READ International is a UK-based agency that sends used books to poverty-stricken areas of the world where they are used in literacy programs, in schools and in the community. Writers have become essential to the agency's fundraising efforts through Read for READ International, a short story contest with a difference. Stories from 30 short-listed authors are competing until mid-July to raise the most money for the organization. The ten stories that raise the most money will go to a judging panel and the top three will be included in a fundraising anthology alongside work by established writers. Readers are asked to support their favorite story by donating a minimum of 2 pounds (about $3 US dollars) through a secure donations site via Pay Pal.
Several other charities are asking authors to donate stories. Cross Genres is currently asking authors to post stories to support re-building efforts in Haiti. Oxfam is well-known for its fundraising anthologies and the planned Write for Charity anthology will support the work of Unicef Canada.
Submitted by Kate Baggott
Freelance writer, English teacher