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Scholarship Winners: Build Your Author Platform

I had no idea how hard this would be.

When I decided to offer a scholarship for my 8-week online course, Build Your Author Platform, I figured it would be a nice way to make the course more inclusive to those who could otherwise not afford to join me in the class. I didn’t expect to receive so many wonderful applications, many of which made me wanted to immediately say: “YES, I WANT YOU IN THIS COURSE! I WANT TO WORK WITH YOU.”

I realize that for many writers, becoming an author is a passion they follow amidst great challenges. That they are often defined by others first by their career or role in the family or other responsibilities that cannot be neglected. That really, they are defined as a “writer” last, and sometimes, begrudgingly by friends and family who may see it as a lark.

I have worked with hundreds of writers, helping them grow their careers and connecting with readers. I love doing this – I love spending my days chatting with writers and publishers. I believe in investing in one’s passions, and have seen the powerful effects that come to those writers who invest in developing their skills and platform. But there are so many writers who are stretched too thin financially. They have the drive to create something the world has never seen, something the world is waiting for, but cannot easily make the financial investment to make this happen.

So I created the scholarship for my course. For me to invest in writers and help them connect with readers.

I received applications from writers of all types, with different goals, different walks of life, different backgrounds, and of course, different styles of writing. In their applications, they shared details that were personal and moving. Everyone who applied deserved to receive the scholarship.

I wrestled with the decision, trying to find an easy way to make the decision. But there isn’t one. In the end, I had to go on gut instinct. There is no objective way for me to decide that one person is more deserving than another, that they would be a better fit for the class than another.

The silver lining here is that instead of choosing just one person to receive the scholarship, I selected two. The bottom line is that I want to work with all of the writers who applied, and choosing two was just my selfish way of ensuring I worked with more of them than originally promised.

I am pleased to announce the two writers who will be receiving full scholarships for the spring 2012 Build Your Author Platform course:

Laura HollingsheadLaura Hollingshead
She is working on a book for adult children of aging parents, helping them address financial, relationship, and health related issues.
Ritchie WhiteRitchie White
He writes western novels and historical fiction.

The energy of both Laura and Ritchie are wonderful, and they seem very giving. I think that mostly, I was intrigued with each of them because their work is inherently focused on helping others and sharing stories. It is an honor to have each of them in the spring session of Build Your Author Platform.

Thanks to everyone who applied!

  • Linda Parriott

    When you announced your scholarship, I reflected on the diversity and quality of people in the winter course and wondered how you’d manage to select just one person. I can imagine the difficulty. That you broke your own rules to offer two scholarships instead of the one is yet another example of your large heart for authors.

  • Anonymous

    Dan, May your generosity yield much “ROI” for all. Congratulations to Laurie and Ritchie. I want to tell them to hang on to their hats. They are in for the ride of their lives and it will be wonderful!!

  • Ritchie White

    I am so excited that I am in tears, Thank You so much for this golden opportunity, I am so thrilled, and grateful to get this once in a lifetime chance to work with you, and the peers in my class, once again, thank you so much this means the world to me. Looking forward to April 4th!!!!!

    • It’s a run on sentence, I’m so teary-eyed.

      • Ritchie – I’m honored to have you joining us. Thanks for your heartfelt words!

  • Cynthia Morris

    Cool! They both have a ‘no-nonsense, I love life’ look about them, too! Have fun!

  • A great gesture Dan

    I’m sure Laura and Ritchie will learn alot. Good luck to everyone on the course too. It should bea  great few weeks

    Matt (Turndog Millionaire)

  • Dan — I joined the webinar today, and am so glad I did. It was very informative. The case study and the 5-Minute Makeovers were a real bonus. Thank you for sharing. The class sounds fantastic, but alas, I’m not in a position to do it right now (I wasn’t tuned in to the scholarship — darn!). But Laura and Ritchie, I’m sure you’re going to have an awesome time! Perhaps I can catch it the next time around. Thank you again, Dan, for sharing today. 

    • Thank you Diane! Very much appreciated.