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

October at Storyknife

On October 21st, the moon was setting just as the sunrise lit up Mt. Iliamna.

Next week marks the end of Storyknife’s first year in full operation. Five months of writers in residence. Five months of late night conversations over chai, long walks together, reading work to each other, gathering around the table to feast on Maura’s incredible dinners. Five months of lovesick moose, sandhill cranes, and a cheeky jay. Five months of lunch baskets, encouragement, shared laughter, and possibly some shared tears. Five months and pages and pages and pages of new writing in the world!

Right now, we are smack dab in the middle of adjudicating the applications that came in for 2022 season. Honestly, I wish we had room for every writer who applied, who has hopes and dreams to have unfettered time and space. So many dreamers. I want every woman who applied to know that her writing and her dream is important, even if we don’t have cabins for all of them. I promise that we’ll have the adjudication results ready by the end of November, beginning of December at the very latest.

Meanwhile, we are heading into the season of long nights curled up with books. The season of gratitude. I know that I speak for the board and for Maura and for myself when I say that we are grateful for all of the members of the Storyknife community. Each year that circle gets a little bigger and more vibrant. Thank you for being on this journey with us. We can’t wait to see what amazing things will happen next!

The Storyknife Board, Maura, and I will spend the deep winter months preparing for next year’s writers in residence who will start in April! We’ll be dreaming with all of you. Dreaming of all the amazing writing that will come into this world because the women of Storyknife made it so.

take care and stay safe,
Erin Hollowell, ED at Storyknife

Autumn at Storyknife and Applications Open

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Only one month of residencies remains for the 2021 Storyknife Writers Retreat season. One more month this year for women writers to hunker down in their cabins, watch autumn winds ripple the dry grass in the meadow, and write their hearts out. One more month this year for them to gather in Eva’s House to talk over amazing dinners prepared by Maura, compare notes on the work they completed for the day, perhaps sit around the living room and enjoy tea and each other’s company. One more month this year for women to devote themselves to their writing dreams and aspirations.

Thank goodness for 2022! Women writers have until September 30th, midnight Alaska time, to submit their application to be one of the women writers in residence next year. It has been so amazing to watch this year’s writers finish their book proposals, or write 5,000 words a day, or put the finishing touches on their poetry collections. It is not an exaggeration to tell you that since June 1st, Storyknife has been fairly humming with creative energy. That enthusiasm and inspiration is contagious!

If you are one of the many individuals who has donated to support Storyknife, you made this happen. Your generosity has directly supported women writers having the time and space to devote to their writing. Thank you. Your gift has blossomed this summer and will grow for many more years.

take care and stay safe,
Erin

Opportunity and food for thought

In 2022, Storyknife will have writers in residence from May through October. It hardly seems possible that it’s right around the corner, but it is and, in fact, we’re accepting applications for next year starting on August 1st through September 30th. All of the details of how to apply and what you’ll need are on Storyknife’s website at https://storyknife.org/how-to-apply/.

Meanwhile, I’ll give you a little food for thought. One of the aims of Storyknife is tell women writers from the moment they cross the threshold of Eva’s House that they and their writing are worth the care that has been taken for them. We show it in the art made by local women artists and potters. We show it in the beautiful quilts on the wall made by local women quilters and in the snuggly blankets on the bed. And we show it in the food that is prepared for them.

Here are a few pictures of the amazing food that Maura has prepared over the last two months to nourish the writers.

Roasted salmon with asparagus
Beetroot falafel with hummus
Lunch tableau by July writer in residence Kersten

At Storyknife, we believe that every word a woman writes changes the story of the world, revising the official version.

take care and stay safe,
Erin
Executive Director of Storyknife

What’s going on at Storyknife in June!

 So far, the month has been gloriously full of women writing, amazing food, and budding community. June has pulled her usual weather shenanigans: brilliant sun, wind, sudden downpours, and yesterday, fog.

Cabins in Fog

It is difficult for me to explain to you how much it means to actually be fulfilling the mission of Storyknife. What was the stuff of dreams is now a reality, not just for me and Maura, Storyknife’s chef, but for Dana and the board, AND also the women writers in residence. In the words of one of the writers, “For the first time in a long while, I feel deeply relaxed, inspired by the incredible nature, enriched by the wonderful company of the other artists, nourished by the amazing food and extremely cozy and comfortable cabins… there couldn’t possibly be a better environment for opening up the deep channels necessary for writing. From the bottom my heart, thank you. This is such an incredible gift to be here.”

At the beginning of August, we’ll be opening up the application period for 2022. But there are still nine more days this month during which you can donate toward our $25,000 June Challenge and have your donation DOUBLED. You can give a gift to women writers; you can give them the time and space they need to truly sink into their writing and devote their whole selves to it. You can put us over the top for the Challenge Grant.

Please join our community of supporters. And to all the women writers, we’re looking forward to hosting writers from April through October next year, so please apply!

As always, a donation in any amount helps support Storyknife’s mission. Donations can be made via our secure online server or by checks sent to Storyknife, PO Box 75, Homer, Alaska 99603. All donations are tax deductible, and you will receive a tax receipt for your records.

take care and stay safe,
Erin
Executive Director of Storyknife

June’s writers call these two Fred Eye and Ginger. Wonder what the July writers will call them.

All signs point to spring!

Welcome to springtime at Storyknife. Wait, back that up, there’s still plenty of snow, ice, and chill winds. But there is definitely a lot of more light and that sun is pretty dang powerful. Preparations for the June launch of Storyknife are underway. Sure, I can’t even see the planters on the deck and in the front of Eva’s House (still under a swale of snow), but I’m ordering salad greens and flower seeds.

One of the things that I cherish about Storyknife is how much love and attention is put into each part of the experience. Maura plans menus. I plan flowers and gardening and look to dietary needs and allergies and scheduling. On the walls, art by Alaskan women artists that complements each cabin and Eva’s House. Custom quilts, beautiful handmade pottery by Homer women potters…. and now Storyknife’s new sign.

We want every woman who spends time at Storyknife to know that she and her work are valued, and we want her to feel that from the first time she comes up the drive. So, we commissioned a sign from Dave and Dan Gerard. I talked with them about what we wanted in terms of structure, but those guys have been such an integral part of building Storyknife from the very beginning (remember the AMAZING dining table they made?) that they pretty much came up with the design on their own. And now it’s a reality.

Danny and Dave Gerard with the new sign and post joined by Founder, Dana Stabenow

It really means something to us that our local community artisans and supporters are behind Storyknife’s mission to give women writers the time and space to devote to their craft. And we are so looking forward to June when we can show the inaugural group that we care deeply about them and their writing.

June will be here before we know it. Keep watching for our open application period for 2022 that will open in the summer.

take care and stay safe,
Erin
Executive Director of Storyknife

Little closer view of the sign with Dave helping showcase!

February at Storyknife

The day has been bright and very cold. At Storyknife, I shoveled, turned on the hot water, flushed toilets, and checked each cabin and Eva’s House. A couple sets of moose tracks have been punched into the crusted-over snow in front of Eva’s House and heading down the path that loops to the little pond. Evidence of other little critters abounds, ermine tracks and vole tracks, and ever-present squirrel tracks. Flocks of pine siskins move from one group of spruce trees to another. I shoveled to the deep calls of a couple ravens that were flickering in and out of the nearby valley.

And in each cabin, I warmed my hands and feet in front of the stove. Storyknife is heated with natural gas, and the little stoves make the cabins toasty and cozy.

In the past month, I’ve been communicating with the women who had been scheduled to come to Storyknife last year, but who will be arriving starting in June this year. We’re taking all precautions and hoping that everyone will be able to be vaccinated before they travel, but we don’t want to put off residencies any longer.

One of the things I’ve learned as I’ve talked with these women writers is that despite what the whole world seems to think, they’re not getting much writing done during the lock-downs. There are children to help homeschool and entertain, meals to be prepared, a thousand meetings on Zoom, and a general lack of the mental and physical space that helps writers concentrate. More than ever, they just long to focus on their own work, their incubating novels, their sketchy poems, their barely imagined screenplays and scattered essays.

And so we prepare to make Storyknife welcoming and their time here blissfully productive (though we suspect there might be some naps and time spent staring at the mountains).

June will be here before we know it. Keep watching for our open application period for 2022 that will open in the summer.

Stay safe and take care,
Erin

January’s News

Welcome to 2021 at Storyknife! We’re preparing to open for residencies in June as we watch the COVID-19 vaccine roll out into communities across the United States.

Dave Gerard in his workshop

To help welcome residents, we have commissioned local artist Dave Gerard to make a sign for Storyknife. In this picture, he is standing up a cardboard mockup of the sign that will be positioned by the drive as you enter Storyknife. And here below is a rough rough sketch of the design he’ll be making. It’s hard to get a good feel for it without knowing the materials or depth, but Dave and his brother Dan made our beautiful dining room table, so we know they “get” the Storyknife aesthetic.

Rough rough sketch

What else is happening this month? Behind the scenes, policies are being written, budgets formalized, residencies rescheduled, and long-term calendars being put together. It may look quiet (and super icy) from the outside, but at Storyknife, we’re using this time to create a stable foundation for the longevity of the organization. We’re planning on starting our 2022 residency season application period in the mid to late summer.

One of our most-cherished goals is that a woman writer would be able to say, “I went to a residency at Storyknife, and my whole life changed.” We want time at Storyknife to be transformational, and we’re putting everything we can in place to make sure that it is.

I’d like to take this moment as we enter a new year, to thank all of the 2020 donors whose generosity helps us keep the lights on, the driveway plowed, heat flowing, and so many other necessities. We are humbled by your continued support, and we promise that with your donation you are giving women writers a time and place to pursue their craft. We can’t wait to show you the results of your vision.