MVICW COVID-19 COMMUNITY UPDATE

Dear MVICW Community,

It’s with heavy hearts that we officially announce our postponement of the 2020 Martha’s Vineyard Writers’ Conference due to ongoing concerns about the spread of COVID-19. While we’re all greatly disappointed, we know it's the best option for the health and safety of our MVICW community, the residents of Martha's Vineyard, and our larger global family.

For the past ten years, our Summer Writers’ Conference has brought writers from around the globe together on the island of Martha's Vineyard, and we were very excited as this year promised to be our biggest and most diverse

yet. Though we’re unable to celebrate together this June, we’re already looking forward to an amazing return in 2021 at the Vineyard Arts Project! Registration for our 2021 program will open shortly.

We’ve also been working on exciting new virtual content to inspire creativity and keep you company during these stay-at-home times. Starting next week, every Monday we'll be sharing a new writing exercise from our incredible visiting writers throughout the years. Wednesdays we'll post newly published work from the MVICW community, and Fridays we'll bring you intimate readings from our community's living rooms to yours!

Wishing you all well during these challenging times, and much love from MVICW. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out.

                                                                                                                       

30 April 2020

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Dear MVICW Community,

We hope this message finds you all safe and healthy during these challenging times. As we enter April, we are updating our organization’s response to Covid-19 and our plans for the 2020 MVICW Summer Writers’ Conference. 

We continue to monitor federal, state, and local recommendations to determine whether or not the conference will be held this summer. Our official decision will be made by May 1st. Our priority is the health of our global community, as well as all MVICW community members, including attendees, staff, fellowship/contest applicants, and the Martha’s Vineyard community. 

 

We will only proceed with the 2020 Conference if it is safe for everyone to travel and congregate again. And while we hope for truly favorable news this month, we are simultaneously preparing for the possibility of postponing the conference until next year. If we postpone, we will make that announcement by May 1st and will offer full refunds of any tuition/lodging payments made, as well as extensions for fellowships and early registration for our 2021 conference.

 

In the meantime, to help support creativity for our virtual writing community during this stay-at-home time, we’re developing online craft exercises and interviews with MVICW Visiting Writers to help fuel your writing.  Follow our Facebook page for details about our upcoming online offerings.

We care deeply about the health and well-being of all who call the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing home, and we know how much everyone is looking forward to the 2020 Summer Writers’ Conference. We remain hopeful for positive changes worldwide.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us. 

                                                                                                                       

3 April 2020

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Dear MVICW Community Members,

 

As we come together as a global community to understand and work through the growing challenges presented by the current health crisis, we at MVICW wanted to give you an update about our organization’s response to Covid-19 and our plans for the 2020 MVICW Summer Writers’ Conference. We are closely monitoring news regarding the coronavirus on a daily basis, as our top priority is the health and well-being of all MVICW community members, including attendees, staff, visiting writers, fellowship/contest applicants, and the Vineyard island community. This priority is the driving factor in all our organizational decisions as we continue to develop plans for this summer.

 

With the MVICW Summer Writers’ Conference currently set for June 7-20th, we are still planning to hold the conference as scheduled. We are hoping to see a beneficial change of the situation in the coming months, but we will continue to monitor the situation very closely, and will assess any potential change to our event based on the advice and official guidance of state and federal government agencies, local health authorities, and the CDC. We will, of course, keep the MVICW community updated with any changes. We plan to reassess any need for delay or cancellation of the conference at the end of April and will make an official announcement of that assessment by May 1st.

 

We are currently taking the following steps to help support and safeguard our community members, and to provide more options for our conference attendees in the coming weeks.

STEPS WE ARE TAKING:

  1. We are closely monitoring official guidance from local government, health authorities, and the CDC in order to support the health and wellbeing of all community members. We have provided links below so you can be informed and we can all responsibly act to help the situation. 

  2. We are providing links to helpful resources below, so that you can be informed and well-prepared as the situation evolves.

  3. We are following international recommendations for social distancing and online meetings, and have moved all of our current operations online for the months of March/April.

  4. Moving forward with operations and conference activities in June, we will be hiring cleaners specializing in deep cleaning of all buildings and attendee lodgings; staff and volunteers will be regularly wiping down all lobby and public spaces; all seminar studios and attendee lodging spaces will be supplied with antibacterial sanitizer bottles and disinfectant wipes to allow for the wipe down of all work surfaces before and after use.

  5. For all of our pending fellowship/contest opportunities, we are continuing to process awards with the intent of welcoming winners and fellowship recipients to our conference this summer. In the case of a delay or cancellation of our event, we will extend all awards/fellowships toward the rescheduled conference dates.

  6. We are extending our cancellation policy until May 1st in order to allow the greatest flexibility and time to assess the situation fully. In the case that we must delay or postpone our Summer Writers’ Conference at that time, we will be offering refunds for payments made toward conference registration/lodging. You can find our amended policy here:

REVISED CANCELLATION POLICY

 

As we continue to monitor the news regarding Covid-19 related travel and event delays or cancellations, we have temporarily extended our cancellation policy deadline to May 1st to allow for the greatest flexibility and time to assess the situation. If Cancelled on or before May 1st: Full refund of tuition and lodging.

STEPS WE RECOMMEND FOR MVICW  COMMUNITY MEMBERS:

  1. Be informed by following CDC, reliable news outlets, and local government recommendations.

  2. Whenever possible, practice social distancing by staying home, opting for online meetings/events in the coming weeks, and making sure to seek medical help if you present symptoms.

  3. For conference travel plans, we recommend waiting to book your flights to allow for better flexibility of plans in the coming months. For those wishing to book plane tickets sooner, the following airlines have extended or dropped any change fees for airline tickets purchases in March/April for summer travel

 

 

HELPFUL INFORMATIONAL LINKS:

CDC Coronavirus Page

WHO Coronavirus Updates Page

City of Boston’s Coronavirus Information

Massachusetts State Government Coronavirus FAQs

 

 

We care deeply about the health and wellbeing of all who call the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing home. We are hopeful for positive changes worldwide in the coming months and continue to look forward to welcoming you to the island this summer. 

If you have any questions  or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us

 

13 March 2020

The Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing

a 501 (c) 3 Nonprofit Organization

      telephone: 954-242-2903       email: info@mvicw.com

 

 

Many of the Vineyard photos courtesy of Vineyard Colors www.vineyardcolors.com

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