The Best Fellowships and Retreats for Writers


If heaven is a writing desk, then what’s a writing desk in a cabin in the woods?  With breakfast delivered to your door? That, my friend, is called a retreat.

Sure you’ve heard of Yaddo’s 400-acre creative community in Saratoga Springs, but what about the Wellspring House in Ashfield, MA, or the Haven Writing Retreat in Whitefish, MT?  Some fellowships also offer peaceful places to write like the WCR Writing Fellowship in the Redwoods in Soquel, CA.

Brené Brown says, the only thing that differentiates between people who go after what they want and those who don’t is that those who do feel worthy.  So go for it!  Ra-ra heavenly writing retreats for all.

More here on the 12 top Fellowships and Retreats. (photo from:

The Rattling Wall: Submission Deadline May 1st

imgresThe three year old LA based literary journal is accepting sophisticated short fiction (yes please!), travel essays (hm, something to think about) and poetry submissions (try something new, anyone?).  

They may be too young to nominate for the Pushcart, but don’t overlook this one.  It’s a style heavy magazine with great writers and a selected artist for each issue.  

Polish up a piece now and send in, snail mail, by the end of the month.

MFA vs NYC: Behind the Title

imgresNYC vs MFA: The Two Cultures of American Fiction, Edited by Chad Harbach, is a collection of essays by writers who care deeply about one of these places and usually not so much about the other.  Whether this is a result of institutional limitations is not of so much importance to most of the contributors.  Instead, the through line is that each took the path that was open to them at the time and walked it the best they could. Continue reading MFA vs NYC: Behind the Title

A Creative Retreat at Camp NaNoWriMo, April 1st – 30th


Are you ready to breath some fresh air into your writing practice this Spring?  Let it be hot air if you’d like, as long as you lift yourself above the daily grind of revisions and drift into the midst of some new ideas. If conferences and residencies aren’t in the plan for you this year, then check out Camp NaNoWriMo, the April program for storytellers and word counters.

National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo for short, takes place in November every year.  It’s a call to writers to set aside our self-editing in the service of completing a first draft of a novel, defined by the word count of 50,000 words. That’s the promise you make at the beginning of the month and if you fulfill your promise you “win”. Continue reading A Creative Retreat at Camp NaNoWriMo, April 1st – 30th

Twitter to the Rescue, #MSWL hashtags and the tumblrs who love them.

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 10.25.06 AMGot a manuscript all done but hidden in that bottom drawer?  As good as it might be, it’s not going to grow legs on it’s own  That’s right, you’ve got to do the walking.  And because it’s 2014, that means being an adult who says the word tweet.   Continue reading Twitter to the Rescue, #MSWL hashtags and the tumblrs who love them.

Five Tips from Stephen King’s “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft”

– With notes from Emily and writer Scott Andrew Selby.

on-writing1) On First and Second Drafts:

Every book is about something.  The first draft, as King describes it, gets that something out of your head.  “Your job in the second draft – one of them anyway – is to make that something even more clear. This may necessitate some big changes and revisions.  The benefits to…your reader will be clearer focus and a more unified story.”

Emily Kramer: Revelation!  I always thought the purpose of the second draft was to make the first draft better.  But since not much happened to me between yesterday and today, I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to write that much better than the day before? “More clear,” is a more achievable goal.

Continue reading Five Tips from Stephen King’s “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft”

Five Grants & Residencies To Apply To This January – March

schultzheadEvery so often I think, residencies, grants – I should apply for some of those.  And then I don’t.  But now I’m making a new rule: for every magazine article I pitch I’m going to throw in one of these, just for good measure.  Here are some that I pulled from Mira’s list or were sent to me from friends.  Warning – the deadlines as far out as March and as soon as tomorrow next weekend! Continue reading Five Grants & Residencies To Apply To This January – March