Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What I'm writing

What I write for a living:
  • Blog posts and brochures about automated external defibrillators — from stories of rescues to updates on legislation mandating AEDs in schools, gyms, and public places.
  • Profiles of formerly homeless individuals, most of them long-time "street people" suffering from mental illness and substance abuse who now live in subsidized apartments. I interviewed two of the 10 men who had been costing the city and county as much as $1 million a year in police, hospital, and social services. Once they were in "housing first" communities, the local goverments saved hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • Articles about business strategy, on behalf of a local CEO.
  • Humor columns about home, family, and community.
  • Websites for government agencies and large non-profits. Many of these are written in government-mandated "plain talk" — a style of communication so effective that one government agency tripled the rate of accurate responses to their letters to businesses and taxpayers.
  • ebooks and blog posts about the iPhone.
  • The WriterWay blog for my business.
  • PowerPoint and Keynote presentations — most of these are "social media audits" or short courses in matching social media tools to an organization's audiences and resources.
What I write for community agencies (on a volunteer basis):
  • Fundraising appeals
  • Web pages
  • Thank-you letters to donors
  • Marketing materials, press releases, and ads
What I write for myself:
Sadly, the science fiction writing is at the end of the list, even though it's the writing I often enjoy the most. I've started a novella, part of which will be critiqued at the upcoming Cascade Writers Workshop next month. And, as a part of the Clarion West Write-a-thon, I'll be writing three short stories during July, using the "How to write a short story in 90 minutes" techniques taught by author Mary Robinette Kowal.

I'm one of 149 writers who've signed up for the Write-a-thon to raise money for the Clarion West Writers Workshop. Clarion West has come to be the gold standard for speculative fiction writing courses — it's a six-week program taught by the field's top authors, editors, and publishers. The majority of the 18 students selected for the program require scholarship assistance, and the Write-a-thon is one of the primary sources of funding for the scholarships and other program costs.

Please consider supporting me, or one of the other 148 participants (some of them quite famous!) as we write our way through the summer.

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