At Readercon in Quincy, MA, I spoke to Anaea Lay, one of the founders of Dream Foundry.Listen to "Interview with Dream Foundry's Anaea Lay" on Spreaker.
Dream Foundry is a community that exists to support beginner creators (in art, game design, prose, etc.). They have a forum and are about to launch a contest for artists and writers who are beginners. The writing contest will be judged by CC Finlay and Lisa Rogers and the Art contest will be judged by Rachel Quinlan.
The contest winners will get a $500 cash prize for first place and critiques from professionals for first through third places.
Dream Foundry is not buying publication rights, so the winners will be able to submit their stories elsewhere for first publication rights even if they win first place.
William Ledbetter is coordinating the writing side of the contest, and you can find the full rules for the writing contest at https://dreamfoundry.org/contest.
Sara Felix is coordinating the art side of the contest, though the art contest rules are not yet finalized.
The contest runs from the 12th of August to the 13th of October, and is open to anyone who has not sold a piece of their work at what would be considered a professional rate for their medium. For the writing side, this means that if a writer qualifies for the Associate level of SFWA membership, they are not eligible for Dream Foundry's contest.
Ultimately, Dream Foundry is planning to expand the contest to include a workshop for future winners, but that will be a couple years down the road at least. The workshop will have all expenses paid for winners, and one of the things they are working to secure up front is a wheelchair accessible location.
For people who are not eligible for the contest, Dream Foundry offers a forum community with a Media Exploration Club. The club has cycles of six months themes with different kinds of works discussed each month. Right now the theme is Found Families, and in July Darcie Little Badger is leading a discussion of a The Girl From the Other Side, a manga. In August, S. L. Huang will lead a discussion of the first two episodes of Firefly.
The forum is free to everyone and is a moderated community with a code of conduct to keep the conversations friendly and inclusive.
The board of Dream Foundry is Anaea Lay, Cislyn Smith, Deanna Rymaszewski, Evergreen Lee, and Coral Moore. To find out more about the staff and the organization, visit https://dreamfoundry.org/about/who-we-are/.