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  • Writer's pictureSarah

Lit Community in Review: 2022

Hi again.

And just like that, 18 months come and go. It's the last day of 2022, and like you I'm reflecting on what a year it's been. At first glance, it was a quiet year for me. Twitter continues to be a mess. I log on, look around, and log off again, overstimulated. My Twitter feed has been very quiet all year - and my only memorable contribution has been in the dissemination of good news about my beloved California Condors. On the publication front: I didn't publish at all (though earlier this month I did learn I have a piece forthcoming in Wigleaf)! Quiet, quiet, quiet...

But it's actually been a very busy year, filled with many firsts: first pandemic-era international writing retreat, first literary festival reading event (LitQuake 2022!), first formal university reading event, first novel-in-progress conference workshop.

2022 really began in Fall 2021, when I traveled to Iceland to read, write, and rest in an incredible, haunted, former boarding school in Laugarvatn with Nancy Stohlman, Kathy Fish, and an intrepid crew of human pandemic connection-starved writers from the US and UK. It was an absolute dream. I completed another lizard woman story, felt the germ of a new novel grow inside me, floated in hot springs, ate and slept well, and made wonderful friendships (interested in trying this out for yourself? Information on this year's retreat + more here) This retreat gave me wings, and inspired me to go on quarterly solo writing retreats in 2022, during which I completed draft 2 and dove into draft 3 of my novel-in-progress, tentatively titled How Loudly We Dead Howl (a novel growing from my flash piece published in CRAFT).

I had the privilege of workshopping the first chapters of my novel-in-progress at the WxW Tomales Bay Workshop in October. Working with Karen Russell and the amazing group of writers that comprised our "Ghostly Illumination" workshop was astoundingly humbling, gratifying, and an absolute joy. Pure magic. Everyone was so smart and generous and talented, and I felt that my chapters and I were so seen and loved by this crew. What a fantastic experience debuting these early pages. Karen Russell called my manuscript a future favorite novel during workshop, I died!

It's been a wonderful year of writerly community. I've missed the joys of careful and thoughtful engagement with others' literary works, and the delight in sharing work, together. Really looking forward to keeping the momentum going next year, and I can't wait to see what surprises 2023 brings. Catch you on Twitter (unless it self-destructs)!

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