Fundraising Tally, Big Thanks, And The Winners of the Butler Scholarship eReader Drawing

Last night the Drawing came to a close and now it’s time to announce the winners of the 5 eReaders and the autographed Dark Matter anthology. But first, I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who made this fundraiser successful.

We raised $4,520 from tickets sales and so far $490 in direct donations since the drawing began. We haven’t even calculated all of the donations sent in via mail yet! Right now the total stands at $5,010, which is simply amazing. Our original goal was just $1,000. Once we blew past that in the first 4 days, we set our sights on raising $3,200, the price of a Clarion West tuition. Once we met that goal, our next was to raise $4,950, enough for a tuition to Clarion Diego. In the last 30 hours of the drawing we sold 799 tickets and blew past that goal, too. Thanks to those of you who bought tickets and donated we were able to exceed our goals time and again. We appreciate your participation and generosity so much. Thank you.

Next, a huge, huge thank you to Jenn Brissett. Without her we never would have been able to pull this drawing off. She did all the technical wizardry on the backend and when problems arose (and they did… oh they did) she worked hard to fix them and keep the drawing going. All while doing her graduate work and under major time crunches. Jenn is nothing short of an angel, and we all so, so appreciate her hard work.

Thanks to the other folks behind the scenes who helped put this whole thing together: Candra Gill, who took care of all the other technical needs surrounding the CBS website plus was smart about everything; Nisi Shawl, Claire Light and Kate Schaefer, who gave support, advice, guidance, and time as we rushed to make this whole thing a reality; Pablo Defendini and Nivair Gabriel who volunteered to convert stories into ePub files to make them compatible with the eReaders (for which I am eternally grateful); Matt Kressel whose work on the KGB Raffle inspired us to try it here and who offered advice and technical know-how. And thanks to the members of the Carl Brandon Society board who gave the green light to begin with.

I can never convey enough gratitude to the companies that donated the technology. Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Spring Design all jumped at the chance to be a part of this fundraiser. Thanks for making such wonderful, tempting eReaders and for supporting literature in the digital age.

A big, big thank you to all of the writers and publishers who sent us fiction, poetry and essays to include with the eReaders. The full list is here. The eReaders were a big draw, of course, but your donations added an extra layer of awesome to the prizes.

Everyone who spread the word about this online, on social networks, via blogs, or by word of mouth: thank you.

And now, here are the winners:

The winner of the Spring Design Alex eReader is: Kang-Yun Tsai
The winners of the Barnes & Noble Nook are: David Linder and Joshua Kidd
The winners of the Kobo Wireless Reader are: Jessica Nasca and Molly Aplet
The winner of the autographed copy of the Dark Matter anthology is: Deanne Fountaine
Congratulations to all of you! If we haven’t contacted you directly yet, we will very soon.

Last Day To Win An eReader! To Tempt You, Some Surprises…

It’s here! The final day of the eReader drawing to support the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship Fund. Less than 12 hours to buy tickets and win a Barnes & Noble Nook, a Kobo Wireless Reader, or an Alex eReader. And, of course, there’s still an autographed Dark Matter up for grabs.

We’ve spent the last week urging you to buy tickets and show your support, and many of you already have. As we’re in the final stretch, we’re hoping for one last surge of ticket buying. To that end, we have some surprises for you.
First, we’re adding one more short story to the mix by Nalo Hopkinson! The story has not yet been determined, but it’s Nalo. I mean, what more could you want?
Not enough? Okay then, we’re also throwing in a copy of Steam-Powered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories, edited(and donated) by JoSelle Vanderhooft. This won’t even be out in stores until January. You will get an advanced peak at this steamy goodness. But only if you buy tickets.
And finally, if eReaders don’t move you, if free fiction and poetry and essays don’t move you, if autographed first editions don’t move you, maybe this will:
…what the Octavia E. Butler Scholarship [meant] to me… it meant everything.
…I deeply value my Clarion a-ha moments, but realistically speaking, I might have been willing to take out a loan for Clarion.
It was having that trust while I was there, and after. And needing to live up to it.
That gave me both the cluebat that I should stand for things I care about, and the confidence to do so when it scared the shit out of me. …The scholarship, and Butler’s writing, both helped me become someone other than the sit down and shut up outsider.
…the POC at the last few Clarions have knocked my socks off, and the Butler scholarship helps some of us become people who’ll knock your socks off.

Final Two Days of the Butler Scholarship Drawing

We’re down to the wire in our fundraiser for the Octavia E. Butler scholarship. You only have two days left to buy tickets and win an eReader and/or an autographed copy of the Dark Matter anthology. Why should you support the scholarship? Here are 5 reasons:

1. You can offer students the same opportunity Octavia Butler herself had:
As a young writer, Octavia’s writing instructor (Harlan Ellison) encouraged her to attend Clarion. However, the financial means came from a source much closer to home. Butler’s mother, who worked as a maid, lent her the tuition fee. I remember Octavia telling my Clarion West class that her mother used the money she’d been saving to fix her teeth. I can’t find a record of that on the web, but I did find an interview where she talks about her mother lending the money and that “It really got her back up when other family members criticized me for writing.”
“Neile called me up shortly after I filed my financial aid application and told me that… A person had paid my full tuition. Someone who wished to remain anonymous.
… When that anonymous person paid my tuition, I felt like she or he was saying to me: your voice matters. I believe that enough to give you thousands of dollars. Prove me right.
This is why, ever since its inception, I have been a supporter of the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship. Each year, this fund does for two students of color going to Clarion and Clarion West what that donor did for me, which is to say: your voice matters.”
3. from Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, 2009 Butler Scholar and Clarion West alum:
“I remember telling people about how receiving the Butler Scholarship made me feel like my dreams had been given wings. …[Without it], the chances of me attending Clarion West would have been close to zero.
To me, being given that scholarship was like receiving word that there were people who believed in me and in the stories that I had to tell. There were people who believed that what I had to say was something worth saying and something worth listening to. This knowledge inspires me even now that I am far away from all the beloved people who inspired me and who continue to inspire me. Each time I sit down to write, I think of the people who support the Butler scholarship and there aren’t enough words to say how thankful I am for you. You may not be aware of it, but in my darkest moments, the knowledge that you believed in me has kept me here.”
4. from Claire Light, Clarion West 2003 alum and Carl Brandon Society board member:
“Writers of color [are] disadvantaged on a regular basis, as a regular basis. This happens from inception (writers of color aren’t encouraged as much by teachers, don’t have as many role models who look like us and come from similar backgrounds, don’t have as many opportunities to take after school classes or go to camp, etc.) through education (writers of color aren’t as actively recruited by writing programs, are overlooked or subtly discouraged by teachers and administrators, are often more in need of scholarships and financial support and often have less access to such, etc.) to breaking into the literary world (writers of color aren’t as actively recruited by publishers and editors, may have less access to information about how to break into publishing, may write from a perspective that isn’t recognized or understood by editors, etc.) and then getting their published work recognized (writers of color are often ghettoized into publishing categories that aren’t recognized, writers of color are rarely reviewed at all, much less in the most read and respected publications, writers of color are rarely nominated for prestigious awards, works by writers of color are too rarely assigned in “general” literature classes — as opposed to “ethnic” literature classes, etc.)
… Without programs geared toward encouraging, training, and promoting writers of color, I for one would never have gotten to the point of entering grad school or going to Clarion West, much less completing work and getting it published.”
5. from Jeff Vandermeer, author and Clarion instructor:
“The Clarion workshop is important for reasons that go beyond the value of in-depth workshopping from six different experienced instructors and talks by other guests that provide talented beginners with the tools to improve their writing.
It is also important career-wise because many of the instructors can be of use in shortening the path to publication through sharing of contacts, resources, and leverage. Many instructors also aren’t just writers but editors, which is also of use. In addition, the connect to and comraderie with fellow students will, over time, mean more than being part of a community, since many Clarion students go on to have full-on writing careers.
Therefore, in short Clarion is partially about access, and lack of access for talented writers due to monetary concerns is something that diminishes the field and makes it even harder for talent to win out.”
Tickets are here. Want to skip that and donate directly? Send a check or money order made out to The Carl Brandon Society (with Butler Scholarship Donation in the note) to:
The Carl Brandon Society
P.O. Box 23336
Seattle, WA 98102