Why a residency?

10402685_772123349506336_5748197091943802592_nResidency can be a breakthrough time for a creative person — unstructured free time, without distractions and duties of normal life, can lead to epiphanies and intense productivity. The time can allow a too-busy person to take a necessary breath, to experiment with new forms, and to indulge in the kind of creative loafing that leads to the best artistic decision-making. Residency also broadens creative community, and many residents maintain fulfilling artistic friendships or launch artistic collaborations after they go home.

Gabriela Denise Frank (’16) blogged about her residency, as did Donna Miscolta (’18) here, and many residents have sent us kind notes saying comments such as these:

“Mineral School was an enormous gift of time and space I did not realize how badly I needed. As a working mother, to attend to nothing but my writing benefited my work and me tremendously. I have been incorporating these lessons in daily life in order to nurture that sacred space. Within a few months after residency, I was able to complete a draft of my manuscript. I also left with incredible friendships. I cannot thank Mineral School enough for one of my most powerful experiences as a writer.” — Supriya Pillai, fiction, Oakland, CA

“This residency encouraged us to work hard but also to find time to connect as a community. I loved the no-pressure attitude which felt very permissive. Meals were offered on a schedule and so we generally saw each other during those times. I felt much more supported at this residency than at others in the past.” — Elise Morris, visual artist, Oakland, CA

“I still look back on my two weeks in Mineral as the most productive ‘six months’ I’ve ever had.”  — Janine Kovac, memoirist, San Francisco

“I spent two weeks at Mineral School last June, and it was such a huge gift! The site is a unique place to write, surrounded by gorgeous scenery (Mt. Rainier is right there!) and the small (and I mean small) town of Mineral. I found the place’s beauty and quiet incredibly restful, and I was able to get an enormous amount of writing done in that space…. I’d go back in a heartbeat.” — Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum, Seattle, author of What We Do With the Wreckage (2018), winner of The Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction                                                            

“I accomplished more on my Daughters manuscript in two weeks at Mineral School than I have in the three years since I started it – more than doubling the number of poems in my time there. From the time I received my acceptance until the day I left Mineral School at the end of my residency, I felt valued and cared for. From the space and solitude of the classroom, to the rich history of the town, to the gorgeous setting of Mt. Rainier, to the volunteer staff, to my amazing, talented, and kind cohort, to the intimate and fascinating conversations over meals and adventures, I felt completely at home. I cannot remember the last time I was so happy and content. So thank you. Never before in my writing life had I had an opportunity to dedicate myself to my work for two whole weeks. My time at Mineral School is one of the biggest and most important gifts I have ever received.” — Brittney Corrigan-McElroy, poet, Portland, OR

The most magical part of my 2015 was the two weeks in July that I spent at the Mineral School writing residency. I didn’t have to cook. My phone didn’t get reception and the Wi-Fi access was limited, allowing me to disconnect from the outside world. My only responsibility during that time was to revise my memoir. It was glorious…. I wrote 23,999 new words, plus a synopsis for another book.” — Stephanie Kuehnert, Seattle, fiction author of I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone and Ballads of Suburbia  [Editor’s note: Mobile service has greatly improved among carriers within the area, and we now have building-wide Wi-fi at 40 mbps upload/download speed.]