Back in the early 1980s a writer I know earned a residency at the Hedgebrook writing retreat for women writers. The experience crystallized writing as a concept. Specifically, it defined it as a vocation.
That happened when the writer tried to help clear the table after dinner and the residency director told her to knock it off – she’d already done her work for the day. It was the first time anybody had said writing “was a real job,” she said later.
The writer was Dana Stabenow, and she went on to hit the New York Times best-seller list. Since then she’s published nearly three dozen books and shows no signs of slowing down. And now Stabenow is creating her own writing retreat for women.
Starting April 15 you can apply to be the first-ever writer in residence at the Storyknife Writers Retreat, situated on a 10-acre site overlooking the beautiful town of Homer, Alaska. If you’re a woman who needs a clear space in her life to write, I urge you to apply.
Change your writing life
Eventually Storyknife will have six private cabins and a “main house” where writers can share evening meals and talk about the craft and business of writing. Right now it’s just one cabin, so you’ll live in solitary splendor.
The residency will take place in September and lasts for two to four weeks, depending on your needs. You’ll receive a $250-per-week stipend to help cover the costs of travel and food (at this point the resident must shop for and prepare her own meals, although both welcome and farewell dinners are planned).
This opportunity could be life-changing for you, as it was for Stabenow. (More on her backstory at “Taking a (careful) leap of faith.”) Give yourself the option of uninterrupted time to focus on your work.
And if you’re selected as this year’s resident? Please e-mail me and I’ll buy you lunch when you hit Anchorage.
Note: Subscribers to my newsletter will find this post somewhat familiar. Sorry/not sorry for the duplication: I believe that whoever earns this residency really will find her work has changed as a result, so I want to publicize the opportunity. If you can’t apply this year, I hope you’ll at least share the info with other women writers.