So have you heard the news? A half-dozen of CCLaP's writers will be heading to New York City at the end of this month, to participate in a four-day, four-show mini-tour! And while the tour is definitely a go, no matter what happens between now and then, unfortunately that meant that all of CCLaP's authors were forced to purchase their own airline tickets ahead of time out of their own pocket, a $300 downer that technically starts all these writers off in debt at the beginning of their tour, a stressful situation that no artist likes being in when trying to put their best face forward in another city. And that's why CCLaP has just started up its first-ever Kickstarter campaign as well, to see if we can get all of you to help subsidize the costs of these tickets, so that these poor writers can at least start their trip at the zero mark financially and have a major load taken off their minds.
Ah, but we're not simply asking you to donate money towards such a thing; in usual style we've actually put together a brand-new product for you to "pre-purchase" instead, with every penny after costs going straight into a communal fund for the eight tickets that ended up getting purchased (the six out-of-town writers plus CCLaP staffers Traci Kim and myself...and of course don't forget that New Yorkers Oriana Leckert and John Reed will be joining us for these shows once we get out there, just that they didn't need to purchase airplane tickets, so are not technically a part of this fundraising campaign). The book being offered is a brand-new anthology called Chicago Platter 2012 (yes, because I plan on putting one of these together every year from now on, to help subsidize whatever trip we make that particular year); and it consists of brand-new, never-before-published work by all six out-of-town authors going on this tour (Kevin Haworth, David David Katzman, Lauryn Allison Lewis, Katherine Scott Nelson, Ben Tanzer and Sally Weigel), plus a new story by Traci as a special bonus.
As is typical at Kickstarter, there are a number of levels at which you can donate/invest, with differing levels of perks based on your dollar amount: for US$5, for example, you'll receive an electronic copy of Platter in mid-June when it's available, plus your name on the front "thank-you" page of the book, while for $20 you receive that plus a handmade, hardbound paper copy, or for $35 a copy with personal inscriptions from all seven contributors. For $50, then, you receive not only all of this but an invitation to a special intimate "bon voyage" party we're throwing for everyone on Saturday, May 26th, in an outdoor garden environment in nearby Evanston (party located two blocks from a CTA purple-line el station), featuring not just free food and liquor but a chance to interact with CCLaP's authors in a casual, one-on-one atmosphere; then for $100 you get not only everything just described, but free paper copies of all eleven books CCLaP has ever published, delivered en-masse directly to your door via USPS Priority Mail. (And it bears repeating, by the way, that all of these perks will actually be delivered in mid-June, once the tour is over and we're all back in town.)
This is the very first time in CCLaP's five-year history that I've asked all of you to make a direct contribution towards one of our projects, and not even an open donation but with a chance to get some really cool things in return, so I hope that all of you who have ever thought about making a major act of support for the center will finally do so now; our real goal is $2,500 over the next month, which should just about cover everyone's tickets after costs for book production are subtracted, although our stated goal at Kickstarter is $1,500 so that we'll at least get something if we're not fully funded. (For those who don't know, Kickstarter donations are not finalized unless the fundraising target is fully met, the entire project dissolved unfunded otherwise.) I urge you to stop by our Kickstarter page and make a donation right away, and to also help us spread the word about both this and the tour in general. Many, many, many updates to come over the next 30 days!