Saturday, September 02, 2006

Consider a Writing Residency

Yesterday I drove out to Clearmont, Wyoming to visit the UCross Foundation Residency Program. The foundation main offices are at the intersection of Hwy 14 and Hwy 16 and encompasses 22,000 acres. The residency buildings aren’t spread out, obviously, over that territory. They are in fact fairly close together.

Pulling into the long main drive, I parked in front of the main offices and spoke with Sharon Dynak, Executive Director. She showed me around a bit then took me to the building next to the offices, the Gallery. Sunprints by Lindy Smith were on display in the gallery. The upstairs of the gallery is a composer’s studio.

Back outside I could look one direction and see the artists’s studios and writers’ residence. In another direction, more studios. You could walk from one studio to another, but UCross also supplies bicycles for the residents to get around.

There are usually about eight residents at any given time, four writers and four artists. Residencies vary in length from two weeks to eight weeks. And there are two application deadlines (one is fast approaching). If you’re interested in coming sometime in the fall, the deadline to apply is March 1. If you’d like to be there in the spring, then you’d need to get your application in by October 1.

Since there were artists and writers there at the time, I didn’t get to go in the other buildings, but from the outside, they looked comfortable and homey. There is a chef who prepares the meals and the only cost to residents (other than getting yourself there) is a $20 nonrefundable application fee.

If you’re interested in applying and want to know what the guidelines are, check out their application.

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