By Sandra Tyler, Editor-in-Chief
This roundup I’m dedicating to our October 31 deadline for our first annual literary and art WTP contests—it is fast approaching. We had extended the deadline, as I suppose we’re testing the waters as to when is optimal time (if there is one) to sponsor a contest.
To recap, the grand prize in each category is a one-week creative retreat to the legendary Hamptons of Long Island, New York. Destination for writers and artists from around the world; home to Peter Matthiessen, George Plimpton, Truman Capote, among other literary legends; the Pollock-Krasner House, Parrish Art Museum, and art galleries galore. Accommodations for two, one block to Atlantic Ocean beach, in a charming 1909 expanded cape—my mother’s Amagansett home.
Since my mother died in 2015, I’m largely still trying to make peace with her being gone every time I walk into that house, expecting to find her sitting in her sun room—or in her studio, with Madame Butterfly full volume on her Bose. Everything about that house speaks of my mother, from the yellow-and-black tea set of her own mother’s, still displayed in the kitchen hutch, to those details that speak only of her, most significantly, her own paintings gracing the walls, expansive vistas through every doorway.
My mother would refer to this as her “happy house”; I promised that I would care for it as she had, to pass down to her grandsons. From a realtor’s standpoint, this “property” is an optimal rental: one block to ocean beach, town, and NYC train. But from my standpoint, this home is a haven—a true respite for any writer or artist seeking a reprieve, to sit on her deck encompassed by her woods; to walk to the beach after dinner, especially when the moon is full; or walk up to the Amagansett Square for a delicious dosa at the Hampton Chutney. If you’re inspired to actually get some work done, for writers there is the desk in the guest room, but my own favorite place is the table out in the sun room overlooking her birdbath and cherry trees. For artists: there is the studio with ample natural light, sliding doors and a couple of easels. There is also my mother’s collection of art books with exquisite Turner, Picasso, and Braque prints lining the guest-room shelves.
As I mentioned when we first announced this contest: this home, this legacy of my mother, is also my touchstone, as she continues to be for me, in spirit—her own aesthetic as an artist remains my beacon as editor of WTP. She would wholeheartedly endorse my opening up her “happy house” to artists and writers who know, as she did, what it means to toil away, often for years, and often plagued with self-doubts, at their own creative statement. First prize, in her honor, will be named the Elizabeth Sloan Tyler Memorial reward. And as her daughter, in her name, I will persevere in promoting all of you, our loyal following and newcomers to The Woven Tale Press.
For art competition go here.
For literary competition go here.