Susan Rich is a veteran of many writing retreats and served on the selection committee for Hedgebrook Writers’ Retreat. If you are interested in finding a writer’s retreat to spend some time away from home in an environment conducive to writing and sharing your work with other artists in residence, you’ll be interested in poet and essayist Susan Rich’s thoughts on a special retreat she took and on writing an effective application for any selection committee to get to know you and your writing project, whether it is in-progress or a concept.
Part I – Anam Cara – A Very Special Place
Anam Cara (soul friend in Irish) is located in the southwest of Ireland, outside Cork and its residency program deserves much more attention than it has had in the United States. In Ireland, writers know it well and I met several Irish writers who have been coming regularly since the retreat opened more than 10 years ago.
While I was there, I met writers from Denmark, England, Ireland, and the US — in half the cases, the writers were returning for their second or seventh visit. In fact, more than half a dozen writers have moved to the tiny village of Eyeries after first discovering the place through a stay at Anam Cara. One of the coolest things about the stay is that you become part of village life in a faraway corner of West Cork. A fisherman may bring a salmon just caught that morning for evening dinner or you may arrange for a visit with Mary — the village oracle. Unlike any other residency I know, Anam Cara was born out of
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