Applying for the Kresge Artist Fellowship

To give you some brief background, Kresge Arts in Detroit awards 18 fellowships every year, 9 in four categories in a biannual rotation. I turned in my application for a Literary Arts Fellowship last week. As I filled out this year’s, I referred to my application from 2013 and I discovered something surprising and quite satisfying.
Part of the application process is to outline a plan for how you would use the Fellowship time and money to explore your art. In my 2013 application, I outlined a plan that included continuing to attend the World Horror Convention, attend more local conventions, participate in conventions as a panelist or reader, and attend workshops to continue to hone my craft.
Well, I didn’t get a Fellowship in 2013. But that didn’t stop me.
WHC, New OrleansI attended World Horror in 2013 anyway.
WHC PortlandI went to Portland in 2014.
PenguiconAlso in 2014, I attended Penguicon as a panelist and reader.

I don't have any pictures from DetCon for some stupid reason, so here's one of my at my reading at Penguicon. I think I may have even worn the same t-shirt.
I don’t have any pictures from DetCon for some stupid reason, so here’s one of my at my reading at Penguicon. I think I may have even worn the same t-shirt.
And DetCon1, the National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention, as a panelist, reader, and volunteer.
Motor City Comic ConI and my fellow GLAHWers peddled our wares at Motor City Comic Con.
Sergeants and grunts.
Sergeants and grunts.
And in January 2014, I didn’t just attend a workshop, I went to the Borderlands Press Writers’ Boot Camp.
And I did it all without a Fellowship.
Yes, I had help, from people and circumstances. The organizers of DetCon were at Penguicon, which I’d been invited to participate in by Michael Cieslak, the head of the Literature Programming and fellow member of the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers. Had those two conventions not been in Detroit, I wouldn’t have been able to participate in either of them. I wouldn’t have been able to attend Borderlands without one man’s generosity and the support of my partner to use that windfall on that trip instead of bills.
Reading over my Kresge application from 2013, I had to shake my head. Even two years ago, I sounded like a spoiled kid bemoaning the fact that I hadn’t been given my big ticket yet. Which is true, but not all bad. Not bad at all, really. I haven’t been given my big ticket, but I’m making the most out of the little tickets I do have.

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