Today I got my (I think) semiannual newsletter from Money for Women in the mail. Money for Women supports the work of female and feminist writers by giving relatively small grants for very specific purposes. One grantee this year was given funds to replace an old word processor with a laptop, and when I asked the organization for support a few years ago, I decided to be honest and tell them exactly what it would be used for: daycare for my son, so I could have the much-needed hours alone to finish my book manuscript. What writers need most to is time and some simple quality equipment. Money for Women understands this. They gave me the money, and I finished my book.
But that money did more than simply pay for daycare, it also affirmed my worth as a writer. It moved me deeply to know that a group of accomplished women looked at my work and said yes, this is worth funding.
The Money for Women fund is named for Barbara Deming, a feminist, lesbian, poet, writer and activist who died young of cancer. Below the signatures of the women who sit on the grant’s board, is a quote from Deming — it’s a kind of prayer to the universe, asking for help:
“Just back from an early morning swim. There was a tiny dog there, diving for stones — which she’d carefully bring back, one after another, to the shore. Wish they were new contributions for MFW. Little dog, find us an angel!” Barbara Deming, June 28, 1981.
Whether you feel more like an angel or a dog, it’s a worthy cause. If you are in a position to help Money for Women continue to support the work of emerging female writers, they would be very happy to receive a cheque from you. And if you live the US, it’s tax-deductible.
Send what you can. Here’s the address:Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Inc. P.O. Box 309 Wilton, New Hampshire 03086 USA