Thursday, March 31, 2011

Andromeda: Write-a-thon report, plus a caffeinated poetry contest to inspire

They're neck and neck, separated by a mere penny: Dawnell Smith has raised $364.62 for 49 Writers via her Raven Write-a-thon pledge sheet, and Kirsten Dixon has raised $364.61. Bill Sherwonit is close behind and closing the gap at $359.61, much to his own surprise, because he was one of many who wasn't sure that raising pledges would be this easy.

They're doing it because they support 49 Writers, not to win anything (though the top winner will receive a donated prize, thanks to our sponsors), but it's fun to acknowledge that all three of these great writers and all-around community supporters have been known to express the competitive urge on occasion. Dawnell is a fearless Rage City rollerderby rookie, Kirsten has competed in "iron chef" competitions and managed to feed hordes of Iditarod mushers without breaking a sweat, and Bill was once an aggressive sportswriter, now mellowed into a nature writer who still enjoys the occasional journalistic spar (article today on wolf control in the Anchorage Press).

We wish them all the best and thank them for their efforts -- as we thank the amazing 26 pledge-raisers in total who have help us reach 89% of our goal. You can find them all using the links at right, and help us jostle up this little competition, which also includes teams. (Top teams at this moment: Wild Writers, Fiction Workshop, and Stirring Words.)

Would you like to join us? One week is plenty of time. As most of us have found, it's as simple as registering online, posting a notice on Facebook or sending out a single email to friends.

NEXT QUESTION: If you come to Snow City, or set aside 4.9 hours next week for your own private write-a-thon, what will you write? Of course, you could work on a serious ongoing project. But if you'd like to try something new in the spirit of national poetry month, you should know about a poetry contest sponsored for the very first time by Raven's Brew Coffee, the brand that is well-known for its great Ray Troll logos as well as its strong support of literary events. (They sponsored Heather Lende's book tour and they donate coffee and merchandise to 49 Writers events as well!) They're looking for "poetry that illuminates coffee" and they may end up using some of these poems on future merchandise. Raven's Brew is headquarted in WA with lots of coffee sold in AK. Who better than our readers to stun them with some raven-inspired, caffeinated poetry? Three of our 49 Writers volunteers will be helping to judge the contest with Raven's Brew staff. Link here with flyer and details. Deadline is April 18.

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