Been invited to speak at the 2010 Asian Festival of Children's Content by the National Book Development Council of Singapore. Coolness. And they're offering to cover my hotel, food, and local transportation expenses. But that leaves me with managing the airfare to Singapore. Urk.
It totally is. Right now, I'm quailing at the expense. I mean, I've missed WorldCons and World Fantasy cons for years now because finances were so tight, and they would've been less than this (for the most part...the WorldCon in Japan, not so much). But the festival isn't until 2010. Maybe I can come up with something before then.
If you have a US equivalent of our British Council - a govt-funded institution devoted to improving trade & cultural relations overseas - it would be well worth contacting them. In an equivalent position, I'd be onto the BC like a shot...
Oh, damn. Still, that's only the first immediate option out of the window. The rule for this kind of invite is that you start saving immediately, but you actually pay for it yourself as an absolutely last resort. If the US doesn't sponsor artistic contacts, Singapore clearly does; there may well be other sources of funding. Offhand, I know there are Japanese institutions that pay to foster UK/Japanese exchanges (we tried to get funding for a mass fantasy-writers trip to WorldCon in Yokohama; didn't get the money in the end, but it was a good bid), which being true there may well be equivalent Singapore/US bodies. Accept the invite, ask those nice people if they have any bright ideas, and carry on searching...
It must be wonderful having a government that actually provides assistance to benefit the arts. Not just because of the financial aid, but because it engenders a "there's gotta be a way" mindset. Honestly, it hadn't even occurred to me to cast about for a grant or sponsorship opportunity to help defray the expenses 'cause I know how hopeless it would be in the states. But now at least I feel primed to look for something. Thanks.
Heh. My role in life: I am devoted to the cause of persuading writers to look for funding. Over here, it's usually persuading genre writers to apply for literary funding, because there is both an actual prejudice against genre and a perceived one (which is greater).
As another reference point, I am planning to spend a bit more than that to attend a translation conference. However, I am confident that I will make enough contacts that the conference will pay for itself.
Are you interested in doing more speaking gigs? Do you think that you will be able to make enough contacts to make this a good idea down the road?
If this is a interesting/fun thing, it probably isn't worth the money to pay to fly over. However, if you can justify this as an investment... I'd start saving up now.
If it's anywhere near WorldCon, you could make a big trip of it and come to Aussiecon4 as well. Melbourne isn't a natural stopover on the way to Singapore, but Brisbane or Cairns might be and from Queensland to Melbourne (or Melbourne to Queensland) is a really interesting voyage. It will cost even more, but at least you'll be getting the holiday of a lifetime,plus Worldcon, plus the Singapore event. You know at least one local (me) who would be prepared to act as liaaison if you wanted to run workshops to help make ends meet, too.