I’m writing this month’s On The Radar not from my kitchen counter, sofa, or studio in NYC but from a spacious loft apartment above an art gallery in Minnesota, thanks to a writing residency offered by the Lanesboro Arts Center. I’m finally unpacked, have groceries, and have begun to shape the routine of my month here. My first self-appointed task is to organize myself and see how I can set myself up for future opportunities like this one. Maybe one of these will be just what you need as well. I usually like my deadlines a month away, but here goes:
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3-in-3 Playwriting Workshop is a playwriting experience for three women writers that will take place over two consecutive weekends in April 2016. Over the course of those weekends, playwrights will meet and work with a master playwright and be joined by an extraordinary team of directors and actors to write and create 3 new pieces of work. Application deadline is February 15.
My good friend and wonderful writer Vanessa Martir teaches this class. “This class is designed for people who are new (or fairly new) to writing the personal essay/memoir and know they want to take on the challenge…dig into the fundamentals of writing personal essays: how to decide what to write, 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, write dialogue, etc.” Classes begin February 20.
“An eight week workshop for short story writers and novelists of color in New York City with Kweli Founding Editor and Publisher, Laura Pegram…The workshop will include seminars focused on craft and writing exercises. There will be reading assignments and a study of works by well-known writers. Peer Review sessions will take place during the third and fourth weeks of April.” Classes begin February 27.
The Center for Fiction’s NYC Emerging Writers Fellowship Among the things the one-year fellowship period grantees will receive: A grant of $5,000, the option to engage in a mentorship with a selected freelance editor, and the opportunity to meet with agents who represent new writers. Application deadline is February 29.
“The Anderson Center offers residencies of two weeks or one month from May-October to artists, writers, and scholars. Through a grant from the Jerome Foundation of St. Paul, the Center will also devote the month of August, 2016 to encourage the work of emerging artists from New York City and Minnesota.” Application deadline is March 1.
In 2017, selected artists will receive a stipend of $20,000 and in most cases, free housing and studio work space. The program seeks talented and diverse voices to support Tulsa’s expanding arts scene. The 2017 fellowship will begin on January 9, 2017. Writing fellowships “will focus on creative nonfiction, fiction, graphic novel, young-adult fiction, poetry, and play/screenwriting.” Application deadline is March 4.
The Kerouac Project provides four residencies a year to writers of any stripe or age, living anywhere in the world…Each residency consists of approximately a three month stay in the cottage where Jack Kerouac wrote his novel Dharma Bums. Utilities and a food stipend of $1,000 are included.” Application deadline is March 13.
I would not be the same writer I am today had I not gone to VONA (twice). I would not be the same person. This is where I learned that I may not be a brilliant writer in some pantheon but 1. who gives a fuck? and 2. I am a damn good writer. And while brilliance always has detractors and challengers, damn good feels like a solid way to step into any room. I never doubted my damn goodness after VONA. My artistic choices, execution, direction – yes I’ve doubted that of course, but not my ability. AT VONA it’s okay, good even, to be uncertain, to need improvement and guidance, but unnecessary to preface your writing with apologies.
“In VONA’s multi-genre workshops, developing writers of color:
- Explore their craft in an atmosphere of support and understanding.
- Learn from the teaching and writing of established writers of color.
- Are empowered to write about their experiences as people of color.
VONA is the only writers’ conference in the country with a multi-genre focus on writers of color as students and teachers.” The application deadline is March 15.
“Prairie Schooner Book Prize is now open for submissions. We are looking for full-length manuscripts in the genres of poetry and short fiction.” Submission deadline is March 15.
I’m facilitating this workshop along with my good friend and writer Grace Jahng Lee. “Whether you’re applying for a writing residency, fellowship, grant, scholarship, or workshop, the process can be anxiety-provoking. How do you even find out about these opportunities? How do you decide which to apply to? What does an artist statement include? Who will write your recommendation letters if you lack literary networks? What do you include in a writer’s CV if you have no/few publications? How do you select your best writing sample? What are strategies for dealing with multiple rejections? For residencies, additional nail-biting may emerge: How do you take time off from work and family obligations to disappear into the woods to write for weeks? How will you finance your residency if you still have rent/bills to pay while away?” As part of BinderCon taking place March 19 & 20.
“The Tin House Summer Writers’ Workshop is a weeklong intensive of workshops, seminars, panels, and readings led by the editors of Tin House magazine and Tin House Books and their guests – prominent contemporary American writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.” Faculty includes Mat Johnson, Antonya Nelson, Luis Alberto Urrea, Alexander Chee, Rachel Kushner. Deadline for scholarship application is March 23.