The African Education Raffle-- Promote Education and Win Agent/Editor Critiques!

Feb 4, 2011

Okay, folks, the day of awesomeness has arrived! This awesomeness involves five kids in Ghana, their education, and some prizes from an agent and an editor to help YOU in your writing career!

When I was twenty, I volunteered for four months at New Life International Orphanage in Ghana, West Africa. One boy in particular, Michael, became my special friend after a minor miracle. Well, now Michael and his friends Joseph, Grace, Abraham, and Daniel have the chance to go to high school. High school is neither free nor compulsory in Ghana, but it's one of the few ways these children have to lift themselves from poverty. (You can read more about the children here. The picture below is Michael and Grace on their first day or high school last September.)

School fees, which include room and board for the entire semester, total about $2,500 for all five kids. If everyone who follows this blog donated just TEN DOLLARS, we would nearly be able to fund all five children for their next semester at school. Any extra money we make will go to fund additional semesters. And, because you are just awesome, any donations you make will enter you in the raffle to win a critique for your writing!


An initial donation of $5 gets you one entry in the raffle. Make a secure, tax-deductible donation to Literacy for Life here. (PLEASE PUT "Reach for the Stars" in the message line so your donation goes to the right project.)

Every additional $5 you donate gets you another entry (so if you donated $20, you would get 4 entries).

After an initial $5 donation, blogging about the raffle will get you 1 additional entry. Tweeting/Facebooking about the raffle will get you 1 additional entry (1 total, not one for each).

Fill out the form below so I can tally your raffle entries. The raffle ends Friday, March 4th.


THREE winners will be chosen by to receive one of the following prizes.

#1: A 10 page manuscript critique OR synopsis critique from freelance editor C.A. Marshall!

C.A. Marshall is a freelance editor, lit agent intern, YA writer, and loves to play with her dog Mollie. She dreams of one day owning a small house near the water, preferably in England, with a shelf full of books she has written and has helped others to write. She can be found in Emmett, MI.

#2: A critique of the first chapter of your manuscript from literary agent Sarah LaPolla at Curtis Brown!

Sarah LaPolla began at Curtis Brown in 2008, working with Dave Barbor and Peter Ginsberg. Sarah is interested in literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, science fiction, literary horror, and young adult fiction. She loves complex characters, coming-of-age stories, and strong narrators. Sarah graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Writing and English, and went on to receive her MFA in Creative Writing from The New School.

#3: A critique of the first chapter of your manuscript from me! And since I'm not nearly as cool as the other prizes, I'm throwing in a copy of the incredible book They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The True Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan.

You have a chance to help five kids gain an education to beat poverty-- AND to get some amazing critiques to help you in your own work! Thanks in advance for all your help!


RaShelle Workman said...

Hi Shallee - This is so cool! It's so great you went to Ghana and helped out. That's always something I thought about doing, but you did it. I had to help out now. Thanks for the opportunity. I blogged. Tweeted and FB'd. =D

RaShelleWorkman - twitter
RaShelle Workman - FB

Teralyn Rose Pilgrim said...

This is so much better than entering a normal contest because the money's actually going somewhere and doing some good. Great idea!

How on earth did you get Sarah LaPolla to help with this? She's on my list of agents to query.

M Pax said...

Awesome indeed! Awesome you. Will mark the donation link.

Abby Minard said...

This is great Shallee. I did my donation and filled out the form. I didn't blog about it yet, but I may next week. So I didn't include that in my form. This looks like a great cause! I'm always glad to help!

Anonymous said...

This is too awesome! I'll be sending best wishes, prayers, good thoughts, and all the money I can find between the couch cushions! And of course blog posts to get the word out. :D I love to learn, I can't imagine what it would be like not to know about the world you live in. I hope you help raise more than enough money for them all. :)

Michelle Merrill said...

Okay, Shallee. I finally got on the ball. Sorry, it was a busy weekend! I'm so excited you're doing this again! You Rock! I donated, blogged, and facebooked :)

Angie said...

What an awesome thing you are doing!

Melissa Hurst said...

This is fantastic! I hope you meet the goal for these children.

Penelope Wright said...

This is really great, I'm glad I saw my friend's tweet about this. It would be nice to win a prize, but regardless, I'm glad I had a chance to help out. There's a special place in my heart for West Africa.

Trisha said...

This is a very worthy cause! I donated, but haven't done anything else yet. I will however be facebooking and blogging later on, hopefully today. Cheers.

Cheyanne said...

I just donated, but stupidly forgot to put reach for the stars in the message line.. Can i change this somehow?

Shallee said...

No worries, Cheyanne! The organization director sent me the receipt from your donation, so it went to the right place. :) Thank you so much!

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

This is so great, Shallee!

In reading the above comments, I realized I might have forgotten Reach for the Stars, too. Ugh. Hopefully they'll get it! Sorry I'm such a spacecase!


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