I’m really excited to announce that I’ve been awarded two writerly residencies! They’re set for December 2020 and September 2021, which I suspect will be here before I know it, but I’m thrilled with that because residencies are actually a dream come true for me. Allow me to explain.
Residencies take many forms, but, in general, they’re retreats awarded to creators, giving them not only a space to create but also the solitude to do so. Ask most creators, and they’ll tell you what they really need is uninterrupted time to advance their current project.
Write On, Door County is a non-profit located in gorgeous Door County, Wisconsin. WODC is dedicated to developing writers, helping them to set their stories onto the page. The organization also holds classes, readings, seminars, and conferences for everyone from school kids to residents at nursing homes.
I’m simply thrilled to say that, thanks to WODC, I’ll get not one but two week-long retreats to focus on things that are very important to me:
The first retreat is for Literary Arts Administrators, that is, an administrator of a literary arts organization, in my case, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators-Wisconsin. I will get a precious, quiet week to envision new programming for the region, plan events, edit materials, whatever SCBWI-WI needs. I take this responsibility seriously and intend to do my best by the region.
The second retreat is a regular writer’s residency, which will allow me a blissful week away from life’s normal distractions to work on my current project. I can’t even imagine that, to be honest. I hope I don’t freeze under the weight of expectation.
Who’s expectation? Mine. Honestly, as a Latina, these sorts of intellectual pursuits always seemed out of reach, as if they were hazy possibilities meant for other types of people. My grandparents worked farms in the central hills of Puerto Rico. My father moved to Milwaukee to be a laborer in a manufacturing plant, and he brought my mother up from the island when she was just a teen. She learned English here and worked her way up to earning a degree in engineering. Imagine that! Her three children are professionals in their own right. And I’m allowed two weeks to think and create. It’s … almost too much to believe.
I hear that residencies are game-changers in the lives of creatives. Without even having finished them, mine already are.