Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sagamihara: Tapestry

Beautiful humans:  Somewhere, for someone, you changed their life.  Everyone who ever existed has made an impact, our threads in the tapestry of this world are adjacent to others... complementing and contrasting.  You were important.  You were vital.  

Those who love you the most will be your historians in this world, reminding it of you... sharing you with those who haven't known you.  This is the gift they can give.

Thank you for your presence.  May those you loved carry your stories in their hearts, so they may be repeated back to you when you reunite.

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Writer's Journey

It's difficult, being aware of your mortality or possessing copious limitations.

Sometimes, being disabled/neurodivergent means complicated medical histories--surgeries, specialists, medication lists longer than a grocery list, susceptibility to illnesses, doctors disbelieving and misdiagnosing.  We often have to be careful with ourselves.

For people with chronic pain or illness, pushing themselves can be risky to their health.
People on the Autism Spectrum can become exhausted with too much stimuli.
Those with memory issues may have extra difficulty when they take on too many projects.
It goes on.

But, we all try to push ourselves because we're taught that's how we reach our goals.  We push, strive, and sweat until we ache with it, until we shake with exhaustion and tears.  If we don't, we don't really want to succeed, we're just lazy and don't deserve it.

Some of us have a more tenuous life span than others.  When people feel like they're racing a clock, they tend to push too hard, jeopardizing their health faster (and more often).  It creates a catch-22:  Race and risk your life or take it easier and don't accomplish what you want/need before you die.

So, what do we do when one day of furiously fast work can set us back days or weeks?  We prioritize, figure out the task most important.  We start small, with only a five-minute task if needed.  We know our limitations and honor them, not pushing to the point of injury or illness.  Progress does not have to be made every day, either.

If you're a short story writer, start writing Twitter-fiction or shoot for one short story a month.  The writing will add up.
Poets can write haiku or other short forms.
Novelists can start by paragraph... sentence if they must.
Creative nonfiction writers can write in micro-journals.

It doesn't matter where the starting point is as long as the journey happens.  It doesn't matter how slow it goes, if it's moving.  Some writers take years off between projects and no one thinks less of them, their journeys are just more leisurely.  There are benefits in downtime, too.  Just keep the path in mind, and visit it whenever you can.

There are no true destinations in the writing life anyway, merely way stations.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Grants for Disabled Artists (Time for Disappointment)

I'm frustrated.  When I began, I knew finding grants for disabled/neurodivergent writers and artists wouldn't be easy.  And it exceeded my expectations.


I've stumbled across many broken links or outdated sources, the bricked-up alleyways of the Internet.

I've found grants for diverse writers where nearly every difference is accounted for... every one but disability.

I've found resources for nondisabled people to make their art and/or events accessible for the disabled/neurodivergent.  This aim is great, but wasn't what I was looking for.

There are grants supporting the arts as hobbies or therapy, not careers.


Below, you will locate what little information there is.
I don't know much about grants, so I can't provide insight.
Most grants are tied to region and/or genre.
Some require 1 to 1 funding.
Always read guidelines carefully. 

The Arts Council's Art and Disability (Ireland)
There are many funding opportunities for artists given, including a few specifically for artists with disabilities in Ireland.  (Scroll down the page.)

Tangled Art + Disability has two grants for Ontario-based disabled artists.

Exhibition Assistance Grant:

"This program is open to Ontario-based professional visual artists, craft artists, media artists and artist collectives who have a confirmed, upcoming public exhibition. Exhibitions in Ontario, in other Canadian provinces, and in international locations are all eligible. Tangled accepts applications from artists who identify as disabled, Deaf, and Mad."

Theatre Creators Reserve Grant:

"Tangled is currently accepting applications for the OAC’s Theatre Creators’ Reserve funding. This program provides grants of $1000 to $5,000 to assist theatre creators, playwrights, and informal collectives with costs related to developing a theatrical work, including developing relationships with other theatre artists."

Dates for the 2017 grants haven't been posted.
The website also talks about a residency, but doesn't have anything there beyond an article from 2013.

California Arts Council gives disabled California artists grants between $500 and $1,500 for things that would advance their careers (like travel to workshops or residencies in California, supplies to finish a work, etc.).

VSA Minnesota Emerging Artist Grant Program for Minnesota artists (and seems to include NYC artists, as well).
Has a "general grant program" which isn't currently open.
There are also programs for composers and those working in film.
Extra information:   The "eligibility quiz" asks if someone is applying through a fiscal sponsor.

Artists with Disabilities Access Program for Ohio artists is not for just one artistic discipline.  Individual applicants can request up to $1,000.
Deadlines:  "June 1 annually (for activities taking place July 15—next June 30) and, if program funds are not expended, December 1 annually (for activities taking place January 15—June 30)"
From the Website:  "The Artists with Disabilities Access Program (ADAP) provides funding that gives artists with disabilities the necessary resources they need to further their artistic development. The OAC believes that creative expression by artists of all abilities is essential to building dynamic and diverse communities throughout Ohio."

Diverse Writers and Diverse Worlds Grants are given by The Speculative Literature Foundation.  Both are small grants of $500.  The application process is from May 1st to July 31st.  These are for speculative (horror, sci-fi, fantasy) fiction writers who have an in-progress project (preference given to book-length works).

The Diverse Writers Grant is for minority writers whose "marginalized identities may present additional obstacles in the writing/publishing process".

The Diverse Worlds Grant is "intended for work that best presents a diverse world, regardless of the writer’s background".


There are probably (hopefully) more grants out there for disabled and/or neurodivergent writers.  Contact your state/regional arts councils.  Maybe they just don't put each grant offered onto the Internet.  Email organisations for disabled/neurodivergent citizens.

I will report more grants if I come across them, lovelies.  I hope this helps some of you.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Now Live: Inclusive Mainstream Publications!

Our page on inclusive mainstream publications is now up.  It has nineteen "literary" publications, and six "speculative" ones, each recommended by a disabled/neurodivergent writer.

While we wrestled with it, we decided we are not including magazines with reading fees.  They are prohibitive for many in our community... which limits inclusion.  If a publication has online fees, but doesn't charge for submissions by mail, we'll put it up; a "fee-free" window lasting more than a week is acceptable, as well.

There are notes at the top of the page explaining why we might leave out some places and what we tried to do.  We hope all the information is helpful.

We are still taking recommendations and will continue to expand it indefinitely.  Please, if you've had a positive experience with a publication not listed, let us know!  We would love a longer list.  Share with us in the comments, on Twitter, or via email (

Friday, February 3, 2017

Author Collectives, Independent Together

A lot of writers want to go indie, but are scared of the whole process.  As a self-published author, you have to hire people (or have extensive knowledge/learn) editing, formatting, cover design, etc.  It's quite daunting.  Marketing is something authors are required to do (mainly) on their own, regardless of what route to publication is taken.

There is a skyscraper of information out there on how to self-publish, and no shortage of companies offering to do all the work of getting your work in print... for a price.  While there are some very reputable freelance editors, cover designers, etc. out there, many more bilk authors out of thousands of dollars.  Publishing services offering all-in-one packages generally aren't reliable and try to upsell authors.

So, more indie authors are starting author collectives (also called author co-ops) to navigate a landscape where traditional houses aren't sheltering them and unscrupulous people wait.  It provides writers with feedback, recommendations for services that are good (or even an exchange:  one writer's editing expertise for another's incredible cover design help), a "company brand" where the publishing house logo would feature, etc.  Most collectives/co-ops don't pool money for anything (other than a joint marketing campaign, maybe) and copyright always remains with the author.  Promoting books in a group has more reach than what most people have on their own.

Some authors, though, haven't had good experiences.  They've tried to partner with people who expect different things or take more than they give.  A co-op can get too large with certain authors being lost in the deluge.

But, if you organize with people you trust and work out everything beforehand, an author collective can make a self-publishing journey more like a road trip with friends.  If traditional publishing takes too many royalties, finds your work too niche, or if you're overwhelmed by self-publishing alone, this might just be your ticket to a greater horizon.

For more information on author collectives, click this.