Happy Valentine’s Day
Let me tell you about a kind of love that the media and culture just don’t talk about very often. It’s the kind of love that one gives themselves when they put away cultural expectations in order to pick up the gift inside.
When I tell women that I work for a women writers’ retreat, so many of them respond, “OH! I’ve always wanted to write, but you know, the kids and/or the job and/or the spouse. I’ve just never had the time.” Then their gaze slips as if they are seeing that empty notebook, their stories turned to dust. Sometimes I think about privilege, how some people have the opportunity and support system that gives them time (and quiet space to write). Then I think about people like Toni Morrison who had to wrestle for every moment to write at the beginning of her career, writing around a child’s puke stain on a notebook page because it held good words, too.
Part of Storyknife’s mission is to provide women and nonbinary writers time and space to give their love to their writing. To let that and that alone be their love and their responsibility for two or four weeks. Storyknife is bending toward a future when we can offer additional support that makes a residency within the grasp of those who struggle with other impediments, and we know that there are many.
The 2020 adjudication process was so heart-wrenching. There wasn’t one application that was easily set by. Only 10% of those that applied could be offered residencies simply because of space; we wish there was room for many more. So, if you were one of those who did not get offered a residency this year, please know that we hope Storyknife will be in existence for decades and decades, and that someday, you will cross through the threshold of Eva’s House and see Mt. Iliamna through the big front windows. We cherish your story, your writing, your hope and love for your gifts.
Every day, Maura and I think of some new way to nurture the writers who will be in residency at Storyknife this year and for years to come. We hope that this Valentine’s Day and every day, you will give yourself the love of cherishing your own story and your own writing.
Storyknife Executive Director
PS If you want to support Storyknife and help assure its longevity, please consider donating, either annually or set up a recurring donation through this link. Without our community of supporters, we can’t continue to offer these opportunities.