Help Samantha Study in England!

***ANOTHER UPDATE*** Tuesday 12 July 2016: I friends! I recently disabled my YouCaring fundraiser since the trip to Cambridge is canceled. womp womp However, if you previously donated to that fundraiser you should have an email from me in your inbox letting you know what’s what. So, peep that for an update on me. And if you didn’t get a chance to get in on the fundraiser, but would like to monetarily support my writing please contact me here to get info on how you can make a PayPal or Venmo reparations payment. Thanks!

***UPDATE:

Hi everyone! Just wanted to pop in and say thank you so so much for your generous donations and let you know where I’m at so far. Tuition is due on Monday, June 20th and I’m very close to reaching that part of the total goal: $1,142. If I don’t pay this amount in full by Monday I will be dropped from the program. I’m at $972 — this is the actual total including the few PayPal donations I’ve received, too. There’s only $215 needed to push it to the next target. If each person who reads this update shared the link on Facebook and sent it in an email to a few friends, I believe we would surpass the goal. Please encourage your friends, family, and colleagues to donate. Send them the link with a few words as to why this is important to you, or why you appreciate my work. Let them know that *no amount is too modest*, promise. Again, I appreciate y’all’s help and support. Let’s make it happen!

Also, I’ve noticed that it occasionally seems like the YouCaring site is down. Please contact me here to make a PayPal donation, or if you already have my email address, go for it! Thanks so much!***

 

Hey folks! It is with so much excitement that I get to let y’all know that as of last week I was accepted to the University of Cambridge International Summer Programme, in the Creative Writing Summer Programme 2016!!!

As of right now, the only thing in my way is money. So, I’ve started a fundraiser on YouCaring as an ask to my community of chosen family, friends, fellow writers, artists, mentors, and organizers to help me get to England to study creative nonfiction writing.

Most of this can also be found in the fundraiser itself, but here’s the highlights and info:

Recently, I had a nonfiction scifi article published in Lightspeed: People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction!; I’ve been published on Black Girl Dangerous, For Harriet, and am a regular contributor to PQ Monthly. This rigorous summer program will give me the opportunity to study in a writing-centered environment of peers, attend lectures from visiting authors, produce more content, and meet and exceed my writing goals. Though I can’t do it without y’all’s help!

Baseline needs:

  • Program tuition and fees: $1,142 — PAST DUE!
  • Round trip international airfare: $1,600+fees
  • Food: $300
  • Misc.: $458
  • TOTAL: $3,500

We know international travel ain’t cheap…help a homie out (donate!) and please continue reading for ways you can support me.
Other ways to help out:

  • Airline miles! Maybe you have some extra miles or a buddy pass you want to give me? Example: I could use your miles/buddy pass to fly from PDX to NYC, and then only have to pay out-of-pocket for the overseas part of my airfare.
  • New Seasons gift cards (I have lots of food allergies and this is the place I shop cause I know they have food that isn’t poison to me, but it’s hella expensive and eats away at my budget [see what I did there!?]).
  • Please contact me here if you would like to fulfill either of these asks.

I will be depleting my savings to contribute to the total cost of this trip. I’ve made two payments, so far, to the university and still owe!

Further incentive to donate:

  • I will be giving all donors — regardless of amount pledged — exclusive access to blog content on my website [right here!] while I’m in Europe!
  • Every day, I’ll be writing about my trip. I’m committed to posting excerpts from things I write in class, blogging about the people I meet, and things I do slash get into. List not limited to me sharing photos of me crying all over the X-Men/Hogwarts hybrid campus that is Cambridge [no big deal, I cry a lot when I travel].

It’s true there are a select few other funding opportunities outside of asking my community and strangers to help me out. And I am seeking those out as well; including small professional development grants through local nonprofit organizations, as well as writer-focused funding sources. The majority of my research on these sources has shown that the timeframe of my trip doesn’t coincide with their due dates. However, I was recently offered, and accepted, another freelance writing gig as a way to earn some additional income. Turns out, there aren’t many options in Portland for Black writers to become stronger, more skilled and supported Black writers. James Baldwin said:

“I moved to Europe because I was trying to become a writer and couldn’t find in my surroundings, in my country, a certain stamina, a certain corroboration that I needed. For example, no one ever told me that Alexandre Dumas was a mullato. No one had told me that Pushkin was black. As far as I knew when I was very, very young there’d never been anything…called a black writer.”

The first time I read this quote I ugly cried. I cried because I realized that after so many years and so many lifetimes passing between today — the moment you’re reading this — and the time when James said these words, we haven’t yet witnessed the change that was supposed to come. Yes, Black writers are being published and we’re visible in some places and spaces. Though to be honest, I believe we can attribute much of that success to social media, self-publishing, and technology that allows us to create our own media outlets. (Because why be “integrated into a burning building”?). I’ve yet to find that corroboration…

Also, this ask is me refusing to let money be the sole barrier to attending this program. Right now, being beholden to capitalism is the only thing in my way.

When those in power only give you a no, create a yes.

I’m creating a yes. Say yes to me. Support my work. Support a Black femme writer. If you like my work; if my writing has touched you in some way; if you want to see me succeed and do what I do — donate today.

Thanks so much!

In solidarity,

Samantha L. Taylor

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