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A semiannual journal bringing great writing to young readers and great reading from young writers. Today's readers, tomorrow's leaders.
A semiannual journal bringing great writing to young readers and great reading from young writers. Today's readers, tomorrow's leaders.
101 backers pledged $3,965 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$3,965

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We've pulled some strings and saved some money (by creating the project video ourselves instead of hiring a pro) to bring you one of the stretch goal rewards early: the Limited Edition prints of "Portals" by James R. Eads are unlocked and available immediately.

Ask any successful author how they got their start, and they'll tell you that when they were young they loved reading. One of the foundational goals of Ember is to foster the next generation of great writers by providing them with excellent reading material now. We believe that people who learn to love reading at an early age are more likely to seek knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and math

Those who then learn to love writing often go on to apply creativity and problem solving to those same critical disciplines—underscoring the importance of solid reading and writing skills.

But we're not just looking at writers who may have talent someday. Many adolescents and teens already show genuine imagination and talent—not just potential, but real mastery of language and storytelling. While we love great writing from contributors of all ages and experience levels, we're especially eager to purchase and publish stories and poems from younger writers in order to provide a professional experience and a platform from which to launch their careers.

For that reason, our submission guidelines are open to authors and poets age 10 and up.

The Empire & Great Jones Little Press was founded in 2012 as the publication arm of the non-profit Empire & Great Jones Creative Arts Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to recognizing, supporting, and applauding talented authors, poets, and artists.

Spark: A Creative Anthology
Spark: A Creative Anthology

The little press has already made a name for itself with Spark: A Creative Anthology, a highly-polished publication noted not only for quality writing from established and emerging talent, but also for its commitment to providing personal feedback to every submitter.  

Ember: A Journal of Luminous Things follows the same model of publishing quality writing, providing feedback to submitters, and paying semi-professional rates or better to all contributors. The thing that sets Ember apart from Spark is its audience: stories are accessible to everyone, but especially appropriate for readers aged 10 to 18.

Each volume of Ember: A Journal of Luminous Things contains two issues: Fall and Spring. 

"Bedroom Wind II" by James R. Eads
"Bedroom Wind II" by James R. Eads

We want Ember to be exquisite, a true work of literary and visual art. Inspired by his artwork Bedroom Wind (shown above), our inaugural issue features a commissioned work by artist and illustrator James R. Eads

Inside, our Fall issue's foreword—and an introduction to the new serial—was written by Chad Morris, author of the Cragbridge Hall series. His novels are "a middle grade romp through a futuristic secondary school." Books 1 and 2 are available now, and Book 3: The Impossible Race is due out in March, 2015.

Cragbridge Hall series by Chad Morris
Cragbridge Hall series by Chad Morris

Chad says: "I love young minds. They fully imagine, completely invest. And as they grow older, they still crave wonder and surprise. I count it a great privilege to write for them and work hard to capture their awe and excitement."

He's excited about Ember, too, and calls it "a perfect place for the young to find another great tale.

Some of the "great tales" readers of all ages will find in our inaugural issue include:

  • Stone ShowersThe Precipice
  • Todd WaltonHoney
  • JC HemphillDead Dog
  • Stewart C Baker — Mimeograph
  • Jeff SuwakThe Familiar and his Alchemist
  • Kacey VanderkarrDistraction
  • Andrew KayeRoots and Branches
  • Melissa ShawThe Astronaut
  • * Sho Sho Leigh Ho — Splitting the Seams of My Pants
  • B L Draper —The Great Garden Heist
  • Bert Lowe — Cat Tail
  • Laura M Kaminski — Dim
  • * Sylvia Hicks — Fleeing from Fire
  • Jeffrey Beck — Outlaw
  • Edward Ahern — Puzwuk the Orphan Boy and the Starving Time
  • Gerri Leen — They Just Don't Mix
  • David NeilsenThe Séance
  • Cathleen CohenStealing Colors
  • Bo Balder — She Waxes While We Wane

* Young contributors (age 14 and under)

NEW: We're working with artist Sean Greenberg to bring amazing interior illustrations, too! Sean is the artist behind "The Carrot is Mightier than the Sword," a finalist in the recent "Monsters and Marvels" contest sponsored by Spark. We reached out to Sean because of that entry, and we're exited to make prints of it available with this fundraiser (see below).

Because this invitation was extended so close to Printing Day, Sean will provide approximately 10 illustrations for Issue 1, and not every piece will have an accompanying painting.

Here are the early rough sketches for  Issue 1 illustrations:

"Frog and Sister Moon" by Keliana Tayler
"Frog and Sister Moon" by Keliana Tayler
                                                      

We met artist Keliana Tayler at Westercon 2014 in Salt Lake City and immediately commissioned this artwork to go along with the story "The Frog Who Swallowed the Moon" by Renee Carter Hall. The result—I'm sure you'll agree—is astounding.

The contest-winning story, which first appears in Spark: A Creative Anthology Volume VI, will be included in this volume featuring the matching cover artwork along with the following:

  • Renee Carter HallThe Frog who Swallowed the Moon
  • Bethany PowellAn Herbwife Lives by the Dragons' Eyrie
  • Aidan DoyleThe Last Khan's Elephant

We will list other inclusions and provide backer updates as more contributions are confirmed.

"Portals" Limited Edition Print: This edition is limited to 60 prints, with thirty available through the Ember fundraiser. Each  12" x 18" high quality giclée print on archival paper is hand signed and numbered by the artist with a white border suitable for framing. Prints are shipped in a rigid stay-flat mailer. 

Bookmarks: These fun and simple bookmarks are a great way to showcase and promote Ember—and, of course, to keep your place while reading each issue.

eBooks: Our eBooks are available in Kindle and Epub formats. Most devices and apps are supported, and our books are always free of DRM and adware. We'll provide clear download instructions for transferring your eBook to your device.

Paperback: Your reward comes in high-quality trade paperback and includes two bookmarks and the eBook version of your selected issue or subscription. 

Subscription: A subscription includes a full year of Ember in your specified format, plus a priority renewal option at the end of each year. Subscriptions rewarded through Kickstarter do not auto-renew.

Critiques: Each critique includes personal feedback covering overall plot and characterization, reader engagement, target readership, and publishability in markets like Ember. Critiques do not imply a guarantee of publication. The length of each critique varies, but will always be at least a couple of paragraphs. 

Editing: Deep edits go much further than critiques, and help prepare your manuscript for publication. I will provide detailed page-by-page notes on plot and characterization, reader engagement, target readership, and line-edits for spelling, punctuation, and grammar if requested.

Frog and Sister Moon Print: These vibrant open edition prints on art archival paper measure 16" x 14" with an artwork area of 12" x 8". Prints are shipped in a rigid stay-flat mailer.

"Frog and Sister Moon" Limited Edition Print: Each high quality fine art print is hand-embellished on stretched canvas, then signed and numbered by the artist. This edition is limited to 30 prints. Prints are shipped in a rigid stay-flat mailer.

"Bedroom Wind" Artist's Proof: An extremely limited set of four high quality giclée proofs on archival art paper. Each print measures 9" x 36", is signed and numbered by the artist, and is suitable for framing. The original three panel diptych of Bedroom Wind sold out, and so did later limited edition prints; this fundraiser is now the only source for a copy of the work! Prints are shipped with protective paper in a sturdy tube.

Goodloe Byron Doodles: Author and Artist—and friend of E&GJ—Goodloe Byron, the artist behind the cover art for Spark, Volume VI, will doodle your portrait and deliver a custom drawing digitally (in JPEG format). The portraits are amazing and jovial, and great for Facebook profile pics. You get the reward just for backing, regardless of the outcome of this fundraiser! All backers at or above the $25 level are eligible for this reward until we hit 40 doodles, then they're gone.

"The Carrot is Mightier than the Sword" Prints: These vibrant open edition prints on art archival paper measure 12" x 16" (with an artwork area of 9" x 13") and are shipped in an eco-friendly stay-flat mailer.

"The Carrot is Mightier than the Sword" Special Edition Prints: These limited-run special edition prints are hand-signed and numbered by the artist and are suitable for framing. These reproductions are faithful to the original painting in color and size, with an artwork area of 6.25" x 9.25". 

Tuckerisms: A "tuckerism" or "tuckerization" is the intentional use of a real person's name in a work of fiction. The term is derived from Wilson Tucker, a pioneering American science fiction writer, fan and fanzine editor, who made a practice of using his friends' names for minor characters in his stories. (Wikipedia)

Classroom Subscription: Get one hardcover (case laminate) and four trade paperback copies of every issue, with bookmarks,delivered to your home or classroom, plus a digital copy licensed for download by all students. Great for teachers, home-school parents, and families.

Collectible Hardcover: Collectible hardcover editions are cloth bound with paper dust jackets and include two bookmarks and the eBook download of your selected issue or subscription.

Christmas Delivery Guarantee: We're going to do our best to deliver your artwork and Issue 1 rewards by Christmas no matter what, but if we hit our $10,000 stretch goal we will use whatever resources necessary to ensure delivery to U.S. addresses by December 24, 2014. We can't make that guarantee for international backers due to shipping times, and we can't deliver the Spring issue until Spring, but every reward we can deliver in December will be delivered by Christmas.

Our modest goal of $3,500 enables us to launch Ember and make it available in paperback and eBook formats. Contributors will be paid 1¢ per word for their work. 

Here's what we'll be able to do at this funding level.

Paperback

We will print Volume 1 (Fall and Spring issues) on demand in quality trade paperback at Lightning Source International and make it available through online retailers and store.egjpress.org.

eBook

We will release Volume 1 in eBook format for all e-readers (including Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and others) and make it available through online retailers and store.egjpress.org.

Contributor Payment

We will pay all contributors 1¢ per word for their work. For a 5000-word story, both a young first-time author and an established bestseller would earn $50.

Just a little more enables us to take advantage of offset printing rates to reduce costs, and we can use that savings to purchase commissioned cover art! 

Paperback

We will do an offset print run of both issues in Volume 1 in quality trade paperback at Alexander's Print Advantage (and/or a backup local printer if necessary). The books will be available through online retailers and store.egjpress.org.

eBook

We will release Volume 1 in eBook format for all e-readers (including Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and others) and make it available through online retailers and store.egjpress.org.

Contributor Payment

We will pay all contributors 1¢ per word for their work. For a 5000-word story, both a young first-time author and an established bestseller would earn $50.

Helping us reach this stretch goal allows us to add two great new formats! First, remembering our goal to reach young, talented writers, we'll add a Classroom Subscription which includes a teacher-edition hardcover and four paperbacks. For readers who love the feel of a first edition traditional hardcover, we'll also add a collectible cloth-bound hardcover of both issues. Plus, when this goal is met, we'll increase our contributor payment rate to 2.5¢ per word for every accepted work.

Wait—I'm a reader. Why should I care what contributors get paid?

Paying better rates isn't just about helping writers eat, it's about attracting the kind of great talent you want to read. It's also a very tangible way to show writers you care about what they do and how it positively affects you.

This is true no matter whether the writer is an established professional or a first-time author: if they captured your imagination, if they inspired you to create worlds and stories of your own, reward them for it!

Classroom Subscription

We will produce a case laminate hardcover and bundle it with four trade paperback copies to create a "Classroom Subscription" available through store.egjpress.org. Each subscription includes a digital copy licensed for download by every student in the classroom or household. Great for teachers, home-school parents, and families. Whether the case laminate hardcover is printed and shipped on demand or produced in an offset run depends on the number of subscriptions ordered.

Collectible Hardcover

We'll add a cloth-bound collectible hardcover edition with a removable paper dustjacket featuring our amazing cover art. We will produce one run of each issue in this format, and the total number in the run depends on the number of books ordered before we print.

Paperback

For both issues in Volume 1, we will do an offset print run in quality trade paperback at Alexander's Print Advantage (and/or a backup local printer if necessary). The books will be available through online retailers and store.egjpress.org.

eBook

We will release Volume 1 in eBook format for all e-readers (including Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and others) and make it available through online retailers and store.egjpress.org.

Contributor Payment

We will pay all contributors 2.5¢ per word for their work. For a 5000-word story, both a young first-time author and an established bestseller would earn $125.

When you amaze and thrill us by meeting our stretch goal of $10,000, we'll return the favor by pulling out all the stops in order to deliver backer rewards for Issue 1 to U.S. addresses by December 24, 2014.

Plus, when this goal is met, we'll increase our contributor payment rate to 6¢ per word for every accepted work.

Wait—I'm a reader. Remind me again why I should care what writers get paid? Or even whether they get paid? 

Writers are artists, and this is, at its heart, an art project, so maybe we should back up and talk about why the arts are important. In fact, let's hear it directly from our founder and editor-in-chief, Brian Lewis, in his own words:

I believe that the arts are critical to education, quality of life, and economy. Children and young adults who receive arts instruction tend to improve and excel in other subjects as well. Visual arts add texture and beauty to our environment. Theater, film, and music not only engage the imagination but play an important fiscal role in regional economies.

Perhaps the most important arts, or at least most foundational, are literary. As a foundational skill, mastery of literary arts often leads to mastery of visual and performing arts. Those who learn to love reading at an early age are more likely to seek knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and math. Those who learn to love writing often go on to apply creativity and problem solving to those same critical disciplines—underscoring the importance of solid reading and writing skills.

When we set a precedent of paying professional rates for great writing, regardless of the author's publication experience, we are saying, quite loudly, Writing Matters. Art is important. Imagination is everything.

Paying pro rates doesn't just help writers eat, it encourages them to continue developing their talent and producing literature. It also helps them qualify for membership in associations and organizations which require at least one pro sale, which in turn opens new doors and provides access to resources, tools, and networks to enable rapid growth in skill and career.

Even then, it's not just about altruistically patronizing writers for the common good: paying pro rates helps us attract better talent and ensures that we're able to publish the kind of great content you want to read.

Want to see new stories from writers like Richard Paul Evans, Veronica Roth, Brandon Mull, Ally Condie, John Green, Chad Morris, and more? Help us pay pro rates or better, and we can invite them—or we may even launch the career of the next wave of middle-grade and young adult bestselling authors.

The summary of everything we'll do at this level:

Christmas Delivery Guarantee

We're going to do our best to deliver your artwork and Issue 1 rewards by Christmas no matter what, but if we hit our $10,000 stretch goal we will use whatever resources necessary to ensure delivery to U.S. addresses by December 24, 2014. We can't make that guarantee for international backers due to shipping times, and we can't deliver the Spring issue until Spring, but every reward we can deliver in December will be delivered by Christmas.

Classroom Subscription

We will produce a case laminate hardcover and bundle it with four trade paperback copies to create a "Classroom Subscription" available through store.egjpress.org. Each subscription includes a digital copy licensed for download by every student in the classroom or household. Great for teachers, home-school parents, and families. Whether the case laminate hardcover is printed and shipped on demand or produced in an offset run depends on the number of subscriptions ordered.

Collectible Hardcover

We'll add a cloth-bound collectible hardcover edition with a removable paper dustjacket featuring our amazing cover art. We will produce one run of each issue in this format, and the total number in the run depends on the number of books ordered before we print.

Paperback

For both issues in Volume 1, we will do an offset print run in quality trade paperback at Alexander's Print Advantage (and/or a backup local printer if necessary). The books will be available through online retailers and store.egjpress.org.

eBook

We will release Volume 1 in eBook format for all e-readers (including Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and others) and make it available through online retailers and store.egjpress.org.

Contributor Payment

We will pay all contributors 6¢ per word for their work. For a 5000-word story, both a young first-time author and an established bestseller would earn $300.

We will keep adding more goals and amazing rewards each time the previous goals are met. 

Got something you think we should include? Are you a published young adult or middle grade author who'd like to contribute content or a backer reward? Contact us and let's make it happen!

Because we are a United States non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, your completed pledges are tax deductible in most jurisdictions!

Our Federal Tax ID:
Empire & Great Jones Creative Arts Foundation
46-1209424 

Risks and challenges

Many creative and technical collaborators are working together to make this project a success! The main challenges to fulfillment are the pieces outside our control: printing services, shipping services, natural disasters.

For book printing services, we continue to use a wonderful local printer—Alexander's Print Advantage in Lindon, UT—but we've contacted a second printer as a backup. If we do not reach our $7500 stretch goal and only use POD services, they will be provided by Lightning Source.

Artwork printing and embellishment is done by the individual artists.

For distribution, we continue use a combination of USPS, Amazon Fulfillment, UPS, and FedEx to balance efficiency, cost, and global service.

If any one collaborator is unable to complete his or her part of the project, it will not mean the end the project as a whole. Likewise, if any one distribution channel is delayed or unavailable, it will not affect delivery of backer rewards through other distribution channels.

IF THE KICKSTARTER IS NOT SUCCESSFULLY FUNDED by December 1, we will still have the digital files for Issue 1 completed, so we will make the trade paperback available to contributing writers on demand.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    THANK YOU: A personal thank-you email from our Editor-in-Chief, Brian Lewis.

    This may not sound like much, but every dollar helps make great reading and writing for youth possible, so we really are grateful for your help! For that, you'll receive a personal response, and not a form letter.

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    DIGITAL COPY: The eBook version of the Fall or Spring issue (your choice).

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    DIGITAL COPY: A set of two bookmarks featuring artwork from both covers of our first two issues, plus the eBook version of the Fall or Spring issue (your choice).

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    ALEXIS A. HUNTER STORY CRITIQUE: An author with multiple publication credits, staff reader at Plasma Frequency Magazine and Bastion, and long-time friend of E&GJ, Alexis A. Hunter will provide personal feedback on your work up to 7,000 words. The work does not need to be MG/YA, and while Alexis specializes in Speculative Fiction, you may request critical feedback on any genre or style.

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    INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIPTION (eBook): Your digital subscription to Volume 1 includes Fall and Spring issues.

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    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIPTION (eBook): A set of two bookmarks featuring artwork from both covers of our first two issues, plus an eBook Subscription to Volume 1. Includes Fall and Spring issues.

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    MG/YA CRITIQUE (1500 Words): Personal feedback on one middle-grade or young adult work up to 1500 words, plus the eBook of Issue 1.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    PRINT COPY: A paperback copy of the Fall or Spring issue (your choice) plus a set of two bookmarks and the eBook version of your selected issue.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    SIGNED PRINT COPY: A signed paperback copy of the Fall or Spring issue (your choice) plus a set of two bookmarks and the eBook version of your selected issue. Each book is signed by the editor, Brian Lewis, with the salutation and inscription of your choice.

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    MG/YA CRITIQUE (2500 Words): Personal feedback on one middle-grade or young adult work up to 2500 words, plus an eBook subscription.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    GOOD, GOOD, GOODLOE: Goodloe Byron will doodle your portrait. These custom drawings are amazing and jovial, and great for Facebook profile pics. The portrait is deliverable immediately after you make your pledge, and you're encouraged to use it as your social media profile picture to let others know about this great project! NOTE: You may claim this reward with ANY pledge of $25 or more, but we're limiting the total to 40 doodles.

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    FROG PRINT: Fine art print of "Frog and Sister Moon" by Keliana Tayler.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIPTION (Trade Paperback): Your print subscription to Volume 1 includes Fall and Spring issues in trade paperback, plus a set of two bookmarks and the eBook version of each issue.

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    CARROT PRINT: Fine art print of "The Carrot is Mightier than the Sword" by Sean Greenberg.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    SIGNED INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIPTION (Trade Paperback): Your print subscription to Volume 1 includes Fall and Spring issues in trade paperback, plus a set of two bookmarks and the eBook version of each issue. Each book is signed by the editor, Brian Lewis, with the salutation and inscription of your choice.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    MG/YA CRITIQUE (5000 Words): Personal feedback on one middle-grade or young adult work up to 5000 words, plus the print and eBook copies of Issue 1 or 2.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    PORTALS PRINT (Limited Edition): One signed and numbered print of "Portals" by James R. Eads.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    EMBER PRINT (Limited Edition): One signed and numbered print of the commissioned artwork for Issue 1 by James R. Eads. ** UNLOCKED AT $4,500 STRETCH GOAL **

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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    CARROT PRINT (Special Edition): One signed and numbered special edition fine art print of "The Carrot is Mightier than the Sword" by Sean Greenberg. Prints are created by the artist.

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    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    CUSTOM BUNDLE 002: Includes the fine art print of "Frog and Sister Moon" by Keliana Tayler, Signed Individual Subscription (Paperback), and Alexis A. Hunter Critique.

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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    FROG PRINT (Limited Edition): One signed, numbered, and hand-embellished print of "Frog and Sister Moon" by Keliana Tayler.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    YOU MADE THIS: Your name or logo will be included on our "Made Possible By" page in the first two issues of Ember and on emberjournal.org. This reward is also included in all packages for pledges at or above $100.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    MG/YA NOVELLA EDIT: Personal feedback and line edits on one middle-grade or young adult work up to 22,000 words, plus the YOU MADE THIS reward for pledges at or above $100. Longer works may be submitted; please add $10 to your pledge for each additional 1,000 words.

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    Pledge $145 or more About $145

    CUSTOM BUNDLE 001: Includes the Limited Edition canvas print of "Frog and Sister Moon" by Keliana Tayler, Signed Individual Subscription (Paperback), and Alexis A. Hunter Critique.

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    BEDROOM WIND PRINT (Artist Proof): One signed and numbered print of "Bedroom Wind II," plus the YOU MADE THIS reward for pledges at or above $100.

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  26. Select this reward

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

    THE FULL PACKAGE: Your lifetime subscription to Ember includes the eBook, trade paperback, and collectible hardcover editions. You will receive one one limited edition print of "Portals," and one limited edition hand-embellished print of "Frog and Sister Moon." Your name and/or logo will be listed at the top of our "Made Possible By" page in the first two issues of Ember and on emberjournal.org. Goodloe Byron will doodle your portrait.

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Funding period

- (39 days)