I promised some fellow authors and artists I'd blog on residencies I recommend--yet there are so many and they're all different. So I'll tell you where I'll be applying this year, and I'll tell you why. For a comprehensive list of residencies, visit Poets & Writers and specify residencies. It's searchable by state and cost, which is fabulous.
Here's the list for my next year in no particular order with my (highly personal) reasoning:
A women-only, writers-only group, Hedgebrook is one of the most esteemed residencies. Hedgebrook is a nonprofit organization serving women writers. Located on Whidbey Island near Seattle, writers come to write, rejuvenate and be in community. Hedgebrook welcomes all women writers representing diversity in citizenship status, nationality, current place of residence, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression, trans* identity, age, disability, professional experience, and economic resources. And that's why, despite it being a LOCO-LONGSHOT, I've applied. Women. Diversity. Writing. Community. (P.S., the last time my friend, author Mary Volmer, was there, so was Gloria Steinem!)
THE MACDOWELL COLONY
The MacDowell Colony welcomes interdisciplinary interaction among composers, writers, architects, film and video artists, playwrights, interdisciplinary artists, and visual artists. This is one reason I'm applying. The others are: there are no residency fees! And, they bring your lunch to your studio door. Talk about service. They also have rolling application deadlines: April 15, September 15, January 15. Location Peterborough, New Hampshire.
The Ucross Foundation provides uninterrupted time, work space, and living accommodations to competitively selected visual artists, writers, and composers. Residencies vary in length from two weeks to six weeks. At any one time, there are up to nine individuals in residence, a mix of visual artists, writers, and composers. Although there is a $40 non-refundable application fee, there is no charge for a residency. Artists, writers, and composers from anywhere in the United States and the world, in any stage of their professional career, are invited to apply for a residency. Deadline October 1, 2016.
Jentel supports artists and writers who are hardworking and serious about their intent (they seem to prefer published/shown authors and artists) but may not necessarily be well known. The serious part is why I'm applying, even though my work isn't in paper yet. I also just really want to go to Wyoming. Jentel has two sessions and two deadlines: January 15 for the May 15-December 13 residencies (notification by March 15) or September 15 for the January 15-May 13 residencies (notification by November 15).
The Djerassi Resident Artists Program offers monthlong residencies from mid-April through mid-November to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers on a 580-acre ranch located approximately 40 miles south of San Francisco. Residents are provided with lodging, meals, and studio space. Djerassi is FREE and I'm applying because it's local, and I could take breaks to see my family. I didn't think I'd miss them when I was at VSC, but I did.
This is the only one I want to apply to, but will only if I can get my family to come with me. Caldera offers monthlong residencies from January to March to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers at the Caldera Arts Center, located on 120 acres in the Central Cascades, 17 miles west of Sisters, Oregon. Caldera provides writers with a private cottage with a sleeping loft and kitchenette, and one community meal per week. There is no residency fee!
I love Oregon, and this is in beautiful Corvallis. It's specifically for people who write/work in nature, which is awesome. The Cabin at Shotpouch Creek offers two-week residencies to pairs of poets, fiction writers, or creative nonfiction writers from August 13 to August 26 and from August 28 to September 10 in the Oregon Coast Range. The residency is open to writers who wish to pursue a collaborative project, and whose work takes inspiration from the natural world. Each resident is provided with lodging in a two-bedroom cabin and a $250 stipend.
Located in East Haddam Connecticut, the format (from their website) "is self-directed, non-judgmental: you decide what you’re going to work on and when." That sounds AMAZING. They have also had family residencies, and there's a landscape residency, so my husband could get in, too! It's far, but the partner-work could be an incredible experience.
EDNA. That's all I should say, but also: This one is for parents...people who really need that time even more than the twenty-somethings who think they do. This one is my favorite for the year because they offer twelve day visits for those who can't be away from their kids for too long. From their website: "...located on the former home of poet/activist Edna St. Vincent Millay, The Millay Colony for the Arts is an artists’ residency program and artists’ center located in the Berkshire foothills of Austerlitz, New York. Our mission is to nurture and promote the vitality of the arts by supporting artists with rural retreats and workshops, and to support students, our artists-to-be, with a range of free arts programs and mentorships." YAZ!
VERMONT STUDIO CENTER
I had a wonderful and unexpected experience here. I was given an artist's grant to pay for the majority of my tuition, which I recommend applying for. I got SO MUCH DONE. From their website: The Vermont Studio Center offers 2- to 12-week residencies year-round to poets, fiction writers, creative nonfiction writers, and translators in Johnson, Vermont, a village located in the heart of the northern Green Mountains. The center provides time and space to write, as well as readings, craft talks, and conferences with two visiting writers each month. The fee for a four-week residency is $3,950. Fellowships are available; if you apply for a fellowship but don't get it, they will let you know if they've selected you for a grant.
So, I just missed the cut-off for this one for 2017, but it's on my list for next year. This one is in the Bay Area, so I could be close to my family and come home every week to visit. It's also in the Marin Headlands, one of my favorite places in the world. And it's FREE.