RONA JAFFE FOUNDATION—SUPPORTING WOMEN WRITERS AT VSC

2019 VSC Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellow writer Rita Chang-Eppig from California.

2019 VSC Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellow writer Rita Chang-Eppig from California.

The Rona Jaffe Foundation’s support of women writers at the Vermont Studio Center began in 2008 with the Foundation’s gift to establish The Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellowship, a fully-funded one-month residency at VSC (including a generous stipend to offset costs such as travel, lost wages, child care) to be awarded annually to a promising emerging woman writer and to underwrite the finishing touches on the construction of the Maverick Writers Studios building. This support was vital to the successful expansion of VSC’s Writing Program at a crucial moment of growth and transition.  

Over the past 11 years, the depth and breadth of The Rona Jaffe Foundation’s support for women writers at VSC has continued to increase. In addition to their annual fellowship, they now underwrite 12 to 14 women Visiting Writers each year, who serve as mentors to our resident writers during their stay. The Foundation also provides general support to help offset the merit-based financial aid awards VSC offers to deserving women writers year-round.

This 11-year collaboration has impacted more than 100 hundred women writers directly, as well as hundreds of other resident writers and visual artists who share in and benefit from the essential cross-disciplinary exchange that takes place at VSC every month.

The 2019 VSC Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellow was Rita Chang-Eppig. In a letter of thanks, she wrote: “As an adjunct professor of psychology, I often have trouble carving out time for my creative work and finding fellow artists with whom to connect, share, and grow. In the past few weeks (at VSC), I’ve made significant progress on my novel and revised a short story for publication. Additionally, I’ve formed what I hope will be lifelong relationships with artists across a broad spectrum of disciplines, from fiction to poetry to installation art. These gifted women artists inspired and supported me every step of the way, reminding me, yet again, of the importance of organizations like the Rona Jaffe Foundation, which so generously makes such art possible.”

In addition to the astonishing impact the Foundation’s support has had on so many individual women writers, their long-term support has also provided continuity and stability to the VSC Writing Program overall. Over the past decade-plus, The Rona Jaffe Foundation has provided an important platform for securing additional funding opportunities for writers with other partner organizations, international translation programs, fellowships in honor of distinguished writers, and more. The Writing Program is a central component of VSC's mission to nurture creative expression, and would not be as vibrant as it is today without the generous, timely, and continued support of The Rona Jaffe Foundation.

The Vermont Studio Center thanks The Rona Jaffe Foundation for their ongoing support, and celebrates the lasting impact this enduring relationship has had on the entire VSC community. Please go to www.ronajaffefoundation.org. For complete details and eligibility requirements about the VSC Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellowship, visit www.vermontstudiocenter.org/fellowships.

The deadline to submit an application is October 1st, 2019, at 11:59pm, Eastern.