Help Us Raise Writer Payments and Double Your Gift

Board member Nicole Cliffe has extended her gift with a 1:1 matching challenge, so your donation goes twice as far

Piggy banks

UPDATE, May 13: We did it! Thanks to the support of nearly 200 readers, we managed to raise $10,628 in two weeks! With Nicole Cliffe’s matching contribution, that’s $25,000 toward raising our payments to writers, plus a little left over to cover Paypal fees. Thank you to everyone who donated!

UPDATE, May 9: We have just $1,000 left to raise before midnight on Monday, May 13! We are incredibly grateful to each of the 150 people who have donated thus far. Whether is $5 or $500, your gift makes a significant difference to our writers. If just 40 more people give $25 each, we will make our goal. Please donate now!

UPDATE, May 1: Thanks to the support of just under 100 readers, we reached our $5,000 fundraising goal in only three days! With Nicole Cliffe’s 2:1 match, that means a $15,000 gift toward raising writer payments. Thank you so much to everyone who gave!

It’s gratifying and humbling how quickly our readers stepped up to help meet our goal—and it’s equally important that we keep going. Nicole Cliffe has extended her gift with a $5,000 1:1 matching challenge.
That means any donation made before 11:59PM EST on Monday, May 13, 2019 will be doubled.

It only took 100 of the 3 million people who read our website for free in 2018 to make a significant impact. If that number were 200, or 500, Electric Literature could enjoy the kind of peace of mind rarely afforded to our dying breed of indie non-profit publishers—and eventually meet our goal of paying market rate for the work of our writers. Please stand with our writers by becoming supporter number 101.


At Electric Literature, we make everything we publish available for free to our readers and pay all of our writers—but, if we’re being honest, we can’t pay them what they’re worth. And we do want to be honest. We see being transparent about our finances as part of our mission to make literature more inclusive. Being upfront about what we are able to pay—and what we want to pay—will hopefully encourage other publications to do the same. It also levels the playing field for writers to know what their peers earn. Though we have continued to raise our writer fees over the years, we still pay our writers less than we would like. Our standard 2018 rates were $40 for interviews, $50 for lists, and $60 for essays.

We see being transparent about our finances as part of our mission to make literature more inclusive.

As our 2019 resolution, we decided to raise the minimum payment to $100 for essays and $75 for interviews and lists. These are modest goals, but they represent a large expense to our small non-profit. A longer term goal is to pay $300 for longform essays, which, because of earmarked grant support, is what are able pay for original fiction. We’ve wanted to do this for a while, but there is always some expense that is more urgent, or some small crisis that unexpectedly diverts funds. But we’re sick of putting it off! So we’re just going to do it. No matter what. Even it if means publishing less, we believe in paying our writers more.

With your help, we see a path to raising writer payments while still publishing the same amount—three pieces per weekday.

Our board member Nicole Cliffe has generously agreed to match contributions 2:1, up to $10,000. That means if you give $25, your gift will be worth $75. We’re setting a goal to raise $5,000 from our readers by 11:59PM on Monday, May 13, 2019, which will mean a total gift of $15,000 to Electric Literature with Nicole’s contribution.

All of those funds will go towards increasing writer payments. Can you pay for a $75 writer payment by contributing $25 right now?

or donate another amount here.

If there’s one thing we know about Electric Literature readers, it’s that you understand that writing has value. That value is more than monetary, of course, but it’s monetary too; writing shouldn’t have to be a labor of love alone. If we could, we’d pay our writers and interviewers the best rates in town. With your help, we can take this tiny step towards giving them what they deserve.

Electric Lit, Inc. is a 501c3 nonprofit and all contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

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