LAST DAY to win FREE Scrivener with $5 charity donation

Hello all,

with permission of the kind moderators of this board I would like to let you know about my fundraising drive for Clarion and your chance to win a free copy of Scrivener.

This July through the first week of August I am fundraising for Clarion, the SciFi & Fantasy charity. I have organised a grand giveaway of prizes and have collected many donations of books and book-related items from writers and editors all over the Twittersphere, many Clarion Alumni or former Lecturers. The Literature & Latte team have been very generous and given me 5 discount codes for a free copy of Scrivener to include in the giveaway for my sponsors.

For a $5 deductible donation, you are entered in the prize giveaway and can pick your favourite prize. If you pick a copy of Scrivener as a prize and you win, you’ll receive a discount code with which you can download the software for free.

The list of all the prizes in the $5 giveaway is here and the donation page is here. The donation page lists more prizes you can win for higher value donations, up to and including an iPad2!

If you have any questions at all, please post them here or send me a DM.

Please support a great foundation, help them influence the future of Science Fiction & Fantasy and win a copy of Scrivener!

Hope to find you well.

Victoria Griesdoorn
also on behalf of Clarion and Literature&Latte

Ms Victoria,
Welcome aboard the The Pirate Ship Scrivener, a leaky old tub, barely afloat.
If you get any donations from the crew of Scrivener, you’ll be lucky. It’ll be a first. The con men/women that make up Scriv’s crew, spend most of their time trying to put themselves on the receiving end of the largess of others. They say there’s a first time for everything, but in this case…I doubt it.

Ah Ms V. It just goes to show, even cats can be wrong (it’s very rare though), because my human, Vic-k has just sanctioned a release of funds from his Swiss Bank account, albeit, with the proviso that, unless Scrivener comes with a, Dummies Guide to Scriveners Tutorial, the L&L mob can stuff it!

His prizes of choice are:
A) A crate of the, Ebony élixir, Guinness.
B) A 1 Litre Bottle of the Holy Amber Distillation, Jameson Irish Whiskey.

Good Luck with your fund raising, Ms Victoria.
Take care

Dear Fluff,

I am sorry, I think I missed what you said. It simply can’t be true… You were wrong?


When you have recovered from this indignity can you convey my sincere thank to Vic-k? The support is greatly appreciated and it really does help a lot.

As for the requested prizes, I wish I lived a bit further up north! Here, in the equally dreary regions of Wales, the stouts and whiskey simply cannot compare. Forgive my lapse in location, if you can. I shall do my best.

With thanks.

The Clarion Write-a-Thon ends this Saturday the 6th of August. If you are thinking of donating for your chance to win a free copy of Scrivener, this week is your last chance.

At the moment of writing this reply I have less than 10 people vying for this prize, so your chance of winning is better than 1 in 2.

Thanks for reading.

OK, you win, so I hope I do too. :smiley:

I’ve just sent my meagre donation!

And good luck with your story.


That’s great, Mark. Thanks for your support of Clarion. It’s really appreciated.

I’ll be impartial, but will still be rooting for you in the draw. :slight_smile: Good luck!


Hello, I’m not really sure what it is the Clarion does and what the money received from donations can be used for. Could you explain it for me? I’d like to understand how good a cause it is.

Also it’s been a while since I’ve been called ‘obtuse’. Fluff, would you do the honours?

Herr Obtuseness, why don’t you RTFW properly,then, voila!! :smiley: all shall be revealed :wink:
Take care Herr O
P.S. Morning Victoria :smiley:

Hey Pigfender,

Clarion is a non-profit foundation and subdivision of the University of California at San Diego. Every year they host a six-week workshop for SciFi and Fantasy writers. The workshop is taught by the best published authors in the field. At the same time Clarion UCSD organises a fundraising Write-A-Thon (sort of a Walk-a-Thon for writers). So that’s them.

Me, I’m one of 120 or so writers participating in the Write-A-Thon, which means I’m persuing a writing goal (in my case a 40,000 word novella) and a fundraising goal. To raise funds I’ve solicited raffle prizes (and L&L have graciously provided me with 5 free copies of their software) which you can win with a donation of $5 minimum. All proceeds support Clarion and go toward future student scholarships.

Hope this clears things up.

Hey Fluff!

Good morning to you too! And don’t be so hard people; explaining what I’m doing is what I’m here for. People need to know this fundraiser is legit!

See you around,


Interesting. I was asking, because some educational institutions (let’s use Eton as an example) are registered charities just because of the tax status.

But this sounds more like the kind of place that helps people from all walks of life learn the skills to take a new direction, or perhaps even just use the workshop as an escape - something to look forward to.

Any famous alumni?

Clarion accepts students on merit just like Eton does (I hope). So anyone with talent can, as you say, learn the skills needed to craft a new life in the world of Sci-fi authorship and have a little hope added to their otherwise catastrophic lives.

Clarion Alums count Jeff Vandermeer and Cory Doctorow among them. You are free to decide whether these people should be considered hobbyists. :smiley: The full list of alums is here.

Thanks for taking the matter seriously,


So depending on who you are an what you want of it you can see it as either a great hobby or sort of like professional training!

I’ve not read any of Jeff or Cory’s stuff, but I do remember Cory as the guy with a red cape and goggles in a couple of comics.

More information about Clarion here:

It’s an extremely well-known workshop aimed at science fiction writers. As a charity, it’s as legit as any other educational institution. They do offer scholarships, and in fact building the scholarship fund is one of the goals of the current fundraising drive.

FWIW, I went to MIT, where I was surrounded by some extremely privileged people. I wasn’t one of them, and was able to attend primarily through the generosity of past contributors to MIT’s scholarship funds. So I’m inclined to give even very famous and wealthy educational institutions the benefit of the doubt.


What defines “successful”? Sales? Recognition? Satisfaction? Perhaps Vincent Van Gogh’s brother shouldn’t have supported him so long since poor Vincent was most definitely not “successful” until the very end of his career. But I would never consider Vincent to be a hobbyist, he was an artist. Why should writing, of any genre, be different than other art forms? There are plenty of philanthropic agencies supporting the visual and performing arts, so I’m pleased to see the literary arts getting some support too (note that both Amazon and The National Endowment for the Arts sponsor Clarion).

As for donating to people’s salaries (although why that’s a problem beats me), in this case no donations go to wages, and only a small proportion of funds raised go towards admin. According to the The Clarion Foundation FAQ website, 95% of funds raised go to the Clarion Writers’ Workshop. I agree that Clarion could make the information on how these funds are used easier to find, but it only took a couple of minutes to locate this on the Workshop website,

The Clarion Foundation says on their site

Victoria: Sadly I’m not in a position to support your write-a-thon this year. Good luck with it and I hope to be able to offer more tangible support next time.

Blimey, lots to respond to…



A very convincing - and personal - reason. Chosing charities to donate to should be personal.

For the purpose of this conversation, I think sales and cash are an appropriate measure. Of course, context is everything.

Something doesn’t stop being a hobby just because you are very good at it. It stops being a hobby because you are earning your living off it. Sounds to me like Vinny was doing it for love not money, and that his brother was supporting him because that’s what families do.
Also - although I’ve not read their work - I’m pretty sure a comparison to Vinny would flatter both Cory and Jeff.

Interestingly, lots of educational institutions do this. Funds go to scholarships, but we should remember that those are used to pay tuition fees, which are revenue for the school and pay the wages of the staff. They are ultimately collecting money so that the school can have more revenue. No such thing as a free lunch!

Because there is a far more liquid market for the purchase of writing than there are for oil paintings (for example). It’s easier for a writer with talent but no name to make income than an oil painter in the same position - because a writer produces once, but sells many but a painter produces once and sells once. It’s easier with no “name” to convince 20,000 people to give you £2 than it is to convince 1 person to give you £40,000.

I have no problem with that at all, as long as people know what it is they are actually donating to.

Because Nom is one of my favourite people and he has said that he would have liked to have supported you, I have made a donation on his behalf. If my donation is a ‘winner’, please can you let him have the prize?
NOM, you might want to pick your ‘top 3’.

Hey kewms and nom, thanks for joining the discussion! I’ve read all the replies with interest but felt like it was inappropriate for me to enter in because I am so obviously biased in favour of Clarion. I don’t want to look like a coward, but I also don’t want to seem like a money hussler! :slight_smile:

And I bow to pigfender. Donating on behalf of nom is very gracious of you. Clarion tells me it’s come through perfectly and I will be taking nom into the prize draw. Thank you so much for your support.


you,re not the one hiding behind a forum name.

ignore pigboy he,s not posted anything worth reading since… well, since he joined I suppose.


It hurts because it’s true.

And that is why we sprinkle the catnip on the cactus, sometimes.

You’re supposed to be a Moderator! :open_mouth: Mods are supposed to adopt an impartial, objective stance. Not like you with your catty remarks!