This past Saturday, 10 June I was honored and very much inspired to be a part of Hedgebrook & SMC MFA Creative Writing One-Day writing retreat at Saint Mary’s College campus, where the sense of community among the attendees was empowering. At the luncheon, I heard the same question asked at every table, “how did your morning go?” Only in the setting of a retreat can the full meaning and impact of this question be felt. There’s such a feeling of solidarity. A sense that the creative struggle is shared though we may all be on different artistic paths. Any dedicated writer understands the highs and lows of creative work, and what it takes for creative discipline.
Most if not all of the magic of the day is owed to the coordinator, Joanne Furio, who is impeccable in her organization and amazingly warm and funny. It was an absolute pleasure working with her, and I do hope I get a chance to bask in her glory again.
I also could not have pulled off my workshop without the wonderful talents of Candace Eros Diaz, Melissa Rae Sipin-Gabon, and Mary Volmer, who volunteered samples of their work to share. I facilitated the workshop titled: Tracking a Moving Target: Applying for Fellowships & Residencies, and I am so grateful to say, every seat in the room was filled with dedicated and gifted writers who shared their stories and experiences and offered the most enriching conversation, only proving once again why I love teaching.
The aim of the workshop was to reveal how the application process is an opportunity to reflect over the writing process–to own the writing process. And, as I promised the attendees, below are some of slides for reference.
The One-Day Writing Retreat was one of the most easy going and fulfilling writerly experiences. With pleasant surprises at every turn, such as running into familiar faces I hadn’t talked with in years, to finding time to read and write despite last minute finalizations on Powerpoint, I am so grateful for a chance to be a part of this collaborative project. Thanks to all who made this day so rewarding!