On Wednesday, we contacted the organizational side of the Pepsi Refresh Project and asked to be removed from the site and the voting process. We don't know how long this will take, but we hope it will happen sometime on Thursday.
We took this step for two reasons:
1. When we applied, we felt that FictionAlley would be suited to the Pepsi Refresh Project because of our focus on literacy and improving writing skills through fan-fiction and because we support the artistic value of fanfiction; projects in contention through the summer and fall that had literary/creative writing focuses were our inspirations.
FictionAlley remains committed to the educational mission that has been an integral part of the site since 2001, and we intend to continue that mission through our writing resources within the forums, our fic intake system, and through other projects both old and new. We are working to more clearly explain our educational mission, and pledge to post a detailed study of how we would use funding to further our education goals.
2. While we still need money to cover our hosting fees and update the site -- as well as fund new and ongoing educational opportunities for readers, artists and writers -- our financial situation improved this week thanks to a number of current and former FictionAlley authors. Our immediate financial needs being lessened, and the spot-on criticism of our current Pepsi Refresh Project application being too vague both in terms of spending and legitimate need, made withdrawing the right decision.
We have received enough donations this week to keep FictionAlley running though the Spring of 2011, and we thank those kind donors for their help. We will continue to engage our site's users in the ongoing fundraiser that we began in September via posts at the Park and Review Boards, and emails to registered users who had logged into the site in the last two years.
We are committed to keeping FictionAlley, with its nearly ten years of archived reviews, conversations, resources, art and fics, online. Any thoughts, advice, suggestions, recommendations, donations of VPS or dedicated servers, or time with vBulletin experts would be appreciated.
In short, we have heard both praise and protest over our participation in the Pepsi Refresh Project and have decided to withdraw from the program at this time. FictionAlley still needs financial support, so we hope you will join us as we move forward in our efforts to renew the site through a sorely needed code-overhaul and both continued and new educational goals.
We would also like to thank Pepsi for the opportunity to apply, and we encourage you to visit the Pepsi Refresh Project to vote for the many fine proposals still in contention this month.
On a final note, FA staffer Gwen (gwendolyngrace) is on sabbatical. Her post about the Pepsi Refresh Project and subsequent replies were not made on behalf of FictionAlley.