Spring Craft Intensive: Reena Shah – BIPOCWorkshops
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Don’t Let an Artist Statement Stop You!: Demystifying the Conference and Residency Application with Reena Shah
Saturday, March 25th
9 AM – 12 PM PST/ 12 PM – 3 PM EST
*NOTE: This is a BIPOC only session
As residency, summer conference, and scholarship season approaches, every application wants an artist statement or a statement of purpose or a project summary or a “why you want to attend” short answer. Those requests can elicit all sorts of feelings in writers, especially anxiety and confusion. What are these things? Why are they important? Are they important? While the work—our stories, poems, plays, screenplays, creative nonfiction—is most important, the other sections of an application can make the process feel like an especially heavy lift.
As someone who has not only attended residencies, workshops, and retreats but also read applications for these opportunities, and experienced rejections, I hope to shed light on the process, offer strategies to help writers generate artist statements and project summaries that feel good instead of icky, and hopefully make the application feel more manageable and less stressful. We’ll also touch on how to select writing samples to submit, how to prepare once you get in, why applying again after a rejection is highly recommended, and funding opportunities.
BIO: Reena Shah (she/ her) is a writer, editor, and teacher. Her work has appeared in The Masters Review, Midnight Breakfast, Electric Literature, Waxwing Magazine, Joyland, BBC, and National Geographic, among others. She is a Steinbeck Fellow at San Jose State University and a Michener Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin, and has received support from Millay Arts, Tin House, Sustainable Arts Foundation, Cuttyhunk Island Residency, and the Fulbright Foundation. She is also a senior fiction editor at The Rumpus. For many years she was a kathak dancer and public school teacher in New York and India. She is currently at work on a novel. You can reach her at reenadshah.com and on twitter (while it lasts) @reenashah.