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March 18, 2006

Residencies 'n' Fellowships

I've been in an extremely bad mood for the past four months or so (oh, you didn't notice? ... shut up!) and here's why:

Hedgebrook (Washington state) .....................................REJECTED!
Kimmel Harding Nelson (Nebraska) ................................REJECTED!
Millay Colony (New York) ..............................................REJECTED!
Ledig House Art Omi International (New York) .................REJECTED!
Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center(Massachusetts) ... waiting ... waiting ...
Axton Fellowship University of Louisville (Kentucky) ... waiting ... waiting ...
Ragdale Foundation (Lake Forest, IL) ... waiting ... waiting ...
MacDowell Colony (New Hampshire) ... waiting ... waiting ...
Jentel Artist Residency Program (Sheridan, Wyoming)......REJECTED!
Colgate University Olive B. O'Connor Fellowship (New York) ... waiting ... waiting ...
Deep Springs Writer in Res (California) .........................REJECTED!
Anderson Center (Minnesota) .......................................REJECTED!
Norton Island Residency Program ... waiting ... waiting ...
University of Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing ... waiting ... waiting ...
Steinbeck Fellowship (San Jose State) ... waiting ... waiting ...
McCullers Center (Georgia) ... Still. Need. To apply.
Sacatar Foundation (Bahia, Brazil) ... Still. Need. To apply.
Albee Foundation Residency (Montauk, New York) ... Still. Need. To apply.
Island Institute (Alaska) ... Still. Need. To apply.
Caldera (Blue Lake Oregon) ... Still. Need. To apply.
Headlands Center for the Arts (Bay Area) ... Still. Need. To apply.
Julia and David White artists colony (Costa Rica) ... Still. Need. To apply.
Kerouac Project of Orlando (Florida) ... Still. Need. To apply.
Hidden River Arts (Delaware) ... Still. Need. To apply.
American Academy of Berlin ... Still. Need. To apply.
Yaddo (New York) MISSED OUT!!!
Edelstein Keller Fellowship at University of Minnesota CAN'T APPLY THIS YEAR FOR SOME REASON I'VE FORGOTTEN!
Emory University Creative Writing Fellowship CAN'T APPLY THIS YEAR FOR SOME REASON I'VE FORGOTTEN!
NEA Creative Writing Fellowships NO WAY IN HELL I'M GONNA GET THIS!
Philip Roth Creative Writing Residency at Bucknell CAN'T APPLY THIS YEAR FOR SOME REASON I'VE FORGOTTEN!

I was considering including links to each website, but your Google finger isn't broken, and I don't like you that much.


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Heh, this looks scarily familiar. Mybe because my list of fellowships and grants looks a lot like that. I on't apply to writing colonies... i dunno, I guess I'm not sure I have the energy to do the residency hop. specially if rejections roll in left and right.

I'm still pissed about the Stegner fellowship after all these years.

And Exeter turned me down! Boo.

wow, you applied to exeter? brave woman! i took one look at how far away from a city it was, and how no other writers would be there, and how little chance i'd have of getting it ... and didn't bother applying.

I wanted Exeter really, really badly. I have no idea how much competition there is for that one. I don't know anyone except you that even applies to these kinds of things, so I have no clue how well known any given fellowship, grant, etc. is or not. I like it that way, actually. Makes me feel like I have a chance.

I'll apply to anything that doesn't have a fee or has a very nominal fee. Exeter was $5 or something.

I was rejected by Hedgebrook too. Take a look at the list of 2006 residents they have posted on their site. Then do a bit of internet research on these folks. Being an ethnic minority and holding or working on an MFA seem to be requirements to get into Hedgebrook, regardless of what their guidelines say about the residency being merit-based.

actually, i fulfill both of those requirements so i guess they're not enough in themselves.

i would suspect that maybe you have to be a person of color, hold or being working on an mfa, and NOT write science fiction ;)

You also have to be a feminist (vocal). And preferably write about being a woman of color.

Is there some set of guidelines that I didn't see?

you know, we're complaining (companionably), but how amazing is it that there's a residency out there that prefers women of color writing about women of color? yay hedgebrook (and simultaneously, boo, for rejecting fabulous us)!

Two friends of mine have been to Hedgebrook. Neither of them had MFAs.

"you know, we're complaining (companionably), but how amazing is it that there's a residency out there that prefers women of color writing about women of color?"

I would characterize it as unfair and insulting rather than amazing. Hedgebrook *claims* not to be biased in favor of ethnic minorities. If it were aboveboard about its true preferences, I'd have no problem with it. I do have a problem when they sucker me into wasting my money and time and dreams, when I as a white non-academic have little chance of being considered.

One of the main problems of the Hedgebrook application process, at least in 2005, was that applications were first vetted by two alumnae, and if those alumnae didn't give an application the thumbs up, the evaluation committee never even saw it! This process invites abuse and favoritism and takes the anonymity out of it (it's extremely easy for friends of alumnae to let them know which pieces they are submitting so they can be sure to pass them on). This year it sounds like the alumnae will only consult with the evaluation committee, not entirely stand in for them during the first round.

"Two friends of mine have been to Hedgebrook. Neither of them had MFAs."

So you are basing your beliefs on a sample size of two??

Hedgebrook has apparently changed quite a bit from its original mission. Take an in-depth look at the alumnae pages (including visiting the alumnae web sites, where given) and you will see that the vast majority of recent alumnae are ethnic minorities and/or academics.

whoa, cynthia, careful. i had assumed this was good-natured crankiness--anyone who has spent as much time as i have applying to residencies only to get rejected has a right to be absurdly cranky--but please don't use my space to express your bitterness.

you have no idea what criteria these people are using when making their decisions. ethnic minorities are often and often disadvantaged when judged literarily, because the themes they write about, and their writing strategies, are often coming from a cultural context that their white judges don't recognize or appreciate. hedgebrook may not be biased in favor of ethnic minorities, they just might also not, for a fucking change, be biased against ethnic minorities.

and guess what? maybe this is what real non-bias looks like. it's racist of you to assume that a place where so many minorities are chosen must necessarily be biased in favor of minorities. that assumes that it's not possible that this many minorities could be worthy.

and whatever the case may be, it is ugly, ugly, ugly of you to complain when historically marginalized people get a break. maybe you should wait until this "bias" is actually placing whole groups of people at an economic and social disadvantage (rather than just preventing you from going off to an island to write for a month for free) before you start to cry foul.

hear, hear, claire!
i was at hedgebrook last summer, and found that it was a place where women were just encouraged to do the best writing they could do. it was a beautiful place, one that favored open mindedness above all. fwiw, i am a woman of color and found myself well in the minority during my short stay there.

good luck, claire!

thanks, jade! i'm glad you had a good experience there. good luck with your writing.

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