Full disclosure: I have exactly three things that are making me hesitant to apply for the last Xeric Grant which is due on Feb. 29.
1) My work is nooooot really that indie. It’s manga when it boils down to strict categories and that feels like it’s more mainstream than it should be for this particular kind of grant. Bottomline, I really don’t know what my chances are in getting this. YES, I am fully willing and capable of writing up an artist statement talking about how manga is an underrated art form and that my heroes (Urasawa, Murata, Arakawa) are all master draftsmen and utilize the format to convey rich, layered character-driven stories. I am perfectly willing to present the literary and artistic merits of my work but I’m worried the judges may come at this with iron presumptions.
2) I’m only done with a quarter of the book which goes against the rule that “submitted projects should be complete or near completion.” This means I’m going to have to send them rough sketches of the rest of the book. It’s definitely past script form because my compositions are already in place in a lot of pages but it is very rough in some areas. (Literal stick figures.) Naturally, I would have tried to apply next year but this is actually the LAST time they’re handing out the grant because Kickstarter and IndieGogo are doing so well for creator-owned projects.
3) My own work schedule which I will be pushing back a little to gather all the requirements. If I am committing to this, I will need a couple of days at least on top of an already stressed schedule (that needs to incorporate a weeklong trip to the midwest for the grad schools N got into.
But I can certainly use the grant money and the prestige that comes with the award itself. This is the last time they’re handing this out and it’s an opportunity to align myself with a notable name attached to self-publishing. As far as my “it doesn’t hurt to try” mentality goes, I SHOULD go for it but I’m totally biased here.
Would appreciate your thoughts, guys. N doesn’t think it’s worth the hassle but I’m hoping he’s wrong.
EDIT: As of 1AM this morning, I’m going to do it. It’s going to cost me two days and some cash, but I think I’d rather go down trying than not having tried at all. HEEEEEEREEEEEEEEE I GO.