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.
EVERY WRITER SHOULD, WHETHER THEY COME HERE OR NOT, DEDICATE AT LEAST ONE WEEK SOLELY TO THEIR CRAFT.
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.
Open to SCWW Members 50 years or older
Applicant must not have previously attended a Wildacres Writers’ Workshop
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
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.
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.
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.”