We launched the Los Suelos, CA web anthology as anticipated in February 2022. We successfully raised over $750 for our charitable partner the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation in the first week after launch. All the content, including stories and art from more than 40 contributors, developed over the course of the grant period is live on the website and will continue to raise money through web monetization and direct donations in perpetuity. We experienced some difficulty getting enrolled in the Coil affiliate program in a timely manner, however we were able to resolve this almost immediately after launching the site and still within our project period.
Develop all the necessary infrastructure for a collaborative multimedia universe
We engaged an experienced web developer and Coil consultant (previous Grant for the Web awardee Sam Allemang) and set up social media pages and a Discord server for contributors. This website serves as the platform for a wide variety of interactive media.
Create a baseline of creative work
Over the last 6 months, we identified more than 40 contributors for our anthology. In this time we worked closely with them to develop stories and art through extensive editing and some further web development. This includes approximately 70,000 words of fiction and several multimedia and art pieces as well as the video game we developed, "Welcome to Los Suelos."
Develop a creative platform that fairly compensates artists and writers from diverse backgrounds, and benefits charitable organizations in California
Thanks to the grant from Interledger Foundation, we've been able to pay professional rates to all contributors. Our contributor agreement ensures professional pay on a work-for-hire basis, while also allowing creators to reproduce their work in a personal anthology in the future. We partnered with the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, who has been helping to boost our project within their donor network and on social media.
As the project continued to expand thanks to the enthusiasm and input of our large contributor base, the rpg we developed, "Welcome to Los Suelos", became a bigger part of the overall project scope, far beyond the original point-and-click map we had envisioned in our proposal. All other planned key activities, such as the musical and audio components, fiction, art, and Coil monetization have also been successfully implemented.
We created multiple social media channels (twitter, instagram, facebook), including some in-world accounts. The project has also gained visibility through our partnership with CRLAF. Thanks to organic advertisement and reach through our readers, we've been able to raise funds for CRLAF through Coil, direct donations, and sales of the in-universe record on our bandcamp page: https://fluppies.bandcamp.com/album/fluppies. We have also allocated budget for physical media such as bookmarks and flyers to advertise the project. We've also done several interviews with online mags and podcasts. https://www.full-stop.net/2022/02/10/interviews/hannah-lamb-vines/karter-mycroft/
We plan to continue building community engagement and releasing supplemental content to build awareness of the project. The Discord server is currently limited to editors and contributors of Los Suelos, CA, but will likely eventually be opened to readers, making the experience even more immersive.
We invite all readers to immerse themselves in the world of Los Suelos through the stories and game, and to support CRLAF through Coil membership with lossuelos.com. Because web monetization may seem esoteric to literary audiences, engagement from the web monetization community is extremely appreciated.