After last year’s Fall Conference, I was stopped in the Hawthorne Inn parking lot by a group of Network writers who had attended the 2007 Elizabeth Daniels Squire Summer Residency at Peace College.
They had heard a rumor that the Network wasn’t going to hold the Summer Residency again in 2008, and they weren’t happy about it. They even suggested that we could pay for the Residency by installing cameras in the rooms and pitching it as a new reality series.
I did not and do not want to know what goes on in those rooms that would make for good reality TV (if that’s not an oxymoron), but I appreciated these members’ passion for the program. Some people had suggested eliminating the Summer Residency, but I don’t want to touch any Network program that inspires that kind of reaction from our members.
We are, however, planning some changes to this program. We are shortening the Residency from five days to three, and those three will be a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We’re doing this to make the Residency more affordable to more writers, and to make it more accessible to writers who work full-time jobs during the week. Last year’s Summer Residency cost members anywhere from $750 for “commuters” to $950 for a room to yourself ($850 if you shared a room). We should be able to trim those costs a bit this year.
We are also planning to move the Residency from Peace College to Queens University of Charlotte this year, and then to move it to other venues around the state, as we do the Fall Conference. Again, our goal is to give more writers the opportunity to attend.
Here’s where we stand: Queens can host the Elizabeth Daniels Squire Summer Residency on July 25 – 27, 2008. We need to reserve our rooms soon, though.
So here’s our question: How many of you are interested in attending the 2008 Summer Residency? We don’t need firm commitments (after all, we don’t even have the fees or the faculty confirmed yet), but we do need a good idea so we can make a non-refundable deposit with a clear conscience.
Please let us know, as quickly as you can, whether you’d like to attend the conference, and whether you’d like to stay on the Queens campus or “commute” to classes each day.
You can either leave a comment on the White Cross School blog, or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.