Sunday, October 15, 2017

In Which I Write a Novel in a Month: I Joined The Mighty Pens to Raise Money for The Malala Fund

It's time to be superheroes!

I'm excited and scared.

After half a dozen or so attempts, I'm starting to feel like I actually know what I'm doing, JUST A BIT, when it comes to writing an actual book. So why not make it all the more terrifying/challenging by setting a goal to raise $200 for girls' education and letting everyone know my word count progress as I dive into my next draft?

So excited. Not nervous, no.
I *am* excited because a chance to give more to The Malala Fund is so important. This is the organization we picked when my daughter Owl (I think 7 or 8 at the time) wanted to make the world a better place, after overhearing some sexist talk. She read the young people's edition of Malala's book and I helped her set up a lemonade stand and matched her earnings, which ended up being around $60. That's a lot of lemonade!


Educating girls is how we save the world. The more girls and women have access to education, the more the myriad problems the world faces improve. And improving the lives of girls and women is essential in itself.


So, National Novel Writing Month is coming up (with a superhero theme this year). And authors Susan Dennard and Kat Brauer are organizing a fundraising team called The Mighty Pens. I'm going to seek sponsors who will give a set amount or pledge per word I write, and I will write a novel (or at least most of a draft, 50,000 words) in November.

Fighting for words and women's rights!
NaNoWriMo is a ridiculous activity, one that I've participated in several times. And you know what? It showed me I could write a book. I've learned a lot (including from NaNo mentors, friends, and authors like Sooz who generously share their expertise). I'm hoping pairing NaNo with fundraising for the Malala Fund will result in a similar magic. We can have a big impact!


I'll post updates of pledged sponsors and how my novel prep and drafting is coming in the next two months. I'm thinking up some extra fun incentives for donating, like naming a character, early access to reading chapters, viewing novel aesthetics, and blog posts dedicated to donors. I've set up a donations page, https://give.classy.org/LeanneSchwartz, which you can check out, but please DON'T donate until November 1st--it's part of the fun of trying to accomplish great things within one month! If you can donate even $5, you can be a hero to girls across the world.
Look, it's you!

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