Tuesday, April 21, 2020

UIS Associate Professor of English Meagan Cass awarded a one-month creative writing fellowship

University of Illinois Springfield Associate Professor of English Meagan Cass was recently awarded a fellowship from the Jentel Foundation to do a one-month creative writing residency at its facility in Wyoming during the summer of 2021. Cass was selected from a group of 275 applicants.

Jentel is located in a rural setting on a working cattle ranch in the Lower Piney Creek Valley approximately 20 miles southeast of Sheridan, Wyoming. Cass will be among the award recipients focusing on their own creative projects at this working retreat for artists and writers. A panel of arts and literary professionals review samples of art work and manuscripts before making final recommendations for residency awards.

“I plan to deeply revise two new stories for the collection I'm currently working on,” Cass said. “One story centers on a group of four women who played soccer together growing up. In the world of the story, their recently deceased mothers send them gifts from the afterlife, which they must help each other decipher. In the second, a woman who has lost her partner finds that her grief takes the form of pink gum and accumulates all over her house. I hope to rework the structure and characterization of both pieces and further locate the stories in terms of place.”

During the four week long residency, Jentel provides communal spaces designated for research, recreation, food preparation and dining. Each artist and writer is offered a private comfortably furnished accommodation and a light airy workspace. Each resident receives a stipend to help defray living expenses during the program. Artists and writers experience unfettered time to allow for thoughtful reflection and meditation on the creative process in a setting that preserves the agricultural and historical integrity of the land.

For more information on the Jentel Artist Residency Program, visit jentelarts.org.

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