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Follow aspiring artist Veda through her teens and early twenties as she struggles to find her creative calling and self acceptance.
Follow aspiring artist Veda through her teens and early twenties as she struggles to find her creative calling and self acceptance.
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149 backers pledged $5,667 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

The Prescribed Burn: A Collection of 15 Short Stories project video thumbnail
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Press Coverage on The Prescribed Burn!

Web.Search.Social (6/20/12): Kickstarting A Dream: How One Aspiring Writer Is Using The Web And Social Marketing To Make Hers A Reality

Jersey City Independent (6/13/12): A Little Help from the Crowd: Writer Laryssa Wirstiuk Uses Kickstarter to Fund Short Story Project The Prescribed Burn

Jersey City Reporter (6/10/12): Summer Heat: Local writer launches 'crowd funding' campaign for 'The Prescribed Burn'

The Boken (6/5/12): Jersey City Resident Seeks Pledges to Print Collection of Short Stories “The Prescribed Burn”

Why I'm Seeking a Kickstart

My collection of short stories is complete, and I'm planning to publish 1,000 copies so I can finally share my fiction writing with the world. The goal I've set will just barely cover printing costs, which are high as a result of full-color photos. I feel it's important to include these photos because they add depth to Veda's character.

About My Book (Read a sample story!)

“Years old and never drained of its yolk, the egg smelled rancid, like sulfur, when it cracked…Will my heart also reek when it shatters and releases everything that has been rotting there?”

Aspiring young artist Veda asks herself this question after dropping Baba’s pysanka, a traditional Ukrainian Easter egg. Constantly overcome by the noise in her head, Veda can’t seem to loosen her grip from anything beyond her control. A hesitant and sometimes misguided journey to develop her talent for visual art eventually opens Veda’s passage to self-acceptance and maturity.

The Prescribed Burn is a novel-in-stories. Follow Veda from ages 13-24 through 15 of the most significant moments that shaped her growth as an artist. You’ll meet her at both her best and sometimes most unlikable worst: making a home for a pet bird that plucks its feathers, undressing before her classmates just moments after the fall of the World Trade Center, imagining nuclear disasters while driving on the Garden State Parkway with her best friend Madsy, stretching in preparation for the loss of her virginity to boyfriend Arthur, shaving her legs for the first time at Ukrainian summer camp, and arguing with a man who sends messages in bottles across the Hudson River.

Veda is naïve yet introspective, paranoid and obsessive yet drawn to detail, indecisive yet open-minded, emotionally capricious yet passionate. She’s not afraid to share her sometimes-conflicting thoughts with the hope of finding growth and guidance. To learn more about Veda, read the sample story “Fireworks.”

About Me

If I had never "found" writing, I'm not sure what I'd be doing right now. I teach creative writing at Rutgers University and writing-related courses at local community colleges, I tutor writing independently, I blog about writing at Craft Your Drafts, I write about food for Jersey City Independent, and I write short stories when I have time.

I've been working on The Prescribed Burn for five years, and a different version of the collection was the thesis I submitted to earn my MFA at the University of Maryland College Park. While at Maryland, I won honorable mention in the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction for my story "Welcome to America," which is included in The Prescribed Burn. At Loyola University Maryland, where I earned my Bachelors of Art in Writing, I won honors like the Writing Medal and Junior Achievement in Writing.

In my spare time, I like to cook and eat vegan food and spoil my miniature dachshund Charlotte Moo, who makes a cameo appearance in my video above. You can view all my projects and writing at the links below:

OFFICIAL The Prescribed Burn website: http://www.theprescribedburn.com :: My Writing Blog, Craft Your Drafts: http://www.craftyourdrafts.com :: All My Writing Clips: http://www.laryssawirstiuk.com 

Follow me on Twitter! http://www.twitter.com/ryssiebee

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    You'll receive a The Prescribed Burn bookmark adorned with photographs and a quote from the book. You'll also receive an exclusive download to outtakes from the filming of the Kickstarter video and book trailer. In addition, I'll add your name to a special "thank you" page on the book's website.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    You'll receive a free e-book/PDF version of The Prescribed Burn and all of the rewards listed for the $5 level.

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    28 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    You'll receive a signed paperback copy of The Prescribed Burn with a "thank you" note and all of the rewards listed for the $5 and $15 levels.

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    82 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    You'll receive a signed glossy collage print of the photographs from The Prescribed Burn and all of the rewards listed for the $5, $15, and $25 levels.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Your name will be printed on a "thank you" page in both the paperback and e-book, and you'll receive all of the rewards listed for the $5, $15, $25, and $50 levels.

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    7 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    You'll receive five copies of The Prescribed Burn plus an in-person (NYC metro area) or virtual presentation/reading for you and your friends. You'll also receive the rewards listed for the $5, $15, $25, $50, and $100 levels.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    I'll treat you to dinner at Veselka, a Ukrainian restaurant in Manhattan's East Village, where we can eat the food that Veda would have eaten at Baba's house (transportation not included). Plus, you'll receive all the rewards listed for the dollar amounts above.

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Funding period

- (30 days)