Excellence in Teaching Fellowships
Four fellows will be awarded one week at MISA to work on a writing project of their choice. MISA is one of the nation’s premier art and craft schools and is located on a uniquely restored Wisconsin dairy farm on Lake Superior’s Madeline Island, one of the Apostle Islands. The beauty of the natural environment, with its quaint village atmosphere, provides the perfect setting for writers to work on their craft.
Fellowships include space to write in single-occupancy lodging, on-site meals, and $25 per diem for off-site dinners. Anyone who has taught from Summer 2023 to Winter/Spring 2024 is eligible. All recipients will be awarded a week-long residency during either the week of June 29 through July 6, or August 31 through September 7, 2024. Recipients will be able to choose either week according to whichever works best for their schedule. There is some flexibility in term of arrival and departure dates, but all residencies must take place within the approximate time frames listed below:
July 2024 Term:
- Earliest Arrival – Saturday, June 29 anytime after 3pm
- Latest Departure – Saturday, July 6 anytime before 10am
September 2024 Term:
- Earliest Arrival – Saturday, August 31 anytime after 3pm
- Latest Departure – Saturday, September 7 anytime before 10am
Nominees may select which date they prefer; however, we cannot guarantee a preferred date. If a nominee is unable to accept a fellowship during the provided dates, an alternate recipient will be awarded the fellowship. Fellowships may not be deferred to the following year. Acceptance of the fellowship is the equivalent of acceptance of these terms.
If you are a Loft teaching artist, encourage your students to nominate fellow teaching artists you feel deserve this award — and, yes, that means you can nominate yourself! Nominations will be accepted through 5 p.m. on Friday, April 26, 2024.
Nominees will be notified within the first week of May. This time is approximate and subject to change. We appreciate your patience!
The lovely spaces and beautiful setting of MISA provided an incredible opportunity to write and reflect. I did not leave with a finished work, but instead had the space and time to think through what I was working on and what I wanted to focus on next. I left nourished and inspired.
I found Madeline Island School of the Arts to be totally rejuvenating. I was able to do an incredible amount of work on a book of poetry I was writing at the time. I loved walking the beautiful grounds of the School and hiking the trails on Madeline Island. Substantial food and drinks were always available. Two other Loft teaching artists stayed the same week, and we all had dinner together in the village. It was a pleasure meeting them and getting to know about their backgrounds and the classes they were teaching. The staff of MISA was also helpful and friendly. I will always remember this fellowship as an amazing experience.
Receiving the Excellence in Teaching Fellowship from the Loft and getting to travel to the gorgeous MISA space on the island was an enormous surprise. It meant so much to me that my students took the time to nominate me for such a magical experience. While on Madeline Island, I relished the distance between myself and all the menial tasks and nagging obligations I got to leave at home for a week. I reconnected with nature, ripped around the roads on a rented moped, swam in the vastness of Lake Superior, and wandered the various shops, streets, and town spaces of La Pointe. I let my mind wander too, and, of course, I got to write. It is amazing what the brain comes up with when you're not constantly cramming things into it, when you let it rest. I will forever treasure sitting at the kitchen table in the barn, sipping coffee, and looking up from my notebook and out at the prairie. Thank you to Charlies, Graham, my students, The Loft, and MISA for such an incredible experience.
The MISA property is an ideal writers' getaway in terms of being able to let your creativity flow, as well as soak up some much needed downtime. Madeline Island is also quite picturesque so I really enjoyed being able to spend hours outdoors, in addition to still getting a fair amount of writing done during my fellowship. In fact, the nonfiction book proposal I finished during my stay actually got acquired earlier this year. So I will forever be grateful for this recognition as a teaching artist plus the space it allowed me to finish mapping out the subject matter and themes which led to signing my fourth book deal.
My fellowship at MISA gave me my own room with a desk and view out of the campus. I would do yoga on my own on the porch of the barn on campus, bike to the beach, and write in my room. The other fellows and I walked into a cloud that often forms in the tall grass on the campus. This was an amazing chance to think, rejuvenate, focus, and be deeply creative.
A week on beautiful Madeline Island gave me time to read, to be in nature, and to hear my thoughts—in short, to sink deep into my writing. For a writer, there is no gift like the time and space to do the work.
The residency was a welcome retreat in an inspiring setting! I was able to draft my novel-in-progress without the distractions and responsibilities of home and work. The hospitality of MISA made the week one I will never forget.
The Teaching Fellowship at MISA was one of the most fulfilling and productive weeks of my writing career. I found the idea for my recent novel during my time there (which I then finished in Peter Geye's year-long novel writing course with The Loft the next year!) and connected with wonderful writers who I still know today, all while moving through one of the most unique, beautiful places in the States. Even years later, I still look back at the week with so much fondness and gratitude.
Not only was this fellowship an honor to receive, it was a gift to my soul and to my writing. I spent a quiet week on a beautiful island, in my own sweet cabin on MISA’s campus. Each day, I sat at my desk, looking out onto a landscape of prairie grasses, working on my short story draft. And there are so many options for writing breaks: walk the wooded trails on campus, jump on one of their bicycles, visit the state park or town beach, check out the town’s offerings of small shops. You can feel the creativity of this place! This fellowship gave me the time and peace needed to finish my story! Thank you, MISA and Loft!