Here's one of them right here. Her name is Shayla Lee Raquel, and for the last three years, she has moved heaven and red Oklahoma earth to raise up a first-class writing community in her backyard. She runs the Yukon Writers' Society, which just hosted the FABULOUS Writers Olympics. She travels down to DFW on the regular, donating her time and expertise to make events like WORDfest possible. She has been the fiercest pro-bono advocate an indie author could ever have (including nailing a VERY pointed set of theses to the Oklahoma Book Festival's double-standard front door). And anyone who has ever taken a turn with the organizer's hat knows how completely a good cause will tornado its way through your own personal life and projects.
But today at last, it is Shayla's turn for the spotlight. Cinderella finally gets to go to the ball - not because a fairy godmother waved a wand and apparated a Pumpkin Miata for the occasion, but because she hitched up her homespun dress, laced up her trainers and walked her own self to the party.
It is terribly important to me to make sure that people like Shayla get more than a warm, fuzzy feeling for their efforts - that they are materially and powerfully thanked for the hundreds of hours they've given to making space for the rest of us. And if you would like to sign your name to that effort, this is where you can go to give her your congratulations, read up on her work, and gift a copy to the person in your life that her words were meant for.