THANK YOU to all the wonderful people who have helped Willow in one way or another
How to Make a Career in Writing Less Exclusive.
Help me help Willow Wind*, a student at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford Maine, my hometown. Willow has been accepted to attend the New York Times Summer Academy, a pre-college program that readies ambitious, smart, and skilled teens for a professional path in writing and journalism.
The program costs $5,750. Not including incidentals or travel. Willow’s family can only contribute $200.
I met Willow a few times when in Maine at home doing fieldwork for my book, and she interviewed me for her school newspaper. She is smarter than me. She is probably smarter than most of her teachers. She is probably smarter than you. She is shy to a fault, but tenacious at the same time. I saw her get on skis for the first time in her life and it took her about three hours to make it down the beginner slope. You know what she did? She took the chairlift right back to the top as soon as she reached the bottom.
Plain and simple, and I speak from experience, if you are disenfranchised in any way: gender, race, socioeconomic status, geographically, age, financially, etc., it is very difficult to have a career in writing, publishing, or the literary industry. You can make a real difference with your $5, $20, or more!
Here’s how you can help:
1) I take PayPal, Venmo, Check, or Cash. Any amount.
2) Editors, agents, writers, journalists: Considering letting me introduce you to Willow this summer? It would be a great way for her to have more esteemed mentors than me.
3) Know you are helping a great kid in a tough situation get one step closer to her dream – to be a writer.
4) Thinking of buying me a drink at AWP or the NBCC Awards or anywhere? Don’t. Give me money for Willow instead.
1) Publish a running list of donors on my woebegone website kerri-arsenault.com alongside this note
2) Return any extra monies to you the same way you paid me.
3) Be grateful.
4) Give you free advice – on your manuscript or book proposal (limited pages!), website design, home décor, your closet, snowboarding or skiing skills, your baseball swing, cooking, gardening, organizing your home (all jobs I’ve had in order to be a writer). I will cook a meal for you or help organize your event or give you tomatoes this summer. Need to have a yard sale? I can help. Need your garden weeded? Call me. Whatever you need, I can do.
To donate, contact me here (I don’t want to publicize my Venmo or PayPal info, etc.) or send me an email via the “Tell Me a Story” page. Your email will not be made public
You are going to have to trust me, but if you don’t, I have references, including people in the writing community, long-time friends, and those who work in the school Willow attends.
*You should donate to her on the name alone! It’s print-ready!
** This was NOT Willow’s idea. It is mine. If I can’t raise the money, I will pay for her to go myself, which I can’t afford either.
*** I’d rather avoid GoFundMe because of the logistics, etc.