I'm actually rather excited about this rejection. I applied to the Vermont Studio Center as a back-up for MacDowell, and it is interesting to learn that I am a cocky jerk. I thought because I'd been to VSC twice, they'd welcome me back with open arms, but, in fact, they have not.
In the long, run, I believe this is for the best. I have a good amount of traveling to fit in in the coming year, and a month in Vermont was probably pushing it budget and vacation-time wise. I also think it's a great lesson in humility. I really thought VSC was a sure-thing, and I'm curious about why it wasn't. I believe my application was the strongest it's ever been, both the writing sample and the items I've added to my resume in the past years. I wonder if it might be too soon after my previous residency? I wonder if I might be at a funny career point where I'm not good enough to get into MacDowell, but I'm perhaps not "in need of support" enough to return to VSC? Perhaps I filled out the financial need requirements incorrectly, so they thought I wasn't open to coming if I couldn't get a full ride.
Anyway, it was a surprise, which seems silly of me, to expect anything of this sort ever, but it was a surprise I feel I've taken pretty well. I more than realize I've had remarkable luck in most areas of writing recently. I'm incredibly excited to be the first ever writer-in-residence for the APRIL Festival this spring, and I'll definitely be using that time to immerse myself in a writing community, and get loads of work done. I'll also try my best to use some time off around the holidays to be productive and make movement on the current novel draft.
Many good lessons learned! Keeping chin up.