2012 Write-a-thon FAQ
How will I know if someone has donated to support me?
We’ll send out sponsor reports several times during the Write-a-thon. We wish we had instant notification, but the software that supports such reporting is more expensive than we can currently afford.
I know I have sponsors, but I haven’t received any sponsorship reports.
The reports may be getting stuck in your spam filter, or we may not have your correct email address. Send us an email at Writeathon@clarionwest.org to make sure we have your correct email address. We’ll work with you to resolve the problem.
How will the sponsors know if the PayPal donation went through?
PayPal sends an automatic confirmation email immediately after the donation is complete. In addition, the workshop will send a thank-you letter which can be used as a tax receipt. For donations of up to $25 or donors who do not provide a mailing address, the workshop sends the thank-you letter via email.
Can my sponsors send checks directly to Clarion West instead of using PayPal?
Of course! They can send checks with a note about sponsoring you to Clarion West, P.O. Box 31264, Seattle, WA 98103-1264.
If I collect checks from my sponsors, does it matter whether I send them in at the beginning or the end?
It doesn’t matter to us, but your sponsors might prefer that the checks are deposited relatively quickly so they don’t have to keep them in mind as they balance their checkbooks.
Is there an easy way to sponsor several writers?
Yes! There’s a PayPal button on the main Write-a-thon page at http://clarionwest.org/writeathon. Use that button for your total donation, then send an email to Writeathon@clarionwest.org to let us know how we should divide the donation, or you could send a check with a note by physical mail to Clarion West, P.O. Box 31264, Seattle, WA 98103-1264. You can do this even if the writers you sponsor are raising funds for different workshops; we’ll send donations to the appropriate place.
Do the workshops care how the donations are made?
Whatever works for you and your donors works for us. We do receive more of the donation if it’s sent as a check rather than via PayPal, but PayPal’s convenience factor is genuinely worth the small transaction fee they charge.
Can people make a pledge now for a donation later?
Your sponsors can tell you that they promise to make a donation later, and you can remind them to do so. We don’t have the accounting software or the volunteer time to keep track of pledges, so we can’t help with that.
How much is everybody else writing?
Depends. Some of them write a lot and talk about it on the forum or on Twitter, Facebook, or their personal blogs. Some just write a lot and don’t tell anybody. Some write down any words that they can.
Do I have to post what I write during the Write-a-thon on the Clarion West Forums page, or on some other publicly accessible site?
No, you don’t. Some people offer their sponsors the opportunity to see excerpts from their writing, either on their own websites or through email. But most people don’t publish what they’re working on before submitting it to their intended markets, and there’s no reason you should — unless you want to.
Do I have to sign up separately if I want to post on the Write-a-thon Forum?
No, your Write-a-thon registration automatically covers access to the forums as well.
Is Twitter a good place to ask for sponsors?
During the Write-a-thon, Twitter is a great place, period. Using the hashtag #writeathon, feel free to talk about your progress, your process, and your goals. Send your friends to your CW Write-a-thon page. Ask them to sponsor you. And every Sunday, starting June 24, tune into the #writeathon Tweetchat (11 a.m. PST/7 p.m. GMT) to ask questions of CW staff and volunteers, and join in discussion with Special Guests.
Is there a Facebook page for the Write-a-thon?
Check out Clarion West's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/groups/2424444143/.
I signed up for the Write-a-thon, but my name isn’t listed. Why not?
We had a lot of people sign up on the last day (thank you so much!) so we're a bit behind in getting the pages live. If your page isn't live by Monday or Tuesday, please check which Write-a-thon you’re in. This is the Clarion West Write-a-thon, benefitting Clarion West in Seattle; you might have signed up for the Clarion Write-a-thon, benefitting our sister workshop in San Diego.
Can I change information on my page?
Yes! Maybe you've thought of a gift to offer sponsors, or you've sold a story you want to list in your pulications; this year, you can revise your own page to reflect your news. But all changes have to be screened so we don't attract spammers, so they may take a couple of days to show up. To make sure your changes are published quickly, send a short message saying which section you've changed to email@example.com. Examples: "I've changed the writing description," "I've updated my bio," or "I've added a photo."
I just found out about this. Can I still sign up?
Thanks so much, but no. Most of the volunteers who work on the Write-a-thon are in it themselves, and we want them to keep their time available for writing during the Write-a-thon, so we shut off registration at midnight the day before the workshop started. Please feel free to set yourself some goals and write along privately at home. You can do it! And join us next year. We’ll start Write-a-thon registration about six weeks before the workshop starts next year, and shut it off again at the same time as this year.