Why You Should Attend
a Writers Residency at Cirenaica
When I first heard that the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild would be partnering with Cirenaica to host a series of writers residencies this summer, I was intrigued. As a recent college grad, I’d fallen into the trap of trying to figure out how the real world works (bills, work, buying kitchenware, getting oil changes). Because I was so busy doing that, I reasoned that I didn’t have any time to focus on my writing. Not even an hour a day or an hour a month. The excuses kept flowing, and as a result, I haven’t devoted much time to writing in two years, the activity I claimed to love so much.
Then the opportunity to attend the fiction residency at Cirenaica presented itself, and I decided to stop making excuses and sign-up.
For a multitude of reasons, it’s the best decision I’ve made in a long time. While there are 100 reasons to sign-up, I’ll limit this list to four reasons why you should attend a writers residency at Cirenaica this summer.
Writing. If you’re going to a writer’s residency/retreat, this is might seem obvious. However, getting three weekend mornings of uninterrupted writing (or reading) time is an incredibly precious thing. In the real world, we always have work to do, kids to care for, and projects around the house to get to. Many times, we let these important things get in the way of our writing, which is also important to us. Cirenaica allows you to take a short reprieve from all of these things and focus on you and your writing. For me, that made the entire experience worth it.
Location. Beautiful. Tranquil. Breathtaking. Any and all of these words can be used to describe Cirenaica. Located in Fall Creek, Wisconsin on “43 acres of hills, farmland, and forest,” it is the perfect spot to be with your thoughts and write. There isn’t a view that I don’t miss. The early morning lighting and view that you see coming up the driveway; sitting on the deck at night, watching the sunset behind the woods; seeing a deer through the window while workshopping. Come see the sights for yourself!
Food. Cirenaica: come for the writing, stay for the food. One of the many perks of attending Cirenaica is that you get three meals a day for the entire three days you’re there. Let me tell you, the food is amazing. So good that you’ll want to go up for thirds, even if some people haven’t eaten yet (no, I did not do this…). From delicious, homemade hummus and quinoa salad for lunch, to fresh grilled veggies and tenderloin for dinner, I’m already nostalgic for the food that has come and gone. Rest assured, you will write well and eat well at Cirenaica.
Community. This is the main reason why I’ll be coming back to Cirenaica next year. It seems unlikely that 10 strangers can come to a writers retreat and leave as friends three days later, and yet Cirenaica made it happen. As writers, we’re only as successful as the community that supports and pushes us to test the limits of our work. Now, thanks to Cirenaica, I have that community. I now have the email addresses and phone numbers of 10 writers 一 10 friends 一 who I can ask for advice on a story or essay I’m working on. They’ll hold me accountable, and tell me to stop making excuses and get writing. They’ll give me honest, yet kind feedback. I can’t even put a price on how valuable this is. Let Cirenaica introduce you to your writing community.
I went into Cirenaica not knowing what to expect. I left three days later with an abundance of ideas for my YA novel, a network of writers who I trust with my work, and a rediscovered motivation to get and keep writing. No more excuses for me!
There are still a few spots available in the July residencies! Join Kimberly Blaeser, Wisconsin’s Poet Laureate, for her poetry residency, or hang out with John Hildebrand and work on your nonfiction piece during his nonfiction residency.
If you’ve found that you’re making excuses for not writing, maybe a weekend at Cirenaica is all you need to break the pattern! Sign-up for one of these remaining spots today!