Hambidge Artist Residency, here I come

Good news to start your Tuesday: The Hambidge Artist Residency Program has accepted me for a fellowship this fall!

That means I’ll spend five weeks writing in a cabin in the mountains of northern Georgia, part of a small community of creative thinkers.

The Hambidge Center was one of five writers’ colonies I applied to. Four rejected me. So I was happy as a dog eating an ice cube when a congratulations e-mail popped into my inbox on Friday.

Here’s the kicker: The program chose me for one of their emerging artist scholarships, which covers the cost of the program. (Some artist residencies are free, but this one costs $150/week.) That’s a big deal for me, since I’m living off savings and occasional freelance income while writing my first book.

The Hambidge Center

The Hambidge Center

As I explained in a previous post, a colony is a place where writers retreat to produce and inspire one another. Hambidge hosts not only writers, but also painters, composers, sculptors — a whole range of creative types. About 10 artists live there at any given time, rotating for two- to six-week stays. My five-week residency begins Sept. 1.

In this distraction-free environment, I’m hoping my productivity will soar. I’ll spend days writing in my studio — with breaks to enjoy trails on the Center’s 600 wooded acres — and join other residents for vegetarian (yippee!) dinners prepared by the program’s chef. Not too shabby, huh?

My only reservation: the private cabins don’t have Internet access. There’s wireless in the common area, but I won’t have a connection during the day while I’m writing. Normally I use the Internet to research; reference an online thesaurus; pull details from my online photos; and review my travel blog, which is serving as a skeleton for my book. Of course, I’m also distracted by e-mail and Twitter. So this might be a good experiment: Will I be more productive without the Internet? (Update: And no cell phone service. What have I gotten myself into?!)

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know I was planning to finish a draft of the manuscript by the end of August and solicit feedback in September. This acceptance means I’ll need to revise my schedule. I’m planning now to focus on finishing Part I and II by Aug. 1, and hand those over to readers while I work on the final section of the book. I’ll spend my time at Hambidge completing Part III and revising. By the time I leave the Georgia mountains, I’ll have a finished book.

Woot! Woot!

20 Responses

  1. This is awesome! I’ve always wanted to do one of these, but didn’t think it was in the budget. Now that I know a little bit more, it might not be a bad idea to do more research and maybe even apply to a few. Thanks for sharing about this. Sounds like you’re well on your way to authorship!!!

  2. Wow – congrats Lexi!!! Sounds like an amazing opportunity to really focus on your work.

  3. Congrats! And an experience like that is well worth revising your schedule. 🙂

    The Old Silly

  4. I’m reading along on your blog, going, “Lucky Dog! Lucky Dog! Lucky Dog….whoa! No INTERNET????” But you’re right….without access in your room, you will probably get soooo much more done. Let us know how that works for you!

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  5. Oh, Alexis, this sounds like an incredible opportunity. Congratulations.
    Karen Walker

  6. It’s hard to imagine that you’d be more focused on finishing your book than you are now—a good thing. Nonetheless, it sounds like a terrific opportunity and the cost is certainly agreeable.

    Maybe the wireless access point won’t be too far for you to just zip over with your laptop a couple of times during the day, go down the list of things you want to check on, and then, zip back to your quarters. You’ll find a way to make it work. Congratulations.

    Best regards, Galen

  7. Congratulations. Looks like an absolutely beautiful and serene place. I’m looking forward to hearing all about your stay once you return.

    JaneKennedySutton </a

  8. Congrats!! Great opportunity! Can you remain a cyber member of our writer’s group while you’re away?! We’ll do a teleconference!

  9. That is wildly exciting news!! I can’t wait to hear your stories of how it was.

    I’m with you on the internet – I use it fo research and inspiration too, and it would be tough for me without. I’m sure I could manage somehow, but I will be interested to hear how you do. And at least you can use it in the common area so you have some access.


    Elle Parker

  10. Soooo exciting. I know that without internet I am much more productive. Can’t wait to hear about your experience there.

  11. Wow! That is amazingly wonderful news – congratulations! Looks like such a serene setting to work in and with all the other creative minds the muses will simply flow!

    Nancy, from Just a Thought…

  12. Excellent! Your experiences at the retreat could be another whole book, Alexis. Are there any characters more interesting than writers, painters, sculptors. and composers? Take lots of notes.

  13. […] to a writers’ colony Posted on June 24, 2009 by Alexis Grant Since announcing that I’ll head to The Hambidge Center for an artist residency this fall, several writers have asked for advice about how to find and […]

  14. I am so excited for you. Congrats!!! You are going to have a great time. I’m jealous–in a good way! 🙂

  15. Congratulations. I’m starting a 2-week residency at Hambidge July 21 (visual arts.) I’m also going to go into withdrawals for the lack of net access, but I guess we’ll have to tough it out, huh? Have fun!!! It’s a beautiful place!

  16. […] 2009 by Alexis Grant Did I say the first two-thirds of my manuscript would be ready for critique by Aug. 1? Who was I […]

  17. […] I prepare to begin my writing residency at Hambidge next week, as I enter my eighth month of this project, it seems like a good time to reflect on the […]

  18. […] to write, write, write Posted on August 31, 2009 by Alexis Grant Tomorrow begins my writer’s residency at The Hambidge […]

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