A second-year English student at Memorial University has turned to crowdsourcing to fund an appearance at the Emerging Writers Festival in Australia May 26-June 6.
Caighlan Smiths first novel, Hallow Hour, was published in the fall of 2014 by local publisher Boulder Publications.
Since the launch, Ms. Smith has made numerous appearances, including a stint as a featured author at the Word on the Street Book Festival in Halifax, N.S., and she has read to over 1,300 Newfoundland and Labrador students aged 10-14 as part of a school touring program. She was also the keynote speaker at the YWCA's Power of Being a Girl conference and, through the Canadian Teachers Federation, the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers Association and the Uganda National Teachers Union, read from her novel live via Skype to female students in Uganda on the International Day of the Girl Child.
In February 2014 Ms. Smith was invited by the Canada Council for the Arts to be a delegate at the National Forum on the Literary Arts in Montreal, Que. The forum brought together more than 230 literary professionals from across the country to discuss the future of writing and publishing in Canada. As a result of that experience, Ms. Smith has been invited to be a guest author at the 2014 Emerging Writers Festival in Melbourne, Australia.
However, the festival can only pay a portion of her travel costs. And as a full-time student, Ms. Smith is ineligible for Canada Council funding.
The publishing sector is placing more and more responsibility for marketing and promotion on authors, said Ms. Smith. As a young novelist, events like the Melbourne Emerging Writers Festival can really help to develop and enhance my skills as an effective promoter. Its an amazing opportunity but time is running out to book travel so we decided to turn to crowdsourcing.
Ms. Smith and her publisher are planning to launch her second novel, New Year, at the festival.
Her Indiegogo project, True North to Down Under, hopes to raise $7,000 for travel funds by May 12.