Creativity, Deadlines and NYFA Source for Artists


I was at home yesterday with my daughter and managed to write… one whole sentence.  So much for the font of creativity.

It was a really good sentence though.  Actually, it was even dialogue.  It seemed to fit in with one of the five stories I am working on so I opened the document and typed it in.

That’s how it’s been going lately, drips and drabs.  I think my font may have frozen over.  One of these days something will capture my imagination and I’ll get something done.  I think I may need a deadline though.  Deadlines just help me focus and accomplish.  That brings me to what I wanted to share today, NYFA Source, because it’s a place to look for fellowships, scholarships, grants and other competitions which can provide the needed deadline.

Now, this is through the New York Foundation for the Arts BUT it does cover resources across the country.

The New York Foundation for the Arts (

“The New York Foundation for the Arts’ mission is to empower artists at critical stages in their creative lives.”

NYFA Source is the nation’s most extensive database of awards, services and publications for artists of all disciplines including dance, folk, traditional, media, performance, interdisciplinary, visual, music, literature, theater, and arts management.

What do they mean by “awards, services and publications?”  Awards include the usual – grants, fellowships, scholarships, emergency funds, and even space to work in.  Services may include legal, education, financial, insurance and more.  Publications are geared towards your specific discipline, including newsletters, online publications, magazines and even books.

Go to then hover your mouse cursor over “for artists” and select the third item down, “NYFA Source the resource for artists.”

Now you have 8 different tabs and you can fill out criteria in one or more of them to search.

  1. Awards
  2. Discipline
  3. Location
  4. Deadline
  5. Services
  6. Organization
  7. Keyword
  8. Other Criteria

Give it a look sometime.  Oh, and don’t forget to stop by Facebook and like my page for a daily message of inspiration or information, depending on how I’m feeling.

Happy writing!

Disappointment? Maybe

Well, I finally recieved the e-mail from the New York Foundation for the Arts.  I did not qualify for a Fellowship this year.  Oddly, I’m not that disappointed.  I’m not sure if that’s because I knew it was a long shot (but worth it at $7,000.00!) or because things have been going pretty well with Yahoo! Voices.  (Though not nearly to the tune of $7,000.00.)  Maybe I’ll be more disappointed tomorrow, or maybe I’ll just get on with writing some more.

I had a busy weekend, submitting various pieces of writing to Yahoo! Voices.  My latest one just posted.  It’s actually an essay that has taken me over a year to write, about the night a tiny tornado waltzed through our yard and sideswiped us.  I was home alone with the baby.  Funny how you run on instinct when something like that happens. I called it 27 Minutes, though maybe I should have called it The Tiny Tornado That Waltzed Through My Yard.

I started that essay about five times but never quite finished it.  It’s not very long so all I can say is that my brain resisted it.  I suppose that’s natural when you are writing about a traumatic experience.  I still get very nervous when it storms in the evening.  I’m not sure if that will ever go away.  Writing is supposed to be therapeutic, and I suppose it can be, but I don’t think this has helped me that much.  I think time has done the most good.  Still, I’m oddly proud that I finally got it out and done.  My writer’s group suggested marketing it to many different venues but I felt like I just needed to be done with it.  So, there it is.  Maybe some people will find it interesting.

6/12 – Okay, a little more disappointed today.  Things to do though.  Best to just keep moving along.

Here’s a pic from the next morning.

27 Minutes Pic

Carriage house roof lying on garage and my car.

Post Nano Let Down?

Hmmm, I think I was supposed to take a break after National Novel Writing Month but there just doesn’t seem to be time when you only get a little bit of it every day to write.  (Okay, and a self driven agenda of what you want to accomplish.) 

I won, with about 50, 038 words, but the book doesn’t feel remotely done.  I think it could take me quite a few more months of editing and adding to what I wrote in November to make this into something that remotely feels like a finished draft.  Right now it feels more like a giant outline.  There were some interesting developments as I worked, subplots and even a romance.  I was pleasantly surprised to read back over a section and think, Boy, that doesn’t sound half bad.  Huh

I did take a break, about a day and a half.  I celebrated the night of November thirtieth by eating Tiramisu, watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and crocheting.  It was nice.  The next day I opened up my documents and looked at where I stand on what I want to accomplish in December.

I have a short story for a contest due in a few days that needs finishing, two essays I want to get in this month and my application for a 2012 Artists’ Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts.  (They are doing Fiction this year!)  I’m hoping to use an excerpt from what I wrote in November as my writing sample, but that will require some intense concentration.

So, no rest for the weary.  At least it’s all about doing something I love.

NYFA Fellowship Workshop

The past few days I’ve been gathering my writing together, re-reading the information on how to apply for the fellowship and working on a biography to include.  I had pretty well decided that I would use an excerpt from my novel about a young woman in a post WWIII, post pandemic world for my writing sample.  It’s just a matter of editing to tighten it up and deciding which 20 pages to include.  I wasn’t sure what this workshop would have to offer me.  What I ended up taking away from it was a clear idea of how the selection process works.  It made me see that I really have to give them something that is going to stand out, that’s unique, in order to make it through the consecutive rounds.  I hope I can do that. 

My main questions had to do with what to put in a bio since I don’t have a lot of experience or a list of publications that I’ve been in, or an MFA degree.  I found out that the bio should be a snapshot of where I am right now as a writer.   I was somewhat surprised that I was told to include the fact that I facilitate a writer’s group at the library where I wor , but that it was okay to just say that I had published writing online rather than listing out what and where.  Sort of like using a large brush to paint with a broad stroke. 

The workshop really made it a lot easier to focus what I am working on right now and prepare for the application.  It also energized me to get to work.  I think I stand a good chance, perhaps as good as anyone else.