Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Residency

I’m pretty excited about this, so I’ll share it here. A couple months ago, I applied for a fellowship at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA). I suffer from chronic imposter syndrome as a writer, so it felt like a shot in the dark. My submission included the short story “The Grove,” which Jacksonville’s wonderful Bridge Eight Literary Magazine published a couple years ago, and a 500-word story about surviving a rocket attack in Afghanistan. To my amazement, I received an email from the VCCA Deputy Director on Thursday notifying me that I’ve been scheduled for a mid-January residency.

Here’s a bit from Deputy Director Sheila Gulley Pleasants’ email:

VCCA’s mission is to provide a creative space in which our best national and international artists (you!) produce their finest work. We take our mission very seriously, but we also know that some Fellows are interested in sharing their work, and we at VCCA are interested in promoting the arts in general and the work of our Fellows in particular.
If this is of interest to you, there are a number of opportunities for you to share your work in the local community.  These opportunities include meeting with students and faculty at Sweet Briar College, presenting work at community centers and art galleries, and opening your studio to visiting groups here at VCCA.
VCCA Corn Crib

VCCA Corn Crib (Writers’ Studio) Photo by

VCCA furnishes artists with a private studio, a private bedroom with semi-private bath, and three prepared meals each day.  There are 25 writers, composers, and visual artists in residence at any given time, and I can’t imagine a better environment for focus and concentration than their beautiful campus, quite possibly blanketed in snow. (Florida Man will be digging out some long-dormant clothing layers for this trip.)

For the next few weeks, I’ll develop a personal regimen to make the most of precious residency time, and I’ll probably spend way too much time making a packing list. I think I’ll bring a guitar. Definitely a camera and sketchpad.
I hope to not only get a lot of serious work done, but to meet interesting people and, if I’m extremely lucky, make a few friends.
So…wow. I’m humbled and grateful, and this is going to be fun.

 

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