Prolific author and Homer, AK resident, Dana Stabenow has announced the launch of her campaign to raise $1 million to build Alaska’s only retreat for female writers, Storyknife Writers Retreat. Storyknife will be only the second residency of its kind in the world.
The first thing that Stabenow’s writing ever earned her was not the sale of an article or a book. It was a residency at the Hedgebrook Farm retreat for women writers on Whidbey Island, Washington in Puget Sound.
The author calls her time at Hedgebrook the seminal moment of her writing career. “It was the first time anyone ever acted like writing was a real job,” she says. Stabenow’s vision for Storyknife is to pass that gift on to a new generation of female writers.
Writers will be admitted to the residency after a rigorous application process, including statements of need and samples of work. Upon successful admission, writers will come to Storyknife for two-to-eight-week residencies to focus on their diverse projects in uninterrupted peace, an atmosphere made possible by the Storyknife endowment. “Following in the tradition set by Hedgebrook,” Dana says, “Storyknife residents will not be allowed to wash so much as a teacup. Their job here will be to write.”
Located just outside Homer, the Storyknife Writers Retreat will boast six private cabins and a main house dotted around a six-acre property commanding 180-degree views of lower Cook Inlet.
But first, the Retreat must be created. To kick off the campaign Stabenow is launching a crowd-sourced funding round on Storyknife’s website, and on her fan sites. The organization is accepting donations of all denominations but a list of specific funding levels and benefits is also available on the site.
More information about the inspiration, the residency, the retreat, and Dana Stabenow is available at www.storyknife.org.