Okay, I could use some…

Okay, I could use some brainstorming help. I'd like to reinvigorate DesiLit, and I think Kickstarter can help. I originally thought of doing one Kickstarter to cover three projects, but I actually think it might make more sense to split it up into three separate Kickstarters with smaller goals (which I think is what Kickstarter recommends too). So here's the three:

  • DesiLit Writing Workshop -- $1000
  • DesiLit Writing Award -- $3000
  • DesiLit Magazine -- $5000
Here's what I'm roughly thinking for the DesiLit workshop (which would be open to anyone of South Asian descent OR anyone working with South Asian and diaspora material): $1000 to pay someone a small honorarium to direct the workshop for two years (about 2 hours / week of work, although there will be more set-up work initially). We've had volunteer administrators for workshops in the past, and it's hard to keep good volunteers going. I think we'd be able to ask them to do more, and be more consistent and reliable, if we could pay them a little for their trouble. I think this might be a particularly good gig for a MFA or Ph.D. student. :-)

  • workshop director will administer forums, track members, e-mail monthy reminders to the group about how many crits / subs have been posted by whom, e-mail weekly writing prompts (optional), and forward information about anthology and magazine calls
  • workshop will be divided into poetry, short fiction and nonfiction, and book-length works; also a market list and writing prompts list; members can join as many groups as they want.
  • membership will cost $20 / year; sliding scale

  • $10 pledge supports working writers who are trying to improve their craft and create better literature for you to read!
  • $20 pledge gets you workshop membership for one year
  • $30 pledge gets you workshop membership + a set of five bookmarks handmade from the covers of beautiful South Asian books
  • $50 pledge gets you workshop membership + a DesiLit mug that will sit on your desk and inspire your creative efforts
  • $75 pledge gets you membership + a mug + a DesiLit t-shirt that you can wear to conventions, readings, and other literary events
  • $300 pledge gets you membership + three written short story critiques by Mary Anne Mohanraj (limit 3), and a half-hour conversation about your writing, via phone, Skype, or in person in Chicago (your choice).
  • $400 pledge gets you membership + a coaching session with Minal Hajratwala.
  • $500 pledge gets you membership + a agent-coaching conversation with Anna Ghosh; you can tell her about your book(s), and she'll advise you on how to approach agents and publishers with your work.
Any additional monies raised will go to support the workshop in the future.


So what do you think? Specifically, I'm wondering if $20 / year is reasonable for what the workshop would offer, and whether the pledge rewards sound attractive, and if you have any ideas for other (better) pledge rewards? Also, I think I need pledge rewards at the $100 and $200 levels. This is just a first pass, what I was able to brainstorm on the train coming into the conference, and I am totally up for changing it radically.

The higher pledge rewards would probably go half towards paying the person doing the work, and half towards workshop support -- unless they wanted to volunteer their time, which I don't want to assume. (I have no idea whether Minal or Anna would do the work for that amount; it's just a starting point for a conversation.)


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *