Posted in author interviews, Delaware interest, grants

Fellowship Interview

DDoA 2016 banner

Each year, the Delaware Division of the Arts creates a page to highlight the 16 artists who are granted Individual Artist Fellowships. The IAF page features interviews with each artist by Christopher Yasiejko as well as work samples. You can read my interview with Christopher as well as the opening pages of my (then) work in progress, LEST I FORGET.

As always, I am grateful to the Delaware Division of the Arts, the State of Delaware, and the National Endowment for the Arts for their support of my work and the arts community.

On Sunday, April 3, 2016, fellow IAF recipient and poet Maggie Rowe and I will share our work with the public at the Judge Morris Estate, White Clay Creek Park, in Newark, Delaware. Built in the 1790s by the , it was the  home of distinguished federal judge Hugh Morris and is now a showcase in the 600-acre estate. Our reading will begin at 1:00 and will be followed by a reception for our friends and kind listeners.

Continue reading “Fellowship Interview”

Posted in artist fellowships, creative nonfiction, Delaware interest, grants

New DDoA Artist Pages Posted




I am happy to share the Delaware Division of the Arts new 2013 Individual Artist Fellowship pages. Take a look at the painters, composers, writers, and musicians selected this year to represent the state’s commitment to supporting and promoting art and artists. I am honored to be among this group of 17 artists selected for 2013.

I had the pleasure of being interviewed (again) for the page by Christopher Yasiejko. Our ar-coverconversation focused on my particular discipline, Creative Nonfiction, which is my writing focus this year as I pursue my grant project on writing about how the various places I have lived has influenced me as a person, a citizen, and an artist. I am enthusiastic about this genre which allows a writer to research like a reporter and write like a novelist.

My work sample is in the interview taken from “Getting to Grand Isle,” a piece published in The Arkansas Review in 2012.

Delaware has a fine track record for supporting the arts. As part of the IAF program, en dach of the artists featured in the pages will give a public performance or viewing of their work. I will be presenting in August, with fellow Delaware writer Russell Reece. Our literary reading will be at the John  Dickinson Plantation in Dover, on August 24. We will read and share a colonial craft and tour of the plantation. We hope this reading at an historical site will be the start of a literary series set at places important to our state’s history.

Posted in Delaware interest, grants

Individual Artist Fellowship announcement

I am thrilled to be the recipient of an  Individual Artist Fellowship from the Delaware Division of the Arts for 2013. Seventeen artist grants were awarded throughout the state this year. The State of Delaware’s news release is below.

One part of the fellowship year requirements is a public performance of work. My grant project in Literature-Creative Nonfiction will focus on the places I have lived and how each place influenced me as a writer. I look forward to working and sharing this project in 2013.

Seventeen Delaware Artists Receive Fellowship Grants

The Delaware Division of the Arts has announced the Fiscal Year 2013 winners of its Individual Artist Fellowship (IAF) grants. Seventeen individual Delaware artists are being recognized for the high quality of their artwork in the visual arts, literature, music, jazz performance, choreography, and folk arts. Artists were selected from towns throughout the state including Bear, Dover, Harbeson, Lewes, Lincoln, Milford, Milton, Newark, and Wilmington. Their work ranged from photography and sculpture to playwriting and choreography.

The work of 85 applicants was judged by arts professionals from around the country. Through the IAF grants, the artists’ achievements are affirmed, helping provide the recognition and exposure that artists need to successfully promote their work. The artists receive a financial award—$3,000 for the Emerging category and $6,000 for the Established category—allowing them to pursue advanced training, purchase equipment and materials, or fulfill other needs that allow them to advance their careers. The public will have an opportunity to see the varied artwork by these artists as they are required to have a public exhibit or performance showcasing their work in the upcoming year.

Listed below are the Delaware Division of the Arts 2013 Individual Artist Fellows. Contact information for the artists may be obtained by calling Kristin Pleasanton, the Division’s Art and Artist Services Coordinator, at (302) 577-8284 in Wilmington or (302) 736-7436 in Dover.


Established Professional ($6,000 award)
Name Community Artistic Discipline
Linda Blaskey Lincoln Literature: Poetry
Anne Colwell Milton Literature: Fiction
Scott Davidson Wilmington Jazz: Solo Performance
Ann Jenkins Milford Folk Art: Visual
Ramona Long Newark Literature: Creative Nonfiction
George Lorio Dover Visual Arts: Sculpture
Augustine Mercante Wilmington Music: Solo Recital
Aina Nergaard-Nammack Lewes Visual Arts: Painting
Karin Snoots Harbeson Visual Arts: Painting


Emerging Professional ($3,000 award)
Name Community Artistic Discipline
Alex Buckner Wilmington Choreography
Teresa Clifton Milford Literature: Fiction
Knicoma Frederick Wilmington Folk Art: Visual
Jerry Gordon Wilmington Visual Arts: Painting
Andre Jones Wilmington Literature: Playwriting
Michele McCann Newark Folk Art: Music
Marjorie Weber Lewes Literature: Creative Nonfiction
William Wolff Bear Visual Arts: Photography


Honorable Mentions
Name Community Artistic Discipline
Thomas Del Porte Wilmington Visual Arts: Painting
Dennis Lawson Newark Literature: Fiction
Georgia Leonhart Rehoboth Beach Literature: Creative Nonfiction
Robyn Phillips-Pendleton Newark Visual Arts: Painting
Russell Reece Bethel Literature: Fiction
Vanessa Simon Magnolia Visual Arts: Photography
Michele Xiques Milford Choreography

The next deadline for Individual Artist Fellowships applications is August 1, 2013.

The Delaware Division of the Arts is an agency of the State of Delaware. Together with its advisory body, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Division administers grants and programs that support artists and arts organizations, educate the public, increase awareness of the arts, and integrate the arts into all facets of Delaware life. Funding for Division programs is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware State Legislature, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Posted in grants, Guest blogs, NaNoWriMo

Kick-Starting Your Writing in November, A Guest Post by Gigi Pandian

Note: November is a month for giving thanks. I have been the fortunate recipient of of writing grants and fellowships, and for this, I am grateful. Today, I am happy to welcome another writing grant recipient, Gigi Pandian, as she discusses what can make a writer thankful in November. 


by Gigi Pandian

The month of November is a great month for writers—especially mystery writers. Continue reading “Kick-Starting Your Writing in November, A Guest Post by Gigi Pandian”

Posted in Artist Statement, grants, How To

How To Write an Artist Statement

What is an Artist Statement?

 An Artist Statement is a group of “I sentences” that explain your artistic hopes, dreams, ambitions, philosophy, direction, growth, and evolution. If part of an application for a fellowship or grant, the Artist Statement will demonstrate how the award would patently help you reach your artistic goals.

Artist Statements are meant to inform grant administrators and fellowship jurors what your hope is for this project, how you will be affected by working on the project, and how the support of the grant will help you toward those ends.

What is an Artist Statement not?

~ It is not a resume or CV

~ It is not a list of published words

~ It is not a list of awards, honors, or degrees

~ It is not your personal background

~ It is not a project description.

If it is not all of those things and can’t include those things, what does go into an Artist Statement?

First, understand the purpose. While not all grants are administered in the same way, in general, the granting agency (state division of the arts or arts council, or private foundation/organization) will employ a judge or judging panel to read and score the work samples. The Artist Statement is a document the granting agency uses to allow the artist to give voice to how the grant will help their career or work. It is also often used as a PR tool. This means, what goes into your Artist Statement is your vision of yourself as an artist—how you came to create art, what is means to your life, what you try to express via your work, how (if applicable) you see yourself as a member of the artistic community.

How do you put together an Artist Statement?

An Artist Statement for a specific purpose will probably have a limit. In the space/word count allotted, include some/all of the following:

….What is your philosophy as an artist, in relation to this particular project? For instance, if this is a family memoir, do you believe that art is a means of examining and exploring your personal history? Is it a way to heal, or celebrate? Is this work meant to be a tribute, to set the record straight, to capture for posterity events that have impacted you and yours?

….How will you grow as an artist through this project? Are you trying a new medium? A new voice? Fictionalizing reality? Creating an entirely new world? How is this project different from your prior work?

….What message are you trying to convey?

….How is your work, and this project in particular, a reflection of you? If you are writing about a culture, are you tied to it? Is the project trying to satisfy a curiosity? Trying to recapture or examine something you have lost?

….What is your goal, specifically, for this work? Do you plan to complete a novel? Write X number of short stories?

….Stylistically, what is special about this project? Is this a departure for you? A new venture into an entirely new genre?

That’s a lot to cram into the small box on the grant app. What is comes down to is explaining what you want from this particular project, and how it fits into your goals as an artist. The Artist Statement is your way to make the grant people understand you. It gives you a chance to express your heart.

A perk to writing the Artist Statement is how it makes you think about the questions above. In your daily life as a writer, how often do you think, concretely, about your goals as an artist? Do you ever stop to recall just how you chose this medium, and how it has impacted your life?

The Artist Statement makes you examine yourself as an artist. Who are you? What do you want? What are you trying to say through your art?

It’s that simple.

Posted in artists colony, grants

Hot Off the Press

Ramona DeFelice Long Awarded Fellowship by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation
and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts

(Amherst, VA) – Ramona DeFelice Long of Newark, DE, has been awarded a Creative Fellowship to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA). The fellowship is made possible by a grant from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation as part of its ongoing efforts on behalf of working artists.

The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in rural Virginia. Ramona DeFelice Long will be in residence with approximately 25 other artists focusing on their own creative projects at this working retreat for visual artists, writers and composers.

A typical residency ranges from two weeks to two months. An artist is provided with a comfortable private bedroom, a private studio and three prepared meals a day. Beyond the breakfast hour and the dinner hour, there are no schedules or obligations. This distraction-free atmosphere, as well as the energy that results from having 25 artists, writers and composers gathered in one place, enables artists to be highly productive.

Serving more than 350 artists a year (more than 4,000 since its inception), the VCCA is one of the nation’s largest year-round artists’ communities. VCCA Fellows have received worldwide attention through publications, exhibitions, compositions, performances, and major awards and accolades, including MacArthur grants, Pulitzer Prizes, Guggenheim fellowships, National Endowment for the Arts awards, Rome Prizes, Pollock-Krasner grants, National Book Awards, Broadway and O!-Broadway productions, and Academy Award nominations.

A nonprofit organization founded in 1971, the VCCA is supported in large part by grants and private donations.

The Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation was established in 1979 to promote and support multi-state arts programming. The Foundation serves the states and territories of Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, the US Virgin Islands, Virginia, and West Virginia. Additionally, the Foundation engages in national and international work focused on performing arts touring, jazz, and independent filmmakers.

Posted in conferences, grants, short stories, writers

Advice Among the Accolades

Last week, in jest, I posted about Helena Bonham Carter’s  mismatched shoes at the Golden Globe Awards.  This week I invoke HBC again, because her daring choices remind me of a nugget of writing advice that has both bothered and benefited me. It came via an anonymous judge for a writing fellowship, and I keep it posted on a yellow sticky note stuck to the side of my desktop:

“This writer should resist clichéd thinking that forces a story into a contained shape.”

Continue reading “Advice Among the Accolades”