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

Keep dreaming…

Storyknife dreams under a blanket of snow

To attend Storyknife is to leave behind the mundane, the ordinary, and enter a dimension of mind, hand, and heart.  This rich opportunity, this residency, allowed my words to track the path of sun and late-night moon, the drift and movement of Cook Inlet currents, and the touch and go of cumulus hiding and revealing distant peaks. I wrote to the wandering hooves of transiting moose families, to the wing flap of sandhill cranes.  And I wanted for nothing.

– Kersten Christianson (Storyknife 2021 poet)

It sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? Storyknife is like planting seeds. You, the donors, the writers, the women who dream, you all know that supporting a woman writer means that in the future there will be blossoms and fruit and nourishment. Giving a woman writer time to watch the path of the sun and the whitecaps out on Cook Inlet, time to sit at her desk with pen at hand, and time to listen so carefully to her story will make the world a better, richer place.

Thank you for your support in all its forms. There is still time before the end of the year to show women writers that they and their poems, stories, films, plays, memoirs, novels, are important, vital even.

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

All donations are tax deductible, and you will be sent a receipt with our gratitude. 

take care and stay safe,
Erin
Executive Director of Storyknife

Adjudication results

On Friday, I sent out all of the invitations, waitlist notifications, and rejection letters. It’s a tough day, because even though I’m so excited for the women who get invitations, and even for those who are waitlisted, I know how hard it is to receive a rejection letter. Trust me, I’ve applied to many residencies and not been admitted.

Here’s the thing I want everyone to know, not just the folks who applied and won’t be coming. I read every application and there weren’t any writers that I didn’t think deserved a chance to nurture their work. Women’s writing is so important, and your voices and stories are so important. But the truth is that we only have so many cabins and so many months. And while I’d like to offer feedback to those who weren’t chosen, I can’t. We didn’t ask the adjudicators to explain their choices, and doing so would add a lot more work to their already full plates.

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.

I hope that any woman writer reading this knows that at Storyknife, we’re rooting for you. Even if you don’t have the opportunity to come in 2022, we’re rooting for you to keep making time for your work. Keeping finding those quiet moments to sit down at your desk.

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

take care and stay safe,
Erin

Giving Tuesday? Giving every day.

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November 30th is Giving Tuesday, but here at Storyknife we feel gratitude year-round. We are grateful to the people who have already donated toward our $25,000 challenge grant. We’re heading in the right direction and with your help, we’ll make it over the threshold. Can you include Storyknife in your year-end giving? Your donation is direct support of women writers. You give them the time and the space to write. You give them a place where they feel nourished, and where they form a community that will support them for the rest of their lives.

You have the opportunity to tell a woman writer that her voices matters.

Preeti Kaur wrote about her time in residence this July:

“My time at Storyknife was magical. It was my first writing residency. My initial days there I was overwhelmed with feelings of gratefulness that my voice mattered enough in the world that a team of people had carved out space in the world for me to write, in my own room.  I made wonderful friends with my fellow writers and we shared innumerable adventures —from long meandering talks while volcano-watching, to hiking to the glaciers, to orca-sighting while sea-kayaking, to learning the names of the Homer wildflowers on evening walks. The sun didn’t set for most of the month and I felt the light lifting me into the surreal belief that writing would carry me into the next horizon of knowing oneself and the world, to illuminating what had been buried within so as to make the world new again.”

Your support makes this experience possible for other women writers. If you donate now, you will let a woman know that her voice, her writing, her story is important and can make the world new again.

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 $25,000 challenge grant! Double your support by giving now.

take care and stay safe,

Erin
Executive Director of Storyknife

You make a dream a reality.

As of today, we are a quarter of the way to the finish line. You can help. Like a good relay team, we hand the baton to the next person who can see the ribbon just a little farther off.

And the prize? YOU make a dream come true. YOU provide time and space for women writers to pursue their writing with single-minded focus. YOU make their dreams come true.

This is what Jodi Savage, September Storyknife writer in residence, had to say about her time at Storyknife this year:

“From the moment I stepped into my cabin, Storyknife was a dream. Erin and Maura took such good care of us. Their hospitality and care made Storyknife home away from home. The quiet time to focus allowed me to get a lot of writing done during my time at Storyknife. I also enjoyed the company of the other women in my cohort. They were amazing, impressive, and inspiring. We held our own readings and shared our favorite passages and writing quotes. We talked about writing, our lives, and the world. Storyknife was also healing and restorative in so many ways.

Storyknife embodies the principle that when you nurture the whole person, she becomes a better person and a better writer. My time at Storyknife allowed me to reset my writing, my body, and my life. I’ll be forever grateful for my time at Storyknife and the connections I made.”

You can help provide this experience for other women writers.

During the months of November and December, Storyknife has a $25,000 challenge grant by an anonymous donor; we need to raise $18,750 more before the end of the year, for this generous individual to match those donations.

You can make Storyknife a reality for another year’s group of talented, diverse, women writers.

For those who’ve given, thank you so much for believing that women’s books, scripts, poems, memoirs and more will make our world a richer, more interesting place. Thank you for supporting women writers.

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

Remember, every dollar donated between now and the end of the year will be matched up to $25,000. You can help reach that goal!

take care and stay safe,
Erin
Executive Director of Storyknife

Making a dream a reality

At first, Storyknife was Dana Stabenow’s dream. Now it is the dream of women writers from all over the United States and the world. We’ve just finished up our first season of full residencies and are working on adjudicating the applications for next year’s residencies.

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You can help provide this experience for other women writers. You can make their dreams come true.

During the months of November and December, Storyknife has a challenge grant by an anonymous donor; if we can raise $25,000 before the end of the year, this generous individual will match those donations.

Your open-hearted generosity can put beautifully-prepared, nourishing food on the table; keep the lights and heat on in the cozy cabins; keep the gardens tended, and more. In short, you can make Storyknife a reality for another year’s group of talented, diverse, women writers.

Make their dreams come true so that they can write the books, scripts, poems, memoirs and more that make our world a richer, more interesting place.

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

Remember, every dollar donated between now and the end of the year will be matched up to $25,000. You can help reach that goal!

take care and stay safe,
Erin
Executive Director of Storyknife