Looking forward joyfully. Looking behind joyfully.

Dear Storyknife Community,

As the year closes out and the daylight starts to increase, it gives those of us behind the scenes at Storyknife great pleasure to look back joyfully and look forward joyfully.

We are so grateful to the 48 amazing women writers who were in residence at Storyknife in 2022. Our lives have been enriched immeasurably by getting know you, and by knowing that you will be changing the world by putting your stories into it.

We are so grateful to the 625 women who dreamed of coming to Storyknife in 2023. Even though there isn’t room for all of you, we are staggered by your trust that Storyknife has something to offer to you and your writing. We hope that you will continue to write and that we will see you snug in a Storyknife cabin sometime in the future.

We are so grateful to the 52 women writers who will be joining us at Storyknife in 2023. We know that you will bring new energy, new stories, and new beauty to Storyknife, and we look forward to helping you bring your dreams to the page.

AND, we are especially grateful to the 255 people who have donated to support the women writers of Storyknife this year. We cannot do this without all of you, and all of your gifts, small and large, help make it possible for Storyknife to provide women with the time and space to devote to their writing. We are especially grateful to those of you who have given in the last two and a half months so that we could meet our $50,000 challenge grant! Because of you, we made it! This generosity will ring in 2023 at Storyknife on the brightest of notes. Thank you!

May 2023 bring light and love and laughter to all of you. From all of us at Storyknife, thank you. What an incredible year it has been, and what an amazing year 2023 will be!

Take care and stay safe,
Erin
Executive Director of Storyknife

Storyknife Adjudication Results

Yesterday, I was filled with contradictory feelings. I sent out all of the invitations, waitlist notifications, and rejections letters for the 2023 Storyknife season. I knew that there would be excitement from those invited and even those waitlisted, but that there would be an even longer list of those who were bitterly disappointed.

For everyone who is disappointed, please know that I understand, that I have been exactly where you are. Every adjudicator this year expressed to me how difficult the decisions were, how absolutely worthy every applicant was. Several of the heroic women writers who served on the adjudication committee expressed deep sorrow that they had to make tough decisions. They join me in wishing that we had a spot for every woman who applied.

This is the first year that I haven’t read every applicant’s writing sample. At 625 applicants, it just became more than I could sustain. But I trust in the adjudication panel, made up entirely of Storyknife writers from the previous six years, and I know that they took their work seriously. I did, however, read every applicant’s answers to the questions. And I know that each of you touched my heart. Each of you have writing projects that need to be in the world and lives that are complicated and often beautiful.

To all of the folks who have been so generous in supporting Storyknife, thank you. Without you, Storyknife couldn’t open its doors for any women writers. You are the ones that make all of this possible.

And once again, I want everyone who applied to know that at Storyknife, we’re rooting for you. We’re your fans. If you don’t have an opportunity to come to Storyknife in 2023, we hope that you’ll find your way to the desk to keep putting your words down on paper, that you know how important your story is for this battered world.

You’re worth it. Your writing is worth it. We have faith in you.

take care and stay safe,
Erin

Remembering 2022 on Giving Tuesday

As the end of the year starts to come into sight and we begin preparing for 2023, here’s a short video to remind us all of the amazing women writers who have been in residence at Storyknife in 2022.

And while we’re reminding folks, we’ve $13,500 left to raise to meet our $50,000 challenge grant. Every bit helps! And for those of you who’ve already given, Thank you, Thank you, and Thank you again. Donate now before the end of the year and have your donation doubled!

The Importance of Women’s Voices

As we work through the third round of the adjudication process for next year’s residencies, I am reminded of how important women’s stories are and how difficult it is for women to find the time and space to tell them. Each writing sample has its own spark and every woman has a compelling reason to find sanctuary for her work at Storyknife. How I wish we could host them all.

For those that do come, the experience can be life-changing. Grace Anderson, an April 2022 writer residence, writes, “My time at Storyknife Writers Retreat was one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve ever had. I was met with such intentionality and from the start which allowed me to really focus on my writing and ideation process. Offering opportunities like this to women writers in such a beautiful setting is such a gift and I hope that so many more people get the opportunity to experience this.”

I’m posting this a few days before “Giving Tuesday,” but please know that I am grateful for the Storyknife community every day. YOU create Storyknife. When you donate, you place the flowers by the beds for the writers’ first night, you put the wild-caught salmon in the kitchen for Maura to prepare, you turn on the light on the desk so a woman writer can work late into the night, and you put the fuzzy blanket on the bed so she dream her way further into her project.

We are 70% of the way toward  reaching our challenge grant goal of $50,000. That’s right, $15,000 left to raise to unlock a match of $50,000. So this upcoming Tuesday, or whenever you decide on your annual  giving, open your heart to Storyknife. You can help put us over the finish line by the end of the year.

And to those who have already given, thank you so much. What seemed like an impossibility in October is now an attainable goal because of you. Because you agree that women’s voices are important and need to be nurtured, that women deserve the time and space to devote to their work. Thank you.

You can donate electronically through the encrypted form on our website.

If you prefer to donate by check, please send your donation to Storyknife, PO BOX 75, Homer, AK 99603.

Remember, you can help reach that goal of the $50,000 challenge grant! Double your support by giving now.

take care and stay safe,
Erin
Executive Director of Storyknife

An audacious leap forward

The 2022 Storyknife residency season is wending its way to the close. At the end of this month, the cabins will be put to rest for the winter, awaiting the creativity and bustle of April 2023’s writers. The kitchen will fall silent; no more sizzling and bubbling and laughter until next year. In another week, we’ll be finishing up the first phase of adjudication and launching into the second, all in preparation for next year’s writers.

But the office will not be quiet. No, we’ll be working hard to get the word out about a very exciting opportunity. A long-time and stalwart supporter has offered a year-end challenge grant that will put Storyknife over its fundraising goal for this year and give us a good jump on next year. That’s right, this supporter has offered to match $50,000 in funds raised between now and the end of the year! It’s a very audacious goal, but we know that with your help, Storyknife can raise the funds to trigger the match.

Autumn and winter are the giving seasons. At Storyknife, we invite you to consider the amazing women writers who’ve been in residence and know how much your generosity has impacted their lives.

“Storyknife gives a writer something nearly impossible to come by in our clamoring, fast-paced world: stillness. At Storyknife, a writer can simply sit in the soft and ever-changing light, taking in the beauty of Mount Iliamna across the glittering expanse of the inlet. In that stillness, ideas come. Clarity dawns. The words follow. I left Storyknife holding that stillness within, a precious reserve of strength to draw on when the world closes in. My time there is a highlight of my writing life.”

Gwen Florio, novelist and a May writer in residence

Please help Storyknife reach its challenge grant goal. Know that every dollar you donate to Storyknife between now and the end of the year is doubled. But we all need each other to make it over that finish line. Please donate now for the women writers of Storyknife that will create the stories that change our world.

As always, you can send checks to Storyknife to PO Box 75, Homer, AK 99603. All donations are tax deductible.

Thank you!!!

Upcoming excitement at Storyknife

July sunset by Minda Honey

So many wonderful things happening at Storyknife this summer!

We’ve had twenty-eight women writers in residence so far. The cabins and Eva’s House are humming with people hard at work, dreaming new worlds and new words into existence.

Each month, Storyknife partners with the 49 Writers, a statewide nonprofit devoted to Alaskan writers, to provide a space for our writers to share their work. “Live from Storyknife” will feature readings by the women in residence that month. If you’d like to see May, June, and July’s session, you can watch a recording on the 49 Writers website: https://49writers.org/recorded-events.

You can join us for August’s session on August 16 at 6pm (Alaska Time). All of the information is on the 49 Writers website at https://49writers.org/.

At the end of August on the 29th, we’ll be having an Open House event at Storyknife. We’ll tell you more about that in next month’s newsletter.

But there is another thing happening in August that is just as exciting: applications for 2023 residencies will open. 

Let me take this opportunity to tell you about the application process. Applicants submit a writing sample and answer four questions. (More about this here.) At the end of the application period, the applications are entered into the first round of adjudication during which two people read only the writing samples and do not see the names. If both of those readers give a sample a “thumbs up,” the application goes to the second round of readers. If both of those readers also give the sample a “thumbs up,” it goes to the final round. In the final round, the adjudication panel make decisions based on the writing sample and answers to the application questions, as well as factor in assuring a diversity of genre and demographics of the writers.

Last year, the most consistent comment that I received from the adjudication panel was “I’m having a hard time because these are all good writers.” It’s a wonderful problem to have!

So if you are a woman writer who would like to spend two or four weeks at Storyknife next year (April through October), get ready to apply starting on August 1st on Storyknife’s website.

Summer comes to Storyknife

It is high summer at Storyknife. We’ve hosted three cohorts of women writers, offering the time and space to devote to their writing. That means twenty-one women have slept deeply, watched sunsets, gathered together for dinner conversations and walks, and spent numerous hours putting words on the pages.

It also means that there are four months and twenty-seven women who will have this opportunity this year before the snows close in. (If you are interested in who has been in residence at Storyknife, you can check out our Alums and Fellows page on the website. )

Arielle Lowe, one of May’s writers in wrote of her residency:

Storyknife gave me a regenerative and safe place to heal in a number of ways. Never have I felt so thoroughly cared for. As women, it’s rare to have all of our needs provided when we are so often meeting the needs of others. After years of being in survival mode, I was given the support and peace to look inside myself and find joy once again in my passions and my own company. The staff, my cohort, and the physical place all fed my entire being and allowed me to connect with the deepest parts of myself, where my writing comes from. I am so full of gratitude for the nourishing meals, the culture of care, and the deep respect for women writers of all backgrounds and origins. Hu sen agradesi hamyo, famalao’an gi Storyknife (my deepest gratitude to you all, the women of Storyknife).

It would difficult for me to adequately express how incredible it is to watch how each woman unfolds during her residency and how each cohort comes together with its own particular rhythm.

I’d like to take this moment to thank every person who had supported Storyknife this year through a donation in any amount. Each donation makes it possible for Storyknife to exist and for women writers to receive the gift of time and space to practice their craft.

If supporting women writers is important to you as well and you’d like to donate to Storyknife, please know that we take donations online and by check. Recurring donations are particularly helpful to both the giver and to Storyknife as they spread your support throughout the year in smaller increments.

Please join us!

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Each month for the rest of this year, Storyknife will be partnering with the 49 Writers, a statewide nonprofit devoted to Alaskan writers, to provide a space for our writers to share their work. “Live from Storyknife” will feature readings by the women in residence that month. If you’d like to see May’s session, you can watch a recording on the 49 Writers website.

Then join us for June’s session on June 24 at 6pm (Alaska Time). All of the information is on the 49 Writers website.

Spring Double Donation Drive!

Spring comes slowly to this part of Alaska, but we know that it’s coming; the snow is slumping and the mud is rising. Storyknife feels spring coming as we all come back to Eva’s House, check the cabins, plump up pillows, and stock the supplies that will keep the women at Storyknife well taken care of .

April 1st marks the beginning of the Storyknife Residency season for 2022. This year there will be 48 women writers in residence at Storyknife. 48 women writing into existence a new way to see the world through their novels, poems, essays, memoirs, scripts, and much more. 48 women writers who will have the time and the space to devote solely to their writing because of the generosity of Storyknife’s supporters.

To celebrate, we are launching a Spring Double Donation Drive! From April 1 through May, every donation made will be matched by a generous donor up to $20,000. But here’s the deal, we need to raise that $20,000 to unlock the match.

Think of it this way, you can make your donation stretch twice as far! You’re helping twice as many amazing women writers have the opportunity to understand that their stories are incredibly valuable.

As always, we also gratefully accept donations via postal mail at PO Box 75, Homer, AK 99603.

Thank you to all of our supporters who have brought us this far and are such an important part of the Storyknife family!

A Valentine’s Day Surprise!

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It’s February at Storyknife and that means snow. Yep, 3 to 5 inches of snow in the forecast today. In fact, we’ve been pretty much snowed in since October 28th when the last bunch of 2021 residents left. It’s almost as if Mother Nature closed the doors and tucked in a fluffy, cold blanket around the place until we open again in April.

Even if the cabins are quiet, dreaming about all of the writing that will take place this year, the women of Storyknife aren’t quiet. The alums are busy publishing books, articles, poems, essays, and screenplays. Maura and I are planning for the year ahead, beginning to put together shopping lists and talking about the best ways to support the 2022 writers. And the 2022 writers in residence are looking into plane tickets, emailing me about weather, and generally getting excited.

And because it’s February, that means Valentine’s Day. Dana, Maura, and I would like to tell you how grateful we are to be part of such an amazing community of supportive, kind, and really amazing people.

We’d like to take this opportunity to share with you this short video that highlights what Storyknife is about. Hope you enjoy it!

Storyknife 2022 Video

Endless Gratitude

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Thank you!

It’s been an amazing year at Storyknife. We’ve gotten to host incredibly talented women writers and prepare for even more residencies in 2022.

Your generosity helped us reach two challenge grants this year. All donations go directly to support women writers having the time and the space to devote to their craft. Which means new books, stories, plays, poems, memoirs, essays, and movie scripts written by women with broader, more inclusive visions of the world for all of us to experience!

None of us could have predicted what the 2020s were going to be like, but your support has allowed Storyknife to get off the ground, and next year those wings will be even stronger and more far-reaching.

Thank you for being part of the Storyknife community. Your support for women writers and their stories is changing the world. Know that each and every one of you is cherished by all of us at Storyknife.

May 2022 bring all light and love and laughter into your lives.

take care and stay safe,
Erin