound (live music, I’m afraid to say). Although I get by just fine with my hearing loss, there is much of the hearing world that I miss. I don’t hear crickets chirp anymore. I can’t hear the buzzer of my coffee pot, my kitchen timer, or many alarm clocks. I set my cellphone to vibrate and wear it on my body.

You know how with walk-a-thons you pledge a certain dollar amount per mile or kilometer? This write-a-thon works the same way. I will be writing a short story of no more than 500 words. If I get at least five people to support me with a pledge, Breath & Shadow will publish my write-a-thon piece. The pledge amount is variable and won’t be collected until after my work is published in the fall. A standard pledge is 2 cents or 5 cents per word for a 500-word piece — which comes out to a $10 or $25 donation. Of course, you can always pledge less (one cent per word) or for more (a dime or a quarter per word). Any amount of support is welcome. Remember, I have a word limit of 500 words.

Breath Shadow is a nonprofit publication; subscriptions are free. It’s the only magazine that prints the writing of people with all kinds of disabilities and is edited and written only by people with disabilities. It’s made a real difference in the life of disabled people to have their work about disability taken seriously and published in a quality journal. The journal is a project of ROSC, a tax-exempt charity. They will be happy to send you a receipt for your donation, if you like.

If you would like to sponsor me, please email me at Carolyn [at] and tell me how much you’re pledging. Also, when my work is published, Breath & Shadow will post the names of the people who sponsored me, so please let me know if it’s okay to post your name or if you’d like to be listed as “anonymous."

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