{life+writing} the results of a summer brainstorm: ep.1

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Most of us are familiar with Summer Reading Programs: you sign up, read a minimum number of hours or books, and then you turn in your brochure and get a prize. Usually you are entered for drawings and/or there are scheduled events in which to participate. It tends toward the casual: self-paced & self-motivated.

I was thinking about a Writer/Illustrator twist on said programs. [everything that follows begs feedback: ideas, pragmatism, etc. you can refer to letters/#s for the sake of ease.]

Similarities: We’d provide a menu of options from which the participant can choose and then submit. There will be a minimum set of options and hopefully a few drawings and scheduled events. A) The events could be a scheduled flash-fiction-game session where at the end each votes for their fave and the most votes gets a prize; an author/artist interview or q&a; or youtube playlist to visit and be inspired by. B) The drawings: each option submitted equals an entry. C) There may be additional challenges. D) the environment would be primarily virtual as a lot of our creative friends live elsewhere, are scheduled out, and/or will be travelling.

Differences:   E) this is, by necessity, artist community oriented. There are some collaborative components to the “program” and creative energy is contagious. F) We’d create a private party, maybe google+ because N isn’t 13 yet, so no FB yet. Also, their live chats (as I understand it) aren’t too tricky if that is an option we want. G) I will find a place to set up each participant’s summer portfolio and each person joining must create a little intro (example to be provided). Everyone will have access to each other’s folder. We have friends who are also or only illustrators that we like to support so this is an interest we will work to foster as well.

Of import:  1) This is something a young person should want for themselves. Sure, parental reminders (encouragement) are good, but this is about practice and growing and community. And honestly, discussing, challenging, and connecting w/ like-minds are the sorts of things N and I do on our own. We just thought we’d like to open this up to anyone who is creative and will be writing/drawing this summer and may feel otherwise isolated during the next couple months. 2) It is free. But it will take some personal commitment and a willingness to participate in a group. 3) the prizes are going to be modest. I am pretty much the sponsor and I am quite poor, so there you go.

And  4) I think this would only work if we had a certain number on board. How many minimum, I’m not yet sure, but it could be small if it were highly motivated. 5) Age range…. N thought this could be open for adults, too, but I am still trying to figure out how that would work, because I would really need to know them or have someone I know vet them; which is kind of what we will do with the youth. With this being online, I want to be smart about who gains access to my child, you know?

6) in doing this, I would love to pick my creative-minded friends’ brains—let me know if you are willing to make yourself available.

also, let me know if this the sort of thing you or someone you care about would be interested.

~L

thoughts? would love to hear them...

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