I've been staring at this picture a lot lately. This is the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT. From their web site:
Founded by artists in 1984, the Vermont Studio Center is the largest international artists' and writers' Residency Program in the United States, hosting 50 visual artists and writers each month from across the country and around the world.
The Studio Center provides 4-12 week studio residencies on an historic 30-building campus along the Gihon River in Johnson, Vermont, a village in the heart of the northern Green Mountains.
To be honest, outside of my research on VSC, I've never heard of the Gihon River, geography not being my strongest subject. But it looks lovely, doesn't it?For years I've had a vague notion that "someday" I'd like to apply for a residency at VSC. A four-week stay in a private room overlooking that river, my own little writing studio, the company of other artists and writers, all my meals prepared by a chef...it sounds dreamy.
I can't remember how we originally got on their list, but VSC's mailings have been coming to our house for years. Their postcards arrive, I look wistfully at them, and then they get shuffled in with the rest of the not-quite-junk-but-not-quite-real mail and eventually recycled. But a new one arrived last week and for some reason I lingered over it, and soon I found myself daydreaming and staring at that picture of that mill building by the river again.
I've never gotten around to applying to VSC, for a couple of reasons. It's very competitive, for one. I guess my idea of "someday" is "when I become a better writer, worthy of this opportunity." For another, even if I got accepted, it's rather expensive. You're talking to someone who, the closest thing I got to a summer vacation this year was choosing not to work extra hours while my boss was at the beach.
But this postcard I told you about, the one that arrived last week, it happened to mention the availability of fellowships that could cover residency expenses. The fellowships are also competitive, of course, so applying doesn't guarantee I'd get one, but you who know is guaranteed not to get one? PEOPLE WHO DON'T APPLY.
The deadline is October 1. This time, I'm doing it.