Tags: fund drive

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heartfelt thanks

Yesterday, Strange Horizons met and surpassed its 2009 fund drive goal. In a single day, we raised an astounding $10,000! The outpouring of generosity has been stunning, and means wonderful things for the magazine's continued future; we're all thrilled about this.

I want to thank everyone who donated, but I also want to thank everyone who took the time to write a few words about Strange Horizons, whether in blog posts, email, tweets, or even the comments section on Scalzi's incredibly galvanizing rallying call. Over the past few days, I've heard a lot of moving testimonials. I love reading about how people view the magazine's role in the SF field; you guys really get what we're about. It's been beautiful to hear from authors who care about the magazine, or whose first sale to Strange Horizons changed their lives. You've helped renew our faith in the spec-fic community, strengthened our resolve, and reminded us that all this work really can make a difference.

Your support makes the magazine possible, and inspires us to keep doing what we do. So thank you. We love you too.  And we aim to keep bringing you the good stuff.

Our rocket overfloweth.

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It's fund drive month at Strange Horizons, so last week I made myself write up a post about how SH is such a wonderful zine and a force for Good in the field and all that.  But a few hours later, I took it down.  I tried, but I just can't stand to do the self-promotion push again.  I realize this is what people do on the internet, but it makes me feel icky.

I think Susan and Jed are similar to me in this: we all suck at hype, and that is probably why Strange Horizons remains a fairly low-profile magazine, despite being, in its own way, a major market.  We care about the stories, about choosing and editing them.  We care about our writers. The PR end of the business, not so much.

Here's the thing: Strange Horizons is donor-supported.  If people donate, our budget gets covered and we can continue to pay our authors professional rates.  The bulk of our donations come in small amounts, a few dollars at a time.  If a lot of people chip in, it will happen.  But most of our readers don't.

I suspect it just doesn't occur to them that it's necessary; people take for granted that content on the internet is free.  Because the Strange Horizons model is unusual: most online magazines are either corporate-backed, or they don't pay their contributors professional rates, or they require paid subscriptions, or they're loss leaders for other sales, or they don't survive for very long.

Strange Horizons is a non-profit labor of love that's been going strong since 2000, which makes it fairly long-lived by SF magazine standards, and positively venerable in internet years.  We put all that great fiction out there free, for the world to share and enjoy.  And every year, we remind our readers to cough up a little cash if they can, to support the magazine's continued existence. Every year, the donations trickle in until we reach our goal.

I surely hope we'll make our budget again this year, because I love Strange Horizons and want it to go on.  But you know what?  I'm tired of asking for money.  Here's what I'd like from you, from any of you out there who read and love the magazine, all of you who are glad it exists:

I'm asking you to think about what Strange Horizons means to you, and write something about that.  Even if it's just a couple of sentences. What do you think makes the magazine special?  Why is it a valuable market in the field?  What stories have you loved reading?  What gets published there that's important to you?  Authors, how has Strange Horizons affected your life? I want to hear your testimonies, personal anecdotes, observations, happy memories.

Post your testimonies where others can read them, or mail them to me if you're feeling shy.  Obviously I'd like you to spread the word and remind everyone about the fund drive, but it's not only that.  I need a reminder, too.  To be honest, I always find the fund drives a little discouraging, because the money trickles in so slowly, and sometimes I think: do people *want* this magazine to continue?  I need to know if all the work that we put in, Jed and Susan and I, and Niall, and all the others, really matters to the community.

It's fund drive time, but I'd prefer to think of this as Strange Horizons Appreciation Week.  Let us hear from you, okay?

[ETA: If you post, or see that someone else has posted, please drop me a line or leave a comment here pointing me to the link, so we'll see it!]
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Also, I just want to thank everyone who contributed to the Strange Horizons fund drive this year.  Our goals are modest but it's always a relief and a pleasure to know that our readers are so supportive.  I've seen a lot of people posting this past month about how Strange Horizons is important and venerable and all that, but you know, the magazine is still a weird little experimental independent oddity in publishing, and I think it's kind of amazing that it works.  It does, though, and I'm proud that we're able to make so much great writing available to readers worldwide.  We continue to love what we do, so I'm glad we can go on doing it.  Thanks.
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Strange Horizons fund drive: nearly there!

Our little rocket is nearly full -- as I write this, we are less than $200 short of our goal!  Will you be the one to tip us over the edge?  The Strange Horizons fund drive is extended for what I'm guessing will only be another day or so, until we meet our goal.  If you donate during that time, you're still eligible to win one of our fund drive prizes.  Plus if you donate $25 (now or any time of year) you will receive a SH reader/membership card that looks like this:

image by Jeremiah Tolbert

Which is a pretty awesome card to carry.  If you've ever read and loved anything at Strange Horizons, and if you want to support independent publishing and authors getting paid, now's the time to chip in.  Thank you.
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Hey guys!  You know Strange Horizons is having a fund drive all this month, right?  And that you can win prizes if you donate?   Many of the donor prizes are quite wondrous indeed (and you might win one even just for blogging about the fund drive to help us out).  But mostly we hope you'll toss a little cash in the hat because Strange Horizons is an important market for speculative fiction, publishing work by exciting new writers as well as the names you've come to know and love, plus reviews and poetry and all kinds of stuff that lets readers across the planet discover great writing.  We pay professional rates, we offer our content 100% free, and we do it all as a nonprofit labor of love.  (Which means donations are tax-deductable, in case your boss likes to fund arts organizations too!)  For eight years and counting, the sf community has helped keep our little magazine going strong.  If you've ever found something on our site that you were glad to find, I hope you'll chip in whatever you can.  Thank you!
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Strange Horizons!

Tomorrow will be August! That means today is the final day of the Strange Horizons 2007 fund drive, and your last chance to be eligible to win a prize. We've got a treasure hoard of drool-worthy prizes for you: free books, magazine subscriptions, original artwork, t-shirts, and all kinds of miscellaneous stuff.  So if you donate today, you've got a good shot at getting a lovely surprise in the mail out of this deal.

Apart from the loot, here's why you should donate: Strange Horizons has been steadily putting out weird and excellent work every week for seven years now.  Publishing a wide variety of the best and brightest voices in the field of speculative fiction.  Making all our stories freely available for anyone to read.  Helping to launch new writers' careers.  Though we've become one of the most significant markets in speculative fiction, we're still a grassroots, non-profit project.  The staff doesn't get paid, but we pay our contributors at professional rates, and our entire budget for running the magazine relies on readers choosing to pay a little for the magazine every now and then.

If all that sounds like something you appreciate, then it's easy to kick in a few bucks to help us keep going strong: just click the banner below or follow this link to get to our fund drive page.  You are welcome to donate all year round, but July is the best month for you to do it and today is the last day of July!  This means if you're thinking "Why yes, I would like to support the arts," now is a good time to go for it.

Magazines come and go pretty fast in this business, but against all odds we're still going strong.  I think of Strange Horizons as a crazy dream that, incredibly, came true and just goes on getting better.  Thank you for helping keep this dream alive.

Visit Strange Horizons, www.strangehorizons.com