Monday, May 18, 2009


Bread Loaf Bound

Saturday evening, my husband and I were eating Thai food at a favorite local joint, when I reflexively checked email on my iPhone to learn that I'd been accepted as a Tuition Scholar to the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference. I couldn't believe it. Then I just became incredibly excited.

Attending Bread Loaf--I guess sort of like publication itself--seems like an impossible dream. I don't know of a single writer who has gone to Bread Loaf who has not come back starry eyed about the experience. Bread Loaf is known as a real writer's conference, with readings and intense discussions about craft. The list of writers who have attended is impressive. There's a great deal of mystique about it all--I'd long ago assumed I would never go. But my agent really pushed me this year, and so I applied for nonfiction, thinking that I might as well try. I also thought that should I get in, I could really use some help in thinking about how to write nonfiction.

And now I am going. Through the quickness that is Twitter, I've met a few other writers who will be attending as well. Writing is so lonely, I tell you, but I'm fairly used to it. I like to have oodles of time to myself. But it has been wonderful over the past few years to meet other writers and to share concerns and triumphs with them. I'm hoping for that to happen again this summer.

As for the funny name--my husband keeps telling me that I am the best thing since "sliced bread"--the conference appears to be named for an inn, which in turn is named for a mountain. I'm sure I'll learn much more when I am there.

Anyway, this is one of those events which makes one feel like a real writer. I'm so excited and grateful all at once. And if you happen to be reading this because you too will be at Bread Loaf--please do let me know.

Edited to add: I'm not surprised to learn that my friend Alexi Zentner has been accepted as a waiter. Congratulations to Alexi--I really hope I get to see you there!

How exciting! I'm starting (and staying) small, doing the U of Michigan weekend conferences in Northern Mich, and Breadloaf is one of my dreams for the future (but ugh, I'll have to get time off of work...).

Again, so exciting and good for you!

I thought of you last month on a whirlwind pan-Northern-California vacation when husband and I ended up in Monterey and I realized that it really was time to finally read Cannery Row (which I enjoyed very much - boy is that neighborhood different now...).
Marla--A belated thanks to you. And good for you that you are pursuing some of the excellent workshops and conferences in your area.

I'm glad you liked Cannery Row! That was a favorite for such a long time. And, yes, the area has really changed, though fortunately the natural beauty is mostly intact. I hope you had a good time. It's always great to hear from you!
Congratulations! I, too, applied for a waitership this year, not expecting to get it. Then again, I just finished my MFA (SLC) and my credentials aren't nearly as impressive as Alexi's. I plan to keep applying, though. I stuck close to home and did the CLMP conferences last year (I saw your panel on blogging!) I'll keep applying though. My blog is at -- I hope you'll check it out!
Thanks, Claire! Keep applying and keep writing; you never know. I will certainly look at your blog, and how interesting that you were at the blogging panel. Were you the young woman I spoke to later in the day in the auditorium after Colson's reading? In any case, much luck to you, and thanks for stopping by.
Hi Marie,
I found your blog through google (go figure) as I was looking for others who will be attending Bread Loaf this summer. I've never been and don't know anyone who has gone before, so I wanted to make friends before I get there. ;-) Feel free to email me at I'll be attending in fiction. Any advice as I'm packing/preparing? Best, Kaitlin Solimine, Malibu, CA
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