Suspend Your Disbelief

Shop Talk |

No fellowship? Make your own.

writing nook

So maybe you didn’t into MacDowell this year, or Bread Loaf, or [insert highly desired writer’s conference, residency, or program here]. You’ve got two options:

  1. Sit and mope.
  2. Make your own.

Two fiction teachers from Boston’s Grub Street, Adam Stumacher and Jenn De Leon, describe how they decided to craft their own “writing fellowship”—and managed to write for an entire year:

One afternoon last fall, we looked at each other over a kitchen table cluttered with self-addressed stamped envelopes and statements of purpose, and we reached a decision. This year, we were not going to wait for permission. This year, no matter what kind of news the postman delivered, we had already made our choice: we were going to write full-time.

As the rejection letters trickled in, we got to work, researching artist colonies and holding down multiple jobs all spring and summer, saving every penny. And then we set off, cobbling together a year of short-term residencies, international travel, and any other offer that included a bed, a coffee maker, and two desks. Over the past twelve months, we unpacked our suitcases in twenty-two bedrooms across three continents and seven states, and that’s not counting all the places we stopped so briefly we never unpacked: a Motel 6 near the Cleveland railroad tracks, a hostel in a small New Hampshire town, the spare room of an aunt in Guatemala City.

Read the whole story over at Grub Street’s blog. It’s a great reminder that even when resources are finite, you can still get your writing done.

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