M E Fuller

Week 30. Cirenaica, a Writer Residency with Nickolas Butler

Week 30. Cirenaica with Nickolas Butler

This week I will be in residency at Cirenaica, outside of Eau Claire, WI, with author Nickolas Butler and ten other fiction writers. This will be my first residency experience. I’m grateful to have been accepted. I’m eager to work and critique among other writers, off by ourselves in the wilds of Wisconsin farmland – eating, drinking, sleeping, talking, and working fiction.

Nickolas Butler, credit: Chippewa Valley Writer's Guild

Nickolas Butler. Photo credit: Chippewa Valley Writer’s Guild

Before I go much further, I have to thank the Cirenaica Residency Coordinator and author, B. J. Hollars, for his accommodating nature. It is a fact, friends, that we retirees have likely developed certain lifestyle sensitivities and limitations. We don’t want to stop ourselves from enjoying the most that life has to offer but face it, some of our choices may be relegated to the senior menu. B. J. – who I originally thought through email exchanges was a woman in her mid-fifties – is a bright and friendly young man who would do well in the hospitality industry. As my mother used to advise me, artists must always have a real skill to fall back on.

B. J. Hollars Photo credit: B. J. Hollars

B. J. Hollars Photo credit: B. J. Hollars

Listen to his podcast and be charmed. And listen to Nickolas Butler read from “Shotgun Lovesongs,” within the stunning review by Janet Maslin March of the New York Times.

I didn’t know that artist residencies were “a thing” when I stepped into my retirement career as a writer. Some people, I understand, spend their retirement jumping from cruise ship to cruise ship, or house sitting for professors on sabbatical in college towns. Others, writer and artist others, can be mapped across residencies – coast to coast – in country villages to western-ranging dude ranches.

Some residencies are in-house, pay-your-way workshops, offering teaching opportunities from an established artist. Some will invite you to stay as the artist in residency and provide a small stipend for expenses. All will feed you and house you and teach you in a pod of artists, charging the air you breathe with creative fire.

Length of stay varies. Do your research. Apply liberally.

A note on Cirenaica

The Chippewa Valley Writers Guild is pleased to partner with Cirenaica for our second year of summer residencies!  Nestled on 43 acres of hills, farmland, and forest near the quaint village of Fall Creek, Wisconsin, our residencies promise participants of all levels and genres an intensive yet rejuvenating experience amidst an inspiring backdrop.

Next week’s topic: Probably a review of the Nickolas Butler’s Theory and Practice of Fiction Residency

See you back here next Sunday (or some day during the week). Would you like to keep up with the Greyhairs Rising community? Sign up for the latest updates.

 

 

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