Writers’ colonies

Reflections on a Writing Retreat: A Review of The Porches in Virginia

September 24, 2014

I spent last week at a writing retreat in rural Virginia called The Porches. Unlike writing residencies and colonies I’ve attended in the past, The Porches isn’t an official program; it doesn’t have an admissions process or board of trustees. It’s simpler, and for that reason, arguably better: a beautiful, historic farmhouse where writers go […]

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A Writer’s Colony Lesson You Can Apply to You Career (Even If You’re Not a Writer)

September 10, 2012

When you're at a writer's colony, time moves differently. It moves more slowly, more smoothly. And it stretches out, so 10 days feels like a month. That's partly because of the solitude. If you're not used to spending time alone, in silence, with only crickets for company, 10 days can feel like a long time. […]

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Bursting Hearts at Hambidge

September 7, 2012

Since I’m taking time off from my Google Reader while at a writer’s residency, Writer’s Roundup is on hiatus this week. That feature will be back next Friday. Instead, I bring you a photo of a plant that’s blooming near my writer’s studio. (Forgive the quality; I took this on my phone!) I’ve heard it’s […]

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Escaping to Hambidge, My Favorite Writer’s Colony

September 3, 2012

I’m back in beautiful Rabun Gap, Georgia, for a 10-day writer’s residency at The Hambidge Center. Here’s the studio in the woods where I’ll be writing for the next week: Oh, and I love this shot of the path I walk whenever I want dinner or Internet access: If you’ve read this blog for a […]

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How Long Does it Take to Create Your Art?

September 22, 2011

Here’s what always strikes me at artist’s colonies: You can get to know a person over a period of weeks, eating meals together and becoming friends, and still not know the whole story behind their work. You can grow close to a novelist without realizing he’s published 20 books and enjoy a painter’s company without […]

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A Look Inside Artist’s Residency VCCA

September 21, 2011

One of the tips I often give to clients as a blog coach is to make your blog about more than you. Your posts should be infused with your personality, but on the whole they should be about relatable topics your readers are interested in, not just you. So as I sit here in my […]

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Update from Artist’s Residency VCCA

September 16, 2011

The Writer’s Roundup is on vacation until I’m back from my writer’s residency. Every writer’s colony is its own little world. Here at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Little World includes about 20 artists (mostly fiction writers), a few horses, three meals a day in the dining room and studios in a […]

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Reporting from the Trenches: Writer’s Colony No. 3

September 8, 2011

Every September I go to a writer’s colony. Not because I planned it that way. I just realized this while preparing for my first residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, known among artists as VCCA. My two weeks there start today. Yup, today. In September 2009, I spent five weeks at The […]

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Cooper, The Lucky Dog, does D.C.

June 27, 2011

“D.C. was GREAT! They’ve got dirty, old chicken bones on the sidewalk, just waiting to be eaten! Sometimes they’re hidden, but if you scrounge around in the weeds a little, you’re sure to find a snack. And lots of new people to fool into giving you extra bones! Oh, and the dogs! A new friend […]

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My next writer’s colony, and why it never hurts to try

April 4, 2011

Some good news hit my inbox last week: I’ve been accepted for a residency at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts! Known as VCCA, the colony calls itself an “international working retreat for visual artists, writers, and composers situated in the rolling foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.” The program offers fellowships between two weeks […]

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