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Writing is hard, but we're here to help! Support TBL's program to offer free, professional coaching for all writers.
98 backers pledged $10,461 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$10,461

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Come support us in our mission to help writers!

When we first started in 2007, Tethered by Letters was a pretty humble operation. We knew we loved literature, and we wanted to help the people who create it. Working from dirty coffee shop tables and our own cluttered desks, we slowly built a company that could accomplish these goals. We’ve done a lot since then: we publish phenomenal literature and art, we run several educational programs for aspiring writers, and we host a lively community of artists from around the world.

But it all started with one thing: the Free Editing Program.

The TBL Free Editing Program is our most direct way to help writers. Writing isn’t just hard; it’s lonely. Too often, we see talented writers—many of them so close to achieving success—just getting stuck. Maybe it’s a problem with their prose. Maybe they’re not great with structure. Or maybe they’re just not marketing themselves correctly. The worst part is, they never really know. In today’s industry, writers are lucky if a rejection letter even includes their name.

We’re here to help writers understand what they’re missing. We’re here to help them get better. We’re here to ensure that those amazing voices don’t disappear.

Why a Kickstarter Campaign?

Since its inception, the Free Editing Program has been run mostly by volunteers. We found (or perhaps badgered) talented editors to join the mission, donating a couple hours a week to help writers find their way. And for a long time, that was enough.

But not anymore.

When we first started out, we helped a couple dozen authors a year. In the last year alone, we’ve helped over 500 new and aspiring writers. That’s more than 40 authors per month, all receiving one-on-one editing guidance.

If funded, this Kickstarter campaign will ensure that we can continue to help aspiring writers, completely free of charge. If we reach our goal, we’ll be able to keep the Free Editing Program alive for a whole year, maintaining our talented staff of editors, bringing on more interns to help with the influx of submissions, and expanding the program to help even more writers.

If we surpass our funding goal, we’ll get a head start on our other nonprofit endeavors: workshops, writing resources, lectures, and compensation for all the amazing authors and artists published in F(r)iction.

Our Mission

At Tethered by Letters, we believe in the power of storytelling. This uniquely human ability should be treasured and championed, no matter a person’s background, age, or education. We provide the tools to help writers master their craft, combining our extensive educational resources, lively international community, and in-house publisher. By fostering a love of literature, we strive to discover, nurture, and publish the next generation of great storytellers.

Writer Testimonials

"Working with TBL made me a better editor of my own work.

...Working with TBL gives me clarity. Here is one voice ringing through the fog."

- Keren Toledano, author of "Death of the Drive-In," F(r)iction #1

"It’s no overstatement to say that the editing process at TBL has made me a better writer...It felt like they were emotionally invested, and I don’t know if I can say anything more positive about people—the incredible editors I worked with—willing to read something I wrote. Tethered by Letters should feel as proud of the work they’ve shepherded as the writers who wrote it."

-Brian Lott, author of "The Dragonfly's Necessary Demise," TBL Quarterly #9, Fall

To read more about the program and watch some awesome testimonial videos, check out our Free Editing Page:

http://tetheredbyletters.com/programs/free-editing-program/

 Rewards!

Blot Post Cards!
Blot Post Cards!
F(r)iction Greeting Cards!
F(r)iction Greeting Cards!
Coffee and F(r)iction!
Coffee and F(r)iction!
Beer Glass and F(r)iction!
Beer Glass and F(r)iction!
Send a Blot on the attack!
Send a Blot on the attack!
A copy of F(r)iction signed by Isaac Marion
A copy of F(r)iction signed by Isaac Marion
Signed Print by Kelsi Jo Silva
Signed Print by Kelsi Jo Silva
Signed Print by Sharon Sober
Signed Print by Sharon Sober
Signed print by Dara Cochran
Signed print by Dara Cochran
Signed Print by Josh Mowgli
Signed Print by Josh Mowgli
Signed print by Alyssa Menold
Signed print by Alyssa Menold
So many things in one package!
So many things in one package!
Custom Blot Bookends!
Custom Blot Bookends!
Serving up a hand-made story book created just to your liking!
Serving up a hand-made story book created just to your liking!
The TBL team of Editors will help you get your longer work all polished up
The TBL team of Editors will help you get your longer work all polished up
All of the notes on even your longest work and special career advice from our editor-in-chief!
All of the notes on even your longest work and special career advice from our editor-in-chief!
Get the ability to rename our online literary publication!
Get the ability to rename our online literary publication!
Not only will you help bring to life a whole issue of F(r)iction, but it will be dedicated to you!
Not only will you help bring to life a whole issue of F(r)iction, but it will be dedicated to you!

Risks and challenges

We’re not going to lie: funding an arts nonprofit is really hard. In fact, it's so hard that we are one of the only independent literary journals in the US, and we are certainly the only organization crazy enough to run a Free Editing Program.

We battle everyday to fund our programs, to keep supporting our artists, to keep Ramen Noodles in our cabinets. But we’re not going to give up.

As a certified 501(c)3 organization, we rely on support from the community as well as from grants and independent foundations. We work constantly to maintain these sources of funding, which are complemented by revenue from subscriptions and sponsorships. The point is: we know what it takes to keep a company like this afloat.

With over a decade of experience, we’re passionate about what we do, and we’ll fight with every breath to keep this crazy dream alive.

Random Note about Tax Deductions:

As a 501(c)3, all donations to TBL are fully tax-deductible. If you’d rather made a traditional donation to TBL instead of purchasing one of our Kickstarter awards, please check out our Friends Program:

http://tetheredbyletters.com/donate/

That’s not to say that you can’t get tax deductions on the very fine awards above, but we can only give tax deductions on the awards after “the value of the produce is subtracted.” This is, frankly, really complicated for English majors, but we will happily call up our Math major friends for assistance.

Thank you for your support—we can’t wait to show you what we can do!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    OUR UNDYING GRATITUDE

    And if that's not enough, we will also publish that very fine name of yours on the TBL website on a special backers page!

    That way, next time some asks, "yo [insert name], when was the last time you did something super amazing to enhance the future of the arts?"—Because, you're asked that a lot, aren't you?—you can answer, "just the other day," and then send him/her a link proving your awesomeness.

    Just saying, this could be a real boon for your social calender.

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    OUR UNDYING GRATITUDE and a lifetime membership to the High-Five Club!

    Backers will be emailed a membership card to this prestigious group. Present the card to a TBL staff member, any time, any place, for any reason, and you will receive a high five. (Beware high-fives from Colin. They hurt.)

    All donors also get a shout-out on a special page of the TBL website!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    BLOT POSTCARDS

    Writing has power, but writing on blot postcards is like the One Ring joining forces with the Maltese Falcon.* For this very fine award, we’ll send you a lovely set of six postcards featuring the blots telling you exactly what they think about writers (not for the faint of heart).

    *Not scientifically proven

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    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    BACKSTAGE PASS

    Backers get access to the TBL Backstage area! This is a hidden part of the TBL site where we keep all the cool stuff we couldn’t find room for in F(r)iction. That includes exclusive pieces of writing by authors and staff, recordings of author readings, podcasts, exclusive artwork, and other great stuff. Join the Backstage club!

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    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    BECOME A BLOT!

    We’ll create a custom blot likeness of you and feature it in random pages on our website. We’ll even send you a print of your blot-self!

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    F(R)ICTION GREETING CARDS

    The 21st century has lost its appreciation of handwritten notes, but you, dear intelligent reader, have not. Do you have some super classy notes to send to your friends, your one-time Latin lover, that guy at your office who keeps using a comma when HE CLEARLY SHOULD BE USING A SEMICOLON? Well, you need this swanky set of ten gorgeous greeting cards featuring artwork from F(r)iction (with matching envelopes). Man, those things are SO CLASSY!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    COFFEE MUG + READING MATERIAL

    It’s a lovely Sunday morning, and you just want to curl up on the couch, drink some delicious coffee and read something amazing. You’d also appreciate it if your coffee mug had a spoon attached (for, you know, emergency stirring or marshmallow hunting). Well, we’re here to help.

    This award includes the world’s most awesome coffee mug/spoon combo, plus a beautiful digital issue of F(r)iction to read while consuming your steaming cup of caffeine/chocolate/Irish coffee.

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    BEER GLASS + READING MATERIAL

    It's Friday night. Your one friend isn't responding to your texts. You can hear people outside having fun, but you just don't feel like socializing. All you want to do is lie on the couch and drink beer. But you realize with horror that you have nothing from which to drink!

    This custom TBL pint glass is here to ease your glassware-based malaise. Custom-printed with an awesome F(r)iction logo, this reward will make sure you always have something to hold at night, even if it's cold and inanimate.

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    SIC A BLOT ON A FRIEND/ENEMY

    Do you have a friend who loves writing, art, music, and all the soft, beautiful parts of life? Well, then we have Blot who would love to insult him/her! We’ll wrangle one of those angry buggers into mailing your friend/enemy and telling her/him exactly what he thinks of his/her alleged “dedication to the arts.”

    Because the Blots cannot produce subpar work, this letter will be beautifully designed, customized to your friend/enemy’s particular sins against blotkind, and will look killer framed above their kitchen sink or lonely workspace.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    WILDCARD!

    The Wildcard package! We have back issues of our journal, TBL stickers, art samples, at least one random coffee cup, and lots of other stuff. Backers will get a randomly-assembled collection of TBL swag, probably hand-picked by an intern as punishment for missing a deadline.

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    COPY OF F(R)ICTION SIGNED BY ISAAC MARION

    You’ll receive a print copy of F(r)iction #1, hand-signed by the bestselling author of Warm Bodies, Mr. Isaac Marion. Isaac’s exclusive short story “The Hole in the Lake” has been published for the first time in our journal, and you’ll get a limited autographed copy, addressed to the person (likely you, because it’s really too cool to give as a gift) of your choice.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    1-YEAR SUBSCRIPTION TO F(R)ICTION
    + BACKSTAGE PASS

    Backers will receive three issues of F(r)iction, our beautiful collection of literature and art. We’ll also toss in a Backstage Pass, giving you access to a hidden part of the TBL site!

    (F(r)iction copies will be mailed out upon publication date of each issue).

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    Pledge US$ 70 or more About US$ 70

    PRETENTIOUS REVIEW OF SOMETHING YOU CARE ABOUT

    Custom reviews of your favorite (or most hated!) pieces of pop culture! TBL editor Colin Griffith is known for his critical writing and scathing editorial voice. Pick any artifact of pop culture and Colin will write an in-depth, insightful review, tearing down the thing you hate or praising the wrongfully maligned cultural gem that you love. He’ll also review non-cultural items like sandwiches, fast food, or chicken wings, if you’re into that sort of thing.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    SIGNED ART PRINTS

    You’ll receive a signed print from Colorado artist, Kelsi Jo Silva, one of our talented F(r)iction contributors! They are printed on high quality 10x14 poster paper, signed by the creative genius behind these gorgeous full-color creations.

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    SIGNED ART PRINTS

    You’ll receive a signed print from Colorado artist, Sharon Sober, one of our talented F(r)iction contributors! They are printed on high quality 10x14 poster paper, signed by the creative genius behind these gorgeous full-color creations.

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    SIGNED ART PRINTS

    You’ll receive a signed print from Colorado artist, Dara Cochran, one of our talented F(r)iction contributors! They are printed on high quality 10x14 poster paper, signed by the creative genius behind these gorgeous full-color creations.

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    SIGNED ART PRINTS

    You’ll receive a signed print from Colorado artist, Josh Mowgli, one of our talented F(r)iction contributors! They are printed on high quality 10x14 poster paper, signed by the creative genius behind these gorgeous full-color creations.

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    SIGNED ART PRINTS

    You’ll receive a signed print from Colorado artist, Alyssa Menold, one of our talented F(r)iction contributors! They are printed on high quality 10x14 poster paper, signed by the creative genius behind these gorgeous full-color creations.

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    SPECIAL BACKER PACKAGE

    Get this super awesome bundle of awesomeness:

    1. Get your name printed in the pages of F(r)iction as a contributor!

    2. Receive a one-year digital subscription to F(r)iction!

    3. Access to the awesome TBL Backstage Program, where you get previews of our upcoming projects, exclusive readings of new stories, and advance passes to TBL events!

    4. A wildcard back-issue of one of Tethered by Letters’ fine publications!

    5. And no special package would be complete without OUR UNDYING GRATITUDE and a lifetime membership to the High-Five Club!

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    1 YEAR SUBSCRIPTION TO F(R)ICTION SINGED BY THE CELEBRITY AUTHORS!

    Have you been dying to get your hands on a year’s worth of stellar literary majesty? Do you want that majesty to be, well, more majestic? How about we send you three gut-wrenchingly amazing copies of F(r)iction (Issues 1 - 3), signed by a celebrity author from each issue?Are you happy now? Huh? Huh?

    Yeah…we thought so.

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    HANDMADE BLOT BOOKENDS

    Watch out! The blots are out to destroy your bookshelf by looking oh-so-sexy (and terrifying!). Handmade from high-quality wood, hand-painted by high-quality hands, and varnished with whatever product that nice guy from Home Depot told us to buy, these lovely bookends will swank out any library.

    And just in case you’re moving and don’t yet have any books to prop between them, we’ll send you a back issue of one of our mighty fine journals. (You think this is so we can clear out the office of back issues, but it’s actually because the blots should never be allowed to sit right next to each other. Much like the Betta fish, they will attack each other if allowed to make eye contact).

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    SIGNED PRINT BY D.M. HEDLUND

    Do you know that our Editor-in-Chief used to work as an artist? And that her work was almost good? Well, the person lucky (brave) enough to purchased this award sure does.

    D.M. Hedlund will sign a print of one of her lovely drawings, printed on high quality 10x14 poster paper.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    COMMISSIONED FLASH FICTION

    Head editor and flash fiction virtuoso, Joe Reinis, will write a 500-word story about your life. Pick an event from your life or a characteristic about yourself and we’ll write you a flash fiction about it. We’ll feature it on the website and send you the world’s loveliest print for all your framing and bragging needs!

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    COMMISSIONED POEM

    The TBL staff will write a poem about you! Tell us a little bit about yourself or an event from your life and we’ll give it the poet-laureate treatment. All poems will be featured on the TBL website! We’ll also send you a stellar print for the purposes of showing it off to your dinner guests/weird friends/iguana.

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    Pledge US$ 300 or more About US$ 300

    FOOD, BEVERAGES, AND HILARITY

    Dinner with the TBL team! Hang out with our eccentric team of editors, writers, and artists over dinner (on us!). Spend the evening talking about the publishing industry, discussing your favorite stories, or just shooting the breeze with our entertaining (and attractive!) staff.

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    CUSTOM STORYBOOK

    The TBL staff will write an original storybook for you, complete with artwork! You'll receive a checklist with options for the story of your choosing (like an old school MadLib), featuring your choice of cephalopod (we recommend squids, but you’re welcome to create a boring, squid-free story as well.) Your story will be accompanied by custom artwork by Hugh Hartigan and the TBL art staff, presented in a stunning, hand-bound book, radiating with originality.

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    LONG FORM EDITING

    TBL usually only provides editing services for short works. For a pledge of $1,000, we will break our policy and edit your long-form work. Novels, screenplays, memoirs are all fair game (anything under 75,000 words)! We’ll help you polish your work so that you feel confident querying it for publication.

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    SUPER LONG FORM EDITING + CAREER GUIDANCE FROM D.M. HEDLUND

    You’ve got a longer novel, memoir, or multi-media masterpiece? And you want edits? And querying help? And all the insider knowledge anyone could ever give you? Well, then this package is for you.

    For works over 75,000 words, we’ll give you notes on the entire manuscript and the best career guidance out there: an hour-long career planning session with our lovely and talented Editor-in-Chief, Miss Dani Hedlund. Over coffee or Skype, our boss lady will help you create a stellar plan of attack for conquering the publishing world!

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    PALAHUNIUK PACKAGE

    Have you ever wanted to destroy something beautiful? For one lucky and generous backer, we offer the exclusive rights to shave off the absolutely majestic beard of TBL editor, Colin Griffith.

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    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    RENAME THE WR(INK)LE REVIEW

    Want to leave a lasting imprint on contemporary literature? Then this is the reward for you! One generous backer will receive the right to rename our online publication, currently called The Wr(ink)le Review.

    Note: the TBL staff reserves editorial rights on the new name. We love you, but The Testicular Quarterly isn’t cool.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    SPONSOR AN ENTIRE ISSUE OF F(R)ICTION

    Are you the most amazing person alive? So amazing that you want to sponsor an ENTIRE issue of F(r)iction, from the 30+ artist payments to the very ink that prints their work? Well, then get ready to watch us cry like schoolgirls…because you’ve just become our favorite person on earth.

    In case our gratitude isn’t enough, we’ll dedicate the entire issue to you (with a custom portrait to prove it). Your name will be plastered everywhere, from the journal itself to our website. We’ll send you the journal you made possible, a beautiful print of the cover signed by every contributor, and your name will be praised until every last one of us bites the dust.

    You, sir/madam, are indisputably the best person ever.

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Funding period

- (30 days)