Over the weekend, I found out that the current GISHWHES list includes the following as item #78:
"Get a previously published Sci-Fi author to write an original story (140 words max) about Misha, the Queen of England and an Elopus."
I found this out because my sister-in-law participates in GISHWHES, as do a few friends and acquaintances. I posted on Facebook about helping these people out, which I was more than happy to do.
I've since discovered that many participants are apparently bothering famous writers they do not know, asking them to write a story for them. Needless to say, that's not the best way to do this. Many writers are happy to do favors for friends, but they don't want to be bombarded by random requests from folks they do not know.
I, on the other hand, will be happy to write a story for you if I don't know you, on one condition. I'd like you to do a random act of kindness for my publisher, Apex Publications.
First, email my assistant Julia at email@example.com and tell her you would like a story from me. Include your own name and the name of your team, and an emaill address to which I can send the story.
She will email you back to confirm that I have the time to write the story for you.
Then click on this link: "I Remember the Future: The Award-Nominated Stories of Michael A. Burstein" and have one member of your team purchase a copy of my 2008 collection I Remember the Future directly from the publisher (NOT from Amazon; use the "Add to Cart" button). It can be the trade paperback or the ebook, but I'm guessing most of you will opt for the ebook, as it's only $4.99.
Send a copy of your receipt to my assistant at firstname.lastname@example.org. Once we see that you have bought the collection, I will write the story and she will email it to you.
One caveat: DO NOT PURCHASE THE BOOK UNTIL YOU HAVE HEARD FROM JULIA THAT I WILL HAVE TIME TO WRITE YOUR STORY. If I get too many requests, I won't have time to fulfill them all.
Good luck with GISHWHES, and enjoy my stories.
Edited to add: A few people have sent receipts from Amazon. The purchase needs to be made directly from the publisher, Apex Publications. Please use the link above. Thank you.