As I mentioned in my last progress update post, I applied for the Lambda Literary Writers Retreat last weekend. The application fee by itself was $25, but room and board for the week are $800 each, and I would also have to fly out to LA and physically get to the retreat. There’s no guarantee that I will be accepted. But even if I am accepted, why would I shell out upwards of $2,000 in room, board, and traveling costs to do some writing?
This was definitely a question I asked myself as I was filing out my application, while I was looking at needs-based scholarships that I’m sure I wouldn’t qualify for, and applying for an Editor of the Anthology Scholarship/position that I’m not sure I’ll receive. So it’s very possible that I will end up being accepted and pay out of pocket to attend. So why.
In the first place, I don’t have a lot of opportunities to get together with people who are specifically writing what I am writing (YA with queer characters). I get a lot of writing energy from networking online with other queer writers, and I get a lot of writing energy from networking with other writers generally in person, so I imagine the energy from meeting queer writers in person will be immense. In the second place, I saw that the mentor for the YA group was Malinda Lo several months ago when I began considering the retreat. That is really what tipped me over the edge. In the third place, the organization is Lambda Literary, instead of a for-profit writing retreat. Not that I think that for-profit writing retreats are bad, writers gotta pay their bills, but the purpose of the organization definitely played a part in deciding to apply.
In the fourth place, think of how much work I can get done while having all that fun!
So in the end, I talked myself into doing it. This is probably not something that would become a regular thing for me, if only because I couldn’t afford it to. But I think something this targeted, with a good organization, is something I can save up and make an exception for.