GoFundMe Campaign for Iceland Writers Retreat Begins Today


I’m sharing some AMAZING news with you today – and asking for your help in making a dream come true, and an incredible learning experience be within reach.

(*takes a deep breath*)

Today I’m starting a GoFundMe campaign to fund a trip to the 2017 Iceland Writers Retreat, with the hopes of raising $3,500 USD by February 4, 2017. After the jump, I’ll share links to the retreat and the campaign page so you can see the cost breakdown, perk levels (yes, PERKS!), and so on. But first, let me explain why I want to go and why I need financial assistance to do so.

Photo Credit: Ragnar Th. Sigurðsson, Meet in Reykjavik

Photo Credit: Ragnar Th. Sigurðsson, Meet in Reykjavik

What Is the Iceland Writers Retreat?

The 2017 Iceland Writers Retreat will be held April 5th through 9th at Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Natura in Reykjavik, Iceland. Participants will attend workshops led by award-winning authors from various genres, as well as readings and related social functions. They’ll also take guided tours through Reykjavik and the Icelandic countryside and meet fellow writers from all over the globe. The event, which has happened annually since 2014, has received high praise from past attendees and extensive coverage from journalists worldwide.

Want to know more? Click here to visit the Iceland Writers Retreat website.

Hraunfossar waterfalls

Why Do I Want to Go to the Iceland Writers Retreat?

Yes, I’d travel abroad for the first time. And yes, it would be an amazing opportunity to learn more about the craft of writing. But the real reason why I want to go to the Iceland Writers Retreat? The northern latitudes of the world I invented for my story are inspired by Iceland’s geography and wildlife. In fact, a waterfall that appears in the story is based on Hraunfossar (see Getty Image photo above), which will be a stop on one of the retreat’s tours. So, in a way, this would be my first and best chance to “step into” my story’s world and do some research for future stories.

Why Am I Raising Funds via GoFundMe? (In Other Words, Why Do I Need Your Help?)

As a single woman and homeowner with a modest salary in a high-cost-of-living area, I have to stick to a strict budget. This makes it challenging to afford expenses such as international travel and investments in my writing career that aren’t local. I was also recently turned down for a scholarship for that would help fund the costs of the retreat.

Want to Learn More About the Campaign, Including Donation Perk Levels? 

Click here to visit my campaign’s GoFundMe page. You’ll find more information including a brief cost breakdown (a.k.a. what the donations will pay for), notes for donors who live outside the U.S. or want to participate anonymously, and PERKS. Yes! Right now I have reward levels for donors who are interested in things like:

  • Seeing your name in the Acknowledgments page(s) of my first published book.
  • My critique of the first 2,500 words of your WIP.
  • A four-pack of custom tea blends inspired by my WIP and created through Adagio Tea’s customer tea-blending program. (NOTE: It’s the same four-pack as shown here.)
  • For U.S. donors only, your choice of three scarves I’ve hand-knitted. (Photo and details about the scarves are available on the GoFundMe page.)
  • Access to an online photo album from my trip.
  • A 1-hour writing coach session with me via Skype.
  • A one-month subscription to One Stop for Writers, a writing resource site run by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi of Writers Helping Writers.

Other perks may be added as the campaign continues. If you have suggestions for additional perks (or would like to “donate” a perk, so that we’re helping one another), feel free to email me through my site’s Contact page or on Facebook or Twitter.

You can also donate if you’re not interested in the writing, photo, and/or tea perks. Check out the instructions on the GoFundMe page (under “What Do You Get In Return?”) to find out how.

Curious to see how the campaign’s going? Check out the IWR image-widget on the blog’s sidebar to see the fundraiser’s progress. You can also click on this widget to visit the campaign’s GoFundMe page.

Thank You for Your Support (Crowdfunding and Otherwise)

I can’t tell how you how excited yet nervous I am about this. I’ve donated to crowdfunding campaigns before, but I’ve never actually run one myself. But I’m willing to give this a try, and I’ll be grateful for any donations you can offer. The Iceland Writers Retreat will be both the learning experience of a lifetime and a dream come true, and I hope this campaign can make it more affordable.

Also, thank you for not only your support of this campaign, but also for your encouragement, enthusiasm, and friendship this year. It means more than words can adequately express. 🙂

22 thoughts on “GoFundMe Campaign for Iceland Writers Retreat Begins Today

  1. This looks like an amazing opportunity, Sara! I am extremely glad that you are pursuing this goal! Not going to lie, I think I might actually be considering looking into this for myself. My sister always talks about visiting Iceland….
    Best of luck with your GoFundMe Campaign! You’ve been a great inspiration with your posts, lending insight and encouragement. I know I’m glad to support you and I really do hope that this works out for you! You deserve it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Faith. (*hugs*) I’m really excited and incredibly nervous about crowdfunding this. It’s a HUGE step outside my comfort zone and a complete leap of faith. But anything that anyone is willing to contribute over the next 2 months will be spent wisely (and as delineated) and greatly appreciated.

      Have you seen photos of Iceland? Don’t they just take your breath away? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds like such a great opportunity for you! Though if I went to Iceland for a retreat, I would be so tempted to go be a tourist instead of working! 😀 Maybe they build the tours in to keep distracted individuals like me on track!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Krysta! I’d love to be a tourist the whole time, too. But I can’t think of a better way of combining a visit to Iceland and investing in one’s writing career. So for a first trip there, it seems like it’ll strike a nice balance. 🙂


      • I can’t even sit on the front porch to work without getting distracted by looking at the wind in the trees or imagining the conversations the neighborhood cats are having. (They’re up to something, I’m telling you.) Iceland would defeat me. But at least when you see Iceland it will be research! Totally justifiable! And it sounds pretty awesome to be surrounded by a bunch of other writers with similar goals. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • *lol* Never trust any animals who look like they might be up to something. 😉

        And I know the feeling about the nature bit, too. Though when I see Hraunfossar (the waterfall inspiration) during the tour, I won’t be surprised if it makes me cry…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It would be a dream to visit Iceland! The landscape is breathtaking, and the waterfalls…what a sight to behold. What a lovely venture this is, Sara, I hope you get to go. You’ve earned this.
    I’ll have to look into this Retreat for 2018 and see if I can go then, though I would have to save up a lot of money for it. Your idea for a Go Fund Me campaign is a great one.

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. Wow this is such an amazing opportunity! I can’t donate now but I will after the holidays. I so hope you get to go! I’m dying to go to Iceland. XD I may try to go to this one year!


    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s fine, Tori! The campaign will run through February 4th, so you have plenty of time. 😉 Plus, I understand wanting to wait for financial / holiday reasons. I mainly kicked it off last week to give the campaign as much time as possible.

      Liked by 1 person

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