Kathy Anderson Writing Fellowship

Kathy Anderson Writing Fellowship

From Storyteller Foundation

The Kathy Anderson Writing Fellowship will provide four full and four partial scholarships to send qualifying women writers to the Her Spirit Story Summit in Santa Fe, October 24-28, 2021.

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Dear Friends,

Many years ago, I had the great good fortune of watching—witnessing—my very best friend facing her cancer diagnosis with so much grace and dignity and yes, unlimited joy. She thought of it as a wake-up call to “get on with her life”—a remarkable realization. Cancer gave her the opportunity to follow her dreams, awaken to her own greatness and fulfill a personal mission. When she eventually passed, she had fulfilled a massive dream and accomplished a major, magical feat.

We, at the Story Summit Writer's School, believe that every human is made of magic. Our mission is simple: we want all folks to reach for the stars and the moon and rock the proverbial world through their words and talents. We also believe in giving back.

That’s why we’ve started a fund in the name of Kathy Anderson. Kathy was the beloved sister of Debra Engle, my co-director at the Story Summit Writer’s School. The Kathy Anderson Writing Fellowship fund will specifically help women dealing with cancer, whether they’ve been diagnosed, are going through treatment, or are dealing with the after-effects.

Our goal is to raise $20,000 for four full and four partial scholarships to our Her Spirit Women’s Writing Retreat in Santa Fe in October 2021. We would love nothing more than to help eight women attend the retreat so they too can reach higher, follow a dream and renew hope in their lives through writing and a sense of community.

We believe that hope is contagious. Please join us in donating so that we can spread hope and joy and some magic.

Love. Love. Love

Amy Ferris, Co-Director, Story Summit Writer's School

Dear Friends

Some of you know that my sister Kathy passed away May 21, and I'm  so grateful for your love and support.

She was a quiet, private person, so I didn’t say much about her journey before she passed. But now she’s inspiring me to say something, so here goes...Kathy often had a hard time finding joy. She frequently stayed on the sidelines, observing life but unsure how to participate. Then she met Dan, a Viet Nam vet who struggled with PTSD and two failed marriages.

They met when Kathy was working at a dry cleaning store. Dan walked in, struck up a conversation, eventually asked her out, and they married in 2002. She’d dreamed of marrying before she was 50, and that dream came true with one week to spare.There they were, two people, both experiencing less than life had to offer, bringing out the joy in each other.

Each year on their anniversary, they renewed their vows and sang their wedding song together. Dan made her a candlelight dinner once a week—a promise he made and kept. He was probably the first person who made her feel beautiful, visible, loved. He was by her side when she died.

I tell you this because it’s my sister’s life story, and one that will always inspire me.

She didn’t give up, even though I’m pretty sure there were times when she considered it. She found love, she found joy, and she helped Dan find those gifts, too.

I say this because I believe it applies to you—all of us—and your creative work and your dreams.You and your writing have a love story, too.Sometimes it’s painful, but ultimately it’s headed toward joy.

I don't know that anyone would say Kathy’s life had a happy ending. The last three years were largely consumed with ovarian cancer that metasticized, multiple surgeries, chemo,radiation, and finally hospice.And yet...there’s so much hope in her story.

I think Kathy would want all of us to keep going, be patient. Show up, do the work, and trust that the success you’re dreaming of is going to walk into your life, just like Dan walked into hers.

It’s all about the love. So write with love, live with love, give and receive love. As David Kirkpatrick says, lead with love. In the end, that’s all that matters.

Sending love to you all.

Deb Engle, Co-Director, Story Summit Writer's School

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