Saturday, April 3, 2010

Chautauqua Bound!

I'm so excited! May I say it again??? EXCITED! I found out on Thursday that I received a scholarship to the Writers Workshop at Chautauqua. (Thank you to Kent Brown and the Scholarship committee!!).

I learned about Chautauqua several years ago from my critique group. Several members had attended and shared their experience during the meeting. They came back thrilled, refreshed, full of ideas, and ready to take on the writing world.

I went home that night and looked up Chautauqua, and I found that it was run by the Highlights Foundation. In addition to all of the information about the workshop curriculum and faculty, Highlights posts Writing Tips from various authors/faculty members of recent Chautauqua workshops. They also offer what they call Founders Workshops. These are intimate, focused writing intensives that are usually 4-7 days. My critique partner has attended several of these. She likes the smaller group size. Hers have had 8-12 attendees, and she finds the focus on a particular topic helpful.

Chautauqua's curriculum is more like a buffet. It's a bit overwhelming when I look at all of the topics covered. My email said they would send me a curriculum list in May, and I'd have to choose what I'd like to attend. It's like going to a restaurant when you're super hungry. Everything looks good, and you don't know what you really want. I hope I choose well.

I had lunch yesterday with my friend and critique partner, Kathy. She's attended Chautauqua, and she brought with her a photo album from her visit. I loved hearing her talk about everything - The Athenaeum Hotel, Philosopher's Hall, The Hall of Christ, brick streets, beautiful gardens, and of course, all of the workshops attended and fabulous people she met.

I have high hopes for the experience. A week's immersion in the writer's community sounds like heaven - and work. It's a challenge I'm ready to tackle. I've lots to do while I wait. I've chosen which manuscript I want to work on with my mentor. I'd like to have a completed first draft before I go. I have almost four months to get it done, but that's pretty fast for me. I've only just started the novel. Summer break is coming, so I should have more time to work. Here's hoping!

If you're attending, let me know. I've love to meet you!


Bish Denham said...

Congratulations Nora! This is something I've been wanting to do for a while. Someday. I know you will have a wonderful and educational good time.

Faith E. Hough said...

Congrats! My husband Mark also just received a call from Kent Brown saying he received the scholarship, so maybe you will meet him. (I didn't apply because I have two babies, but Kent said I could sit in on some of the talks if I wanted! It seems like a really encouraging, great place.)

KarenG said...


I bopped over here from Faith's blog. Love your blog title! And congrats on your scholarship, what a fantastic opportunity!


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

How swell! I'm so happy for you! I will stay tuned to hear ALL about it!

Anonymous said...

How wonderful for you :o))))

Marcia said...

Congratulations, Nora! I've never been, but everyone I know who has says it was an outstanding experience. Have a great time.

Nora MacFarlane said...

Thank you everyone!

Bish - Have you tried applying for the scholarship? I wouldn't have been able to go without it.

Faith - Congrats to your husband, Mark! I've heard the Kent Brown is a very gracious gentleman. How nice that you can participate too.

KarenG - Thank you! And thank you for visiting my blog.

Green Girl, Niki and Marcia - Thank you! I'm hoping for a great experience.

Sharon Mayhew said...

Nora--Try and stay at the Antheum Hotel instead of one of the other buildings. Breakfast is there everyday and a few of the dinner meals. It also has several areas where you can meet with other writers and have impromptu critiquing sessions. You are going to have an outstanding time! I wish I was going with you, but I've got to sell a book before I'll go again. :) Everyone there is sooooo nice!

Rising Rainbow said...

I've heard this is a wonderful experience. You probably can't make a wrong selection. Everything offered is amazing.

out of the wordwork said...

It sounds like a fabulous opportunity! Congratulations - I'm sure you'll get so much out of it!

Christina Farley said...

WOW!!!!!!!!! So exciting! Tell us all about it when you come back. And take pictures. I've heard it beautiful.