A space for womxn practitioners of the humor arts to wrestle their projects into submission.
A writing residency for womxn humor writers.
Writers need time and space to work, full stop. Residencies make time and space possible. Why women in particular? Because this whole (cussword) world was made for men, and we women – cis, trans, and non-binary alike – need all the space it’s possible to carve out. St. Nell’s will be a writing space, a respite, and a community for the 51% of the population historically branded as “not funny.”
Oh, only a pandemic that forced us all inside and made us learn to work from home, with our roommates or partners or kids crawling up our backsides, a political situation that threatens to end democracy as we know it, an increasingly dire climate situation, you know, 2020 stuff. That time and space we were just talking about? We need it to make fun of all of this crap so we don’t all die screaming.
I’m using a broad (heh) definition: Short satire pieces, stand-up routines, screenplays, pilot scripts, novels, comics, rock operas, engraved stelae. As long as its primary genre is humorous, it’s fair game.
Hahaha, you said “nuts.” But seriously: The residency will offer stays of two weeks to a month. It will host two residents at a time – enough for some companionship, but not so crowded that each resident wouldn’t have their own space. It will also host shorter retreats with more attendees, workshops, and one family residence per year, where the writer could bring their kids, partner, babysitter, nana, whoever they have in their retinue. This is particularly important to me as a working mother. We will run two seasons: Spring and Fall, roughly March-June and September-November. Residencies will be offered for two weeks at a time, with the option to do two back-to-back for longer projects. The residency will be able to house two residents at a time, with ample room for each to have their own space. At the beginning and end of each season I will host long-weekend retreats open to more attendees, with specific focuses, such as a pilot cram weekend, a stand-up boot camp, etc. We will offer workshops and reading series with our residents – open to the public, or via Zoom. The residents will contribute to a newsletter, a subscription to which will be included in all reward tiers.
An excellent question! Our goal of $50,000 would allow us to put a comfortable down payment on a space, and cover the nut (mortgage, insurance, taxes, etc) until we are ready for residents. Beyond that, we can move into stretch goals – the more money we raise, the more affordable we can make this to future residents, and the more we can offer in terms of programming – guest speakers, classes, networking events. In a perfect world, we would even be able to offer stipends to our residents. Can you help make this world perfect?
Williamsport, PA, a small and charming city in central Pennsylvania. Williamsport has a lot to offer as a residency location – it’s walkable, with a quiet conducive to creative work, but enough street life to provide inspiration. It is located on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River and surrounded by some of the prettiest country in the world. It’s also the home of Little League Baseball, and hosts the Word Series of Little League every summer. It’s about four hours from NYC, 3.5 hours from Philly, and 3 hours from Pittsburgh. And best of all, it has a good stock of roomy, beautiful, and affordable houses that would be suitable for our purposes.
(Check out Williamsport’s Wiki page!)
Perhaps you’ve noticed that they are awesome? We’re talking exclusive #content from some of the best satirical minds out there today, from goddess Samantha Irby to possibly demonic weirdo Dave Hill. Cartoons from the New Yorker! Art by Roz Chast! Classes! Unending gratitude and the knowledge that you’ve done good in the world!
My name is Emily Flake. I am a cartoonist, writer, performer and illustrator. My work appears regularly in the New Yorker, which is how you know I’m fancy. I write essays and satire for McSweeney’s, Longreads, Dame Magazine, the New Yorker, and anyone else who will have me. My most recent book is called That Was Awkward: the Art and Etiquette of the Awkward Hug, which came out late 2019 and was almost immediately rendered obsolete by the pandemic. I live in Brooklyn with my husband, daughter, and enormous cat. My web home is www.emilyflake.com.
Nell Gwyn was a comedic actress and Goodtime Charlene in the England of the late 1600’s, and I want to hang out with her ghost.