Okay, friends. Earthquakes, hurricanes, book deadlines, sending a kid off to college: It has all hit me in the last month. I hope you’ll forgive my silence on this blog.
This morning, I’m just going to post a quick Random Howl. I do this kind of post from time to time when faced with inexplicably ludicrous moments that happen in every writer’s life.
Recently I was toying with the idea of applying for an Artist Fellowship Award in fiction. (That’s not the ludicrous part, although some could argue otherwise.) Only four fellowships of $5,000 are awarded in my state, so the chances were to be very slim. Virginia, I’m proud to say, has no lack of exceptional writers who live and work here. Still, according to the arts commission’s web site, the fellowship application process is “open to Virginia-based writers of fiction.” Why not try? I reasoned.
Turns out, I needn’t have bothered. When I called the commission to check on the grant details, they confirmed what I had already suspected. The award is geared for writers of adult work. Interestingly, I could find nothing in the application itself that would not apply to a children’s book writer, most certainly to anyone who writes YA.
This is all especially disappointing as Virginia continues its Minds Wide Open celebration for 2012: Children and the Arts.
I love our arts commission. They support lots of programs that would flounder without them, and they have to fight for survival in the General Assembly every year.
But still I have to ask: What defines a writer’s work as worthy of support? Is the age of the reader the measure of value? If so, what does that say about what we think is important? How “wide open” are our minds on this issue, after all?
Are you howling with me?