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.
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.
"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:
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:
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!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)