Thursday, June 5, 2008

Write 800 words for Amber

Attended Amber Bowerman's beautiful memorial service yesterday. It is a testament to her vivacity that the event was a celebration of her bright life and a reflection of all the laughter and joy she spread wherever she went.

Writer/Editor Susan Pederson has a great idea for keeping Amber's legacy alive -- donate proceeds from your next 800 word story to Amber's scholarship fund, c/o the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, #204, 1039 - 17 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2T 0B2. Please memo "Amber" and note that AMPA is a non-profit society, not a registered charity; we cannot issue tax receipts.

Also, write a story about the Amber you knew and loved, or always wanted to know better, or never did know aside from her stories. She touched and impacted a lot of people through her writing and her giving nature. You could do the same...(read on)

AMPA Communications and Program Assistant


By Susan Pederson

Amber Bowerman was a beautiful, caring and talented writer, who left this world all too early.

It's an enormous loss to all who knew and loved her, and to those who will never read her words again. It leaves us all feeling deeply shaken, and those of us who also make our living as journalists feel a profound connection to Amber. I imagine the stories she was working on, the ones she was excited about, and I read about the interviews she missed the morning after her death. It seems unconscionable that her insightful written voice could be gone forever.

I want to do something with that sense of loss, so I’ve decided to donate the payment from the next 800 words that I write to the arts and journalism scholarship that has been established in honour of Amber, through the Alberta Magazine Publishers’ Association (AMPA). It surely will not bring Amber back, but I need to feel that in my own small way, I can take some action that will mark her remarkable life in a tangible way.

I want to encourage all others who make their living as writers to also “write 800 words for Amber” and donate the payment from those 800 words to Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, 204-1039 17 Ave. S.W. Calgary, Alberta, T2T 0B2 with memo "Amber."

Why 800 words? Because 800 words is a manageable amount to write at one sitting, so you can take action quickly. And since most of the writers I know are not millionaires, the payment from an 800-word assignment (or 800 words of a longer assignment) will not break the bank – but together, can make a real difference in the life of a rising journalist.

Please send this to every writer you know and encourage them to do the same, and as you write those 800 words, think of Amber Bowerman, and make it your best work ever.

Deadline: ASAP.