Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Latest News from Japan...

Monday, 21 March 2011

Introducing...MICHELLE!!

I am so pleased and excited to officially announce my new co-editor for the anthology...Michelle Davidson Argyle!

Many of you will already know Michelle as the successful self-published author of the awesome novel Cinders, but here's a  more in-depth bio:

Michelle is a mother, artist, and writer who lives in the Rocky Mountains with her sword-wielding husband and energetic daughter. She writes contemporary, literary, and fantasy fiction. She is also an editor/publisher of “The Literary Lab Presents…” series of anthologies, an annual non-profit publication that donates all proceeds to charity. To submit to “The Literary Lab Presents…” anthology, visit: http://www.theliterarylabpresents.com/

Her first traditionally published novel, Monarch, will be released September 2011 by Rhemalda Publishing. (Congratulations!)

Oh, and she likes peanut butter and tomato sandwiches.

I couldn't have asked for a more experienced and creative co-editor, and am really looking forward to working with her! :) I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Gabi @ Iggi & Gabi for hooking us up! Gabi's got a stupendous DIY MFA programme lined up for April, which I am a teaching assistant for, so don't miss it!

Oh, and did I mention today is Michelle's BIRTHDAY!? Pop on over to her blog to wish her a happy birthday! :)

How to Donate Wisely--and Grab Our Badge!

There has been a tremendous outpouring of donations worldwide to charity organisations involved in aid and rescue efforts in the aftermath of the Japan earthquake and tsunami, and a heap of earthquake appeals have cropped up in the past few weeks. While this demonstrates the innate generosity and empathy of the human race, the vast range of organisations to donate to, and the many ways to donate (PayPal, in person, by text) could be overwhelming. Which organisation would make the most of my donation? Which method of donation is most effective? Donating by text is becoming increasingly popular; it's one of the easiest ways to donate, but is it the best way?

Here are a few pointers to ensure your donation goes where you intend it:

  • You can't go wrong with donating directly to the big names: the Red Cross, Save the Children, International Medical Corps., etc.
  • Donate directly to the organisations rather than through a group soliciting on a charity's behalf, as such groups often take a percentage cut of contributions.
  • Be careful of charities you've never heard of; check them up on watchdog sites such as Charity Watch.
  • Be super-cautious of so-called 'charities' that contact you directly for donations, e.g. by phone or text. Legit organisations will not do that.
  • Can't decide on which charity to give to? Global Giving is a project which disburses funds to aid and rescue efforts on the ground that needs it most. They ensure that at least 90% of your contribution gets to organisations at ground zero within 60 days, and the percentage to cover overheads is well below the average charity.
Finally, why not get something for the money you donate by taking part in a charity auction? Write Hope has got some awesome lots comprising signed books, manuscript critiques, and lots more! Bidding starts today, so check them out now! All proceeds go to their chosen charity Save the Children.

Oh, and congratulations to Authors for Japan. At the close of their charity auction, they have collected a whopping £10,962.25 for the British Red Cross! Well done, guys, and kudos to everyone who made a bid for a good cause!

So if you're in the giving mood, why not contribute a story for our anthology, and then get all your friends and family to buy a copy? :) Also, please try and spread the word, and feel free to grab our temporary badge below. I say 'temporary' as our resident designing genius Fena is still working on a super-awesome one, and this is a lame attempt on my part...:P

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Aftermath: A Bird's Eye View

To give everyone an idea of the level of destruction the earthquake and tsunami had on the city of Sendai and the surrounding region, here are some 'before and after' satellite images published on ABC news. Just scroll your mouse from the left of an image to the right to see the scene change before your eyes:

Japan Earthquake: Before and After
Terrible, isn't it? :(

Also, if you are a freelance editor, or you know of one who could be interested in contributing a bit of time to help sort through submissions, do let us know!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Announcement!

Welcome to Stories for Sendai!
One of the largest earthquakes ever recorded hit the city of Sendai in the Tohoku region of Japan on Friday March 11. The magnitude 9.0 quake unleashed a deadly tsunami that slammed into Japan's east coast, leaving a swathe of devastation in its wake. Thousands of people lost their lives, and many are still missing or injured. Thousands more have been left homeless and destitute.

As a testament to the generosity of the world's citizens, emergency appeals have been swiftly set up in the aftermath of the quake, but I'm sure many of you, as we did, had the same thought: our donations seem so puny. There must be some other way we could make a difference!

With that in mind, STORIES FOR SENDAI was born!

We are compiling an anthology of inspirational short stories loosely themed around the strength of the human spirit. All proceeds will be donated to GlobalGiving in aid of victims of the earthquake and tsunami. GlobalGiving will disburse the funds to relief organisations and emergency services on the ground, including International Medical Corps. and Save the Children.  

But that's not all!

Aside from raising funds to support aid efforts, we also hope that our combined messages of strength in the face of adversity, of silver linings in storm clouds, will shine a light in these dark times, providing a brief respite in a time of crisis.

If you have an inspiring story to contribute, we would love to hear from you! Please check the submission guidelines page. To find out more, visit the Who We Are and our FAQ section.

Feel free to re-post this and help spread the word! Thanks!