I like to think of 12 x 12 as the greatest writing community on earth. We share resources, support, and encouragement with each other, and the willingness to “give back” is one of the traits I appreciate most about this group. That trait was demonstrated in spades last year when the 2014 members generously donated enough funds to launch the 12 x 12 Scholarship Fund in 2015.
While we try to keep the membership fees as affordable as possible, there are still some who cannot afford to join, and still others who are disenfranchised in some way.
To address these needs, we offered four 12 x 12 scholarships in 2015–two for those facing financial need and two for writers of diverse backgrounds and/or writing diverse books. The program was a huge success, and over the next week we’ll be sharing feedback from the first-round recipients.
But first, allow me to announce the fundraising campaign for the 2016 funds. This year, I’d like to provide three scholarships in both categories. We received applications from so many talented and deserving candidates last year, it would be wonderful to expand the opportunity.
This year, you can contribute in three ways.
- Purchase a set of two of the most popular 12 x 12 webinars – author Jane Yolen and freelance editor Emma Dryden. For only $47, you can set yourself up for huge inspiration for 2016. All proceeds will benefit the Scholarship Fund, and you’ll have lifetime access to the webinars and the transcripts.
- Donate directly to the Fund. If you are unable to or don’t wish to purchase the webinars, you can make a donation in any amount by clicking this link. ALL donations are appreciated and NO AMOUNT IS TOO SMALL!
- Share this post to help spread the word. A couple of pre-created tweets appear at the bottom of this post, and of course shares on all other social media sites are most welcome. Thank you!
Now let’s hear from one of our 2015 recipients, Shauna Reynolds.
Can you tell us about your experience as a 12 x 12 scholarship recipient?
I was familiar with 12×12 and totally up for the challenge, but knew there was no way I could afford it. When I found out there was a financial scholarship available, I felt like it couldn’t hurt to apply. I am so grateful to be a scholarship recipient. The most valuable aspect of 12×12 for me has been the opportunity to connect with a critique group — we never would have found each other if not for 12×12. I’ve learned so much not only from their thoughtful and honest critiques of my work, but also from giving critiques. My writing has weaknesses that are easier for me to spot when I see the same issues in someone else’s manuscript. I’ve also enjoyed the webinars. One thing that intrigued me about 12×12 from the start was the query opportunities, one of which led to my first offer of representation.
Did 12X12 make a difference in your writing this year? How many drafts did you write? How many revisions did you make?
At the end of 2014 I was feeling a little stuck with my writing — I was mistakenly prioritizing business (mostly querying and waiting) over craft. Having a goal to work toward and a critique group for accountability nudged me to focus on the creative side again. I don’t think I’ll hit 12 new drafts this year, but I believe I’ll have 8 by the end of December. I’ve revised some of those and also made significant revisions on four manuscripts that I had written prior to joining 12×12.
Did you have any successes?
In June I signed with my agent, Adriana Dominguez at Full Circle Literary. She has been an absolute delight to work with. I don’t know how authors navigate the world of publishing without an Adriana by their side!
What would you tell others who are thinking of applying for a 12X12 scholarship?
Do it. Don’t miss out on the opportunity because you think there’s no chance you’ll be selected — just ask.
Tell us anything else you think is important for people to know…
12×12 is one of those things where what you get out of it is going to depend on what you put in. If you feel like your writing journey is getting stagnant and you’re willing to make the time to write, revise, listen, learn, and be involved in a community of others doing the same, there is no limit to what 12×12 participation might do for your career.
We will provide LOTS more information about the scholarships, eligibility requirements, application processes and deadlines soon. Once again, you can click here to purchase the webinar set, and click here to make a direct donation.
Thank you for reading this post. I am excited about this opportunity within 12 x 12!
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