Footnotes: August 2023

Hello, writers,

Fun fact that my astronomer father would have been thrilled to hear me share with you all: The phrase “dog days of summer” refers to the time period in mid July to mid August when Sirius, the Dog Star, appears to rise and set with the sun. This time is often the hottest part of the summer, the time of drought, the “dog days.”

Second fun fact: Sirius is in the constellation Canis Major, the Greater Dog. But often to locate Sirius we look to the more easily recognizable constellation just above, the hunter companion to the Greater Dog, Orion.

If you’re still with me, you may be wondering why I’m sharing this with you. Well, first, because it’s really freaking hot out so “dog days of summer” is where my mind is at. But I am also coming off four weeks of writing and fellowship and connecting with other writers and also connecting with myself as a writer and, coincidentally or not, both Sirius and Orion are a part of my novel-in-progress, along with lots of other stuff I learned from my astronomer father.

What a gift the last month has been. If you were a part of the Summer Writing Retreat, I hope you know what I mean when I say that. And if you weren’t with us for the last four weeks, I hope you found other ways to connect with your writer self, to feed your creative soul, to stay cool during these dog days.

Regardless, and whether we’re ready for it or not, here we are at August. And what an August we have in store for you. First, we’re launching the new Fall 2023 catalog on Monday, August 7, with classes set to start on Saturday, September 9 (but we’re giving YOU a sneak peek below). Between now and then, we’ve got a Saturday Craft Seminar on taking care of ourselves as writers (yes, please!), a terrific August Third Thursday program on writing big epic sometimes messy family stories (has anyone else been watching The Bear Season 2?), and our monthly Agents Symposium presentation all about finding the right publishing partner.

The dog days of summer are here (and who knows how long they’ll be sticking around). And this big beautiful writing community is also here. Stay cool, stay connected, and remember to look up at the stars now and again. (That last bit on behalf of John Oliver.)


Becka Oliver
Executive Director

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