The Shale Project is creating a whole planet's worth of multimedia stories!
14
patrons
$158
per month
Hello, and welcome to Shale! First time here? We are a multimedia storytelling initiative roughly in the shape of a planet. That is, we really like telling stories—and we're building one great big world to tell them on!



Here at The Shale Project, we believe in three things: top-notch worldbuilding, daring and exploratory fiction, and the overarching philosophy that art is medicine. Since our launch in March 2018, we have created an immersive website, published Sienna Tristen's multiple-award-winning novel The Heretic's Guide to Homecoming, released Avi Silver's web serial "Tales from a Library", and begun work on a soundtrack for Heretic's Guide. We have also attended conventions, organized readings and presentations at schools, and led some really fun worldbuilding workshops. This coming summer, we are launching Avi's first novel, Two Dark Moons!


Sienna Tristen is the author of The Heretic's Guide to Homecoming, the flagship fantasy novel of Shale. (Her first work of poetry, The Insomniac's Assistant, is also available through Penrose Press.) As Shale’s resident linguist, she’s responsible for nearly all of the planet’s languages and names. She makes creation myths like Avi makes toast. A purveyor of many skills and talents, she can also lead a yoga class, play you a tune on violin, speak to you in three and a half languages, and climb forty feet in the air on a pair of silks.

Avi Silver is the author of Two Dark Moons, Shale's new queer YA fantasy novel (forthcoming July 2019). They're an expert on the shalledrim, the powerful humanoid creatures that once ruled the Bereni Supercontinent. They have also written the web serial "Tales from a Library" and are responsible for most of Shale's web upkeep and article writing. When they aren’t writing, you can find them playing their baby harp, destroying the gender binary, and perfecting their chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Growing up, the two of us were...well, weirdos. And we continue to be weirdos. Between Avi and Sienna alone, we contain queer, nonbinary, asexual, arospec, Jewish, and neurodivergent identities. The rare instances where we found media that represented us were nothing short of transformative, and we hope to make art that has that healing impact on others. Heretic's Guide is often described as "a mental health narrative disguised as a fantasy novel", and Two Dark Moons is a love letter to nonbinary identity (within a culture that is not violent toward trans identities! yay!). We love building languages and creating mythology and arguing over the amount of legs a giant fantasy lizard should have, but more than anything, we want our philosophy to shine through. One planet heals another.



We love what we do, but it takes a lot of investment to make it happen. Between convention registrations, website upkeep, printing overhead expenses, and paying our talented and dedicated contributors, it turns out there are a lot of moving parts to running a planet! With your support, we can better pay our contributors (including incredible composer Irene Zhong, cover artist Haley Rose, and Shalledrim Empress Carisa Van de Wetering), welcome more people onto the team, and further unfurl the map of this fantastical world.

We have a whole barrel of goodies lined up for the intrepid adventurers who choose to support us, from webchats to shalledrim self-portraits to your very own Shale passport. With as little as $3 a month, you get access to posts about the world behind the world--our artistic process, the ins and outs of running an arts business, clips and snippets and sketches of old or unfinished work. And at every donation level, we will thank you personally in our printed works and on our website. You're helping us to build something magnificent; we can't overstate what that means to us.

Ready to jump into this glorious unknown? Then take our hands and let's go!

With love and enthusiasm,
-Avi and Sienna
Tiers
Wishgranter
$1 or more per month

Thank you!

You're here! You are contributing to the evolution of a whole new world! It means--well--the world to us. You gain access to our patron-only feed, and a shoutout on our website and in every new book we publish for as long as you support at this level.

Molewhale
$3 or more per month

Sneak peeks and bonus content!

Want to see behind the scenes? At this level, you'll gain access to deleted scenes, character sketches, snippets of work-in-progress music, and a plethora of other bonus/exclusive material. Nifty! Plus, access to the patron-only feed and a shoutout on our website and in published works.

Teller
$5 or more per month

Webchats and voting rights!

Well aren't you an opinionated storyteller? You'll receive the rewards to all levels below this, as well as access to our patron-only webchats, where we'll chat/perform readings/play the harp and sing/discuss art and life with you. You will also be granted voting rights for the patron-only monthly bonus content (either an illustration or a short story, depending on the month). It's up to you whether we get a vignette about Gamzhey or Tycho!

Little Pilgrim
$10 or more per month

Become a passport-carrying citizen of Shale!

You're supporting us a lot at this level. You're basically a taxpayer of Shale. So at this level, in addition to all of the rewards above, we will MAIL you your very own Shale passport, with exclusive sticker packs for every work we publish! Additionally, you gain suggestion rights for the patron-only monthly bonus content. Got a crazy crossover story you want to see? Let's see if the people agree.

Sulsumet
$20 or more per month

All the Digital Things!

What an intrepid seeker of knowledge! This kind of money can fund one of the Library's expeditions, you know. As gratitude for your benefaction, you will receive all the rewards above plus digital downloads of all finished work: novels, illustrations, individual songs/albums, whatever project we're yelling about at the time. PDFs, MP3s, and other intriguing filenames abound.

Sulsumet, Pen Pal Edition
$20 or more per month only 7 left

Letters from your favourite characters!

LIMITED TO 10 PATRONS! Everything from the standard Sulsumet level plus a monthly e-letter from a Shale character of your choice! (We call it Shale Mail. We're incorrigible.) Want some heartfelt encouragement from Ronoah? Interesting Alon facts from Sulsumet Chassia? Goodness-knows-what from Reilin? For a special ten patrons, the denizens of Shale are ready and eager to get in touch. E-letters will arrive in PDF format on the 3rd of every month, and you can switch up your penpal if you wish!

Shalledra
$50 or more per month

Physical goodies delivered to your doorstep!

This is a superhuman level of support you're giving us--we will gladly bow down to your almighty Empire. At this level, you'll get all the rewards from the standard Sulsumet level along with signed/personalized copies of all physical works published when they are released. Additionally, our very own Sienna Tristen will illustrate you as a shalledra, complete with gaudy colour palette and shalledrim name!

Reilin's Pick
$100 or more per month

Embark on a glorious unknown of your own!

Setten and Ibisca. What. We don't have a pithy one-liner for this. We don't even have a perk selected for it. For sure you will receive all the rewards from other tiers, but also we'll call and chat and see what we can do together to use this incredible patronage wisely. Thank you.

Goals
$158 of $250 per month
Magnificent! $250 per month will pay for a year's worth of events AND printing costs! We won't have to pay out of pocket to print books or business cards; we won't have to dip into rent money for convention registrations or event space rentals. These are the two largest expenses for us--having them covered is a huge load off and allows us to put our resources to other things (like commissions and makeup for our shalledra)!
3 of 5
Hello, and welcome to Shale! First time here? We are a multimedia storytelling initiative roughly in the shape of a planet. That is, we really like telling stories—and we're building one great big world to tell them on!



Here at The Shale Project, we believe in three things: top-notch worldbuilding, daring and exploratory fiction, and the overarching philosophy that art is medicine. Since our launch in March 2018, we have created an immersive website, published Sienna Tristen's multiple-award-winning novel The Heretic's Guide to Homecoming, released Avi Silver's web serial "Tales from a Library", and begun work on a soundtrack for Heretic's Guide. We have also attended conventions, organized readings and presentations at schools, and led some really fun worldbuilding workshops. This coming summer, we are launching Avi's first novel, Two Dark Moons!


Sienna Tristen is the author of The Heretic's Guide to Homecoming, the flagship fantasy novel of Shale. (Her first work of poetry, The Insomniac's Assistant, is also available through Penrose Press.) As Shale’s resident linguist, she’s responsible for nearly all of the planet’s languages and names. She makes creation myths like Avi makes toast. A purveyor of many skills and talents, she can also lead a yoga class, play you a tune on violin, speak to you in three and a half languages, and climb forty feet in the air on a pair of silks.

Avi Silver is the author of Two Dark Moons, Shale's new queer YA fantasy novel (forthcoming July 2019). They're an expert on the shalledrim, the powerful humanoid creatures that once ruled the Bereni Supercontinent. They have also written the web serial "Tales from a Library" and are responsible for most of Shale's web upkeep and article writing. When they aren’t writing, you can find them playing their baby harp, destroying the gender binary, and perfecting their chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Growing up, the two of us were...well, weirdos. And we continue to be weirdos. Between Avi and Sienna alone, we contain queer, nonbinary, asexual, arospec, Jewish, and neurodivergent identities. The rare instances where we found media that represented us were nothing short of transformative, and we hope to make art that has that healing impact on others. Heretic's Guide is often described as "a mental health narrative disguised as a fantasy novel", and Two Dark Moons is a love letter to nonbinary identity (within a culture that is not violent toward trans identities! yay!). We love building languages and creating mythology and arguing over the amount of legs a giant fantasy lizard should have, but more than anything, we want our philosophy to shine through. One planet heals another.



We love what we do, but it takes a lot of investment to make it happen. Between convention registrations, website upkeep, printing overhead expenses, and paying our talented and dedicated contributors, it turns out there are a lot of moving parts to running a planet! With your support, we can better pay our contributors (including incredible composer Irene Zhong, cover artist Haley Rose, and Shalledrim Empress Carisa Van de Wetering), welcome more people onto the team, and further unfurl the map of this fantastical world.

We have a whole barrel of goodies lined up for the intrepid adventurers who choose to support us, from webchats to shalledrim self-portraits to your very own Shale passport. With as little as $3 a month, you get access to posts about the world behind the world--our artistic process, the ins and outs of running an arts business, clips and snippets and sketches of old or unfinished work. And at every donation level, we will thank you personally in our printed works and on our website. You're helping us to build something magnificent; we can't overstate what that means to us.

Ready to jump into this glorious unknown? Then take our hands and let's go!

With love and enthusiasm,
-Avi and Sienna

Recent posts by The Shale Project

Tiers
Wishgranter
$1 or more per month

Thank you!

You're here! You are contributing to the evolution of a whole new world! It means--well--the world to us. You gain access to our patron-only feed, and a shoutout on our website and in every new book we publish for as long as you support at this level.

Molewhale
$3 or more per month

Sneak peeks and bonus content!

Want to see behind the scenes? At this level, you'll gain access to deleted scenes, character sketches, snippets of work-in-progress music, and a plethora of other bonus/exclusive material. Nifty! Plus, access to the patron-only feed and a shoutout on our website and in published works.

Teller
$5 or more per month

Webchats and voting rights!

Well aren't you an opinionated storyteller? You'll receive the rewards to all levels below this, as well as access to our patron-only webchats, where we'll chat/perform readings/play the harp and sing/discuss art and life with you. You will also be granted voting rights for the patron-only monthly bonus content (either an illustration or a short story, depending on the month). It's up to you whether we get a vignette about Gamzhey or Tycho!

Little Pilgrim
$10 or more per month

Become a passport-carrying citizen of Shale!

You're supporting us a lot at this level. You're basically a taxpayer of Shale. So at this level, in addition to all of the rewards above, we will MAIL you your very own Shale passport, with exclusive sticker packs for every work we publish! Additionally, you gain suggestion rights for the patron-only monthly bonus content. Got a crazy crossover story you want to see? Let's see if the people agree.

Sulsumet
$20 or more per month

All the Digital Things!

What an intrepid seeker of knowledge! This kind of money can fund one of the Library's expeditions, you know. As gratitude for your benefaction, you will receive all the rewards above plus digital downloads of all finished work: novels, illustrations, individual songs/albums, whatever project we're yelling about at the time. PDFs, MP3s, and other intriguing filenames abound.

Sulsumet, Pen Pal Edition
$20 or more per month only 7 left

Letters from your favourite characters!

LIMITED TO 10 PATRONS! Everything from the standard Sulsumet level plus a monthly e-letter from a Shale character of your choice! (We call it Shale Mail. We're incorrigible.) Want some heartfelt encouragement from Ronoah? Interesting Alon facts from Sulsumet Chassia? Goodness-knows-what from Reilin? For a special ten patrons, the denizens of Shale are ready and eager to get in touch. E-letters will arrive in PDF format on the 3rd of every month, and you can switch up your penpal if you wish!

Shalledra
$50 or more per month

Physical goodies delivered to your doorstep!

This is a superhuman level of support you're giving us--we will gladly bow down to your almighty Empire. At this level, you'll get all the rewards from the standard Sulsumet level along with signed/personalized copies of all physical works published when they are released. Additionally, our very own Sienna Tristen will illustrate you as a shalledra, complete with gaudy colour palette and shalledrim name!

Reilin's Pick
$100 or more per month

Embark on a glorious unknown of your own!

Setten and Ibisca. What. We don't have a pithy one-liner for this. We don't even have a perk selected for it. For sure you will receive all the rewards from other tiers, but also we'll call and chat and see what we can do together to use this incredible patronage wisely. Thank you.