No, the title of this blog isn’t referring to the Rockies, I’m referring to the Writing Workshop that is held at Wildacres in the Blue Ridge Mountains every summer the second week in July.

A first glance at their website, might entice you to go for the setting, for the faculty, for the view off the huge stone porch, and yes, for the food, which is wonderful. But I went there looking for a getaway, and a week long workshop with writer folks just like me.

While it seemed wildly decadent (the time away, not the price,) it was just like the ticket I needed to kick start my commitment to my craft. And I got permission to do just that during Director, Judi Hill’s welcome speech, in which she said one of the most amazing things I've ever heard as a writer.


Wow. That thought had never occurred to me. While I spent a lot of time writing and stealing blocks of time from other responsibilities, I’d never done that before. Even when I registered for the workshop, I didn’t think of the week in those terms. But Wildacres Writing Workshop made a huge difference in my life.

During that week I started rewriting a novel I finished several years ago about a mountain girl, thinking it was appropriate and some mountain magic just might rub off on me. I’m not sure if it was the mountain or my re commitment to my craft, but the magic happened and I sold that book to Penguin last year, just in time for Christmas.

Granted the title of this blog might be a little misleading if your 49 or younger, so let me be clear, Wildacres Writing Workshop IS FOR EVERYONE.

But if you’re 50 or over, here’s where YOU come in. An anonymous donor is offering a WILDACRES WRITING WORKSHOP SCHOLARSHIP to a current SCWW member in honor of former Wildacres faculty member at--Scott Lax.

Why 50 and over? In Scott’s words:

I was a decent writer in high school. Yet I allowed a few rude comments about my writing in college and a few years after to throw me way off course. It took me twenty years to get back to it, at 39, when I wrote published essays and columns on a weekly basis. At 41 I began my first novel; when I startedit I didn’t even know what an MFA was. I only knew I had to write. My novel was published when I was 46; we made it into a feature film, which was released when I was 50; I wrote my first produced play when I was 51. I’m 59 now, and I have just completed producing my first TV show (actually two of them) and co-written them. Most importantly, I became a father for the first time at 58 . . .

So here’s my point. It’s never too late. Writers 50 and older have so much to offer. Yes, we have some aches and pains and losses. But we have the experience and patience and love of life to offer readers, whether one reader or millions.”

I’ve pasted the eligibility requirements below and hope that you will take advantage of this amazing opportunity. If you’re under 50, let me reinterrate, that your investment, which is modest for a Saturday to Saturday stay in the mountains, all meals included, is well worth the trip to this little piece of heaven.

Eligibility for the Scott Lax Wildacres Writers’ Workshop

Open to SCWW Members 50 years or older

Applicant must not have previously attended a Wildacres Writers’ Workshop

Application process

Applicants for the Scott Lax Scholarship will submit one of the following to SCWW:

Poetry – 3 poems

Creative Nonfiction – up to but no more than 10 pages

Novel – up to but no more than 10 pages

Short story – up to but no more than 10 pages

Contemporary Commercial Fiction – up to but no more than 10 pages

Along with the materials, include a cover sheet with the following information

All contact information – name, address, phone number, email address

Chapter affiliation, if one

The class you intend to register for at Wildacres Writers Workshop (note, Ron Rash’s novel class is full)

Title of your entry

A brief essay, 250 words or less, on ‘Why I Want to Attend Wildacres Writers’ Workshop’

Material submitted to SCWW for the Scott Lax Scholarship must be the same material the scholarship recipient will then submit to Wildacres Writers’ Workshop as part of its registration process

Applications are now open and the in-hand deadline for submitting is March 10, 2012.

Send to Kim Blum-Hyclak

1315 Treetop Dr.

Lancaster, SC 29720

There is no application fee. Any submissions received after March 10 will not be eligible.

Award selection process

Finalists will be selected by a panel of SCWW Chapter Members

SCWW Board will determine the SCWW Scott Lax Wildacres Scholarship recipient

Recipient will be notified no later than March 24th

Scholarship recipient agrees to:

apply to and attend the Wildacres Writers Workshop, July 7-14th

submit to the SCWW Board a brief summary/report on the Wildacres Writers’ Workshop experience no later than August 31st. Specifics about this will be given to the scholarship winner.

Recipient is responsible for transportation to and from the Wildacres Writers Workshop and any expenses outside the cost of tuition.

Questions? Contact Kim Blum-Hyclak at

Some words from Scott:

“I wish all the entrants well. And I hope those who do not win are never discouraged: just by entering the scholarship award means that one has written something that he or she is proud of. That’s the important thing. As for the winner this year and in the future, I hope it moves them towards both humility and increased determination to make a difference through writing, through language, through the beauty of words.”

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