Tuesday, April 20, 2004

The lure of a writer's colony

What you can expect from a colony:

-uninterrupted writing time

-personal living and studio space


-the company of other writers and artists

Most of the best colonies are free of charge. You pay a one-time application fee, anywhere from ten to thirty dollars, and, if accepted, all expenses (except travel) are covered. You must bring your own computer and printer, or whatever writing equipment you need. You can usually expect to eat dinner in a common area with the other residents. All of the colonies I've been to have had a kitchen open to residents for breakfast and lunch, so that you can prepare your own food

There are a couple of reputable colonies that charge a small fee, such as the Ragdale Foundation.

a word of warning:

One that you might steer clear of, however, is the Vermont Studio Center. A couple of years ago I was accepted to VSC with a "partial scholarship." I was happy until I discovered that I would be required to pay $800 to round out my "living expenses." Hmm, I don't think so. Then I discovered that the regular fee for folks who don't receive funding is $3,500 for a four-week stay!

Research what colonies might be right for you. Some things to consider are location, facilities, and length of stay. A great place to begin this research is at Shaw Guides, which allows you to search by region and by month.

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