Support the literary arts in Alaska through a night of marathon writing!
In April each year 49 Writers takes over Snow City Café for our premier community event, the annual Write-a-thon, where we invite you to come together to write for four hours and nine minutes, and then celebrate your accomplishments with an after-party. To keep you going, we treat you to prize drawings and stretch breaks, not to mention delicious Snow City eats and unlimited caffeine.
Everyone is welcome to participate, and in kinship with other marathons we ask you to spend the weeks leading up to the event raising money for 49 Writers. In 2013 you raised more than $7,700 for the organization. Thank you to top fundraiser Kirsten Dixon, top first-time fundraiser Janet Elliott, and top fundraising team, Our Group - Karen Benning, Lucian Childs, Don Rearden, and Deb Vanasse.
What is a write-a-thon?
A marathon of writing. Similar to all those other -athons, we ask you to do something for a really long time in support of a good cause. For this event, we challenging you to write for four hours and nine minutes to help support 49 Writers. In the weeks leading up to the event, you can raise money through online pledges from family and friends to your personal FirstGiving page. Our target is for each participant to raise a minimum of $100 in pledges. All proceeds from the event go towards funding our popular programs and events, such as creative writing classes, Write Young Alaska (WYAK), Crosscurrents, Synergies, and the 49 Writers blog.
Can you tell me more about 49 Writers?
49 Writers/49 Alaska Writing Center is a local nonprofit dedicated to supporting creative writers from throughout Alaska at all stages of their development, while also building an audience for Alaska literature. The Write-a-thon is our premiere annual fundraising event. Raising money is vital to sustaining our organization and this fundraiser allows us to do this in a way that is both fun and consistent with our mission. If you aren’t familiar with us, find out more information about our history, mission, and future.
So, where is it?
Since 2011, the Write-a-thon has been hosted by the wonderful Snow City Café in downtown Anchorage. The exact address is 1034 West 4th Avenue. Here's a link to it on Google Maps.
When is it?
The second Friday in April - the perfect way to kick off tax weekend!
When does the event start?
Writing begins at 6 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. so you have time to sign in, mingle and stretch before the marathon.
Can I be early/late/actually on time?!
Yes to all those! We have a sign-in booth and information table up front throughout the night. Keep in mind though that if you show up earlier than 5:30 p.m., you'll need to wait until we finish set-up. And if you show up after 11 p.m., you'll have to wait another whole year for the next Write-a-thon.
When does the event end?
The writing portion of the evening closes out at 10:09 p.m. Then it's time for a blitz 45-minute after-party.
Is there a schedule I'll have to follow?
Certainly not. We announce breaks every hour or so but you're welcome to keep racing through the pages as the rest of us take a breather.
Who can participate?
Absolutely anyone! Whether you've never written a word in your life or have outproduced R.L. Stine, we welcome you. The Write-a-thon is an all ages, public event.
How do I participate?
Register at FirstGiving. Registration is $10 for adults and $5 for those 18 and under. We ask participants to set a minimum goal of $100 in pledges. That's 5 x $20, 4 x $25...but you can do the math.
The FirstGiving website walks you through the simple process of setting up your own fundraising page. You can personalize your page with a photo and a message to potential sponsors. FirstGiving also provides you the option to generate emails about the event so you can easily ask friends for support. And anytime someone pledges for you, you’ll be notified. The site even lets you send custom, automated thank-you notes to your donors. Most importantly, the site will give you a custom URL for your page that you can post to Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Do I have to register through FirstGiving?
No, there are a few other ways to sign up. You can us and we'll save you a you a seat and help get you started on fundraising. You can also register at the event but on-site registration is $30 compared to $10 on-line.
How do I raise money?
The ways are endless. The easiest way is to share your FirstGiving URL through email and social media. From there, people can make donations with just a few clicks. There are plenty more creative ways to raise money too. Here are just a few.
I don't now if I can secure $100 in pledges....help!
If you can get ten people to donate $10 or 5 to donate $20, that's $100 right there. This amount needn't be as challenging as it might sound. Getting the word out about your involvement is the best way to reach that goal. If you need a jumpstart on fundraising, you can always .
Will there be food and drinks?
Snow City also caters the event. We open up a buffet of snacks and hors d'oeuvres at 7 p.m. There will also be free soda, water and drip coffee, plus alcoholic and espresso beverages for sale.
What incentives are there?
Hopefully, you'll get a great piece of writing out of the night–a simple short story, heart-wrenching poem, hilarious letter to your best friend, or the world's most beautiful sentence to date.
On top of that, we also give away prizes galore. Throughout the night, there are drawings for gift cards for all participants, and prizes awarded to top fundraisers, top first-time fundraiser, and top fundraising team. In 2013 our sponsors included Great Harvest Bread, Moose's Tooth/Bear Tooth, Snow City Café, Spenard Roadhouse, and Title Wave Books.
Plus there's the reward of knowing that your dedication and funds raised contribute to the long-term sustainability of 49 Writers.
Will this event be loud?
To an extent. Though we do what we can to keep the noise to a minimum, there's only so much quiet you can guarantee in a room packed with up to 50 people. If this is a serious concern for you, pack some earplugs into your gear bag before trekking over to Snow City.
Can I show up for just the after-party?
Be our guest; we'd love to have you. The door fee for the after-party is $10.
Is there any way to participate even if I can't get to Snow City?
Yes! The Write-a-thon is open to satellite and cyber participants. You can register through FirstGiving and then write for four hours, nine minutes whenever, wherever. If you aren't interested in writing, consider making a donation to one of the participants. In past years, we've had writers participate in places as far-flung as New York and Florida.
What should I bring?
Bring your writing materials–laptop, pen and paper, binary processing machine, typewriter or whatever your preferred medium is. If you think background noise will bother you, bring earplugs. If you plan to buy espresso drinks or alcohol, bring your wallet.
Reasons to Participate
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A BIG THANK YOU
TO OUR SPONSORS!