Alex Aldred

is creating fiction, poetry, and more

4

patrons

$35

per month
My name is Alex Aldred, and I want to make things up for a living.

I'm a writer of poetry and short stories, a novellist-in-progress, and a general layabout creative type. I've had material published by the Cordite Poetry Review, Daily Science Fiction, Hello Horror, and more. In December 2018 I completed my MA in Creative Writing at Lancaster university, and from September 2019 I will be embarking on a full-time PhD in Creative Writing at the university of Edinburgh. You can learn more about me and my work by visiting my website.

What do you write about?

Ghost trains. Scarecrows. Dinosaurs. Regular trains. Distant forests. Dead languages. Trains.

I write primarily speculative fiction; science fiction, fantasy, horror, all the usual suspects. I'm fascinated by the unknown and unknowable, by brilliant ideas, by all the possibilities inherent in genre fiction. I also enjoy contemporary poetry; I want my own work to be influenced by creators on the frontier of pushing poetry's limits. Visit the publication archive on my site to find links to several of my pieces.

Why do you need Patreon?

As you probably already know, making money as a writer is difficult. Income from various publications comes in fits and starts, and many journals can't afford to pay their contributors (or their staff!) as much as they'd like.

Taking on a PhD is also difficult - postgraduate scholarships in creative fields are tough to come by, and tuition fees get more expensive every year. I'm eligible for a postgraduate doctoral loan worth £25,000 from the UK government; minus the cost of tuition fees, this leaves me with a little under £12,000 for the three years of the course, which means I have, roughly, £75 a week to live on. If you've ever looked into the cost of rent in Edinburgh, you'll understand this isn't going to make ends meet.

The solution, obviously, is to get a part-time job once I move to Edinburgh, which is exactly what I'm going to do. But a PhD is already a full-time commitment, and working 20-30 hours a week or more on top of that is going to bite significantly into my physical and mental energy.

As a writer, and as a human being, I need time. I need time to write, and rewrite, and edit and draft and proof. I need time to research for my PhD project. I need time to participate in seminars, attend tutorials, meet deadlines. I need time to send stories and poems off to publishers and journals. I need time to read, both for my degree work and for my creative work. Above all, I need time to think. Writing isn't just putting pen to paper (or opening your battle-worn laptop in my case); it's the constant cycle of consideration, reflection and inspiration that comes before. In order to create new material to the best of my ability, I need time.

How will Patreon help?

I'm not expecting a tidal wave of niche poetry lovers to crash forth from the virtual ocean and pay my bills for me (but wouldn't that be nice?). However, any amount of support that I can recieve for my creative work is going to supplement my income. If I earn enough per month through Patreon to cover the equivalent of one full shift at my part-time job, that's one less shift per month I need to work to make rent, and one more free day to dedicate to creative projects. If you think my work is worth reading (and if you've gotten this far, I'm hoping you do), that's good news for you and me both.

What are you working on, anyway?

I like to have multiple projects on the go at any one time - there's so many different aspects of creative work that appeal to me, and I want to try my hand at all of them! I'm currently working on the following:

1. PhD Portfolio: my research proposal concerns poetry as cartography - using the poetic form to map out a geographical space. I've always found poetry that interrogates established ideas of place fascinating, and having the opportunity to conduct further research in this area excites me to no end. For my portfolio, I'll be constructing a manuscript-length, publication ready collection of poetry designed to act as a 'poetic map', if you like, of Edinburgh. In addition, I'll be writing a longform essay concerning cartography in poetry, with a focus on such contemporary poets as Kei Miller and Emily Hasler.

2. NaNoWriMo 2019: I've worked on multiple novel-length projects over the years, and have a completed first draft of a novel currently gathering electric dust in my depths of my harddrive. With the time afforded to me by my patrons, I'd like to use 2019's National Novel Writing Month as a launchpad for writing, editing and completing a finished manuscript of my debut novel, ready to venture out into the scary world of literary agents and publishers.

3. Short Story Collection: when I first started writing, short stories were the form I was most interested in. I've had several stories published by various journals over the last few years; however, my academic focus on poetry, and my lack of spare time, has led me to write fewer and fewer prose pieces in recent months. I'd like to be able to put together a full book of speculative short stories, old and new, exploring a variety of themes and ideas.

In addition to these listed works, I am also involved, and will continue to get involved, with other, stranger projects - think scripts for radio plays which me and my creative colleagues will produce, interactive fiction in the style of games like Fallen London, unclassifiable detritus washing onto the most distant shores of literature. I like to have clearly defined projects to work towards; I also like to have room to manoeuvre, explore, invent, surprise myself and surprise others. This is what your patronage would help me achieve.

But what do WE get out of it?

Now for the important bit. I'm keen to offer my patrons rewards which feel meaningful, which provide some kind of experience - I'm keen, in other words, to offer some value for money. My current plans for tiered rewards include:

  • Access to behind-the-scenes content - this might be essays about my writing process, annotated copies of published works, or brainstorms for new and upcoming projects.
  • A healthy dose of exclusive material - draft copies of stories and poems I'm tinkering with, plus extracts from longer works.
  • Free copies of future releases - for example, zines, spoken word albums, and pamphlets.
  • A friendly mention in the Support section of my website!

I've also got plenty of ideas for future tiers, in the event that this little Patreon experiment starts to take off: think AMAs, online workshops, early access to publications, perhaps a podcast (perish the thought). If any of this sounds worth having to you, why not consider signing up to be a patron today?

On that note, this 'about' section is getting a bit out of control and I need to wrap it up. Welcome to my Patreon. I hope you enjoy your stay.

- Alex


Tiers
Feral Hatchlings
$1 or more per month

You're going to become something magnificent. Patrons at the $1 tier will gain access to my patron-exclusive feed, where I'll post hints and teases of upcoming projects, glimpses into my writing life, and more. Plus, you'll be named and applauded in the supporters section of my website. I love you all. 

Spectral Forces
$2 or more per month

You remember lives and deaths beyond your own. Patrons at the $2 tier recieve all previous rewards, plus: you'll gain access to my Workshop, where I'll post exclusive pieces of draft content every month. These could be poems or stories I'm working on, or perhaps extracts from longer works-in-progress.

Legendary Heroes
$5 or more per month

You've fought hard for what you believe in. Patrons at the $5 tier recieve all previous rewards, plus: you'll gain access to my Writer's Notes, a monthly behind-the-scenes account of my creative process featuring such things as annotated poems, conceptual spitballs, and earlier versions of published works. 

Cosmic Wanderers
$10 or more per month

Your destiny is written in the stars. Patrons at the $10 tier recieve all previous awards, plus: you will be named in the acknowledgements of all digital and print releases I make whilst you're a patron at this tier, securing your textual immortality forevermore. 

Celestial Beings
$20 or more per month

You're simply sublime. Patrons at the $20 tier recieve all previous rewards, plus: you'll recieve free copies of any and all digital releases I make whilst you're a patron at this tier. 

Goals
$35 of $50 per month
Ancient sigils carved in bloodstained earth start to glimmer. When we hit $50 a month, I'll launch a monthly email newsletter for all patrons, featuring collections of my favourite jokes, writing tips, and themed reading recommendations.
2 of 3
My name is Alex Aldred, and I want to make things up for a living.

I'm a writer of poetry and short stories, a novellist-in-progress, and a general layabout creative type. I've had material published by the Cordite Poetry Review, Daily Science Fiction, Hello Horror, and more. In December 2018 I completed my MA in Creative Writing at Lancaster university, and from September 2019 I will be embarking on a full-time PhD in Creative Writing at the university of Edinburgh. You can learn more about me and my work by visiting my website.

What do you write about?

Ghost trains. Scarecrows. Dinosaurs. Regular trains. Distant forests. Dead languages. Trains.

I write primarily speculative fiction; science fiction, fantasy, horror, all the usual suspects. I'm fascinated by the unknown and unknowable, by brilliant ideas, by all the possibilities inherent in genre fiction. I also enjoy contemporary poetry; I want my own work to be influenced by creators on the frontier of pushing poetry's limits. Visit the publication archive on my site to find links to several of my pieces.

Why do you need Patreon?

As you probably already know, making money as a writer is difficult. Income from various publications comes in fits and starts, and many journals can't afford to pay their contributors (or their staff!) as much as they'd like.

Taking on a PhD is also difficult - postgraduate scholarships in creative fields are tough to come by, and tuition fees get more expensive every year. I'm eligible for a postgraduate doctoral loan worth £25,000 from the UK government; minus the cost of tuition fees, this leaves me with a little under £12,000 for the three years of the course, which means I have, roughly, £75 a week to live on. If you've ever looked into the cost of rent in Edinburgh, you'll understand this isn't going to make ends meet.

The solution, obviously, is to get a part-time job once I move to Edinburgh, which is exactly what I'm going to do. But a PhD is already a full-time commitment, and working 20-30 hours a week or more on top of that is going to bite significantly into my physical and mental energy.

As a writer, and as a human being, I need time. I need time to write, and rewrite, and edit and draft and proof. I need time to research for my PhD project. I need time to participate in seminars, attend tutorials, meet deadlines. I need time to send stories and poems off to publishers and journals. I need time to read, both for my degree work and for my creative work. Above all, I need time to think. Writing isn't just putting pen to paper (or opening your battle-worn laptop in my case); it's the constant cycle of consideration, reflection and inspiration that comes before. In order to create new material to the best of my ability, I need time.

How will Patreon help?

I'm not expecting a tidal wave of niche poetry lovers to crash forth from the virtual ocean and pay my bills for me (but wouldn't that be nice?). However, any amount of support that I can recieve for my creative work is going to supplement my income. If I earn enough per month through Patreon to cover the equivalent of one full shift at my part-time job, that's one less shift per month I need to work to make rent, and one more free day to dedicate to creative projects. If you think my work is worth reading (and if you've gotten this far, I'm hoping you do), that's good news for you and me both.

What are you working on, anyway?

I like to have multiple projects on the go at any one time - there's so many different aspects of creative work that appeal to me, and I want to try my hand at all of them! I'm currently working on the following:

1. PhD Portfolio: my research proposal concerns poetry as cartography - using the poetic form to map out a geographical space. I've always found poetry that interrogates established ideas of place fascinating, and having the opportunity to conduct further research in this area excites me to no end. For my portfolio, I'll be constructing a manuscript-length, publication ready collection of poetry designed to act as a 'poetic map', if you like, of Edinburgh. In addition, I'll be writing a longform essay concerning cartography in poetry, with a focus on such contemporary poets as Kei Miller and Emily Hasler.

2. NaNoWriMo 2019: I've worked on multiple novel-length projects over the years, and have a completed first draft of a novel currently gathering electric dust in my depths of my harddrive. With the time afforded to me by my patrons, I'd like to use 2019's National Novel Writing Month as a launchpad for writing, editing and completing a finished manuscript of my debut novel, ready to venture out into the scary world of literary agents and publishers.

3. Short Story Collection: when I first started writing, short stories were the form I was most interested in. I've had several stories published by various journals over the last few years; however, my academic focus on poetry, and my lack of spare time, has led me to write fewer and fewer prose pieces in recent months. I'd like to be able to put together a full book of speculative short stories, old and new, exploring a variety of themes and ideas.

In addition to these listed works, I am also involved, and will continue to get involved, with other, stranger projects - think scripts for radio plays which me and my creative colleagues will produce, interactive fiction in the style of games like Fallen London, unclassifiable detritus washing onto the most distant shores of literature. I like to have clearly defined projects to work towards; I also like to have room to manoeuvre, explore, invent, surprise myself and surprise others. This is what your patronage would help me achieve.

But what do WE get out of it?

Now for the important bit. I'm keen to offer my patrons rewards which feel meaningful, which provide some kind of experience - I'm keen, in other words, to offer some value for money. My current plans for tiered rewards include:

  • Access to behind-the-scenes content - this might be essays about my writing process, annotated copies of published works, or brainstorms for new and upcoming projects.
  • A healthy dose of exclusive material - draft copies of stories and poems I'm tinkering with, plus extracts from longer works.
  • Free copies of future releases - for example, zines, spoken word albums, and pamphlets.
  • A friendly mention in the Support section of my website!

I've also got plenty of ideas for future tiers, in the event that this little Patreon experiment starts to take off: think AMAs, online workshops, early access to publications, perhaps a podcast (perish the thought). If any of this sounds worth having to you, why not consider signing up to be a patron today?

On that note, this 'about' section is getting a bit out of control and I need to wrap it up. Welcome to my Patreon. I hope you enjoy your stay.

- Alex


Recent posts by Alex Aldred

Tiers
Feral Hatchlings
$1 or more per month

You're going to become something magnificent. Patrons at the $1 tier will gain access to my patron-exclusive feed, where I'll post hints and teases of upcoming projects, glimpses into my writing life, and more. Plus, you'll be named and applauded in the supporters section of my website. I love you all. 

Spectral Forces
$2 or more per month

You remember lives and deaths beyond your own. Patrons at the $2 tier recieve all previous rewards, plus: you'll gain access to my Workshop, where I'll post exclusive pieces of draft content every month. These could be poems or stories I'm working on, or perhaps extracts from longer works-in-progress.

Legendary Heroes
$5 or more per month

You've fought hard for what you believe in. Patrons at the $5 tier recieve all previous rewards, plus: you'll gain access to my Writer's Notes, a monthly behind-the-scenes account of my creative process featuring such things as annotated poems, conceptual spitballs, and earlier versions of published works. 

Cosmic Wanderers
$10 or more per month

Your destiny is written in the stars. Patrons at the $10 tier recieve all previous awards, plus: you will be named in the acknowledgements of all digital and print releases I make whilst you're a patron at this tier, securing your textual immortality forevermore. 

Celestial Beings
$20 or more per month

You're simply sublime. Patrons at the $20 tier recieve all previous rewards, plus: you'll recieve free copies of any and all digital releases I make whilst you're a patron at this tier.