By Susan Baker
As a writer, there are so many obstacles that can get in your way. It can be challenging to carve out quiet time to sit at your desk and compose your thoughts. Maybe you don’t even have a desk or a computer of your own, so you find yourself clearing off a space at the family kitchen table to lay out your papers, trying to remember where you left off.
What if you could buy that laptop, a desk of your own, art supplies, or have the funds to promote your work in a bigger and better way? Or, what might happen if you could travel to a destination of your choice for a week or longer to simply focus on creating and writing? Seems like an impossible dream? Then read on.
Dr. Christina Gessler is an example of someone who has and continues to do exactly that. Dr. Gessler funded her college education and graduate studies with the assistance of funds provided through scholarships, fellowships, and grants. While earning her PhD in American Women’s History, such funding also allowed her to travel to New England where she lived on an island while immersing herself in reading the diaries left behind by 19th century farm women from the area! She continues to win funding for her writing goals today.
She will be the featured guest speaker at the Writers of Kern Monthly Meeting on Saturday, August 15th, 2020. This event will be open to the public and will be presented entirely online and without charge.
Her presentation, Funds for writers: how to apply for grants, residencies, scholarships, and fellowships will provide writers and artist/illustrators of all genres with a wealth of information about how they can discover and access money to fund their endeavors. Not only is she successful at obtaining funding, she is also familiar with the other side of the table having been a professional education grant reviewer for the government.
As a participant attending this event, you will learn:
- About the four different kinds of funding
- How to discover current “open calls” for funding opportunities
- How to know the right funding source for you and your work
- How to craft a funding application letter (not as hard as you think)
- How scholarships, residencies, fellowships, and grants can help you reach your writing goals
- How persistence can pay off
You can register for this free online event by going to Eventbrite, click HERE.
Christina Gessler attended college on a writing scholarship—at a school she picked because it was beside the sea and allowed pets (her roommate was a dog named Riley who was BFFs with Ratty, the rodent roommate of the neighbor next door). She went on to graduate school at Sarah Lawrence College and The American University, where she earned a PhD in American Women’s history. She did odd jobs that probably weren’t supposed to be odd (she was a nanny for a newscaster, sold nautical antiques, and was an assistant for a Grammy-winner) and funded her educational and writing pursuits with scholarships, grants and fellowships (which allowed her to do things like travel New England reading the diaries left behind by 19th century New England farm women; and live for a time on an island). She’s worked at museums, as a college professor, and reviewing education grants for the government. She currently lives near the sea with her dog Daisy, where she writes stories for children (pre-published) and poetry (published). She’s still fortunate to win fellowships and grants to further her writing goals. You can find her carting home stacks of books from the library, or walking at the beach.
You can follow Christina Gessler on her Facebook page by clicking HERE.
Some of her poetry can be found HERE and her photography HERE.