I recently experienced that light-headed, acrobatic intestine feeling I get whenever I crash headfirst into a startling discovery filled with endless possibilities. Don't worry, this only happens to me once or twice a year.
I've been following a podcast called "Writing Excuses" for quite some time. Hosted by a variety of authors that I greatly admire, "Writing Excuses" is a weekly 15-minute talk about all things writing-related. It's mostly SF/F focused, but it's an awesome resource for writers in other genres as well.
On October 1st they announced their very first writing retreat, a week-long workshop held in Chattanooga, TN. Not only would this be an awesome opportunity to get one-on-one time with some of my favorite authors, but I would also get to tick a box on my extensive list entitled "Places With Long Quirky Names I Must Visit Before I Die".
Sadly, as with most amazing discoveries I make, I tripped over a massive speedbump. The total cost of the trip would be about $2,000. Not only would I have to work for about 9 months to earn that much, but if I'm going to shell out that kind of moolah for a vacation, I would want my husband with me and it would have to be something we would enjoy equally.
So I said to myself, "Aw, bummer, maybe they'll do it again someday when I'm fantastically wealthy," and I thought that was the end. And anyway, all the spots were taken in exactly 9 minutes, so my imaginary money might not have been enough.
But on November 5th (historically, a lucky day for me) my insides hopped on the ole pommel horse. The folks at Writing Excuses announced they had one last supar sekrit spot reserved - a spot that would go to the recipient of the "That's a Pretty Good Excuse" Scholarship. This will cover the registration fee, the hotel costs, and up to $500 in airfare; IE, all of those things that made me fall flat on my face a month ago.
To qualify for the scholarship, I must submit by January 15th, 2013: 1-3 separate pieces totaling no more than 10,000 words, a 450-700 word personal essay explaining why I'm a good candidate, and finally, three letters of recommendation from non-relatives.
That last part is where you guys come in! There's still a bit of time before the deadline, so I wanted to put it out there for those who need to ponder such things. If anyone is interested in supporting me in this way, and if you'd like to actually read my fiction before you decide to tell a complete stranger that I'm legit (I highly recommend this) please leave a comment here, or contact me through email or Facebook.
Just like Highlander, there can only be one, so I know my chances are pretty slim, especially when there are so many deserving people out there who've been chasing this dream far longer than I have; however, this is a once in a lifetime chance to not only do something amazingly fun that teaches me a lot about the craft, but also make some valuable connections in the writing and fantasy community.
The Writing Excuses website will give all the details about the scholarship, and what they're looking for in the letters of recommendation.
And now I'm out of excuses, so back to writing!