Say you want to go to an artist's colony to get some quiet time to work. There's a long list, topped by the prestigious Yaddo and MacDowell colonies, which are free for attendees. Aspiring writers, visual artists and composers can apply to those two just once a year, and, for the last year that numbers were published for MacDowell (2003), only about 16% get in. But a careless aside in today's NY Times story on residencies implies that the application process isn't for everyone.
[Michael] Chabon and his wife, the novelist Ayelet Waldman, take turns going to the MacDowell colony for two-week stretches each year.
Sigh. Looks like once you win a Pulitzer, getting into competitive residency programs is as tough as getting reservations at the Motel 6.