In case you haven't noticed, Nashville (and much of Tennessee) was pretty much decimated by flooding last week. But in truth, you may not have noticed, because the media sure wasn't telling anyone about the disaster taking place down South. It was a good six days before anyone in the national media started really talking about the extent of the damage, and even longer before the news hit the local news here in New York City, local news which was preoccupied by a disaster that actually didn't happen: the non-bomb in Times Square. (Hey, I love my city, but even New Yorkers get tired of the media pretending that the East Coast is the center of the universe.)
Meanwhile, over on the Twitterverse, a lot of writers and book industry folk started talking about the lack of coverage for the floods. It was mind-boggling, really. Nashville is a major cultural center of the United States, the home to country music and the Grand Ole Opry. But did you know that Nashville is also a major hub for publishing in the United States? Nashville is the home to Ingram Books - the largest book distributor in the country, as well as home to the majority of the publishers that serve the CBA marketplace: Thomas Nelson, Center Street Press and dozens of other Christian publishers.
And somewhere in the midst of that hours-long conversation, three smart young Nashville-based writers - Victoria Schwab, Amanda Morgan and Myra McEntire - came up with the idea of a literary auction whose proceeds would go to support the Tennessee flood relief efforts. And Do the Write Thing for Nashville was born!
If you haven't had the chance, head over there now and check out all the amazing things you can bid on for this great cause! My colleague Janet Reid is offering up a 30-minute manuscript evaluation by telephone. (She'll read your whole manuscript, first!) Another FinePrint colleague, Suzie Townsend, is also giving away a 30-minute phone call and manuscript critique! (Bidding on Suzie's package closes today, so hurry!)
More people offering up prizes: Curtis Brown agent Ginger Clark, NYT bestselling author Lisa McMann (who will fly to your city to have lunch with you!), Egmont publisher Elizabeth Law, Greenwillow Books editor Martha Mihalick, among others. (My package doesn't go up until Day 8; I'll tell you more about it then!)
There are dozens of great prizes to bid on, and all the money goes to help the people of Tennessee rebuild their lives and their cities. Please help us spread the word and Do the Write Thing for Nashville!