Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Write for a Cause: Fandom for Preemies

Fandom for Preemies

In the fall of 2010, a group of friends and I started an effort to fundraise for the March of Dimes, a nonprofit that works world-wide to end prematurity and birth defects. We all had a special preemie in our lives, and wanted to do our part to help fight for preemies by getting our friends, families, and fellow writers involved in the cause.

I've talked a little about my six-year-old nephew, Aloshua, here on the blog before, but what you may not know is that Aloshua wouldn't be alive today were it not for the work of the March of Dimes. He was born three and a half months early with multiple congenital birth defects (such as spina bifida). He spent the first three years of his life in the hospital, and we nearly lost him multiple times. He is tracheotomy dependent, requires the use of a ventilator 12 hours a day, has a feeding tube, has undergone 19 surgeries, and can only walk with the aide of a walker and leg braces. Thanks to advances in medical technology, and the work of the March of Dimes, however, Aloshua not only survived, but our family is now able to care for him in our home.

Many families never get that chance. I work with our local Ronald McDonald House, and a week rarely goes by when a family staying with us doesn't lose an infant. It's heartbreaking, and it happens all too often. 13 million babies are born prematurely every year, 500,000 of them in the United States alone. Worldwide, 1 million of these children do not surive the first year. As someone who has been there, and who watches families go through the same thing every day, the March of Dimes has become incredibly important to me.

I know it has to many of you as well.  

By the end of October 2010, over 100 authors had signed on to write an original short story or fanfiction themed one-shot for what came to be known as Fandom for Preemies. Many of them had a preemie, had lost a preemie, or had a loved one with a preemie and were eager to help.

Over the next month, we put together an ebook anthology, or compilation, of stories from participating authors. By the end of November, hundreds of individuals from around the world had raised over $5,300.00 for the March of Dimes via $5 donations to the organization.

Now it's time to do it again!

From March 1st to April 25th, Fandom for Preemies will be accepting original short stories and/or fanfiction from your favorite fandom (provided the original author has no objection to fanfiction) in an effort to raise money for the March of Dimes and the March for Babies! While original fiction authors are not paid for their contribution, this is a great way to give a little back, help out a great cause, and get your name out there to the many readers who donate.

The submission guidelines are simple:

*Authors who wish to participate can sign up any time from March 1st, 2012 to April 15th, 2012 here.

*Your submission must be emailed to us at fandomforpreemies@gmail.com no later than April 25th, 2012 for inclusion.

*When submitting, authors should include the title, author's name, their website or profile URL, any rating information (see below), and specify whether the submission is original fiction or fanfiction in the body of the email. Additionally, authors are welcome to include a note to readers should they choose to do so. 

*Authors may include a brief bio in lieu of an author's note if they so choose.

*Submissions should be sent as .doc, .docx, .rtf attachments, or sent as a Google Doc to fandomforpreemies@gmail.com.

*Submissions should be in Times New Roman 12-point font, and double spaced.

*Submissions can be any length, genre, or rating, original fiction or fanfiction. Bestiality, rape, and incest will not be accepted, and any submissions with mature or NC-17 themes must be clearly marked.

*Stories MUST be edited prior to submission and be publication ready. We reserve the right to reject any submission that is not publication ready (ie: proper spelling and grammar, formatting, etc).

*If the submission is fanfiction, it must be from an author who has not expressly forbidden fanfiction. ie: JR Ward and Anne Rice have both requested that fans not use their characters or plotlines in works of fanfiction. 

*Artwork such as a story or author banner may be included with your submission. If you would like a banner artist to help provide one for you, email us at fandomforpreemies@gmail.com with your story details no later than April 10th, 2012. 

It's our belief that every author who wishes to participate should be able to do so whether they write fanfiction in their spare time or are New York Times bestsellers. As such, and provided that the submission guidelines are met, all stories will be accepted. In exchange, authors will receive the compilation free of charge, and will be listed on the Fandom for Preemies blog as a contributing author. Original fiction authors retain all rights to their work, and merely grant us the one-time, non-exclusive right to publish their work in the Compilation.

Donating is simple. Between March 1st, 2012 and April 25th, 2012, anyone who donates $5 or more to the March of Dimes here or here and then forwards their receipt to us at fandomforpreemies@gmail.com will receive the ebook compilation in its entirety on May 1st, 2012.

So, why fanfiction?

It's our belief and experience that the world of fanfiction is full of talented authors with big hearts and the spirit of champions. The Twilight and Harry Potter fandoms, for instance, have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for organizations and causes around the world. The Supernatural Fandom is currently raising money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The list goes on.

Their work, while not typically acknowledged, is deserving of recognition, and it's our goal to help ensure these generous and talented authors and their contributions to nonprofits like the March of Dimes have a place, too. Anyone willing to spend hours perfecting a story for the good of an organization like the March of Dimes deserves a little thanks!

Have questions or need more information? You can visit the blog here, email us at fandomforpreemies@gmail.com or tweet us @Fandom4Preemies.

We hope to see your name on the list of participating authors!

xoxo,
A.K.M.

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