I confess the phase"Gift of Freedom" strikes me as unfortunate, rather like ad copy for a maxi pad. But hey, for $50,000, pass the Diva Cup. For those who don't know, the Gift is a grant based on the Woolf principle that every women needs a room of her own. Rooms require cash.
One hard adjustment, Post MFA, is losing this instant community of writers gathered together for a purpose. I moved to Nola so that I could meet writers, thinking that given the history writers would be here. They are, and I have met quite a few. Although without the MFA structure it's kind of like corraling fleas.
Barb Johnson is a Nola writer I never met. She seems cool though.
I'm almost applied for this grant last fall. I thought as a 40 year old with 22 years of restaurant experience, I might qualify for that romantic vision — Woman of a Certain Age Pursues Dream. I'm glad now, reading Johnson's bio, that I didn't bother. She runs an all woman construction crew rebuilding homes here in Nola. And she can write. She made the ever-awkward statement of purpose pretty.
Yay! Women writers over 40 are no longer Bronte shut-ins coughing blood into lace hankies.