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When I was a kid, one of my favorite things about watching PBS was the part after the shows, where they said “funding was provided by X and Y company, and by viewers like you.”  There was something so darn cool about the fact that ordinary people could be part of shows like Reading Rainbow and Arthur.

That chance to be part of the magic, to make something creative happen, is what I like so much about Kickstarter. When you’re funding on a small scale, every pledge to back a project, even if it’s only a few dollars, matters. It’s exciting, too, holding your breath until the last minute, waiting to see if that project you backed is going to fund, or reach that crazy stretch goal you’re so hyped about. Kickstarter lets us all be patrons of the arts.

Enter Fireside Magazine. Once upon a time, during the “Golden Age” of the pulp magazines, a writer like Robert Silverberg could make a living on an average of 5 short stories a month. These days, pro markets pay 5 cents a word. That’s $200 for a typical short story of about 4,000 words.  Know anybody who can support themselves on $1000 a month, pre-taxes?  Yeah, me neither. *

Fireside is trying to change that. They pay 12.5 cents a word, or $500 for a 4,000 word story. At five published stories a month, that’s almost enough to live on. In order to make this happen, they’re running a Kickstarter, with a goal of $25,000. Right now, they’re only about 25% funded, with 17 days to go.

I want to see them make it.  I want to see a market, and an audience, that supports paying writers a livable wage.  So I’m offering to match donations made in the next 24 hours. I did this last year, with a $500 cap.  Together, we raised $922.

This year, I’m raising the cap to $625.  If we hit it, that’s $1250, or 10,000 words.  10,000 words funds 10 pieces of flash fiction, or 2-3 short stories.  10,000 words is almost enough to pay the writers for an entire issue of Fireside.

Let’s do this.

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Who are you, anyway?

I’m a writer, a lawyer, and a mom.  Not necessarily in that order.

When is this happening?

I’ll match all pledges from 2 pm EST on Friday, March 14 to 2pm EST on Saturday, March 15.

Why only 10,000 words?  You did just say you’re a lawyer.

Because it’s a nice, round number. And, without going into the economics of living in NYC with a kid and student loans, suffice it to say that this will eat up most of my discretionary income for the next few months.

What is Fireside?

It’s a magazine that publishes great storytelling and pays writers a living wage. Their stories aren’t confined to a single genre. The only criteria is that the story has to make the reader say “…and then what happened?”  Brian White, the cellar-dwelling pet of Chuck Wendig editor, has a great pitch for year 3 over on Wendig’s blog.

How does this work, exactly?

Easy.  Go to the Fireside Year 3 Kickstarter and make a pledge.  Then send out a Tweet using the hashtag #10000words and a link to this post.  Feel free to cc me @bekkiwrites or Fireside @FiresideFiction.  If you don’t use Twitter, post a comment here.**


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* Even the government agrees – the poverty line for a single person in 2014 is just shy of $12,000.

** You don’t have to post the amount you backed the project for, and I’ll match any pledge made during the 24 hour period, even if you don’t tweet or comment. But wouldn’t it be cool if we could get #10000words to trend?