Will you help me help others to read?

I don’t usually do this but I’m asking for donations for something near and dear to my heart - adult literacy. I checked with Nabiki, who check with Lee and they said it was okay if I posted this request.

As of 2012, 45% of Canadians were reading below a 6th grade level. The US isn’t much better - according to a study conducted in April 2013 by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, 21% of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level, and 19% of high school graduates can’t read. Adult literacy issues can not only affect a person’s self-esteem, but also his or her ability to get a job, and even to perform mundane day-to-day tasks we take for granted like reading a recipe, filling out a form or reading street signs when we’re trying to find an address.

My ability to read has always been a gift, and one that came easily to me. I was and am transported to other places and other worlds through the books I read and the places and characters I create through my own writing. On a professional level, if I need to learn new information I can read and assimilate what I need to know fairly quickly. Now I want to help others get the same gift I have.

To that end, I’m going to try and write a novel from scratch in 72 hours to raise money for the YMCA Muskoka’s adult literacy programs. Yes, you heard that right - I and 39 other raving lunatics dedicated writers are spending the July 10th weekend at the Muskoka Novel Marathon trying to write as much as we can between 8 p.m. Friday night and 8 p.m. Monday night.

The Marathon is an annual fundraiser for the YMCA Muskoka, which offers free instruction in reading, writing, math, computer skills, life skills and English as a second language, helping about 200 people per year. So in addition to getting to hang out with a bunch of other writerly types who will also be enduring sleep deprivation, occasional technical difficulties and characters who won’t do what we want them to do, I’ll be raising funds for this amazing organization.

I really hope you’ll consider sponsoring me, even if it’s just for a couple of bucks. My goal is to raise $500 and I’m already over halfway there. And, if I raise $1,000 or more, my spot in next year’s marathon is guaranteed! To donate, you can go to my fundraising page at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/pages/2015-muskoka-novel-marathon-for-ymca-muskoka-liter/.

Please note that any donations made through this page go directly to the YMCA, and you will get a tax receipt. (And even though it says “CanadaHelps”, the site can accept donations from outside Canada as well.) If you want more info on the marathon itself, you can find it at http://www.muskokanovelmarathon.com/ or you can ask me.

Thanks for your support!


I’ve never regretted fighting my mother in order to learn to read, and fighting my way out of remedial reading when I was 10.

I’ll do what I can, closer to the first of the month.

Thank you CWX, but don’t short yourself - even good thoughts while I’m doing this will be much appreciated!

I’m good at budgeting, usually. Besides, it’s only money, what else am I going to do with it?


Thanks, CWX - much appreciated!

Yes, done! Good luck, TM :smile:


Thanks so much RR! I’ll be letting my supporters know how I did after the Marathon is complete (and will no doubt be waving my hat in the “What Made You Happy” thread) so hopefully I’ll be able to tell you I have a completed first draft of my novel.

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Done. I also saw that my donation qualified for the lottery as well, for an additional donation. I hope Muskoka wins it.

Thanks so much, CWX, much appreciated. I’ll be letting you know how I did once the Marathon’s over - hopefully I’ll be able to report a completed first draft.

Admins, please remove if not allowed.

It’s been a while since I posted about the Muskoka Novel Marathon here. This will be my fifth year taking part and as a writer it’s a great experience. But the best part of it is that the money I raise goes to help people to read.

I’m not going to go into the full spiel about the Marathon, as it’s all in the first post in this thread. I will say that the literacy stats are actually getting worse. 48% of adult Canadians read at less than high-school level, and 17% of those have such low literacy rates they may not be able to read simple dosage instructions on a medicine bottle.

I have four sleeps until I take part in the madness that is the Muskoka Novel Marathon, and I’m still way short of reaching my goal. Please, friends, consider pledging me - all donations go directly to the YMCA’s Adult Literacy programs. If you’re not in Canada, don’t worry - the fundraising site can accept donations from anywhere.

And, as an added incentive, anyone who donates will get a PDF version of my award-winning short story “The Coming of the Dawn”, complete with a shiny new cover. It’s a vampire tale written long before vamps were popular and sparkly!

Technomistress’ Muskoka Novel Marathon Page

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I’d say this kind of stuff from an established member is allowed. :slight_smile:


What Nabiki said. If you were a n00b it would be suspect, but we know you’re legit.


I’m not into vampires, sparkly, pasty, or otherwise, but I threw in to support you.

Thank you! I thought that was you crossing my notifications. I’ll still send you the story when I get home tonight - pass it on to someone you know who likes non-sparkly vampires. :slight_smile:

Ok, thanks, will do!

Since I had $0.81 Canadian in my PayPal account. (Slightly kidding. I donated more than that…)

Thank you! I saw an unfamiliar name come across my notifications and wondered who that might be. Story is on it’s way.

I also may have spent some money on RPG PDFs this morning so figured I should donate to a good cause.

(It was the 2016 edition of Paranoia. I’m not made of stone.)


Ooh, nice choice. I haven’t yet had the fun of playing in a Paranoia game, but I’ve read about it.

It’s kind of weird as the pre-2016 editions were heavy on “We are making fun of other RPGs, but especially D&D” while the new edition gets a little more eccentric as I think it’s heavily card-based and such. It kind of follows the development of RPGs in general, I guess.