Frequently Asked Questions, Write-a-thon edition
How will I know if someone has donated to support me?
We’ll send out sponsor reports two or three 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.
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, Clarion West sends a thank-you letter which can be used as a tax receipt. For donors who do not provide a mailing address, Clarion West sends the thank-you letter via email.
Do I have to sign up separately if I want to post on the Write-a-thon Forums at http://www.clarionwest.org/forum/28?
Yes, that’s a separate process from signing up for the Write-a-thon. It only takes a minute to create an account, using the box at the lower right-hand corner of the website. We apologize for requiring registration, but it’s the only way we’ve found to protect the forums from spam without using too much volunteer time.
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://www.clarionwest.org/events/writeathon/2009. 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.
Does Clarion West care how the donations are made?
Whatever works for you and your donors works for us. Clarion West does 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. Clarion West doesn’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 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 what they’ve been writing. Michael Swanwick and Eileen Gunn post their collaborations on the Clarion West Forums page, and there was an open collaboration last year there as well. But most people don’t publish what they’re working on, and there’s no reason you should—unless you want to.