Tag Archives: sundress academy for the arts

Sundress offers new fellowship donation opportunity


Sundress Academy for the Arts
(SAFTA) is excited to offer a new opportunity for donors and artists to collaborate through our new Fund-a-Fellow program. SAFTA, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, is an artists’ retreat on a 45-acre farm in Knoxville, Tennessee that offers residencies to writers, visual artists, filmmakers, composers, academics, and more. With two residency rooms and a dry cabin on site, we offer a rotating space for nationally recognized and emerging artists in multiple disciplines.

Through this new fellowship program, donors will have the opportunity to allocate their donations toward a specific artist, genre, or vision.

For example, a donor may choose to fund a residency for an artist who is part of a specific marginalized group or an artist who is producing a specific genre of work.

Your tax-deductible donation may be offered to any particular group of artists or writers you wish. Previously funded awards have offered fellowships for people of color, LGBTQIA writers, mothers, Appalachian writers, Tennessee artists, graduate students, women over 40, and more. Upon donation, we will advertise that a new fellowship has been made available and begin accepting applications from artists whose work aligns with your vision. Our staff of editors and qualified outside readers will judge applications.

Donations may come in the following amounts:

A $125 donation covers:

  • 50% of a week-long residency, including lodging, at Firefly Farms in Knoxville, TN.

A $250 donation covers:

  • 100% of a week-long residency, including lodging, at Firefly Farms in Knoxville, TN.

A $500 donation covers:

  • 100% of a week-long residency, including lodging, at Firefly Farms in Knoxville, TN.
  • $250 stipend for travel

A $1,000 donation covers:

  • 100% of a two-week-long residency, including lodging, at Firefly Farms in Knoxville, TN.
  • $500 stipend

As a nonprofit, we rely on the money we draw in from our residency, events, and books to fund our daily operations, but due to the current state of arts funding, the only way for organizations like ours to truly grow and thrive is through the generosity of the public. Donations, community support, and philanthropic patronage help us connect with and support artists and writers. Our efforts have already attracted attention from individuals and organizations in the Knoxville community and beyond, and we hope that you would join them with your financial support.

To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Erin Elizabeth Smith at erin@sundresspublications.com.

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Sundress Academy for the Arts Announces Writing Retreat for Veterans


Sundress Academy for the Arts is excited to announce its first writing retreat for veterans on October 7-8, 2017. This two-day retreat at SAFTA’s Firefly Farms is for military veterans and current service members and will be a space for creativity, writing exercises, discussions on ways to write about trauma, advice on publishing, and more. This weekend will be an opportunity to express shared experiences and learn to write your story for a non-military audience.

A weekend pass includes one-on-one and group instruction, writing supplies, food, drinks, and all on-site amenities for $75. Tents, sleeping bags, and other camping equipment are available to rent.

The event will be open to people of all backgrounds and experience levels and will provide an opportunity to work with talented, published fiction writers and poets, including Jeb A. Herrin and Jan LaPerle.

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Jeb A. Herrin was a medic with the 3rd Infantry Division during Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn. He earned his BA in English and MFA in Poetry from the University of Tennessee, where he was the 2016 winner of the John C. Hodges Award for Creative Writing for Poetry. His work can be found in Political Punch and O-Dark-Thirty. Jeb has future plans of blending the world of composition with creative writing as well as finding ways to make the voice of the veteran heard. He lives in Knoxville with his wife, son, and two dogs.

 

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Jan LaPerle lives in East Tennessee with her husband, Clay Matthews, and daughter, Winnie. She has published a book of poetry, It Would Be Quiet (Prime Mincer Press, 2013), an e-chap of flash fiction, Hush (Sundress Publications, 2012), a story in verse, A Pretty Place To Mourn (BlazeVOX, 2014), and several other stories and poems, and in 2014 she won an individual artist grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission. LaPerle was on Active Duty at Fort Campbell for three years and has spent 12 years as an Army Reservist, most recently as a Career Counselor.

 

Space at this workshop is limited to 15 people, so reserve your place today.

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Meet Our New Editorial Intern: Sam Campbell

If you were to ask my mom what I could normally be found doing when I was a child, her response would be automatic: reading or writing. In fact, if you wanted she could even pull out her shoebox of relics from my childhood and offer you up dozens of stories that date back to toddler times. You don’t want to see that—I promise you. But they’re there, resting as proof of my early fascination with words. This fascination came naturally to me.

I’m not sure what it was about writing that made me feel so alive. Everything about it felt right and real. Although I would create worlds and people that didn’t exist, the characters felt like people I knew and the places felt like places I’d been.  As I grew, so did my love for writing. I wrote everything imaginable. I wrote short stories, poetry, song lyrics, scripts, and I even finished my first full-length novel by the time I was in high school.

It didn’t take me long in high school to realize that no one could help me get published except myself. Teachers didn’t know how to help an aspiring novelist and neither did guidance counselors. I quickly began to understand that the odds of becoming successful in the writing world were equal if not worse than the odds of becoming a successful actress. Since then I’ve had two poems and two short stories published. I also wrote hundreds of poems, dozens of short stories, and four novels that all live in notebooks and my MacBook.

The writing industry is not for the faint of heart. I might have given up—after all, I am now 25 and my younger self was convinced I’d be “J.K. Rowling successful” by this point in my life—but after a particularly disappointing onslaught of rejection letters I was browsing my university library and found Stephen King’s On Writing. I went home and read it in a single night and my determination was renewed.

Sometimes the things you want most in life are the things that elude you. When this happens, you have two choices. You can give up, or you can reevaluate your approach and try to find a new way to reach your goal. It was in this frame of mind that I was given an opportunity to become a member of the writing community again for the first time since graduating college in 2014. I am so excited to begin this new chapter of my writing career as an editorial intern with Sundress Academy for the Arts. I hope that being able to work on the other side of the writing community will give me a deeper understanding of the publishing process, and that I will be able to apply the knowledge and experience I gain here to my writing career.

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Sam Campbell lives for four things: writing, learning, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family. She graduated in 2014 from East Tennessee State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Science in both Psychology and History. She went on to earn a Master of Education in Educational Media and Technology from ETSU in 2017. She is currently teaching Honors English II and Advanced Placement Psychology at Seymour High School. While she adores her job, writing is and always will be her passion. Her fiction has appeared in Unto These Hills and The Mockingbird. Her poetry has appeared in Pine Tree Poetry and The Claiborne Progress.

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Sundress Academy for the Arts Presents Form in Fiction: A Workshop

Join us for an exciting writing workshop, “Form in Fiction: How to Use Form to Your Advantage,” which focuses on the ways we can use form to help generate new works of fiction with our own Katherine Bell. This workshop will run from 1PM to 4PM on Saturday, September 9th, 2017 at Firefly Farms, the home of the Sundress Academy for the Arts.

In this workshop, participants will look at a variety of formal short stories, including epistolary stories, fragmented or braided stories, and “unusual” point-of-view-driven stories, to see how the authors work within and beyond their chosen forms to craft successful and impactful short stories. Workshop participants will generate their own short stories inspired by the formal work we’ll encounter and share their work in a creative environment. We will use this workshop to create new work and celebrate the joy of creating while under constraint.

Katherine Bell

Katherine Bell is the current Writer-in-Residence at the Sundress Academy for the Arts in Knoxville, Tennessee. Originally from Frederick, Maryland, she earned her MFA from Eastern Washington University in 2017 and has been published in The Fem, Welter Literary Journal, Connotation Press, and others.

Tickets are $25 or $15 for students, and include instruction, snacks, and drinks.

Reserve your space today!

 

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Project Bookshelf: Katie Culligan

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My bookshelf, more than any other thing I own, is a museum of all blueprints I’ve ever had for my life. Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s Time 100 photo watches over everything, cataloguing the time I thought I was going to be an environmental scientist, a movie musical star, a professional corsetiere. The top shelves are a novel-heavy mix of genres, with essay collection taking second place. They are in no particular order because I have made peace with my own mortality.

 

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The bottom shelves are treasured miscellaneous, but not leftovers: a shoebox full of all the nickels and pennies I’ve carried around since the eleventh grade, always meant for something exciting. Not one, but seven college prep books (only opened once in a panic very specific to the year 2013). Every Chicken Soup for the Soul that I snuck out of my mother’s room when I was in middle school. Those books are brilliant and I stand by my desire to keep them near me at all times, still to this day.

 

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Moving northeast, I have a story I wrote in the first grade that my grandparents had bound into a book, wherein I turn myself into a giraffe by eating magical gummy bears. Everyday I think “How am I going to top this?” and everyday I conclude that I am not. Directly underneath in the glass compartment is every Vogue from 2011-2014 because Lady Gaga’s meat dress made me think for a long time that I was interested in fashion; it turns out I’m just interested in weirdos. I also have a traffic ticket taped up because if I don’t make a move on that thing very soon, I will be in a legal situation. Life is a balancing act, or something like that.

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Katie Culligan is currently young and terrified at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she is a junior studying creative writing. Her favorite responsibilities are NCAA rowing, big sisterhood, and believing unwaveringly in ghosts. Her writing is informed by this age of indestructible men, though she likes to think her life isn’t. She also thinks if you haven’t tried fig newtons with peanut butter yet, you really should.

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Meet Our New Reading Series Coordinator: Brynn Martin

As a born-and-raised Kansan, nothing could have prepared me for a rainy-evening drive down curving Tennessee roads to a little house in a holler just outside of Knoxville.

I’d been invited to a SAFTA workshop by Luci Brown, who I met and became friends with through our MFA program at the University of Tennessee. I was new to the state, new to graduate school, and aching for more friends, so I agreed to tag along. I’d heard something about Sundress and a farm from other people in the program, but it wasn’t until we pulled up to the property that I started to get it. I was charmed by the rain-soaked leaves covering the paving stones that lead to the front porch and even more enchanted with what was inside the house – a cozy living room full of other writers excited to talk about craft and generous enough to provide me, a newbie to poetry, with feedback on my work.

The weekly workshop was the gateway to my time with SAFTA and has remained a consistent part of my weekly schedule. Even so, it was the people who kept me coming back and who pulled me further in to the community of writers connected to Sundress. I got involved in Stirring as a guest editor, with Firefly Farms as a diligent-if-untrained farmhand and professional ATV driver, and I’m thrilled to now serve as SAFTA’s reading series Coordinator.

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I fell into indifference with poetry in high school because of AP English classes, but that indifference was transformed into adoration when, during my senior year, a teacher introduced me to spoken word. My commitment to poetry and writing has snowballed since then, becoming a Bachelor’s degree in English and then a Master’s in poetry. My studies informed my desire to make poetry more accessible to a broader audience; poetry is dreamy and I want to share it with everyone. Through my work with SAFTA, I hope to do just that.

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When I’m not hanging out with my SAFTA pals or attempting to write poetry, I’m with my cat, Luna, who is objectively the most beautiful cat there’s ever been. I also enjoy painting, watching Game of Thrones and Parks and Recreation, witty banter, and pretending to know things about interior design and tequila.

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Brynn Martin is a Kansas native living in Knoxville, where she recently received her MFA in poetry from the University of Tennessee. Her poetry has appeared in Public Pool and Contrary Magazine. She loves ee cummings and cats almost equally.

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Meet our New Editorial Intern: Katie Culligan

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My name is Katie Culligan, and every week, I go to a Space Jam-themed cycling class for seniors that I started going to accidentally, but now go to purposefully.

I learned to read in the city of Buffalo, New York, and learned to drive in the mountains of East Tennessee. I’m a junior creative writing student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where I am also an affectionate succulent parent. My writing is currently forthcoming on my mother’s refrigerator.

It was a love story between an intense person and an intense pastime when I became a varsity women’s rower for the University of Tennessee. My teammates reinforce everyday that French braids are where girls keep their secret power reserves and they should make you feel very intimidated.

In my free time, I am a purposeful chaos maker in UT’s youngest improv troupe, Cumberland Striptease (that I did not name). When I grow up, I want to be a stately lady that wears bright orange lipstick very poorly and very confidently. Until then, I’m so excited to be here at the Sundress Academy for the Arts looking for my words.

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Katie Culligan is currently young and terrified at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she is a junior studying creative writing. Her favorite responsibilities are NCAA rowing, big sisterhood, and believing unwaveringly in ghosts. Her writing is informed by this age of indestructible men, though she likes to think her life isn’t. She also thinks if you haven’t tried fig newtons with peanut butter yet, you really should.

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A Week in the Writers Coop

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I was completely unsure what to expect when Erin Elizabeth Smith offered me the chance to test out the new Writer’s Coop at the Sundress Academy for the Arts at Firefly Farms.  I had been to several events at the farm itself, and, like most who stay at the farm, I was charmed by the colorful murals of mermaids, flowers, and Sylvia Plath, the shelves full of chapbooks, and, of course, the friendly animals (Jayne, the enormous resident donkey and professional selfie-taker in particular).  Though Erin warned me that the coop was still something of a work-in-progress and part of my job was to identify what still needed to be done, I arrived at Firefly Farms with high hopes of a good time full of productive writing.  I am happy to say that the Writer’s Coop did not disappoint.

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To access the coop, one has two options: you can have someone drive you on a four-wheeler, or you can walk the dirt and gravel path that winds behind Firefly Farms. The walk itself was quite easy; maybe a five minute jaunt when sober or ten when I had some beers down at the farm while getting to know the week’s residents. At the top of a small hill, the path widens and a tiny cabin appears.  Indeed, while the Coop started its life housing chickens, the Writer’s Coop resembles a charming re-creation of a log cabin that you might find in a museum more than anything else.

Erin and Joe, anticipating the needs of the future residents like myself, have included all the necessities: a front and back porch for catching the breeze, a comfortable bed, and, of course, a bottle opener mounted just outside the door.  The Coop even has its own outhouse close by.  Though I am the type of person who is normally horrified by going to the bathroom in outhouses or Port-a-Potties, I found the outhouse at the Coop to be fastidiously clean and completely devoid of smell.

I found my time at the Coop so enjoyable that the first morning, despite my hunger and need for a shower, I found myself lingering, writing poems and catching up on reading rather than making my way down to the farmhouse.  If you are like me and you work best in silence with few distractions, the Coop is the best possible place to write.  Something about feeling completely alone in nature without even the sound of passing cars really focused me.  I wrote five poems in the space of one afternoon while there.

I would recommend the Writer’s Coop to anyone who values alone time, peace and quiet, privacy, and affordability while still having options to commune with other authors (and play with adorable animals). Though I was lucky enough to test out the Coop, I will likely apply for my own residency in the future.

The Sundress Academy for the Arts is now accepting applications for fall residencies for the Writer’s Coop! Applications are free and rolling!

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Chloe Hanson is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Tennessee. She earned her MA and BA from Utah State University, where she also helped to establish and direct the Science Writing Center. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in several journals, including Public Pool, Off the Coast, and Driftwood Press. While she’s procrastinating her homework, she can often be found with a beer in her hand and her dog, Simon, by her side. She is the current Staff Director at the Sundress Academy for the Arts.

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Now Accepting Fall Writer’s Coop Residency Applications


The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is now accepting applications for short-term writers residencies during the fall residency period for our new Writers Coop during the weeks of August 14
th to December 31st, 2017. These residencies are designed to give artists time and space to complete their creative projects in a quiet and productive environment.

SAFTA is located on a working farm that rests on a 45-acre wooded plot in a Tennessee “holler” perfect for hiking, camping, and nature walks. Located less than a half-hour from downtown Knoxville, an exciting and creative city of 200,000 in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, SAFTA is an ideal location for those looking for a rural get-away with access to urban amenities.

The SAFTA Writers Coop is a 10×10′ dry cabin approximately a fourth of a mile from the SAFTA farmhouse. This tiny house is furnished with a twin bed, a desk, a wood-burning stove, a deck that looks over the pasture and pond, as well as a personal detached outhouse. While the cabin has neither electricity nor running water, residents will have full access to the amenities at farmhouse as well as solitude from other residents to write in the rolling hills of East Tennessee.

Each residency costs $150/week and includes your own private dry cabin as well as 24-hour access to the farmhouse amenities.

 

The application deadline for the fall residency period is rolling. All application fees have been waived for applications for the Writers Coop.

Find out more at www.sundressacademyforthearts.com.

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Sundress Academy for the Arts & Lambda Literary Now Accepting Applications for Spring Artist Residencies

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Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is excited to announce that they are now accepting applications for short-term artists’ residencies in creative writing, visual art, film/theater, music, and more. Each residency includes a room of one’s own, access to a communal kitchen, bathroom, office, and living space, plus wireless internet.

The length of a residency can run from one to three weeks. SAFTA is currently accepting applications for our spring residency period, which runs from January 1st to May 6th, 2018. The deadline for spring residency applications is September 10th, 2017.

For the spring residency period, SAFTA will be pairing with Lambda Literary to offer two fellowships (one full fellowship and one 50% fellowship) for a week-long residency to LGBTQIA+ writers of any genre. Lambda believes Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer literature is fundamental to the preservation of our culture, and that LGBTQIA+ lives are affirmed when our stories are written, published and read. All applicants to the two fellowships must identify as LGBTQIA+.  Partial scholarships also available to any applicant with financial need. This year’s judges will be Wren Hanks, Noh Anothai, and librecht baker.

The SAFTA farmhouse is located on a working farm that rests on a 45-acre wooded plot in a Tennessee “holler” perfect for hiking, camping, and nature walks. Located less than a half-hour from downtown Knoxville, an exciting and creative city of 200,000 in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, SAFTA is an ideal location for those looking for a rural get-away with access to urban amenities.

The residency bedrooms are 130 sq. ft. with queen-size platform bed, closet, dresser, and desk. There is also a communal kitchen supplied with stove, refrigerator, and microwave plus plenty of cook- and dining-ware. The office and library have two working computers—one Mac, one PC—with access to the Adobe Creative Cloud. The library contains over 800 books with a particularly large contemporary poetry section and, thanks to the Wardrobe, many recent titles by female-identified and genderqueer writers. The facility also includes a full-size working 19th century full-size letterpress with type, woodworking tools, and a 1930’s drafting table.

To apply for the Sundress Academy for the Arts residency, you will need the following:

-Application form (including artist’s statement and contact information for two references)
-CV or artist’s resume (optional)
-Artist sample (see website for more details on genre specifications)
-Application fee of $15 or $10 for current students (with student email) payable online*

For more information, visit our website: http://www.sundressacademyforthearts.com/
or find us on Facebook, under Sundress Academy for the Arts
or on Twitter, @SundressPub

 

*Application fee will be waived for those applying for the Lambda Literary scholarship who demonstrate financial need. Please state this in your application under the financial need section.

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