A few months ago I saw a tweet from acclaimed YA author, Nova Ren Suma, announcing that she would be running a YA writing workshop at the Djerassi Resident Artists’ Retreat in California next February. I replied to her tweet asking if something walking the line between YA and NA (New Adult) would be okay, and she responded with interest, and encouraged me to apply. So I did. Only eleven places were available, and I was informed on applying that there were many more applicants than places available. I put thoughts of it aside, and focused on other things until about a week ago, when I got an email telling me I’d been accepted into the program!

So next February I will be trekking all the way from frosty Norway to the ranch, which lies about an hour south of San Francisco, for a week of workshopping my first draft NaNoWriMo novel, and spending peaceful days on a secluded property purpose-built for encouraging the creative juices to flow. Now that I’ve  been informed someone will meet me at the airport and I won’t have to rent a car and drive all the way to Bear Gulch Road alone, I’ve stopped quaking with fear and allowed myself to get excited. Yes, I know, I’m a wuss. Side note: I also hear the on-site chef is amazing!

I have looked at various residency programs around the US, Australia and Europe, and have yearned to apply and win one, but with a three-year-old daughter in my life, it hasn’t so far been a viable option to spend one to three months away from her should I be accepted. But this opportunity was the perfect compromise, offering a week of isolation to work uninterrupted, be inspired by the beautiful location, recharge my creative batteries at the end of another cold, dark Norwegian winter, as well as make the most of the opportunity to workshop with a seasoned YA author and a focused group of other writers.

One day, when my daughter can cope with my absence for longer, I’ll begin applying for the regular-length residencies, but for now, this is the best opportunity I could imagine, and I couldn’t be more excited.