Thanks to the support of Dotters Books, the Sultan family, Chippewa Valley Writers Guild donors, and a pair of anonymous donors, this year the Guild was thrilled to award five scholarships for writers to attend Cirenaica, a writers retreat in Fall Creek, Wisconsin.
This year’s recipient of the Dotters Book Scholarship is Katy Hackworthy of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. She writes, “I feel incredibly humbled to receive this honor from a group of women who I respect and who truly display a passion for literacy and equity in the Chippewa Valley. This award will help me continue to create works that highlight issues I am passionate about, as well as give me the opportunity to further engage with a community of artists that motivate and inspire me.” Elizabeth de Cleyre, Margaret Leonard and Jill Heinke Moen of Dotters Books say, “Dotters Books is excited about this opportunity to support a local woman writer and her literary work at the Cirenaica Writers Retreat. As women owners, we aim to promote literacy and equality in literature by creating spaces for other women to create. It is our belief that supporting the literary community will help foster collaboration and creativity within the Chippewa Valley.”
The recipient of the Sultan Scholarship is Sarah Merrill of Sarasota, Florida. “During my time at Cirenaica, I’m hoping to generate new material for a collection of short fiction, set primarily in my home state of Florida. This will be my first time visiting Wisconsin, and I'm excited to broaden my horizons by spending time in a new region of the country. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to connect with fellow writers, as we all strive to delve deeper into our craft.” Author Cathy Sultan, and the scholarship’s underwriter, remarks, “I was very fortunate to have had someone offer help and encouragement in my early writing career. Now it is my turn.”
The recipient of the CVWG’s Alumni Achievement Award is Dan Lyksett of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. “I'm so grateful to the CVWG for its generosity, allowing me to participate in another Cirenaica workshop. The retreat experience not only directly impacts my writing, but more importantly connects me to new friends and mentors in our growing writing community."
Finally, our Undergraduate Creative Writing Awards go to Caleb Rosenthal (above, right) of Lawrence University (Appleton, Wisconsin) and Andee Erickson (above, left) of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Caleb writes, “I am thrilled to attend the Cirenaica retreat with Holly Hughes because it will give me the opportunity to immerse myself in an inspiring and creative atmosphere generated by the presence of other passionate writers, and it will allow me the time to focus on growing as an artist and person." Andee writes, “I applied to a Cirenaica retreat to expand the way writing exists in my life. Writing creatively is a passion I've kept to myself and I'm excited to celebrate the process with a supportive community. And I'm looking forward to learning from Michael Martone about how to care for each part of the story.
Thanks to these generous donors, this summer, 10% of our Cirenaica participants are scholarship recipients. “We’re moving in the right direction,” says Guild director B.J. Hollars. “One day I dream of being accessible to 100% of participants. We welcome any and all local businesses, organizations, and individuals who’d like to help us reach this goal.”
Both the Dotters Book Scholarship and Undergraduate Creative Writing Awards were selected by a blind submission process. The CVWG’s Alumni Achievement Award was selected by Cirenaica staff. The Sultan Scholarship was selected by CVWG executive director B.J. Hollars.