Polish up your best writing and apply for a residency today

It’s that time of year again – the time when I start dreaming of fall in a cabin somewhere, with nothing to do but write. Yes, I know it’s only spring, and soon it’ll be beach time, but deadlines for fall and winter residencies are looming, and I’m itching to apply.

For the first time in several years I won’t be applying for residencies, though.  Too much else is going on.  Life has interfered.  I’m still trying to get settled in Charleston, and I’ll probably be going up to Charlottesville sometime in June or early July to get my things out of storage (after 2 years, lord knows what I’ll find).  Then I’m headed to Boston for a few weeks in early September.  I’ve decided that the rest of the year I need to stay put and try writing in my own space.  There’s always winter 2013.

But damn, those deadlines make me antsy.  To make myself feel a little better, I’m going to use my energy encouraging other writers to apply.  So, I’m going to list some deadlines coming up and a brief overview of the programs, along with links to the sites.  (Check out my earlier post for some suggestions on how to decide which residencies to apply to.)

MacDowell Colony – April 15 for residencies October – January.  Peterborough, New Hampshire.  The Holy Grail of residencies, it’s very competitive, but I’ve known writers without books to their credit who’ve been accepted.  There are no residency fees and all meals are provided.  Visual artists, writers, and composers all stay at MacDowell.  There are 32 studios on 450 acres.  I haven’t gotten up the nerve to apply here yet, but plan to next year.

Hambidge – April 15 for September – December residency period.  Northern Georgia.  Two to eight weeks, 9 writers and visual artists at a time.  It is a bit remote, but amazing.  Some of my experiences are chronicled in previous posts.  Artists contribute $200 a week, but there are some limited scholarships.  Dinners are provided Tuesday – Saturday.

Virginia Center for the Creative Arts – May 15 for residencies October – January.  Two weeks to two months, 25 writers and visual artists at a time.  Artists are asked to contribute what they can afford to the daily cost.  Housing is in dorms, and bathrooms are shared.  Great for getting to know other writers and artists.  All meals are provided.

The Studios of Key West – May 15 for October 2012 – August 2013.  Key West, baby.  When I went there was only one resident at a time, but now they have several other studios.  The residency is free, but no food is provided.  Apply for this – it’s fabulous.

Ragdale – May 15 for residencies Sept – December.  Located outside Chicago.  $35 a day fee, but there is limited financial aid available.  8 – 12 artists and writers at a time, 2 – 6 week residencies.  Dinners are provided 6 nights a week.  This one is at the top of my list to apply for – I’ve heard it’s wonderful.

There are so many more, but these are the deadlines coming up.  Now get to work on that app – don’t you want to be sitting in a cabin in the woods (or a cottage in the mango trees) in November reading and writing?

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