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One of the most unique — and heartwarmingly awesome — writer's residencies in Washington is Mineral School. Set in a 1947 schoolhouse in the lakeside village of Mineral, Washington, just down the street from this beautiful hulk of a mountain that's kind of the gravitational center of our state, Mineral School offers low-cost and subsidized residencies.

Four writers will receive full fellowships for two-week residencies. Eight writers who are parents of children under 18 will receive full fellowships for one-week residencies. Early and mid-career writers of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry are invited to apply for two-week residencies for the remarkable price of $425, which includes a large studio and bedroom, all meals, special events, and opportunities to share work.

The application process is open through February 15, so don't delay in getting your application in. There's only so many slots and tons of interest!

In fact, if you want to find out more, join Mineral School, Hugo House, Till, and more, at the Seattle Public Library on January 29th for an informational session called "Residencies Revealed: Writers and Programmers Tell All." Get all your questions answered!

What's it like to attend Mineral School?

In October 2016, Washington State Poet Laureate Tod Marshall stayed at Mineral School as an invited guest. Here’s his log of his time there:

I was just in Mineral, Washington, at Mineral School, a place where Jane Hodges has launched an artist residency program in a 1947 schoolhouse. It’s an ambitious undertaking in a really wonderful building in a secluded place — Mineral has a campground, a small general store, a tavern, and a church (as well as a few tractors and some big trout that I’ve seen rising in the lake). Perfect seclusion to get some work done, to focus on the poem, the novel, the memoir or book of essays. It’s been my home base for visits to Centralia College, Onalaska High School, and Eatonville High School, and today, I’ll go to the Salkum Branch of the Timberland Library system. Keeping busy and meeting wonderful people, dedicated teachers, and community members who value connection with one another and the world around them.

I went on a walk down the road from Mineral School to see Mt. Rainier — too cloudy and rainy — but found instead the Mineral Lake Lodge and a cool quilt made by Caroline, the owner, depicting a “human child” being called away by a “faery,” the story told in W.B. Yeats’ poem The Stolen Child. Yeats is everywhere! If only the world wasn’t so full of weeping. A great visit to a wet and wild and secluded part of our state — and no Bigfoot sightings.

I did see an artistic homage to Merce Cunninham, a son of Centralia, Washington, and one of the great artists of the last century. The choreographer, dancer, and leader of the American avant-garde wrote: “There has been a shift of emphasis in the practice of the arts of painting, music and dancing during the last few years. There are no labels yet but there are ideas. These ideas seem primarily concerned with something being exactly what it is in its time and place, and not in its having actual or symbolic reference to other things. A thing is just that thing. It is good that each thing be accorded this recognition and this love. Of course, the world being what it is—or the way we are coming to understand it now—we know that each thing is also every other thing, either actually or potentially. So we don’t, it seems to me, have to worry ourselves about providing relationships and continuities and orders and structures—they cannot be avoided.”

And then, on my last day there: the mountain.