In the last month, I managed to squeeze in a few drastic life changes. I went to Portland for Tin House’s Summer Workshops and learned under the amazing Steve Almond. I wish someone with serious lyrical skill would turn his craft book “This Won’t Take But A Minute, Honey” into the 10 Crack Commandments a la Biggie. Cop that.
Four days after getting home, I got married.
A week after that, I flew to Minnesota for a residency at the Anderson Center, thanks to the generosity of The Jerome Foundation. That’s where I find myself now. Ten days in, I finally feel like I have some forward traction on a novel. Not like the nine days before this weren’t productive, but rereading, revising, editing, and organizing tend to not feel as productive as filling up a page with fresh words. Despite how necessary all that stuff is.
Anyhow, finally got a chance to ask myself what could possibly be next? How can I shape my 2017 to support my writing projects?
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“Submissions to the 2016 1/2K Prize are now OPEN until August 15th! Winner receives $1,000 and publication in Indiana Review. All entries are considered for publication.” Deadline: August 15
Steve Almond is teaching two workshops in the Bay Area:
Date: Saturday, August 20
Location: Cubberley Community Center, 4000 Middlefield Road, T2, Palo Alto, CA 94303
Format: Lecture, free write, feedback
Date: Sunday, August 21
Location: South Van Ness SF 94110 (email stevealmondjoy [at] gmail.com for address)
Format: Lecture, free write, feedback
To reserve a seat, send payment by check or PayPal. If via Paypal, use the friends/family option and send to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Email stevealmondjoy [at] gmail.com if you have questions.
This is an interesting one for the right writer. Pretty disconnected, a stipend, no application fee, and quite an environment. “The National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF) in association with Big Bend National Park of the National Park Service now offers a Residency in the river country of Texas, adjacent and across the river from two Mexican National Parks. This is one of the jewels of the Park Service: one of the largest, most remote, least visited and yet most austerely beautiful parks in the U.S.” Deadline: August 22
“The Barthelme Prize for Short Prose is open to pieces of prose poetry, flash fiction, and micro-essays of 500 words or fewer. Established in 2008, the contest awards its winner $1,000 and publication in the journal. Two honorable mentions will receive $250, and all entries will be considered for paid publication on our website as Online Exclusives.” Deadline: August 31
“Okey-Panky is open for submissions, until August 31 or until we hit our cap. We accept prose and poetry manuscripts of under 1500 words, and comics. Contributors are paid $100, and there is no submission fee.” Deadline: August 31
Glimmer Train’s Fiction Open: Open to all subjects, all themes, and all writers. Most entries run from 3,000 to 6,000 words, but any lengths from 3,000 to 20,000 words are welcome. 1st place: $3,000. The Very Short Fiction Award is open to all writers. Any story that has not appeared in a print publication is welcome. Word count range: 300 – 3000.” Deadline: August 31
“As a feminist press, Shade Mountain is committed to publishing literature by women, especially women from marginalized/underrepresented communities. We seek literary fiction that’s politically engaged, that challenges the status quo and gender/class/race privilege.” They are currently “seeking novel manuscripts by African American women. Any topic, any style, preferably literary rather than genre.” They published this wonderful anthology that includes one of my own stories. Rosalie is a real champion for her authors and an eagle eye editor. Deadline: September 1
“Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts offers up to sixty juried residencies per year to working visual artists, writers, composers, and interdisciplinary artists from across the country and around the world…Residencies are available for 2 to 8 weeks stays. Each resident receives a $100 stipend per week, free housing, and a separate studio. The Center can house up to five artists of various disciplines at any given time.” I stayed for a 2 week residency in April 2015 and would love to return for longer. I count two of the artists I met there as friends now as well so I can’t recommend it enough. Deadline: September 1
“Supported in 2017 and 2018 by the Jerome Foundation, the Lanesboro Artist Residency Program awards two to three residencies per year and allows artists to benefit from studio space, ample time to create, and an entire rural community and its myriad assets as a catalytic vehicle for engagement and artistic experimentation.” I was just the resident artist in February and it came at a critical time for me, when I was leaving a 9-to-5 and switching to writing and self-employment full-time. The community is surprisingly creatively active for its size, super welcoming, and the residency was generous in funding. Apply. Deadline: September 1
“Brush Creek Foundation for The Arts is a non-profit organization offering time and space for artistic exploration to visual artists, writers, musicians and composers from all backgrounds, level of expertise, media and genres.” I’ve heard very good things about Brush Creek from peers. Deadline: September 1
“The Jentel Artist Residency Program offers dedicated individuals a supportive environment in which to further their creative development.” This was the first residency I was accepted to in 2014. I’d been to VONA for the second time, had lost a boyfriend to suicide. I was full of ideas and processing trauma. I started the draft of a short story that was published earlier this year, wrote a 10-page essay I trashed, and started drafting notes for a novel I’m writing now. I needed the time more than I knew and watching the artists at work there shifted something in the way I regarded myself as a writer and approached writing as work. Deadline: September 1
Nine-Week Writing Our Lives Personal Essay Workshop. “This class is designed for people who are new or fairly new to the personal essay/memoir and know they want to take on the challenge. Perhaps you are interested in writing a memoir and want to get your feet wet in essay. As a memoir writer myself, I can tell you that the personal essay is the micro of the macro that is memoir. Maybe you’re a seasoned writer who wants to brush up on the essentials. There’s room for you too! Legend has it that Alvin Ailey used to take a basics dance class periodically even after he created his now renowned dance school, “to remind myself,” he said. In the class we will dig into the fundamentals of writing personal essays: how to decide on a topic, how to start, how to read essays like writers (because reading like a writer and reading like a reader are not the same thing), how to build well-developed characters, how to write dialogue, etc. We will be reading essays (lots of them) and dissecting them, analyzing why the author made the decision(s) he/she made. We’ll also be doing tons of writing, including a 1250 word essay as a final project. What I’m saying is you must be willing and able to do the work. The writing life you envision requires it.” Free one-day class: September 10. Workshop begins: September 17
“Slice’s sixth annual writers’ conference will draw more than 130+ agents, authors, editors, and publishing pros. Our panels and workshops will cover topics from the craft of writing (plotting, dialogue, characterization, poetry, and more) to the business of writing (pitch letters, landing a book deal, and beyond). Top editors, agents, and authors will discuss crucial steps to help launch a writer’s career. But a book deal is just the beginning of a writer’s professional journey. We invite leading professionals to offer trade secrets about how they transform a great story into a bestselling book (and what writers can do to help them get there).” September 10-11
“8-week Creative Nonfiction Workshop “Through group discussion of student work, plus that of published authors, writers in this workshop will examine the art and craft of creative nonfiction. The focus will be on learning to understand and use a full range of literary techniques in order to tell a truly compelling nonfiction story. Topics such as the use of dialogue, the creation of scene, attention to style and how to craft structure from true events will be discussed. Participants will also spend time talking about the particular responsibilities that come with writing creative nonfiction. This workshop is open to writers working on memoir, personal essays or in-depth journalism.” My good friend Jennifer Baker is teaching this workshop and I cannot say enough great things about her. Tireless advocate of literature, keen reader and critic, talented writer, eagle-eyed editor, and baker of some of the most addictive treat you’ve ever had. Go take her class. Begins: September 12
“The MacDowell Colony provides time, space, and an inspiring environment to artists of exceptional talent. A MacDowell Fellowship, or residency, consists of exclusive use of a studio, accommodations, and three prepared meals a day for up to eight weeks. There are no residency fees.” The holy grail of residencies. Deadline: September 15
“Literary journal SmokeLong Quarterly is inviting applications from new and emerging flash fiction writers for the 2017 Kathy Fish Fellowship.” Deadline: September 15
I so wish I were home to catch this: BBF: Gender in Science Fiction and Fantasy. “This event brings together celebrated voices from science fiction and fantasy whose work explores gender constructs and/or notions of sexuality, to talk about the current state and representation of these themes in the field. Multi-award winner Catherynne M. Valente (The Labyrinth (2004),Deathless (2011), Radiance (2015)) joins Seth Dickinson(The Traitor Baru Cormorant, 2014), 2015 Nebula Award-winner Alyssa Wong, and Whiting Award-winner Alice Sola Kim.” September 18
“This residency offers up to ten artists a five week period to live and work at the Château de La Napoule.” Deadline: September 19
The Manchester Fiction Prize awards “£10,000 prize for the best short story of up to 2,500 words. Open internationally to new and established writers aged 16 or over (no upper age limit).” Deadline: September 23
“The Siena Art Institute’s Summer Residency Program awards accomplished professional artists & writers the opportunity to stay for a month in the beautiful historic city of Siena, in the heart of Tuscany, Italy. The month-long Summer Residency Program grants resident artists a studio space at the Siena Art Institute & a private 1-bedroom apartment in the historic city center of Siena, as well as flight compensation for getting to and from Italy.” Deadline: September 30
Soho Press is “open to unsolicited submissions for our literary list. Please familiarize yourself with the types of books we publish in the literary imprint “Soho Press” before submitting. In general, we are interested in bold voices and original ways of seeing the world.”
“For the past ten years
, I’ve walked past the brownstone where Langston Hughes lived and wondered why it was empty. How could it be that his home wasn’t preserved as a space for poets, a space to honor his legacy? I’d pass the brownstone, shake my head, and say, “Someone should do something.” I have stopped saying, “Someone should do something” and decided that someone is me.“
“I, Too, Arts Collective is a non-profit organization committed to nurturing voices from underrepresented communities in the creative arts. Our first major project is to provide a space for emerging and established artists in Harlem to create, connect, and showcase work. Our goal is to lease and renovate the brownstone where Langston Hughes lived in Harlem as a way to not only preserve his legacy but also to build on it and impact young poets and artists.” Donate