Black Cardigan Edit’s Beastober, happening October 1–31, 2020

Registration closes at 5 pm (ET)/2 pm (PT) today, Oct. 1!

A fundraiser for the Movement Voter Project

Dear writers,

Over the past few months I’ve found my favorite, most nutritive time of day has been the early-morning time I spend working on my book. During this year of great uncertainty (and, for so many people, real anguish) that daily time each morning has been like sitting beside a small campfire: something bright I can warm myself by. Afterward, I feel anchored in, better prepared to move forward with everything else that has to be done. As my work as an editor, I’ve heard similar observations from clients and it’s been interesting how the word “anchor” keeps coming up in different conversations, creative work as an antidote to what has felt unmoored and unnerving this year.

Writing—that sitting by one’s private campfire, plugging away on the thing one wants to make—can be a delight and solace. This is true. But it’s also true that it can be extremely hard to concentrate right now. And hard, too, not to feel swamped, hopeless, and isolated. (This past week alone bringing the twin blows of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death and the lack of justice for Breonna Taylor.)

All of this is why I wanted to put together Beastober. If you’ve been wanting a creative campfire to warm yourself by—let’s build one together this October.

  • At the start of the month, you’ll be setting an intention of what you want to work on this month (book, academic work, stories, poems, essays, weird-marvelous-whatever-you-want), and I’ll be providing the framework and support to help you move forward on it at the pace that makes sense for you—while in community with other writers.
  • And at the end of the month, you’ll have the satisfaction of having taken action on a project that’s meaningful to you. And it’s my hope that that the month will fortify you and embolden you to keep up the good fight in the world, too.
  • To that end, 100% OF THE PROCEEDS for Beastober will go to the Movement Voter Project, a fantastic organization that’s supporting grassroots efforts to mobilize voters across the country. Right now they’re most focused on getting funds to five key battleground states: Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Arizona.

What is Beastober and how will it work?

Beastober is a month-long writing community hosted by Black Cardigan Edit. It’s entirely up to you what you want to work on during Beastober! It can be something you already have in progress, or something dusty you’ve been meaning to get to.

  • We start October 1! That day, you’ll be setting your creative goal for the month, with the help of a little planning guide from me. I’ll also be opening our group’s Beastober Slack room that day.
  • Each Sunday you’ll receive a Beast Sheet for the coming week that will help you plan your writing week ahead.
  • Then each Tuesday of the month, we’ll meet via Zoom to check in on progress, talk about some aspect of craft, and set your goals for the coming week. There’ll also be time there for you to ask me questions about your work and where you’re feeling stuck or would appreciate some editor support. (As an editor, I’m used to parachuting into projects that are at all different stages.)
  • These Tuesday group Zooms will be happening at 4 pm (ET)/1 pm (PT) on Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27. They’ll last about an hour, and I’ll be recording them for anyone who can’t make it.
  • The Slack room will be our other ongoing, rolling place for Beastober discussion and community. We’ll be checking in there, too, and I’ll be posting twice-weekly prompts for your writing. (You may not need prompts—but if you’re feeling rusty or blank, they can be a nice way to get rolling again.)
  • We close out on Halloween—October 31! And with that, setting your plan for how you’ll proceed with your writing post-Beastober.

Who are you, Beastober person? My name’s Carrie Frye, and I’m the editor at Black Cardigan Edit. You can learn more about me here, and read testimonials from some of the writers who’ve worked with me here.

Why is it called Beastober? At Black Cardigan, I’ve run a program called Book Beast, designed to help writer make tracks on their books, for the past three years. Also saying “Beastober,” with booming classic-rock DJ voice, makes me laugh.

Why the Movement Voter Project? MVP’s stated mission: MVP works to strengthen progressive power at all levels of government by helping donors – big and small – support the best and most promising local community-based organizations in key states, with a focus on youth and communities of color.

We support hundreds of incredible organizations that both turn out unlikely voters and organize communities to grow their power and create transformation, from policy to the streets. We believe that supporting local movement vote groups is the most effective and most cost-effective strategy to transform our country.

I believe the same thing—that supporting local organizations is more effective than paying for TV ads, flyers, etc.

I also like that by supporting the Movement Voter Project, Beastober will be helping these hardworking organizations build their organizing capacity and power not just for the election, but over the long-term.

Are you ready to Beastober?

If so, hurrah!!! And I can’t wait to help you build your sparking, anchoring creative campfire this October.

Here’s what to do if you’re in:

  • The fee for Beastober is a $350 donation to the Movement Voter Project. Just follow this link and take a screengrab of your payment field and send it to beastober31@gmail.com. (Or email your receipt.)
  • Do this by end-of-day October 1, and you’re in! And we’ll get you rolling from there.

Note 1: Because this is a political donation, it won’t be tax deductible. In the future I hope to fundraise around giving that will be tax deductible for participants, but right now it’s election-election-election.

Note 2: I’m offering eight full scholarships for any writers who need ’em. No questions asked, but it will be first come, first serve. To check on availability/sign up, email beastober31@gmail.com. If you’d like to underwrite other spots, email that same address (and thank you!). Update: The scholarship spots for Beastober have all been claimed.