Tag Archives: MacDowell Colony

Thank you: the Calderwood Charitable Foundation

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I was so excited and grateful to hear that my new book project, Islands of Abandonment, has been selected to receive grant funding through the Calderwood Charitable Foundation’s Art of Journalism initiative. The application process, which is open to journalism fellows of the MacDowell Colony, required me to provide samples of the work in progress and records of associated research and travel costs already accrued, which have been a significant financial outlay over the past two years.

The funding is intended “to help the growing number of independent journalists and mitigate the impact of diminishing budgets for long-form journalism at media and publishing outlets.” More information about the Art of Journalism initiative can be found here.

It is a huge boon to receive the grant, not only in practical/financial terms, but emotionally too – it is great to feel supported and to receive outside recognition of a project’s value. So thank you, thank you to the Calderwood Charitable Trust.

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With thanks

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I recently received some welcome news: I’ve received financial awards from two organisations to defray the costs associated with my fellowship at the MacDowell Colony. So I must thank the Whiting Foundation, which generously supports the writers of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, and the Traulsen International Travel Fund, which specifically assists artists travelling to MacDowell from overseas.

Such funding is obviously of enormous practical help to a freelance writer. Financial support also has a knock-on effect: it is a confidence boost, and it helps the recipient to feel that their work and time has value. (Information about donating to the MacDowell Foundation can be found here.)

An invitation to MacDowell was a wonderful opportunity – see me above, proudly posing with the ‘tombstones’ in my studio, where visiting artists recording their names and dates. I highly recommend making an application if a stay of two to 12 weeks in a studio in the woods sounds like something you would enjoy.

If you are a writer, artist, filmmaker or composer and are interested in applying to the MacDowell Colony, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want any advice about the application process, or further information about what it’s like to stay there.

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The Wild Frontier #8: The writer’s cabin

My latest column for Prospect magazine is out now: it’s about my time at MacDowell, and about the habit of writers retreating into the woods more generally. The column beautifully illustrated (as ever) by the brilliant Kate Hazell.

The exterior was clad with overlapping sheets of hemlock bark. Smoke rose in a curl from the chimney and dissipated among the thin pines. Inside, a fire crackled and spat, and my narrow bed nestled alongside a desk, a bookshelf and little else.

Find it online on the Prospect site here, or after the fold.

Continue reading

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MacDowell Colony fellowship

IMG_0633I’m not long back from a beautiful (and productive!) four-week stay as a fellow of the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire. If you haven’t heard of it, MacDowell is an artists’ colony/retreat for those working in all art forms, and while I was there there were composers, photographers, painters, installation artists, filmmakers, novelists, poets, playwrights and non-fiction writers. Continue reading

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