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Enter the Authentic Letter Scholarship Contest

Enter the Authentic Letter Scholarship Contest

February 25, 2004

Pass This Along to a Talented Writer

Dear Friends of Narco News,

This year's full session of The School of Authentic Journalism promises to be better than ever. An absolutely astounding faculty of gifted and renowned journalism professionals is being put together for this intensive ten-day program, and this year's campus has the space for a significantly larger student body. This can mean more journalism students than ever before and more Authentic Journalists, trained in the skills, ethics, and issues of reporting on the drug war and democracy from Latin America, who will be challenging mass media distortions in the years to come.

The Narco News School of Authentic Journalism has offered one scholarship slot to The Fund for Authentic Journalism as a special incentive to help us to recruit good writers in our fundraising campaign on behalf of Narco News. This scholarship provides the ability for somebody to attend the ten-day session, tuition free, with room and board included. Narco News already has a rigorous application process for finding the most promising scholarship applicants. Duplicating it didn't seem to make sense. Since the art of good writing and the art of successful fundraising are so entwined, here is what we're going to do:

Announcing: The Authentic Letter Scholarship Contest

Award: One scholarship to the next full session of The School of Authentic Journalism.

(The exact dates will soon be announced: The session will begin in late July and run through early August.)

This scholarship covers all costs for room, board, meals, educational supplies, field trip expenses and all else required for full participation in the full ten-day intensive course: everything except the transportation costs to the South American city nearest to our campus (the winner will be met at the airport).

This scholarship is perfect for aspiring journalists or interested non-journalists, especially talented writers and community organizers, who wish to take advantage of a rare and unique educational opportunity.

The scholarship winner will be invited to attend all sessions of the J-School and will be subject to the same privileges and requirements as the other scholarship recipients.

Entering the Contest:

To enter, submit a letter appealing to your fellow readers for contributions to fund Narco News and the J-School. Letters will be reviewed and edited as appropriate by Narco News, and those letters accepted will be sent, via email, to more than 2,000 subscribers on the Narco News alerts list. They may also be published on The Narcosphere and or Narco News itself.

Whichever letter generates the most response (readers, as well as your own friends and supporters, will be able to donate through a specific online credit card link bearing your name, or mark your name on or inside the envelope bearing their check sent by postal mail to P.O. Box 71051, Madison Heights, MI 48071.

We'll be measuring response in terms of total funds raised in contributions of $100 dollars or less, or the first $100 of any larger contribution, in specific response to your letter, and received by midnight, March 18, 2004. The winner will be announced by the end of March, leaving time for runners up to apply for the regular Authentic Journalism scholarships.

As of this writing, we need to raise $6,500 to qualify for the next installment of our matching grant. When we meet that goal, Narco News will be able to announce J-school details, exact dates, and open up the regular scholarship process.

Please submit your letters to, with the word "CONTEST" in the subject title. Early submissions may have a competitive edge because there will be more days prior to March 18 for readers to respond to your letter. So get writing and good luck to all!


Q: What language does my letter have to be in?

A: Your letter can be submitted in English, Spanish or Portuguese.

Q: Is there any reason to enter the contest if I know I won't be able to attend this J-school?

A: Yes! In addition to helping a cause you believe in, we'll name the scholarship after you. If you win the contest, but can't attend, we will honor you by naming this special scholarship after you and granting it to the most promising applicant Narco News can find. Both you and your replacement at J-School will receive a certificate of your accomplishment suitable for framing.

Q: I was hoping that through winning the regular scholarship from Narco News I might also be able to get at least some of my travel expenses covered. If I win this contest, would I still be eligible to apply for such travel assistance if it is available?

A: Yes. You would still be fully eligible to apply for any travel scholarships being offered by Narco News for this J-School session.

Q. If I have already attended the School of Authentic Journalism, or I've been invited back as a professor this time, or if I'm an experienced journalist who may be more appropriate as a professor than as a student, may I still enter this contest?

A. By all means, yes: We imagine that graduates and professors from last previous J-School sessions have great potential to write a successful fund appeal, because you can write articulately from personal experience about the importance of the J-School. Narco News does reserve final decisions regarding the promotion of professors and will be the final arbiter of any proposed amendments to the award by the winner. However, if you've already attended the J-School, or have been asked to teach at this upcoming session, winning this Fund for Authentic Journalism scholarship will assure that your room and board are paid for by us, which, as professors know, because they pay their own room and board for the privilege of working with the outstanding students and fun of being with each other, the award does count for something extra.

Fine print: Narco News reserves the right to use or not use any letter submitted for any reason. In entering this contest you agree to indemnify Narco News and The Fund for Authentic Journalism from any claim, expenses, or problems you may encounter as a result. The idea is to support a great cause, and have a good time doing it, and this contest is offered in that spirit.


Andrew Grice, Treasurer The Fund for Authentic Journalism P.O. Box 71051 Madison Heights, MI 48071

© Scoop Media

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