Wouldn't it be cool to write in the former residence of one of the most famous writers in the English language? Wouldn't it be even cooler to work in the famous writer's attic office?
That's exactly the experience that will be awaiting writer Annette Gendler, who was named the writer-in-residence at the Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park, in IL. Gendler will set up shop in "Papa's" attic office in his childhood home on a schedule to be determined by Gendler in consultation with the foundation. Hemingway was born in Oak Park, just south of Chicago, in 1899.
Gandler writes literary nonfiction, mainly memoir, and has been teaching memoir writing at StoryStudio in Chicago since 2006. She served as the 2013 Peter Taylor Nonfiction Teaching Fellow at the Kenyon Writers Workshop and holds an MFA in Creating Writing from Queens University of Charlotte. She will also lead a workshop on an undisclosed topic later in the year. Gendler will have access to the home's designated writer's space during regular business hours, weekdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Aspiring writers in residence take note: the residency application is only one page, but requires writers to provide their educational background, description of written project they intend to pursue, a description of educational workshops they have presented, plus the number of attendees and length of the program, a CV, resume, and list of publications.
The foundation's mission statement is to make an effort to "foster understanding of the life and work of Ernest Hemingway and nurture the importance of the written word and the value of thoughtful reading and writing." In Gendler's case, while she doesn't specialize in fiction, her interest in "literary nonfiction" certainly echoes Hemingway's journalistic work. Specifically, Gendler is looking for a publisher for her memoir about "an impossible love (between a German and a Jew) that succeeded."
Ultimately, the foundation isn't interested in bringing aboard devout Hemingway disciples. Instead, they're simply looking for writers who can tell a story in a powerful and compelling way. Hemingway would have surely approved.
The only thing we're still not sure of is if the foundation will require Gendler write in short, understated, and economical sentences.
(Yes, that was actually a Hemingway joke.)