Wow! I can't believe how people responded to my call for donations to increase the prize money for this year's Million Writers Award.
First, the background. As I mentioned the other day, our previous monetary sponsor dropped out, meaning we didn't have the $300 we usually give to the overall MWA winner. To ensure that there was at least some award money, I ponied up $50 while storySouth's new publisher, Spring Garden Press, promised another $50, getting us to $100. I then placed a call for donations, hoping we could add a few dollars to that amount.
But instead of a few bucks, we raised just over $600 in two days! With the previously committed money, that means we have $700 to give out. So the top prize for the Million Writers Award is now $500, while this year's runner-up will receive $200.
Thank you to everyone who donated. As people know, too often short story writers receive little if any payment for their work. This money will go a long way toward raising the profile of both the winners of this contest, and online fiction as a whole.
I'm working on a post to honor all the people who donated this money and hope to have it up soon. And while I'm reluctant to turn away anyone who still wishes to donate, please note that we've more than met our goals. That said, if more donations come in, I'll simply use the money to increase the prize money even more.
So many thanks to everyone. And remember--turn in your reader and editor story nominations by March 31, 2009. Complete details are here.